Lessons from starting your own website and then business (kind of)? I’ll just jump right in.
1. Expect people to tell you really good stuff.
‘This is great.’, ‘You can really write about food.’ ‘Wow the newsletter is a brilliant idea!’ ‘This is going to work!’
2. Expect people to tell you, not so good stuff.
‘This doesnt work, aren’t you wasting money?’ ‘No one will pay for this.’ ‘This just seems boring.’ (Yes, that is something a chef told me when i asked her to participate in In their kitchen). In the middle of all that, remember that there are other things going on in your life that you need to deal with. Like people stealing your ideas.
3. But what I wasn’t prepared for i guess is the ACTUAL support. Excpect actual support.
Guys like Mago at Brood (when he left, communication came to a stand still so i have to specifically say Mago at Brood) He was the first person to ever pay me money. Like Hanif at Yatai lab/Yujo,Will at Bushpig. And others, but these were the first 3. Aside from Will, the rest were strangers, cold calls. I didn’t want to go like OMG, GUYS!!! i just said ‘Thank you’ but on the inside…
Patricia Mugisha who agreed to do a new thing, In their Kitchen, with a stranger she met on Instagram. Sophie Musoki who beyond always agreeing to be interviewed, is available to help answer questions about running a site. Both of whom i’ve still never met (come on guys). And that’s another thing people; that guy that you think might support you because of this and that, will not have your time. A stranger might. And that’s OK.
Joel Nevender, RIP. He came to my office and went through opening the site for me, step by step. It was on Blogger then. He just couldn’t believe it had taken me so long to open a website! I promised to buy him a meal to ‘repay’ him for his time. We never got around to doing that. That he isn’t here today is…
3. Have allies in similar fields.
They will have an idea of what you are going through. For me it is Hassan at SatisfashionUG, he was among the first people to tell me i could earn some money from this. I really don’t know how i would have come this far without him. I literally did not even know how to go about paying my subscription!
Have allies overall.
You know how a child out grows their shoes or needs a new sweater? Your site might need to change and do other things. Go with it, its yours so you have the liberty to experiment and fail. Failing isn’t a bad thing, adversity isn’t a bad thing. A friend told me adverity helps us build that muscle. ‘Next time, you’ll be more resilient’. I won’t say names because then i will have to say every friend’s name and we might spend the day here.
5. Pause or even stop.
It’s OK. Hey you’re the master of your sea, its ok to get tired of it. It’s ok to close it. That isn’t failure. Its just your journey ending and power to you for having had the guts to walk it.
If you do keep going,
Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. This will keep you going when those inevitable, ‘Why am i even doing this?’ times come. For me, the core was ‘Happy, positive space’. So i still go out and just eat food. And if i enjoy it, i will write about it.
6. Celebrate NOW. Don’t wait for 5 or 10 years to celebrate.
Don’t wait for 1000 followers. Do it now.
If you’re not on this journey with me already, won’t you join by signing up by email or following on socials?
And, For food’s sake, eat!