"Launch is easy. What comes next is harder."
Vivian's story, part 2/2
(2/2) “‘Launch is easy; you set a goal and achieve it. Then there is a lull.’ I used to worry about that moment, when I didn’t know what to do next. Now I’m learning to anticipate lulls and use them as a chance to identify the bigger questions that I need to work on.
Anna approached me and Oana about Flax Sleep in fall 2017. She couldn’t find reasonably priced linen bedding and saw a gap in the market. Thanks to a background in hospitality, she knew the product and customer experience she wanted. Together, we envisioned European-sourced linen made affordable by being sold direct-to-consumer.
In March 2020 our future was unclear, ‘Would a slowing economy under COVID stop us in our tracks?’ No, and instead e-commerce boomed as people stayed home and shopped online. Now our challenge was to secure supply through the end of the year and the peak holiday season.
Pursuing growth isn’t something I do very well. I came to business thinking, ‘Let’s do this to stay alive,’ but that wasn’t good enough for 2020. We got business coaching both as a group and individually, and it was transformational. It helped us shift from a fixed to a growth mindset.
I had already gotten past the idea of getting a job, keeping it, then retiring. But my conservative mindset had deep roots. As a lawyer, I identified risks and suggested a prudent path. As a business owner, I can’t avoid risk. I can only choose worthwhile risk. It’s constant work for me to face fear and uncertainty.
‘What is good work? What is success?’ I used to value checking visible work off my list. Now I focus on what I can do to move the business forward, and that can be simply listening deeply to my team. I used to seek extrinsic markers of success, such as revenue growth or the sale of our business. I now notice intrinsic rewards: building something with my friends, working from home and seeing my family, and coaching women entrepreneurs in my community.
Our coach helped us jump-start on big questions in the post-holiday lull. Should we launch in the US? What next-level IT solutions do we need now that e-commerce has shot ahead? Instead of stalling, I’m finally pro-actively thinking about how I can continue to grow.”
How do you keep going after the honeymoon phase of a new idea wears off? How do you deal with fear and risk? Tell us in the comments.