I started my own company, work for myself, and am kinda bad at my job…

Is this even possible?  What the heck is going on here? Why does no one talk about this?

You start day one at University - you were definitely not a good student.  Why didn’t we learn how to teach ourselves things in highschool? Number one thing I wish I knew heading into Uni.  I digress.

You start painting - you probably weren’t a fantastic painter day one

You start your influencer Instagram feed - those first posts?  Ya, not great compared to where you are now.

You start day one at Starbucks - you are certainly not a great barista if you hadn’t done it before.  You start day one at a Bank - you weren’t a great banker

Get the point?

So why did I think I would be a great entrepreneur/retail worker/Instagram creator/copywriter/website developer when I had literally never done any of those things for even one minute before I jumped in?


Being the creative, or the idea generator behind a business and behind a brand, does not mean that you will be great day to day in that business or brand - or at least you won’t start great.

That’s the one thing I wish someone told me.

I had spent months envisioning Without Co. Thinking about the vibe, the product mix, the consumer experience, everything.  But having never worked retail, having never rung in a large amount of products at a till, having never run a sales floor - man oh man I had stuff to learn.


Transactionally I would forget to charge for the bottle or jar or would miss the odd thing.  I didn’t have a system to ringing in larger orders and was still getting used to my point of sale set up. I have even mispriced inventory - for a couple of items, I charged what I pay for the product, instead of the MSRP!  Rookie move! If you came in thinking you got a really good deal - you did. You got too good of a deal!


 It’s a very strange experience being a rookie in your own business while being the most experienced one on the team as well… 


Happy to report that the learning is happening.  I have read and researched like crazy about best retail practices and you will notice some of them in our store.  (Not giving away any of my trade secrets, however). Plus I’m getting to be a bit more comfortable in my skin, and in my store.  Realizing that some things aren’t researched and reported, and those things I get to make up, test out, and evaluate.


Also happy to report that inventory has been double and triple checked for pricing (so mom, if you’re reading this, no need to worry).


This past quarter has contained the launch of our physical store, our online store, the launch of a whole line of in house skincare products, and an expansion to our team. Plus we survived our first market, our first Black Friday, and our first Cyber Monday.  What a quarter it has been - my head is spinning, my heart is oh-so-full, and I need to nap for at least seven days.

What’s in store for this quarter? 

Dipping my toe into food sales I think, men’s products might be fun? Potentially bringing soap making in house as well.  Andddd adding a few more lovely people to my team. Plus I am going to be amping up marketing and networking (yahoo!)


Although the wallet is empty, the heart is full my friends :) 

(mostly joking about that, but I think it has a good ring to it!)

- Michelle


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  • Sarah on

    Love this honest post! When I was starting a new business, my partners and I spent an incredible amount of time planning all the cool things we would do at our place and for our customers… We’ve been open for about 1.5 years, and we’re still not doing all of them, since learning how to actually run the business, and now doing the running of the business, takes up all the time! The work is so worth it though, to see your business grow, and to see those loyal customers come back again and again.

  • Susan on

    Great blog! Entertaining and insightful! Thanks for sharing your plight.


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