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5 years of Heartbreak, 5 Things I've learned

Posted by Pamela Wheaton on

Photo taken at Eighty Three Bar Arcade

Incredibly, it has been 5 years to the day that I open the doors to Heartbreak Boutique. We say it all the time, in a dozen different cliches, but time is one slippery fish! You think you have a firm hold on it and then swish! down the stream it goes. 

But I'll spare you my philosophizing on the elusiveness of time. I thought today I would impart a little wisdom, what little wisdom I have, on you by sharing 5 things I've learned in the 5 years I've been in business. 

In not particular order...

1. I will never feel like a "real" business person. 

And that's ok!

I honestly have NO idea what that's suppose to "feel" like, and although when I talk to other business people I often times have this voice the back of my head saying "they're onto you! They know you have no idea what you're doing!!" Thankfully I have an incredible network of fellow entrepreneurs who have assured me that this is a common feeling. They have also assured me that I must have SOME clue of what I'm doing or I wouldn't still be in business. 

I think this feeling comes from the typical image of a business person that has been subconsciously planted in my head. Also - because, not surprisingly, I'm not all that conventional when it comes to "ways". There is no one right way to run a business, just like there is no one right way to live your life. And that's a damn beautiful thing, 

2. It's okay to fall on your face.



I played roller derby for 6 very special years. One of the things we were told when we practiced is it's good if you fall, it means you're pushing yourself past your comfort zone...see where I'm going with this? Yes I AM the queen of analogies, thank you. 

In business, and again in life, it's ok, in fact, it's kind of great if you fall flat on your face (preferably figuratively) because it means you are striving for something beyond your safety net, you are challenging yourself, you are not letting fear hold you back. And that deserves a F-yeah!! 

3.1 Squad Goals 

There is a special community of small business folks worldwide that share and support one another but I believe that Saint John has an exceptionally supportive and collaborative small business community that is so generous and encouraging of one another that to an outsider it might seem crazy, why are competitors working together?  What we know, however, is that we are stronger together. And I am SO proud and thankful for that! 


3.2 Give a Little Piece of my Heart

Having a support system of other like-minded entrepreneurs is an incredible gift. But an even greater gift is being able to give back to my community. The enthusiasm, passion and drive I feel when I am contributing to cause that I believe in is addictive. It has shown me what's really important and has changed my way of thinking about business and how to connect business and causes together. 

4. No guts, no glory. 

It's not always easy to listen to our instincts, to our gut, I think in some ways we've been taught to ignore it,  but it's invaluable and should be trusted. I'm not saying throw away traditional business practices, but I've learned that in order to run a business that I believe in, I have to be true to myself, and listen to that little voice. 

 5. My success is not your success

Don't compare your hustle to their highlight real.  We are all doing our own thing, one isn't better then the other, just different. And we never know what is happening behind all those perfect social media post. STOP COMPARING YOUR BUSINESS (YOURSELF) TO OTHERS 

Also - while your idea of success may be building an empire, that does not discount my definition of success - which is not of power, fame and fortune, but one where I can live a simple, happy life, do the things I enjoy and give back. Nothing flashy. 

If you've read all the way to the end, thank you! Thank you for your years of support and kindness!! 

One last thing - to my husband and my parents - THANK YOU! You are the backbone of Heartbreak Boutique (and me!) 

To my people - you know who you are - thank you listening without judgement, for supporting my crazy and always making me laugh. 




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