A short list of serious (but totally fixable) ways you’re accidentally screwing up your small businesses’ success

Read time: A short and sweet five mins

You’ve achieved the impossible by starting your very own small business. Great work! But how do you know when you’re ready to turn things up a notch and stop playing small?

Because, sure, you’re a small business. But being a small business doesn’t mean you have to play small. Not sure what I mean? Keep reading, small biz owner.



Hands up if you’re guilty of any of the following:

  • Avoiding anything or anyone that might give you constructive criticism.
  • Side-stepping situations that you don’t feel ready or prepared for.
  • Putting off your plans because you’re waiting for the perfect time to take action.
  • Needing permission and validation before you feel fully confident in your plans and purpose.

Feeling like you’re not as good/talented/valuable/worthy as other small businesses and small business owners.

Uh-huh. We’ve all been there. But the truth is that:

  • Constructive criticism is LEGENDARY for supporting your growth. But, yeah, you’ll likely never love or look forward to getting it.
  • You’re capable of trying new things – even if it never feels totally comfortable at first. But temporary discomfort can result in future success.
  • There’s sometimes a smart time to make a move … but there’s never truly a perfect Myth alert.
  • It’s great to get advice from experts and clever to invest in support from professionals, but you don’t need validation or permission from anyone. You can do this.
  • You’re already worthy (and talented AF! Look at what you’ve already achieved!)

And whether you’ve ditched your nine-to-fiver to follow your passion or you’re slowly turning your side-hustle into an empire, there are inevitably bound to be setbacks and plot twists along the way.

Which is scary, right? But before you flip off fear and hide in the shadows, this is your gentle reminder that sometimes scary is good and playing it safe means staying stuck.

digital illustration of a lady with her arms around herself to represent feeling safe in business


When I get deep with fellow small business owners, we often discover that the root of their tendency to play small is fear. Fear of looking like an idiot, fear of being called out as an imposter, fear of being judged, fear of stuffing up, fear of making mistake, and even, sometimes, fear of success (‘cause that’s when things REALLY change).

Now, fear is helpful. It’s your in-built protection system and it keeps you from leaping off cliffs and snuggling up to venomous snakes. But if fear had her way, she’d keep you wrapped up in cotton wool and stash you far, far away from anything that could provoke change. After all, change is challenging. Change is where the magic happens. Change – according to fear – is what should be avoided at all costs.

Which is why playing small and cuddling in close to your comfort zone feels like a warm hug on a cold winter’s eve. It’s safe. And playing small is great if you want to stay exactly where you are (or let’s be real, even slide back a little bit). But if you want to grow your business and make more moolah then you’re going to need to make some changes.

If this sounds like something you’d be into, it’s time to stop hoping for success and start actually doing something about it.

Speaking of which …

When you’re starting out, it’s kinda inevitable that you’ll end up DIYing a lot of things (unless, you know, you’ve got a bigggg budget you can happily throw around without begging the bank for a second mortgage).

But there comes a point in your small businesses’ life where DIY just won’t Get It Done. To get to the next level, you need to go pro and invest in your business – and yourself.

Not only will you free up your time to spend doing the stuff you actually started your small business to do in the first place, but you’ll find it easier than ever to grow and succeed.

And if there’s one thing I wish every small business owner knew it’s that bad design holds your business back. Your DIY designs or Fiverr/Canva special might have helped you get started, but you’re ready for so much more. And if you want to get unstuck, this is your sign to finally invest in professional design.

Want a designer that truly gets your small businesses’ heart and soul?

Come on in and explore my brand design and social media graphic design services, small biz legend!

Little Black Kat Creative's pricing and packages guide

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