Six tips to sustainable success and staying sane


I’m sharing the most valuable things I’ve learnt from launching and growing a business from scratch so that you can avoid the rookie mistakes.
BABY Pink Gin founder Ellen Weigall with a cup, seated
BABY Pink Gin founder Ellen Weigall

Launching your first business is much like raising your first puppy or child. A massive commitment with an overwhelming mix of excitement and anxiety, with a million people giving you advice on how they did it. There’s also an underlying sense of ‘what the hell have I done!?’. Now I’m going to be one of those people telling you what I learned from launching my first business, so that when these feelings arise, you’ll know it’s normal.

My top 6 tips to sustainable success and staying sane:
  1. If you believe your idea is great, get used to people trying to make you feel like it’s not. Go with your gut when choosing who to take advice from and don’t take no for an answer. If somebody says you can’t do something, it either means that they can’t do it, or they don’t want you to do it. If you have a grand vision and big dreams, it may feel embarrassing to even voice your goals because they might seem ‘impossible’ to others. But not to you. The cliche of believe in yourself really is the key to sustainable success. So put simply, avoid those who can’t see your vision.
  2. Be clear and honest with yourself about why you’re starting your business. Is it to impress others? Are you filling a real consumer need? Or is it to give yourself freedom? The personal reasons are great, but your business purpose is all the more important. You need to make sure there is true passion behind your business purpose. Your purpose is what will sustain you in the tough times.
  3. Know what investments to make in at the start. Back to basics – don’t over capitalise until you have a proven concept. I always say, don’t skimp on good graphics and branding at the start as well as good photography. Save on things like equipment, and outsource production where you can at the beginning of your business journey. If you have the time and skills to do something yourself at the start, do it. Knowing the ins and outs of your business before handing tasks over can also save you time and money in the long run.
  4. Surround yourself with support if you’re a solo founder. Launching and running a business on your own can be lonely. Have people around you to bounce ideas off, and most importantly, have people around you to help you celebrate your successes. I let so many successes pass me by because I was too embarrassed to celebrate, but this is such an important part of growth. I suggest joining a co-working space, attending industry events, and most of all, having like-minded people around you who want you to succeed.
  5. Know that it will never feel complete. Businesses constantly grow, change and evolve. You can kick goals but there will always be more to score. You’ll need to be comfortable with this feeling day-to-day and year-to-year.
  6. Know that nobody knows what they’re doing, so it’s okay that you don’t either, and you may never feel like you do. You’ll know when true learning and evolution is happening when you feel completely lost, so get comfortable with this if your aim is to grow. Feeling comfortable with growth and learning is the only way to conquer imposter syndrome.

Launching a business will be daunting, but no matter what, you’ll end up gaining so many valuable skills you couldn’t learn any other way. Enjoy and rollercoaster ride and good luck.

Founder of BABY Pink Gin, Ellen Weigall is a communications specialist turned entrepreneur with a passion for empowering women in business. Find out more about Ellen About | BABY Pink Gin