REAL TALK: Sour worms & big girl pants

In this day and age, it feels like every second person has started their own business. They call us under 35 'Millennipreneurs' and its suggested that 40% of todays entrepreneurs are women which is a huge increase. 

Personally, I have to sit down, read the statistics, listen to how other people out their do it, because just shy of my 25th birthday, I'm hitting a hurdle; Which no-one talks about.

It's the 'sour worms and big girl pants' phase.

In my business over the last year, particularly in the early days, I would give loose contracts to people who wanted to model, fitted the 'no-requirements' category, and *seemed* to have the same passion as me. Keep in mind, when people say what you want to hear and are on board with your vision, you skew the reality and perceive it totally differently. 

I'm confident that many entrepreneurs (particularly women) have experienced the 'honeymoon' phase where you go out of your way to accommodate for people that you think are so supportive of your point of difference. Down the track you realise you've been giving handouts or undercharging and you make that decision 'I'm going to set my worth' and people respond negatively to that. They give you the look that people make when eating sour worms. Because their experience has been that they deserve what you give them and how dare you take that away. Get it? 

So it was where there's this dramatic shift from realising that what you do is worth something. The training and photoshoots in particular, are worth more than being an expense to me. The day or week where you click you haven't been valuing yourself, and letting people walk over you and actually come at a financial cost to you, so the second you stand up for yourself, that makes you a horrible person. I've spent many moments throughout the last few months where I can my mum and have an anxiety attack (or cry) and she tells me to put on my big girl pants. I have to be an adult when people treat me like children. 

The investment stage is where I've just hit. No longer letting things come at a financial loss to me, and the business, but wanting to cover the costs of the models investment, not only what I personally put into other people, but also by the creatives around us.  It's important to create a culture of people with similar beliefs and values which I think comes down to education. Educating creatives on what fellow creatives are worth. What their investments are and how important it is that we support them in every way possible. 

Creating a culture of people who support creatives, and invest in their skills.

I know about the people that got a free pass, had unrealistic expectations, didn't want to work towards improving themselves, and those that think they're entitled to a career that will be handed to them on a silver platter. These are the people that decided to spread rumours and defamatory statements about the business and myself. Sure, it hurts so bad and makes wanting to quit sound like the best idea ever. But why should a few people with sour tastes in their mouth and aren't behind the culture we are trying to create, damage it for the other people? 

It's all pretty shitty and at the end of the day, would I stop what I am doing because of the hate that comes my way? Nope.

Is it true?
Yes: How are you going to fix it?
No: Roll your eyes and keeping going. 


Emily Friend is the CEO of Handshake Creative, with a drive to create conversations about being a young entrepreneur, living with disabilities, and talking about mental health. You can contact her at with any questions.