Navigating Uncertainty

Owning a small business is a dream come true for most of us. But what happens when uncertainty seeps into that dream?

If you think you’re alone in that feeling, don’t worry—because you’re not.

Uncertainty happens to everyone no matter if they’re living the dream or on their way there. Anytime something becomes comfortable to us, uncertainty will inevitably find it’s way.

So what should you do about it? Essentially, it comes down to two options.

  1. Fear it.
  2. Embrace it.

I won’t even spend time going over the possibilities of fearing uncertainty, because we all know that fear doesn’t lead to productivity.

Embracing uncertainty is easier said than done, but thankfully we were instilled with one tool to combat it; reflection.

Reflecting on the past can help us remember the other times you faced uncertainty in the past and came out for the better.

Reflection can also help to identify uncertainty when it starts to come back. Identifying uncertainty provides a concrete thing to wrap your head around so you can take care of the problem sooner.

Once you have identified uncertainty, then that you can start embracing it. But what does embracing uncertainty look like?

Well, it looks a lot like how a child plays.

Embracing uncertainty releases your inner child, and although the feeling of unfamiliarity may be uncomfortable at first, it is what made us into the people we are today.

Trial and error, trying something and having the world as our playground with infinite things to learn can be more exciting than uncertainty is frightening.

At the end of this process you can go back to doing what you love! Life is a cycle of ups and downs and it’s getting through the downs that make the ups so much better so you can go back to doing (and enjoying) what you love.

If you’re interested in more information on this topic, check out this blog.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

Editor’s Picks

Check out editor of American Quilt Retailer Heidi Kaisand’s favorite self help books.

  1. Essentialism by Greg McKeown. This book easily tops Kaisand’s list, showing you how to work smarter not harder. In essentialism you’ll transform your thinking from ‘I can have everything and do it all’ to ‘things will happen in the right time and the right place.’ essentialism
  2. The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. If negative thinking gets in the way, follow these ten steps to transform your thoughts into positive ones. Included with each step are insights from Gordon on how he was able to overcome obstacles. energy bus
  3. Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell. Some people are able to connect with others. But as it turns out, anyone can learn how. This book outlines out how to become successful by simply connecting with people. everyone communicates
  4. Love Your Life, Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze. Learn how to live your life within your means in this financial self help book. Cruze walks readers through a variety of financial topics including prioritizing, giving, and planning for the future. love your life
  5. Power Your Happy by Lisa Sugar. Lisa spends her days writing reviews for POPSUGAR, so you know this is going to be a fun read. Learn how to live your life fabulously while also having time for what’s important to you. power your happy
  6. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. What if you woke up one day and your life was transformed? What does that life look life? The Miracle Morning shows that with just six minutes each morning you can do just that. miracle morning
  7. Uncontainable by Kip Tindell. In 1978, nobody could believe someone would sell an empty box. As it turns out, storage was an entirely untapped industry. Read about The Container Stores’ success story.uncontainable
  8. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. Written by the editor of SUCCESS magazine, read tips from someone who’s job is to be successful every single time. compound effect
  9. Traction by Gino Wickman. Tailored specifically to entrepreneurs, this book outlines how to take charge of your business through the Entrepreneurial Operating System. traction

Comment or share with your friends to find out what books have helped them.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

Steps to find investors

Asking for money isn’t easy, but neither is your next big project. Check out the list below for ideas on where to begin and how to maximize your chances.

  • Business schools. Not only do they have scholarships for students, but they have scholarships for businesses too. Check out your alma mater, or a school near by with an accredited program. If administration isn’t much help, try calling professors and guest speakers to see if they can point you in the right direction.
  • Friends and family. Starting a business means asking for favors from the closest people to you. Of course you don’t have to ask them for money, but you can ask them for recommendations or ideas. Don’t forget to utilize them to critique your pitch, too—the better the pitch the easier it is to get money.
  • Online. LinkedIn is a great place to start; if we’re going to promote our business on that platform why wouldn’t we promote what our business is trying to do and ask for help getting there? Websites like GoFundMe make this process especially easy and legitimate.
  • Local entrepreneurs. Local businesses are always trying to support and build up other local businesses. Ask for the community to return the favor so that you can give more to the community.

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Remember that less is more, so keep your pitch simple and relatable, while still selling yourself. Practice your pitch, record it, then ask if you would donate to yourself. Back your pitch up with a model that has worked, and get your business plan as thorough as possible so you’re ready for any questions you may receive.

At the end of the process, you’ll be happy with the work you put in. After all, if you can’t get something if you don’t ask for it.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

Editing your business plan

There are many tasks none of us want to return to since our businesses have been up and running.

Often times this never-return list includes looking for the perfect space, starting from scratch, and (you guessed it) writing a business plan.

Well I’m here to tell you that—like most things in this world—you’re going to have to go back to the drawing board!

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And that’s okay, the preconceived notion that a business plan is a firm document is simply wrong, business plans should be flexible and should change with the company.

So, how should you go about editing your business plan? Thankfully you don’t have to start from nothing. Unless you’re making major changes, choose one section of your plan and make gradual changes. Remember that each change should meet your new goals.

Further, it can really help if you have a supporting document to keep track of all the numbers. That means with any new purchase you make, you can update the number spreadsheet to make editing your business plan easier when that time comes around. Keeping a number spreadsheet helps keep things accurate and factual. (Pro tip: insert another column titled something along the line of “updates” so you know what you changed and when).

When figuring out what changes to make, it sometimes helps to look at other businesses outside the industry. Think about other local businesses; what do they do well and what could they do better? Think about changing technologies and how you can get them in your door, too.

Editing your business plan doesn’t need to be done more than once a year, unless you’re a new business or have encountered some major change in operation. Don’t forget to add changing your business plan to your list of annual tasks to keep your business moving forward.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.