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Facing the Fear of Obsolescence: A Business Owner’s Tale

As the final hours of Small Business Month draw to a close, I’m deep in thought.

“Nothing New” by Taylor Swift ft. Phoebe Bridgers explores the fear of becoming obsolete and being replaced by newer, younger talent. It captures the anxiety and self-doubt that often accompany success, especially for women who worry about maintaining their relevance in a constantly changing industry. Similarly, “New Kid In Town” by the Eagles reflects on the fleeting nature of fame and the inevitability of being replaced by the next big thing. Both songs resonate deeply with the psyche of people running their own businesses, who initially face the excitement and challenges of being the “new kid in town.” As they establish themselves, the fear of becoming “nothing new” and the pressure to sustain their trajectory into the future can be overwhelming. These songs seem to highlight the emotional journey of myself as female entrepreneur navigating my path from novelty to enduring success, constantly striving to innovate and stay ahead in a competitive landscape.

When I first started F.A.C.E. Makeup Artistry 11 years ago, I felt shiny and desired. The excitement of being the “new kid in town” was exhilarating. There was a euphoria that came with every client, every booking, and every opportunity. I was on top of the world, riding the wave of my new venture.

As the years passed, that initial shine began to fade. The fear of becoming “nothing new” and the pressure to stay relevant started to creep in. Each time I felt that anxiety, I would reinvent myself—turning my hair a new color, transforming my look, and creating a new version of Erin Hendley. Those moments of reinvention brought back some of that initial excitement and reminded me of why I started. But, I was also performing for the algorithm.

Now, I’ve come full circle. I’m the most “me” I’ve ever been, present, and embracing my natural roots and aligning my business with my core values. Yet, I still dance with the fear of not mattering. Running a female-owned business means constantly navigating between the highs of reinvention and the lows of self-doubt. Despite these challenges, I know that staying true to myself and my vision for F.A.C.E. Makeup Artistry is what truly matters. My journey has taught me that it’s not just about the shine but about the substance and authenticity behind it.

As a business owner, I often find myself tearing up when I see abandoned buildings and defunct businesses. They represent more than just empty spaces; they signify the death of a dream that someone once nurtured with passion and hope. Each vacant storefront is a poignant reminder of the relentless challenges we face, the constant battle to stay relevant, and the fear of becoming obsolete. It’s a silent testament to the hard work, the sacrifices, and the unwavering determination that sometimes, despite our best efforts, aren’t enough to keep the dream alive. This deep connection to the struggles and triumphs of others makes me cherish my journey even more, and it strengthens my resolve to keep pushing forward, honoring both the dreams that continue and those that have been left behind.

Door Photo: Imagine Images Photo

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