An Open Letter: 10 Business Truths I'm Terrified to Share - Courtney Sjoberg

being honest about my online business

When I first started my business, I made a vow to myself to be as transparent as possible.

And when I say transparent, I mean see as see through as my pale white skin! (My sister's always made fun of my casper skin tone, but I embrace it now. 😂)

I remember the exact day I vowed to be honest and open about the ups, downs, twists and turns and what it really takes to grow a business online. I was in my therapists office, crying on the floor, because I felt like everything I saw online was WAY better than my life.

Everyone was taking extravagant trips, buying fancy designer brands and here I was making NO money from my blog and working 60+ hours a week just to keep afloat.

My therapist looked at me and said 10 little words to me that opened my eyes up and changed my perspective on it all....



"Courtney, they are charging it all to their credit cards...."

Image of credit cards that an entrepreneur might use to fund their business and lifestyle. Photo by  Web Hosting  on  Unsplash



DAMN! How could I be so naive to not even think of this? Probably because that wasn't even an option for me. I didn't have enough credit card karma to even have that opportunity.

Right then and there I decided to always share EVERYTHING, because I never wanted one of my tribe members to feel how I felt that day:



I was crying on the floor, feeling worthless and not good enough, questioning why I couldn't have what I wanted.


So in efforts to be more transparent with you and to showcase some of my current fears, struggles and hardships - I decided to make a list of 10 things I am terrified to tell you because.... well I am terrified. In this online space we are constantly trying to make ourselves look good, stand out from the crowd, and "convince" people as to why they should hire us over our competitors.



So I’m going to spill some really vulnerable and scary stuff that I am currently dealing with that makes me look less than perfect, which is the way everyone tells me I need to look in front of you.


But I am here to call BULLSHIT. You don't need to look perfect because in reality you aren't perfect and neither am I.



1. I still get really jealous when I see coaches in the industry and "my peers" doing better than I am and making more money than me. I would love to say I never compare myself - but that would be a huge crock of shit. I am human and I still get caught up in compasrison-itus.


2. My inboxes stress me TF out. Ever get an email reply or DM super late from me? I am so sorry. I have had so many literal panic attacks from just being in my inboxes that I took ALL email communication off of my phone. I spend as little time in there as possible because I am terrified of it.


3. I am a recovering "quitter". When shit gets hard, I tend to bolt. Relationships (except Joe - for some reason I grasped onto him 9 years ago and that has never been an option - trust me it has been hard AF sometimes), launches, new programs, diets, schedules, commitments of most kinds. I am proud to say that I am a work in progress and things have been getting better! But I still haven't launched a new program in almost a year.... now you know why.


4. I shut down when I am having anxiety, and then I lash out at the people I love. I told my friend the other day that I used to cuss out people, A LOT. Yes I have a potty mouth, but I don't particularly cuss people out anymore. Even so, I can still get really mean and vindictive towards those I love when I am anxious. I have recently found out this IS a result of my anxiety - I used to just think I needed anger management. Unfortunately, the person who gets a lot of this crap is Joe and I am so grateful for the grace he has given me after some of the nasty things I have said to him.


5. I am scared that if I use FB ads in my business that no one will take me seriously because I am the "organic" Social Media Queen! I know, I know, it sounds silly. But I feel that if I use ads, my credibility for organic will go out the door and everyone online will shun me.


6. When I am feeling sad, depressed, or any emotion that I don't particularly like - I tend to eat or shop my feelings out. There is something about buying something or eating a piece of cake that puts me on a high. It is a recent discovery of mine and I am working with my therapist to fix it and get to the root of the issue of why I am buying or eating in the first place. I am currently on a spending freeze (except on experiences - like date nights with Joe) and I am so proud of myself because I didn't even browse when I went to Target to buy coffee creamer. 😅


7. A lot of my self worth comes from what my net worth and sales in my business look like. Lately, I have been on this kick of feeling like shit and like a failure when my sales are down. I get SOOO triggered when a cancelation email comes through because someone canceled their Hashtag Files Society membership, and I take it so personally. (So much so that I asked Joe to turn them off. Hahaha.) All jokes aside, you and I are worth because we are. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't still exploring the idea of being worthy without connecting my success to my worthiness.


8. I am sooooo scared to be a Mom because of my OCD and anxiety. I don't know how TF I will handle toys on the ground, crumbs in my backseat, general chaos, and all the things that come with kids. I don't want to be a "mean mom" because I like an orderly house. 😂


9. Sometimes my personal hashtag and engagement statistics tank and I feel like it makes me look like a fraud. You gotta walk the walk and talk the talk in business ,and when I am not doing so good (which is normal for ANY business person) I feel like everyone will lose their trust in me and run away.


10. I feel like I suck at launching anything other than The HFS and it has held me back from going after what I want. Again, when shit gets hard >>> BOLT. I have soooo many more gifts, skills, and kickass abilities to help you - I just don't believe in myself enough right now to launch them. But I am working on it.


There you go. 10 really vulnerable AF things about me that make me wanna cry and not check my inbox after this gets published!

Inspired to do a bit of self-reflection?

Grab 10 Free Journal Prompts for Emotional Release here and make your own list!

Note from Hannah: Courtney is AMAZING (you know that, you just read her bomb post)! I found her online when I was struggling with my hashtags and general IG game, and her work (and trainings, resources, and membership group) are out of this world! They have saved me so much time, energy, and struggle! You’ll want to find a way to connect with her (Hint: Click her image and you’ll be on your way!).