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After taking a leap, leaving our jobs, and months of work and development, our portable blackout curtains are launching today!!! + reflections on the first 5 months

I know, I know, now the real work begins. But we took a huge leap at the beginning of the year and have grown like crazy since – after all the time, can't believe this is finally going to be real.

So, so glad we decided to do this and how much it's changed us. We originally created this for my partner’s insomnia because nothing else worked and quickly realized it could be helpful to a lot of people (troubled sleepers, travellers, night shift workers, new parents, people renting their apartments).

We’re live on Kickstarter – I will have a follow up post because we hit our goal in under 2 hours!!! – and start production next month. Woah.

Some quick reflections

  • Uncertainty is normal and a good thing. It’s been a crazy and hectic few months. We’ve sprinted through product dev but have legitimately developed the best portable blackout curtain in the world. This product didn’t exist before – no minor improvements to something that already existed on Alibaba. We figured it out. So many moments feeling completely overwhelmed or with no idea where to start, but still we kept at it and got through. Have come to understand that this ‘holy shit’ feeling is normal and common among everyone doing something for the first time – also where the growth happens.
  • The experience is unique – do it with someone else who gets it. My partner and I both left our jobs to work on this business and we’ve been surprised by how isolating the experience has been at times. Things happening we can’t talk about, ups and downs unlike anything we’ve ever done before. Not sure how I’d keep at it without someone else to confide in on all of it.
  • Good marketing can turn weaknesses into strengths. My partner has insomnia and for a long time has struggled with it. We’ve been building in public (largely on Linkedin but also through a newsletter, a little bit here, etc) and being open about these struggles – both personally and in the business – created opportunity. We heard hundreds of stories from people who also struggle with sleep and in our case have been able to build a business around it.
  • It’s hard to figure out what’s important but prioritizing is critical. Have had to wrap my head around the fact that I won’t be able to answer every email, let alone put my 100% into all of them. Have had to become more assertive, more focused, and way more disciplined with my time. But that focus and saying no have allowed us to keep our attention on what really matters and make a lot of progress — two patents, 6000 pre-launch email signups, a brand new product, a Kickstarter campaign — quickly.
  • The “right decision” isn’t about outcomes. I’m writing this *before* we know how successful the launch will be, *before* we have any idea how this will do. But that’s not the point — at the time of our decision (leaving our jobs), all we knew was that we wanted to take a swing and put everything we had at it. We’ve gotten to meet other idol entrepreneurs who’ve been crazy enough to think they can make a difference and we realized (in the early days) the biggest difference between us and them was that they’d taken the leap. This doesn’t necessarily mean go quit your job and start a business, but for us the freedom and knowledge that we’re really going after something we believe in has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made, regardless of the result.

If you have any thoughts on the campaign or know of anyone who might find this interesting, I would so appreciate if you shared (lil baby link here). Big thank you to this sub for all the help so far (some on this acct, some on my main). Here’s to going after your dreams.

submitted by /u/hannahfromsleepout
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