Happy Monday! I have been meaning to put this blog post out for about 18 days now. It’s been about a month and a half since I’ve been self-employed and guess what?! I’m still alive! It’s been rough at times, not going to lie, but there have definitely been lessons learned.
The Social Project came about last March after a Tony Robbins and Gary Vaynerchuk event I attended. I soft launched it in September 2017 and went full force in January 2018. I was able to leave my 9-5 at the end of April to pursue my business full time! Along with being the chapter leader of Seattle Business Babes and being able to connect with entrepreneurs and creatives in my new city.
These are a few things that helped me along the way and it may help you too!
1. SAVE – if I could have, I would have saved up a lot more money. I did move back in with my parents last year which helped and I didn’t mind because I have the freedom that I want to. In starting a business, the costs can add up, from branding to websites, for some production costs, etc., they add up! I was smart with my pay cheques and divided it up into saving, business, bills, lifestyle. It’s always scary wondering where your next pay cheque will be coming from when you’re on your own, so having the savings set aside has been a huge help.
2. NETWORK – Let me assure you, it doesn’t matter where you are in terms of your business, whether it is an idea, new, a few years in, go out and meet people. You never know who you’ll come across. They may not be a client right away, but down the road, they might remember you and your business because something about you stood out in person. We can all pretend to be whoever we want online, but there’s nothing like real interaction. OR, if they do not necessarily need your product or service, maybe they know someone who will and can recommend your business. I was out networking (scary thing btw and I still cringe at the idea of meeting new people), even before I knew what I wanted my business to be or had a name for it or anything.
3. INVEST IN YOURSELF – I will stand behind this concept every single day of my life. Whether this is investing in your business or mental health, self-care, you name it, you are your most important asset. How can you expect your business to run smoothly if you’re not up to par or you don’t have the tools to progress? I know it might be hard for some people, but my coach, Jennifer Jaden, told me one thing that has stuck with me “It doesn’t matter how much money people have, if they really want something, they’ll figure out a way to make it happen”. And I cannot agree more. Gary Vee preaches this as well. Maybe this means not going out for a fancy dinner 3 times a week and instead investing in getting a proper logo made, branding, marketing, an event, if you really want your business to succeed, you’ll understand that your life won’t end if you don’t go to that music festival this year and instead spend the money on yourself. In March, I went to the nation’s largest social media conference and it cost me over a grand just for my ticket, flight, accommodation, food, etc., was extra on top of that. Could I afford it at that time? Probably not, as I knew I wanted to ditch my soul sucking 9-5 soon and I should save as much as I could. Why did I go? Because I knew it was going to help my business and my business is my baby. I want to feed it in order for it to grow and be healthy and successful and be my legacy.
4. PATIENCE – my story is not the same as yours or the person sitting next to you (if there is anyone there). But you get what I mean, what has worked for me, won’t always be the formula for every single person. The time it took me may be longer for some or quicker for others. You’ll just KNOW when it’s time. You get this feeling in your stomach and you seriously just know. It won’t happen overnight, nothing does, unless you’re getting made into a celebrity by Twista (if you don’t get the reference, we might have to rethink our relationship). Fall in love with the process – the highs and the lows – and there will be plenty, but really absorb what is going on with you as a person and the growth that is being developed through this journey.
5. FIND YOUR COMMUNITY – if you follow me on my personal account, I talk a LOT about the people I have surrounded myself with the past year and a half. It has been a game changer to my entire mindset. Honestly, if you hang out with people whose values and visions do not align with yours, you are going to get results you do not want. I have a tribe of dreamers, successful females and males, entrepreneurs, creatives, and just all around people who want to see me succeed! This doesn’t mean I ditched my other friends, I have really close friends who have been around since I was 7 years old, and while I know they will support me, there is a different vibe that comes along when you’re with people who understand the grind.
Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. I know that 95% of businesses don’t succeed. I also know that is a statistic I do NOT want to be a part of. Listen to yourself, your body, your mind, your heart, all of it, just listen and take it day by day. If your business is what you really really REALLY want, then you’re about to do whatever it takes. I’ve seen single moms kill it with their business, I’ve seen people go from nothing to something, stop making excuses about why you can’t and figure out how you CAN. I could have taken the traditional route and gone to law school like I planned to 2 years ago, but I knew this was my jam and it lit my soul on fire and I ran with it and I will for as long as I can. I hope you find something you love and pursue it every single day because in the famous words of Wayne Gretzky, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.