If you’re an entrepreneur, you know starting a business is WORK.
I am officially entering Year 3 of owning & operating my own business. Taking in so much about the world of business, and even more about self!
Sharing the Top 4 Lessons I have learned so far along the way.
#1 Trusting Myself is an everyday choice
Self doubt is still very real. At the start of this journey, I remember catching myself thinking at times, "Who do I think I am!?". It was at that moment, I decided that if I was going to be serious about taking the leap into entrepreneurship (or any other aspiration), I had to make the conscious decision to fully trust in ME.
All of this sounds extremely obvious, of course you should trust yourself! But as I looked over my life, I began to see how often I engaged in negative self-talk or carried limiting beliefs about my overall potential.
Trusting myself, my creativity, and ingenuity looks different from day to day. I choose to approach it in the same fashion that I would if I was building a muscle, or laying the foundation for a relationship; a little bit at a time. Everyday, my relationship with self gets stronger; that inner trust gaining steam.
Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, doubtful or uncertain I speak this over myself (as many time as I need to): I know what is right for me, my business and my overall well being. My inner instinct & my inner voice, are good and I validate them in my behaviors and decisions. Knowing this helps me move forward in peace.
#2 SOCIAL MEDIA FRIEND OR FOE?
Prior to building my brand, social media was not my favorite thing. Like many people, I felt it was a waste of time and energy. My social media presence consisted of, popping up to highlight pictures from my recent vacation and to give Facebook family the notion that I was still alive & well. Ultimately, settling on the philosophy, that the less people knew about my day to day, the better.
The reality is, social media is marketing. Growing your audience, creating great content and increasing engagement is the name of the game. Finding out where I fit into all of that was the challenge that I soon faced.
One of the first exercises I completed when developing my brand/business, was a brain dump. I wrote down every brand big or small that I admired & 2-3 reasons why. After that, I went through and highlighted similarities. The three blaring connections: community engagement, relatability, personal. I quickly began to realize that I would have to redefine my relationship with social media, if I wanted to make the impact I dreamed of.
Diving deeper into myself, I asked the hard question. What was I hiding from social media? Somewhere down the road, I decided that my light was too sensitive to share with everyone. A mix of insecurity and the fear of judgement led me to shutting off from the world.
Letting people in, sharing thoughts, building relationships is how you create connection. My new philosophy? Social media, when used correctly, can be the heart & soul of your business. It is where you organically build community, learn your audience and share your personality.
(Can social media still be a complete waste of time & energy? Absolutely. The new goal, find the sweet spot. )
#3 BEING YOUR OWN BOSS, IS DIFFERENT DIFFERENT
It did not take me long to realize being your own boss can quickly turn from this ....
Entrepreneurship is a thrilling ride and for many may seem like the preferred path of living. Crafting your own schedule, & forging your own path, can be the source great happiness, but also gives way to the possibility of debilitating stress.
It is most prevalent in the days where my fears and frustrations take over. Often times, the stress is self inflicted. It is the fear of something that has not actually happened yet. Noticing this, being aware of its presence in my life, I began taking the steps to practice better mental health habits. Mindfulness, intentional meditations and simply taking a break, have helped manage my anxiety tremendously.
The biggest reward in being your own boss, is the realization that everyday, you are investing in yourself. It is a constant dance of discipline, time management and self care.
#4 no better time than now
As the queen, Maxine Waters so eloquently stated in 2017, I am RECLAIMING MY TIME.
No more wasting energy on pointless conversations and dead end relationships. No more laboring for hours crafting other people's dreams, while my goals fall to the wayside, unfulfilled.
I realized that I was waiting for my dream and the vision for my life to magically appear. 2020 has taught me that things can change at a moments notice. Literally, the entire world can be flipped on its head. Time is not infinite. The work to create your dream reality starts today. Now is the time to invest. Now is the time to do the work to achieve the goals you set out for yourself.
Taking the leap to create my own business, has risk but also great reward. It has required me to learn a new skill set and redefined my perception of personal autonomy.
Here's to many more lessons to come!