Holy smokes! It’s been a whole year.
When I saw this anniversary pop up on my Facebook memories, I felt a lot of emotions. I felt nervousness, pride, and excitement for the future. I felt capable, empowered, and, quite frankly, like a bit of a badass. While the memories feature usually reminds me of unfashionable years of high school and the times in college where I wore WAY too much bronzer, I now know that the Facebook memories feature is good for something after all!
I wanted to share a post highlighting the five most important lessons I learned the past year. While these are not inclusive of all the lessons I’ve learned, I figured I had to start somewhere. Starting a small business can be terrifying. You’re taking a hobby or something you enjoy and turning it into your job. After all, the only thing that separates a hobby from a business is a profit.
It can be a leap of faith and at times can reduce you to tears over the amount of stress you’ve piled on willingly. It can make you question your capabilities, examine your priorities one hundred times over, and also lead you to some pretty impressive feats. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve met incredible people, worked with clients I couldn’t have ever imagined working with (like a jewelry designer in Italy – how crazy is that!?), and honed my skills to create a business that I’m proud to call my own.
Shall we begin?
Lesson One: Give yourself grace.
I made this number one for a reason. While it is applicable in all areas of life, it is especially important when it comes to the world of business. So what if that call with a potential client was a bit of a fumble? Who cares if it took an extra revision as long as the job was done well? What does that person saying “no” have to do with your skills, value, or worth!? Whatever it might be, I’ve learned to give myself grace in the business of business. We all have to start somewhere. Sure, you might not be perfect right away. Hell, you won’t ever be perfect. But listen to that inner voice. Feed yourself grace, positivity, and encouragement. Every step of the way.
Lesson Two: Be adaptable.
This one is a hard one for me. Growing a business means change…and lots of it. As someone who doesn’t necessarily love change, this was particularly difficult. I’ve learned to be adaptable with my services, my time, and my energy. I’ve created a more elastic schedule and a more flexible approach to my work recently instead of keeping myself confined to certain lines and boxes. Another good area to remind yourself to be adaptable in is in regards to tax season. Ha! Those numbers…they’re not a typo. Being a small business owner is no joke when it comes to taxes. Being adaptable has helped me have a more open mindset in regards to all of the moving parts of my business.
Lesson Three: See the value in yourself.
This lesson took the longest. In fact, it’s still continuing as I type. I’m not going to dive into pricing on here because this isn’t the place for a conversation on finances. However, if you’re looking to start your own business, I’m more than happy to speak with you more about my experience (the good stuff and the bad)! You are offering a value to someone. Whatever service you’re providing or item you’re selling, you are giving value. See that in yourself! It’s easy to undersell ourselves, not believe in ourselves enough, or talk ourselves out of offering a new service or changing our prices. You are your own biggest advocate. See the value of yourself and what you’re offering. It changed the way I do business.
Lesson Four: Don’t set limits on what you’re capable of.
Say “yes” to that scary job. Better yet, say “yes!” with an exclamation point. Fake it until you make it. As much as I used to hate when people would say that (soooo cliché, right?), now I am a full believer. I had never written an about me before starting this business. I had never written a blog for anyone else before. I had never made graphics. I had never written web copy. You get the point I’m trying to make. Say yes, be confident, and do the dang thing. Not only should you do it…but learn how to do it in the process. Learn how to do the things that scare you the most. Just because you’ve never done something before doesn’t mean you need to cross it off as a possibility. You are capable of anything. Remember that!
As a side note on this: just because you’re capable of something, don’t feel obligated to do it. Does that make sense? For example, I quickly learned what I didn’t want to continue doing. I began to focus on things I wouldn’t have thought I’d focus on. It’s all just a “fun” game of trial and error.
Lesson Five: Always stay humble and kind.
Okay, so I borrowed from Tim McGraw for this one. This song literally brings me to tears every time. I have found it has influenced a lot of things I do in life, but it has already influenced the way I want to be as a business owner. There is a line at the end that says, “when you get where you’re going don’t forget turn back around, help the next one in line, always stay humble and kind.” Is this applicable right now in my business? Not yet. But I can’t wait for the day where I’m able to employ other writers, build a team of young entrepreneurial women, and expand the Line Writing Co. reach as far and wide as possible. It’s important to dream big. That’s what this lesson has taught me. It’s taught me to keep on truckin’, always determined to get to that place in the future where I can help the next one in line.
As always, thanks for reading! My mind is a constant storm of thoughts, feelings, and ideas. This platform gives me the opportunity to share them and for that I’m forever grateful.
Until next time,