I want to be transparent here - I feel under qualified to write about business at times. I didn't grow up around people who owned businesses, I didn't go to school for any kind of degree in business and I sure as hell never thought I would be doing what I do now (if you want to know my full story on how I got to where I am, read this), which can sometimes feels hard to even explain to others. I think they call this imposter syndrome, ha.
What I do know for certain is that I have always been passionate, creative, good in school and driven. I've also always loved money LOL and I'd say I have always been determined to get what I want while knowing that things happen as they come and to not think too hard about the uncontrollable. With that mindset, I never worried about where I would be or how I would make a living. I don't say this to sound like I've had it easy, I say it as helpful advice and to share with you that sometimes allowing life to take you where you're meant to go is the best way to end up being where you want to be.
Hopefully I'm not getting too philosophical here, LOL. What I'm trying to say is although I've let life play out, I also worked my ass off and I want to share some pieces of advice that have stuck with me as I've grown my business into a brand and have changed names, logos, colors, branding, marketing and added and eliminated products along the way with really no one else's input or help but my own.
I think it's relatable for you as the reader to understand that at the beginning of my career, I was alone. I had no financial backing, I couldn't afford school, I quit a fun GREAT paying job to go to esthetician school and to work at a salon making $9.25/hr. I seriously DOWNGRADED my financial situation and the freedom I had with money in hopes that I could find something more longterm. Once I finished school, I practiced on friends for a year, I worked at a corporate chain spa, took clients at home and was seriously in debt but just kept moving forward. I never thought I couldn't do it - I didn't allow myself to think there was a way out. Eventually, I found a room to rent in a high traffic area, did whatever services I could WHENEVER I could and always showed up 1000%.
So, with that being said, I want to share my must-know tips that have helped me get through the beginning of my business to where I'm at now - 8 years in. Some are simple, some are more deep, but I think they all offer great takeaways.
+ Be open to change, less pay, moving, learning and not knowing.
+ Prioritize what's important to you because I hate to say it, no one has it all, so think about you want and what holds the most value to you. If you are clear on this from the beginning (and knowing that things can change) it will keep you planted pretty damn firm on the ground.
+ Jobs are just a collection of experiences. I've had quite a few jobs and none of them were my dream job. I'm proud of that because I learned SO MUCH by trying new things and collecting experiences whether that be customer service, sales, communication, etc. Be open to trying anything and have the understanding that with a good attitude you can carry that skillset to the next gig.
+ Less is more! Fewer options, fewer products, fewer clothes, fewer goals, fewer friends (LOL JK... not really... I have a small handful of solid women and BEST FRIENDS in my life and it's easier to manage and give my all with a smaller group). Did I just say that? I'm kind of laughing as I tell you have to have fewer goals but it's true. START SMALL. Of course, have that long list of dreams but then start with two and work your way down. If I attempted every "dream", I'd be exhausted and overwhelmed, so narrowing everything down in my life has really helped me find clarity.
+ Hire a tax person immediately and just hand it all over. I don't care if you are making no money. Find that person NOW. Also, open a business bank account and only use that for business-related expenses. Have your deposits go into that account and "pay" yourself weekly. Transfer some (~20% depending where you live and how much you make) into an account called "taxes" and another chunk into savings every single time even if it's $5. This will help you create good habits for yourself and avoid over spending.
+ Please stop comparing yourself to others - it's a mind f*ck. Put those horse blinders on and just keep moving... or don't. Stop if you want. Tune out if you need it. Allow yourself to break when necessary.
+ With that being said, lazy people don't get very far. Be realistic with yourself: Is what you are going after or working on achievable based on the level of energy and time and hard work you are putting into it? How bad do you want it? Are you willing to push through hard days, to spend your $$ on your business in the beginning, work late hours and do whatever it takes? If you're not, that is totally OK but just understand the outcome of that may look different than you hoped for.
+ Be yourself! Find your thing, show your personality, dress to impress, keep it classy, be open, find the thing that clients love about you and allow that to shine.
BONUS! A few other things that have always stuck with me over the years:
+ Play the game. Business is a game, so have boundaries with your clients and on social media. You are a leader and clients and customers need to feel that. Don't stoop down and get involved in dumb drama or talk sh*t, especially online. Be above it all because you're better than that.
+ Be happy with what you have and don't overly consume shit content.
+ Pay attention to your partner and do your best to leave work at the door.
+ Use your calendar if you own a business.
+ Do one thing at a time. I had to tell my fiancé I needed a few more minutes to finish this to move onto the next to-do - normally I'd try to do both but honestly... multi-tasking is a bitch and played out. Work smarter not harder.
OK, that was a lot so be sure to bookmark this post to refer back to when you need it! I truly hope these tips and life advice help - no matter where you're currently at on your journey!