This is my easy to read 5-step program on getting to the source of what really makes you tick and then figuring out how to bring home some bacon with it.
I get asked how I started out and how I ended up here all the time. The answer is honestly by jumping right in and learning everything the hard way. Now you, lucky reader, get to learn through my mistakes and, hopefully, leave with a fire under your bum and some new tools.
1. Stop doubting yourself
We all have some thing (really, multiple things) we're really good at and the first step is believing that.
If there's anything I've learned in my three years of small business ownership its that self doubt is your biggest enemy. It's like Drake said, "I'm the greatest, I said that before I knew I was." Well girlfriend, listen to Drake.
There are several ways of sparking this confidence in yourself.
- Buy a journal and write five things you love about yourself every day.
- Start interrupting your anxiety with gratitude. Every time that pesky voice of fear or doubt pops in your head just interrupt it with all the reasons why you can, instead of why you can't.
- Surround yourself with people that see the best in you and boost you up, that one is really important.
- Start thinking of things that have been trends throughout your life. Channel your inner lemonade stand owner, think of the recipe everyone knows you to make, what type of advice do people always seek you out for? I can think of a million tiny pieces of myself that give strength to both of my businesses, most are random but they've all fallen properly in place.
Remember that failure often times leads to a new opportunity, this is coming from someone that dropped out of art school with a full-ride scholarship during her thesis year. That honestly felt like the end, but it was really just the beginning.
Whether you want to start a small shop, offer some kind of service or open up your own bakery, start making it an actual possibility in your head. Start believing it's going to happen, because you can do it and you will.
2. Find an expert, and learn from them
No one got anywhere without a little help.
The best way to learn anything is to watch someone else do it well, and take lots of notes. The internet is honestly the most amazing thing for making this happen.
I've made connections and friendships with the most amazing people just by reaching out and asking questions.
- Did someone ignore you? Try someone else.
- Did you get a no for an answer? Ask your question somewhere else.
Remember, someone else's inability to see your worth is no reflection of it's existence. It's there. We're all worthy. Shake it off, keep your chin up and keep trying.
Find brands, people, businesses on Instagram that are doing what you want to do. Follow their story, see what they're doing right, soak it all in.
3. Work hard
If following your dreams was so easy, everyone would be doing it.
Start by writing down your short and long term goals and make a game plan. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Buy some books. The books you buy are obviously going to depend on what your goal is, but here are some of my favorites. Building a StoryBrand, The Four Agreements, and #GIRLBOSS. Also, buy yourself a cute planner to put all your ideas in.
- Make your "elevator pitch". It should be 2-3 sentences that give someone a full and easily understood idea of your brand/business.
- Find your people. Build a team of people you know have your back and will make you laugh when you're feeling discouraged. These people should also be capable of babysitting because occasionally you're going to need the extra backup. Reach out to friends who are successful that you admire, ask to buy them coffee and pick their brain. Who can say no to coffee? Just make sure you have a list of questions prepared ahead of time to ask them.
- Make a mood board on your Pinterest account. I'm just going to assume you have one. Hop on there and pin 12 photos that visually represent your ideas and inspire you.
- Make an Instagram account and use those photos as your first posts. I don't care if you're selling a product and you don't have it yet. Just start posting, engaging, networking. Just start.
- Build a simple and straightforward blog or website. It's 2019, this is easy to do. Shopify and Squarespace have templates that are easily customizable. Have some cute photos taken and use Google when you get stuck. I'm going to let you in on a secret, you can literally google everything. Need to figure out how to change your font from black to purple? Google. Need to add a photo to a page and you don't know how? Google. Which type of website is best for you? Google! It seems silly that I'm saying all of this but honestly, I depend on that search engine like no other and have learned so many skills from it. I taught myself how to edit the coding on my website just from searching the right questions on Google.
- Now you're set with the basics, It's time to open up that calendar. Pencil in a rough schedule and jump in.
4. Learn to manage your time and money
This is essential, things move fast and you don't want to waste time.
If you have a lot of expenses, open a business bank account and get quickbooks. It's user friendly and you can easily keep track of all your money in and out.
As far as time's concerned, I have a couple of tips from experience. Know your on and off hours, when you're off... stop working. I don't care if you put your phone in the kitchen drawer and go on a walk or take a bubble bath, you need to recharge.
Start making lists. Make a list every morning of everything you need to do. Start with the thing you're least excited about and get it over with. Cross things off as you go, that feels good.
Revisit your list before bed and add anything unfinished to the next day's list. I used to keep my lists on paper until I was introduced to Asana, it's a really cool system that helps visual people like myself stay on task. It's also great if you're working on projects with several people involved, and has an easy to use app that you can access anywhere, any time.
Go! Hop in, take a step, move forward.
This is my virtual push into the best thing you've ever done for yourself. I'm going to pledge to make these Mompreneur posts a regular thing and I want to hear your thoughts and contributions.
There's a pretty cool community of creative women right now that are paving way to a new idea of working moms. Is that something you want? Then get it, girl!
You've got this. There's no better time to start than now.