Survival Guide of a New Entrepreneur
When I started teaching yoga as a side hustle to my corporate marketing job I had no idea that it would someday turn into my dream career. A few years later I’m writing this from my home in Encinitas, California - one of the top places for yoga in the USA. When I quit my corporate job I longed to move into a career where I had the ability to touch lives, the flexibility to work when I want from anywhere I want, the opportunity to continue my travel adventures, and the space that would allow me to shine my vibrant, energetic personality no holds barred. I find it serendipitous that just this week I heard the perfect quote to symbolize this journey:
When we work hard for something we don’t believe in it’s called stress. When we work hard for something we do believe in it’s called passion. - Simon Sinek
Can I get an Amen to that? Although the last 2 years have definitely been a labor of love, I couldn't be happier. I work harder now than ever but I’m leading a life I love which allows me to touch lives with my business, travel whenever I want, and barely ever have to change out of yoga clothes or trucker hat. Let’s be honest - being an entrepreneur isn’t for the faint of heart. There are high highs & low lows but at the end of the day if you’re doing what you love it’s all worth it. The last 2 years I’ve grown so much & below I share a list of the top 6 lessons learned in my first couple of years as an entrepreneur.
My Top 6 Lessons Learned As A New Entrepreneur
Not everyone is going to love what you’re selling. And guess what - that’s awesome because those aren’t your people! There’s no need to worry about trying to tweak your style to make everyone happy. With your own business the best part is you get to be YOU - bold, brave, bright. You no longer have to fit yourself into a certain mold or think you need to serve everyone. Instead you get to shine your unique sparkle and the people who are drawn to it are the people you are meant to serve.
Surround yourself with people who drink your Kool-Aid. When you go into business solo it can be scary, lonely, overwhelming. Many times you feel like you’re alone on an island. Don’t let the fact that you don’t “officially” have a team weigh you down. Talk about your dream/vision/goals to family, friends, coffee shop patrons, strangers on the street, etc. You will be surprised how many people will want to jump in the boat with you. Just because you can’t afford to hire a team right away doesn’t mean you can’t build one around you.
If you’re talking to everybody you’re talking to nobody*. When I first started my business I had a million different directions I was chasing. I was running all over town like a chicken with my head cut off. Then I got really clear on who I wanted to help, what type of impact I wanted to make, what positive change I wanted to influence, and my why. Although this is a newer discovery for my business, I can already see the impact it has on my time, business, & people I serve. Curious to discover the niche I've decided to serve? Check out the following link www.thespiritbirdlife.com/teenyogacamps.
People don’t want your perfectionism, they want your magic**. Have you ever had that big dream and when you share it with friends they think it's fabulous, but fear holds you back from going for it? You want everything to be just perfect before you go for it. As a recovering perfectionist, this is a constant struggle for me. I consistently hold myself back because I haven’t done enough research, created the perfect website, launched the perfect course. All that perfectionism has paralyzed me with fear that what I'm offering won't be good enough. But the more time I spend perfecting parts of my business the less time I'm dedicating to serving those who need the magic I have to offer. Now I lean into the fact that my enough is good enough.
The power of a pivot. When you venture down a new path there are going to be twists, turns, steep climbs, cruisey stretches, round-abouts, & dead ends. Everything is unchartered territory & how you handle the dead ends is one of the most important lessons. You will get told no & your products won’t always sell but in those moments you have a choice: throw in the towel or pivot to find another path forward. It takes big balls to walk away from a comfortable career & venture into the unknown but in doing so you gain some of the most important life lessons: grit & resilience.
You are worth investing in. This statement has a double meaning. First, don’t ever sell yourself short on what you would pay for the magic which you are offering. Don’t give away or discount your services just because you need to make a sale. The people that value what you have to offer are out there and although it may take time you will build your tribe. Second, although it may seem hard to spend the bucks in the early days, continue to prioritize investing in your education & growth as an entrepreneur. It was so painful to spend $2K earlier this year to do Marie Forleo’s BSchool. BUT within the first two weeks I had already learned more than I did in my entire MBA. Well worth the spend and a HUGE impact to my business.
* quote by Marie Forleo
** quote by Denise Duffield-Thomas