On 1 September I celebrated The Happy Medium Company's first birthday! In true Carmia fashion, I've spent some time reflecting on what I've learned and earned from sowing seeds for business success. :) I jotted down the best twelve business insights earned over these 12 months and hope it might be useful to other young business owners out there!
1. Don’t “start where you are...”
In women's entrepreneurial circles, we hear lot of sayings that motivate you to "start where you are". Begin with what you have, wing it and see how it goes. Honestly, I don't agree! Before I launched HMC I spent 2 years practicing my coaching skills part time. In that time I built my business plan, saw a coach, researched my target market, saved up capital to start up and got very clear on my brand identity. I believe it paid off. When I finally did launch my biz, my offering was to the point, professional and I had the confidence and credibility to back it.
2. Don’t dim your light
I once had a client that told me she was intimidated by networking events because she believed she didn't "add value" like other female business owners. My 2 cents? Don't dim your light and cast a shadow over potential. Your success is up to you and your success includes your attitude towards yourself. Be very careful how your speak to and about yourself!
3. Do not partner with brands that are not as established as you are
I made this mistake when I decided that I would say YES to every opportunity that comes my way. Brands and businesses will want to work with you or become your affiliate, but I urge you to be picky. These brands really need to have similar values and goals as you and basic things need to be in place: i.e. if your brand identity such as your logo and business cards are important to you...do they also have these aspects in place? We all need to support other brands, but be strict in who you pair up with.
4. Don’t compare yourself with others
You are unique and so is your offering. The fact that you have such a deep desire to pursue is a love note inscribed on your heart that you need to heed the call! Instead of comparing yourself to others, openly compliment and support them!
Step out of the office and set up real boundaries. I struggled with this a lot. As business owners we could work all day and all night making our dreams a reality but this will lead to burn out. And this is not a pretty sight! Set up loving, rigid borders for yourself and be very concise with yourself about sticking to them!
6. Don't listen to opinions
People will always have silly opinions of you and your work. They might even be silly enough to voice them. Create an aura with a thick skin whereby these nasty opinions bounce back and don't affect you. You know yourself best and no one can take that away from you.
Don't be afraid to ask for help or share your workload. I'm pretty sure you are powerful and talented enough to do everything in your business from training to marketing to fixing your laptop. But in reality, there are only so many hours in a working day and if you can choose where to invest your time, choose to invest in your time using your skills, education and what you love to do.
8. Invest in your education
Give your business the best chance to flourish by continuing your education. Grow through e-learning and courses to add to your skillset and offering. This kind of credibility can only benefit you.
9. Check your intentions
Your intention is what motivates everything you do. Are you starting your business for yourself or your community, or are you doing it to impress someone to boost your ego? Check your intentions to stay honest with yourself and your clients. This clarity will also align your stars and bring you to your success quicker, trust me!
10. Celebrate small successes
Lower your high expectations of yourself and celebrate every success, however big or small. Practicing gratitude keeps you positive and empowered through your entrepreneurial journey. Some days, celebrate the mere fact that you showed up to your desk, other days celebrate big-scale wins. Every experience is vitally important in forming your future.
11. Have goals so big you feel uncomfortable telling small-minded people
Guys, listen. Be really careful who your share your big wild dreams and plans with! People won't always [maybe ever] get it. Hand pick a couple of like-minded dreamers and doers with whom you attentively share your vision and ideas. For the planning and getting-down-to-business stuff, consider getting a coach. Your coach will be invaluable in holding your hand along they way whilst being objective enough to help you find smart solutions.
12. Drink coffee
Yup. Have that cup or two extra. We game-changers need it!
Are YOU a young business owner? What are some vital business insights that you have to be aware of as you pursue your dreams? Please share with me in the comments below!
Lastly, many thanks to everybody who has been part of my entrepreneurial journey and has held my hand through these lessons. Forever grateful!
Love and light,