It’s crazy to think that today, June 1st, is my third year anniversary of when I became a small business owner. In 2015, I decided to take The Social Butterfly Gal to the next level and filed as an LLC. Year three of entrepreneurship has been one filled with growth, smiles, tears, nerves, sacrifices, and lessons. So today, I wanted to share with you 12 lessons I learned in my third year in business.
Lesson #1: Be willing to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Entrepreneurship has a lot of ups and downs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said I couldn’t do this anymore. While I was complaining about some of the struggles I was having in my business to an entrepreneur friend, she called me out: “Get comfortable with the feeling that you have right now.”
I have three mantras when it comes to being comfortable with being uncomfortable and that is: Start! Remind yourself that you made a decision. You are already committed, and there is no going back. Push yourself! Be confident. Fake it till you make it. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Create a support network. Talk about your experiences. Create community.
Lesson# 2: Shut up and be where it matters to the people who need your help.
Everything is NOT about YOU. You know what it is REALLY about? It’s about how YOU can help solve the problems your clients are having. Marketers LOVE to talk about their products and services. The most important thing you can do is shut up and listen to the needs of your audience. Once you know their pain points and you have what they need, magic happens.
Lesson #3: Charge what you are worth.
While women have made incredible progress as leaders and business owners, the sad truth is that we still undervalue our work and our contribution. At the end of 2017 going into 2018, I increased my prices but I was nervous. What if I don’t get clients? What if no one wants to work with me? What if it’s a mistake? After I gave a presentation of a case study I conducted to showcase the results of a huge client I had booked this quarter, a colleague of mine wrote me a lovely note. She said, “What you always need to remember is that you are not that same person you were when you started your business three years ago. You are a seasoned pro with lots of proof to show any doubters. You have strategized and executed for one of the most beloved events in SA. Your knowledge is vast. So go out there and make your dent.” That changed everything for me. And it is true, SBG has grown a lot and will continue to grow. Charge what you are worth.
Lesson #4: Educate yourself on the legal things.
I filed my LLC in 2015. Excellent, so I own a business. Now what? There was so much I needed to educated myself on especially taxes, and legal things. I took action, buying every finance book out there. And attending every workshop I could attend to learn about small business taxes. I even got the courage to hire a CPA. Take some time to learn all the parts of your business.
Lesson #5: Not every client is the RIGHT client
It’s okay for prospective clients to say no. It’s okay for YOU to say NO. I’ve learned over the three years that my vibe attracts my tribe. And that means some potential clients aren’t going to fit or fall in alliance with my brand. And that’s okay. When I started to charge more, the right clients began to come. They were the ones who weren’t afraid to invest. They were the ones who knew I was the right person for them and we were going to get the results they truly wanted and needed. The right clients are the ones that make you feel magical.
Lesson #6 Have a mentor and BE a mentor
Want to know how I got through year one, year two and year three? By having mentors. My mentors are all business women who’ve been in the game for quite some time and have had their lessons and experiences to share. I’ve had lunch and coffee dates with them at a chance to soak in their knowledge. I’m also part of women’s organizations such as Women In Digital and SA Women’s Entrepreneurship Work Group. Being part of these organizations has helped me learn and grow so much. Remember, we are all in this together- community over competition, always! But it doesn’t just end there. YOU have to step up too and be a keeper of the flame. That’s one of the reasons why I launched The Swarm Society. I wanted to build community with other business women who are all striving for the same things.
Lesson #7: Progress Over Perfection
This year, I’m co-hosting a women’s entrepreneur conference with my best friend, Michelle on June 23rd called Hustle + Socialize. This conference has been in the works for about a year in a half. At the time, we just sat on this concept trying to figure out how to make it perfect because at the time it was in infancy stages. One day in March, three months before the official conference date, we finally decided to launch it and guess what? The missing pieces started to fall into place. Sometimes you just have to start!
Lesson #8: It’s okay to pivot
Oddly enough, I put this as lesson #8 last year and well, it’s back on the list at #8 because it is still so true. Your business will always be evolving. SBG looks very different now than in June 2015. My offerings are not the same. My packages & pricing are not the same. My website isn’t the same. Pivoting and refining your brand is so crucial to growth, so don’t be afraid to do that. Be open to possibilities and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
Lesson #9: Take some time for self-care
Being an entrepreneur is riding the biggest fastest rollercoaster of your life. It is SO important to take time for self-care. Unplug and go for a walk. Dance. Journal. Take a weekend off for yourself. You can’t expect to gain creative and get inspiration if you’re always working. It’s okay to take time out for yourself.
Lesson #10: Closed doors lead to bigger opportunities
I wouldn’t be here writing this blog post had it not been for the many doors that closed during 2014. I’ve learned to embrace the nos. At the time they happen, they don’t feel good, and you might be thinking you’re a failure. But believe me when I say everything happens for a reason. So trust when a door has closed.
Lesson #11: If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life
I can say without any doubt that I love what I do. I have the opportunity to wake up every morning and get to help others. It is so rewarding. The Social Butterfly Gal was my calling, and I’m so blessed to be able to live it out every day!
Lesson #12: ALWAYS BE LEARNING
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About The Social Butterfly Gal: I’m Christina, founder of The Social Butterfly Gal. I’m a online branding consultant, social media expert & community builder. I help passionate women entrepreneurs, marketing teams and CEO’s who have an online presence and want the confidence to take it to the next level. In between the sips of coffee, social media notifications and writing, you will find me living up to my brand name; being a social butterfly; attending various networking and local events around San Antonio, TX.