I'm no expert on business. Nope. And I'm not claiming to be. Heck no. I shut up shop. What would I know?! Sheesh. Sigh.
But even though I couldn't last the distance in the world o' small busy-n-ass... I like to think I had a fairly successful 'little' home gig thing going on. With more orders in my first year that I ever could have imagined. Hand made. By me. In a tiny little half-studio-half-storage-half-nursery. Ok. That's three halves. Technically incorrect. The space is so small and squishy and crowded... that's how it felt. How it still feels. Dang.
There are lots of amazing and helpful workshops-podcasts-seminars-tips-and-tricks on how to start your business. How to market your business. How to promote your business. But once you get all those bits sorted... the shit gets real. And for some of us... real hard.
I've decided to share some of my 'real' experience. The stuff people don't tell you. Or teach you. The everyday. The things that should be common sense. Uh huh. The real life stuff.
So... what have I learnt on this cray cray roller coaster ride?
Here are just a few things.
Don't be an ass.
Don't be a bully.
Don't be a pushover.
Don't copy. Duh.
Don't try to be someone or something you aren't.
Enjoy the ride.
Enjoy the friendships.
Enjoy the small victories.
Enjoy the big ones.
Otherwise there is no point.
Support to be supported. Support those who support you. Support those you adore. Support those who inspire you. Support those who genuinely support others.
I don't mean like every photo you ever see or give a thumbs up or heart or dancing girl on errythang. If you like something... like it. If you reaaaally like something... say it. And mean it. Really mean it.
No matter how many followers. How many sales. How many likes. How many comments. How big or small your business it. It's always nice to be supported. Encouraged. Admired. Appreciated. I know it always gives me the warm n' fuzzies.
This seems so logical. Complete common sense. But so many people seem to miss this memo. Sheesh. Whether it's a friend, a foe or a complete stranger. Just be kind. Be nice. Be supportive. Be civil. As my my mother always said... if you don't have something nice to say... say nothing. Or as I like to say... jog on.
Just don't. It's not cool. Talking smack is whack. It's totally mean girls high school. And nine times out of ten... it gets back to the person you are taking smack about.
I'll admit... I've had a gossip session in the past. Shame on me. Mostly because I wanted to get 'in' with the 'in' crowd. But since then, I'vebucked up my ideas... and now say nothing. I stay neutral. Like Switzerland. Unless someone is being a mega-ass. Then yippee-ky-yay-mother-beeper. I let loose. Not really. But a little.
Seriously. Just be original. Be different. Find your point of difference. Find your groove.
There is a lot of same same but different out there. And that's ok. But be true to yourself. Be true to your ideas. Your creativity. Your market. You.
Thinking back.... I think I subconsciously tried to 'imitate' pieces I liked and admired. I thankfully realised before I hit SELL and pulled back. Or my good friend... a fellow business Mumma... gave me a swift-kick-up-the-caboose-wake-up-call. It's hard to always create something new. Something original. But just try. Simple.
To put it bluntly... don't align yourself with assholes. With people who only take. Or are phoneys. Or fakes.
Early on I tried to befriend loooooads of 'popular' people. You know. The 'in' crowd. The ones with lots of followers. I even asked a few for advice. Phhfff. BUT... I didn't think it through. I didn't really look at what they did or who they were. Or their vibe. Turns out I tried to befriend a lot of asses. Oops.
Lucky for me... I totally hit heaps of awesome people jackpots along the way too. Phew. People who give. People who support. People who are my fabulous friends to this day. Hey guuurrrls.
And of course... there will be social-media-hella-mean-girl-gang-peeps. It's hard to ignore it. It's hard to shake it off. But don't let it break you. Process. Vent. Move on. Focus on the awesome. That's what I've learnt to do. And there is soooo much awesome. Hooray!
Be real. Keep it real. And remember there are real people behind the squares. Behind the businesses. Real people. With real lives. And real feelings.
Trust your instincts. Again. Common sense. If it looks like an ass. Smells like an ass. Talks like an ass... good chance it's an ass.
I'm super lucky to have found a totally rocking small business girl gang. Absolute super stars. Complete strangers who are now fabulous friends. The kindness of others has been amazing. But I had to learn to trust my instincts. And trust my girl gang.
This is hands down the only thing that's helped me survive. I tried to be cool. I tried to be something... someone else. But at the end of the day... that didn't work for me.
It became all to hard. All too time consuming. All too heck balls cray cray.
So instead... I'm just me.
You either like me. Or you don't.
You either like what I do. Or you don't.
Not everyone will always get along.
Not everyone will always be BFF's.
Not everyone will always like what you make.
What you do. What you say. What you sell.
Not everyone will always like you.
And thats a-ok.
Big Real Kind Love x