Everyone talks about having their own business and how cool it is to work for yourself, but not very many people talk about the sacrifice and the hard work that it takes to make it happen, not very many people tell you that you will spend countless hours working on your business and that you will think about it all-the-time!
Just to give you an idea of how I learned what I know now... I have been an entrepreneur my entire life. I had my own marketing and design company in my home country of Venezuela many years ago with a dear friend who is now an amazing photographer in Florida, check her work here. In 2017 a friend from Mexico and myself already in Calgary, Canada, decided to start Soul Trips, this beautiful wellness retreat company that I run today with yoga, wellness workshops and volunteer work where we help women increase their sense of gratitude and feel rejuvenated while at a beautiful location. Sounds amazing right!? haha, well yes, what we do it is amazing, however, the behind the scenes of the business requires a huge amount of work, effort, tears, sweat, frustration, money, etc.
A couple of years after we started, my partner decided to pursue her passion as a Psychotherapist @JardineriaEmocional. Which left me with the hardest decision of my business so far... do I continue? or do I quit?
I obviously put my big girl pants on and continued with the project! haha. Easy? not it wasn't easy, possible? 100%.
After having two business, countless little projects where I had to sell from swim suits all the way to decorative lamps, I can easily talk about 100 tips to survive as an entrepreneur, however, there are 3 that I think are absolutely necessary to survive. Here they are:
Tip #1. Self Care.
We make a fancy business plan for the success of our business, however, that business plan very rarely includes the self care plan we are going to follow while building the business. Keep in mind that I didn't include this in any of my business plans, however, half way through I realize that I forgot to include THE most important parts of the business... myself! When you make a business plan with finances, scheduling, resources, marketing, etc. make sure to include yourself in the plan. Wether it is to take a day off every two weeks to do something for yourself, go out and have a nice meal with a friend, getting your nails done, having time for a hot bath, whatever makes you feel rejuvenated and rested, that's what you should include. Some of my clients have a retreat as their self care getaway every 6 months or every year. After including it, you need to follow it!
We women have the tendency of feeling guilty for doing nice things for ourselves, it is a learning process to accept the fact that we are not super humans - even though we sure look like it - and we need a self care routine to be able to survive the mountain hike that it is to build a business.
Tip #2. Learn to say no.
Many of us entrepreneurs have a hard time saying no to business. Specially in the first stages. We of course want to make money and the thought is "the more business I do, the more money I will make, and more people will get to know me", however, if the business you do is not aligned with the objective or mission of your business, you will make a bit of money but that's it. You will not get the right exposure or promotion to the right audience, and basically your time will be a waste. Believe me, I've been there!
If you made a great business plan, you will have your target or ideal client very specifically defined, if you say yes to doing business for just everyone, people won't know what your business is about, a give you perfect example: when we started Soul Trips we didn't have a good business plan and our ideal client was not really defined, so, everyone that wanted a trip planned, we just went ahead and planned it for them. We were just happy to have someone ask us to do something for them! Was that our objective? no. Was that helping us with the marketing of the service we wanted to provide? no. It gave us a huge amount of work, it made us a bit of money, but it was crazy!
Now, the ideal client for Soul Trips is absolutely defined and I can very confidently say no to some "business" because I know it won't take me to where I want to be. Simple!
Tip #3. Think about working solo vs. having a partner.
Having the right partner can make your business a huge success, just like having the wrong partner can completely break it and give you a huge enemy for life, and really, who wants that!?
The two businesses I've had, I chose to work with dear friends that continue to be my friends now, which makes me a very lucky individual because I've heard horror histories of partners splitting up and the other half becoming the competition, stealing ideas, etc. I am not saying you shouldn't have a partner, however, know that having a partner means compromising some of your ideas - which sometimes are great - for the good of the business and personal relationship. If you are willing to suppress some of those, you can consider having a partner, if you rather do things your way all the time and make every decision, you probably want to think about being a solopreneur.
For me, now that I am a solopreneur, I can tell you that it is the best feeling in the world to be able to make decisions on my own. I don't have to wait for anyone or compromise, however, I do have to take 100% of the responsibility for the results of my ideas and that's something that you must consider.
So, to review:
Take care of yourself because no one else will and your business needs you!
Say no to any business that doesn't go along with your mission.
Think about having a partner vs not.
I hope these tips help you! If you want to consider including my retreats as part of your self care plan, let me know, I'll give you a nice discount just because I know how hard you have to work to make things happen for your business and if you want to chat a little more, contact me!