What I learnt being an Entrepreneur
As most of you would know, I built and ran my own fashion label (SarSee) for a good 3 years and man did I learn some things along the way.
The books I read prior to starting SarSee in 2014 never prepared me for the entrepreneur Journey I was about to go on. So here are some things I learnt that may help you if you are heading into business or are currently in business and feeling stuck (or just stuck generally in life itself).
Believe in yourself – always
This is always #1. Believe in yourself and you can achieve anything you set your mind to. #truestory
Running a business is f*cking hard work!
This isn’t meant to scare you off… it is just the reality of business and being an entrepreneur. Day in, day out you have to hustle and push your brand out there to get noticed. The early stages are especially hard as you are learning everything as you go and in most cases you are the only one to do all the jobs/tasks that need to be completed each day but always remember:
It takes time to get known and grow
Just because you built a website or made a social media page it doesn’t mean that people will automactically find you and buy from you (straight away).
Actually NO ONE will find you – You need to push it, market it, talk about it, live it, breathe it so people will know about your brand. #hustle
When I first launched my website for SarSee early 2015 I had already been posting on social media and had a few hundred followers (which at that time I thought was lots). When I posted that the website was live for the first time, the following 24 hours I had an over-welmingly 950 odd hits on the web BUT no sales… and I was so very disheartened. I sat on the couch the next few days in a pity party and ate junk food until I realised that wasn’t helping either. You defintely have to push the brand and make people think they HAVE TO HAVE IT and know your target audience well.
It takes most businesses 7-8 years to really get known and be growing at a fast rate etc. and it is said that most customers need to see your brand or product at least 7-12 times before they take action and purchase from you.
I am SO much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for
I solely ran my own business and used my own money and made ALL my own product (crazy right?!). So basically I designed, patterned, sampled, adjusted, graded, cut and sewed all the SarSee garments as well ad did all the marketing, social media, website, emails, photos shoots, accounting AND ran a shop front (whilst making stuff out the back) – anything and everything I did. Sure I had plenty of moments when I felt like I was struggling but I did it! I actually turned nothing into something as hard as it was. That takes guts and strength and that was/is ME! #proudmoment
I am talented
Can you believe it?… I designed and made clothing that people actually purchased and that they wear and LOVE! That is talent. My sewing skills were very on point and I made high quality clothing. This I know myself but also customers and stockists also confirmed this themselves.
My attention to detail was also very high with my sewing but also with the little things like handwritten notes with the customer online orders and wrapping the product nicely etc.
A support network is a HIGH priority
This is VERY important. You need to surround yoursef with like-minded people and have a good support network of people to lift you up when you are struggling. A support network is also there to bounce ideas off and offer advice and help which is much needed when you run a business on your own. Support comes in many shapes and forms such as family, a partner, other entrepreneurs, business coach etc. Just find people who help you, believe in you and inspire you.
Networking in general is super important – go to your local entrepreneur groups, meet up with others in your niche and get yourself out there. Most small business owners love talking to others to connect, collab and help each other grow. It is a very important part of business.
You definitely learn a lot about yourself
You learn so much in terms of what you can handle and how far you can push yourself. You also learn about burn out and when you need to take time to fill up your own cup and soul. Filling up your own cup and soul is so very important! #takenote
Help is important. Ask for help!
This goes along the lines of a support network but if you are struggling then ASK FOR HELP! Being an entrepreneur can be a kind of mind f*ck at times. Your business is your baby and you want to do it all and grow and improve and be perfect. You are so much in your own head that sometimes it can be tough – so ask for help in areas you need it.
Take time for yourself
You can not work 24/7. It’s not healthy or productive. You need YOU time. So make sure you do it. Not only will you benefit but your business will too!
Move your body
Exercise is important, kind of like taking time out for yourself. Running a business is hard work so take time to move your body, de-stress and get out in the fresh air. It will help get your creative juices flowing which means you will be more productive when you are working. #winwin
Always be growing your mind
As many successful people say – “If you are not growing, you are dying.”
Always be learning, whether it’s through books, youtube, podcasts or seminars. Learn, grow and develop your skills and don’t give the bullshit excuse that ‘you don’t have time’ – If you have time to scroll social media or watch tv, then you have time to learn and do self development. #harshbuttrue
Don’t be scared to fail
Failure really is key – as long as you learn from your mistakes. This goes for business and life. If you are not failing you are not learning.
Did you know that a lot of successful entrepreneurs have failed multiple times at business before they succeed and build an empire?! Many business owners have had 5-10 businesses before they hit the nail on the head. So don’t be afraid to fail. It is all part of the Journey.
Celebrate the wins!
STOP and look at what you have achieved and what you have created. As an entrepreneur you get so caught up on always looking forward, looking for opportunities, growing etc. that you often don’t stop and celebrate how far you have come and the successes / wins you have had.
I for one was very guilty of this. So learn from me and stop and enjoy it and celebrate. Get a group together, have wine and snacks or treat yourself to something. Just make sure you celebrate – it is all about the Journey after all. #celebratethewins
Everyone in business questions whether they want to be in business… A LOT!
Do not for one second think you are alone in thinking this. As I said business is hard! Everyone has doubt and self-doubt – it is all part of the journey. I for one experienced this A LOT! Just make sure that you talk to your support network when you are feeling this way and also know the difference between self-doubting because it is hard and actually having no passion for your business anymore #verydifferentaspects
Tip: have a little notebook that you write in when you are feeling low and when you are on a high. It is a good way to reflect on what you have achieved and how you feel. My mum brought me a book when I started SarSee and I wrote in it during various parts of my journey. It is very interesting to see how far I have come and what was hard and what I accompolished.
“Sometimes on the way to your dream you get lost and find a better one”
I think in being an entrepreneur it is really important to LOVE WHAT YOU DO. So if you find along that journey to your dream, your dream shifts and you find something else you love, then that is TOTALLY OK. Don’t for one second feel bad for this.
I am standing proof that this happens. My dream was to be a fashion designer and create my own beautiful quality New Zealand made clothes as I couldn’t find anything I loved to wear. I wanted to help women look & feel good in the outfits they put on and I did achieve this! The journey I went on in business was bloody hard and I have absolutely no regrets (I gave up a very high paying corporate job in Perth to chase this dream – I may delve into that more in a seperate blog post). But somewhere along the journey I lost my passion for what I was doing and found something else that I loved more – blogging and helping YOU live your best life through things I have learnt! But I most likely would never have found this passion for blogging without going through the journey of SarSee. Everything happens for a reason, so if you have found yourself in this position along your entrepreneur journey then don’t be afraid or disheartened or feel like a failure. Do what your soul needs!
I hope this has helped you in one way or another. If you are on an entrepreneur journey or just heading more into self-development or just love my blogs then yell out! I always love to hear from others and what you are achieving and how (if at all) my blogs have helped or inspired you to live a better life.
Keep learning, keep growing and most of all live your best life!