Hey guys! Faith here (obviously), but I’ve got a special treat for you today – a guest post by my good friend and business bestie, Kezia Hall of Super Naturally Healthy.
Kezia and I are going to be running a series of business-related blog posts for the next eight weeks, covering topics like lessons we’ve learned in business, boundaries, self-care, pricing for profits, and the importance of finding your tribe.
That last one is especially important to us. In our frequent phone calls and meetups, Kezia and I have talked repeatedly about the importance of community, support, love, and constructive feedback when you’re a creative entrepreneur with a small team or going it alone…we want to host a business mastermind retreat for fellow female girlbosses in late 2017 called…
The Boss Break.
We had our own mini Boss Break – just the two of us – near Cambridge last week, and dangit, it was incredibly helpful, and inspiring, and challenging.
So if you’re an existing business owner, a fellow coach, photographer, jeweler, artist, VA or other awesome girlboss, enter your details at the bottom of this post to be the first to know about our mastermind retreats coming soon. And then read on, as Kezia shares with you what she’s learned in her first 2.5 years of business!
Gosh, I am not quite sure where to begin. There are so many lessons I have learned, some beautiful ones and some painful ones.
I have to say, starting my own business has been one of the biggest challenges of my life to date. I had no idea how deeply it would impact and challenge my identity, trust, and confidence. I mean I LOVE it with every ounce of my being, but it’s been harder and grittier than I though
1. It’s the biggest personal development journey of your life.
Seriously, if someone had told me that starting a business was actually a ticket to one long road of personal development I am not sure I would have dived in. I used to think personal development was for people with too much time on their hands…
How wrong I was.
As a creative wellness entrepreneur, I have found that starting this business has challenged who I think I am. It’s challenged my belief about my skills, my future, my faith, my purpose in life. I mean for shizzle.
It has caused me to sort out my relationship with money, it’s challenged my attitude to self-care (which was, ahem, non-existent) and has caused me to go deep into who I am. Deep stuff – right?
But I think with a more personal-based business, like this one (I am not building a huge corporation with 100 employees here), there is no hiding behind a logo or a website – I very much am my business and so it makes sense that I have been shaped by it.
So if you’re thinking of starting a business or are in the trenches like me, be ready for this. Welcome it. Embrace it and own it.
Shake off any judgments you made about people who read the like of Tony Robbins or Brene Brown *ahem I have had to do this lots* and accept business is ALWAYS personal.
>>>> Running a business is a part of who you are, so invest in yourself.
Resource – Tony Robins ‘I am not your Guru’ on Netflix
2. Rich women can change the world.
This is a huge topic and lesson learned for me. Coming from a background as a fine artist working with drug addicts and vulnerable people in the community, running a business where one of the main aims is to make bank has taken a lot of adjusting to.
My beliefs around money have been the thing that has been the most challenging and still is. Theres a part of me that has felt bad or dirty or less spiritual about wanting to earn lots of money. I am already blessed beyond measure, I know that. I am that 1% with education, shelter, clean water earning more than a few dollars a day. I have all I need – truly.
Yet I run a business so I can be wealthy in all ways, especially financial wealth. That’s the crux of running a business and if you’re uncomfortable with that then THAT is what you need to work on ASAP.
The reality is that money is neither good or bad but it provides choices and choice is a part of freedom.
I am no longer ashamed about wanting to earn money and lots of it because I know when money is in my hands it will be poured into beautiful things. My health, my family, my community, my city and into all the dreams I have in regards to running charities and funding programs working with vulnerable women in my nation.
I believe as women rise up in ALL areas the world will change. For too long we have been quiet and oppressed and women learning to create wealth and be okay with being rich (in a way that is aligned with their unique purpose – we are all different) is an important part of this.
>>> Money is powerful and creates choice and when compassionate women have more of it beautiful things will happen.
3. You need to know WHY you’re doing it.
You need to know why on earth you are doing this.
Why are you spending hours setting up blogs and websites. Why are you investing money in designers or materials? Why are you working 12-hour days sometimes or saying no to social things and feeling like a hermit.
Now I don’t want to glorify the idea of hustling crazy hard, I believe the whole point of running a business is to enjoy your LIFE and not be a workaholic but reality check, it takes a lot of work to create something from nothing. So in order to stay motivated and focused you need to know why you are doing it, beyond the whole money thing.
Sure I said before money is important but money is not the main thing. The purpose behind your business is the engine room. The ‘why’ is what will wake you up, it will be your daily energy and motivation when you feel stuck.
For me, I have learned to be crystal clear on why I am running Super Naturally Healthy. It’s because I believe every single person on this planet is created to live in full divine, energised and beautiful health. It’s because I know we can all heal if we know how to partner with that process (whether natural or miraculous and really, is there a difference?) and because I want our culture to shift and the correct nutritional information to be shared. And on and on…..I have so many whys and they are the thing that motivates me to be standing at my desk by 9am every darn day (except weekends of course because #ihavealife)
>>>> The WHY behind your business is where the magic happens and energy comes from.
Resource: Simon Sinek’s TED talk
4. Business DOES NOT have to lead to burn out…but it often does.
There is this idea that running a business means you become workaholic who neglects your health, family, life, and friends. That you become obsessed with making money and you’re ‘hustling’ all the time, stressed with nothing else to talk about apart from ‘how business is going’ (dull).
That you live off of coffee and sugar and are always stressed out of your freakin’ nut.
Confession – I am a recovering workaholic, I love coffee and I can become a hermit always working quite easily. I have come close to burnout in doing all this, but thankfully I have known I am on that wayward path before I reach the pit in the road.
But I have learned that to avoid burnout, to run a business with joy, trust and peace is a fight. It’s a choice I have to choose daily. It’s a mindset I have to constantly work on as it’s SO easy to think working harder means more success, more peace and more money.
So really what I’m saying is that boundaries are KEY. I know, sexy right?
This lesson is a real and raw one for me as its one I have struggled with. Boundaries basically means how you’re managing your energy, health, relationships and life. If you have no boundaries then things ‘happen’ to you, you play victim and you ‘just have to or had no choice’. Bullshit – we always have a choice and in running this business I have come face to face with my own victim-based verbal vomit.
If you have no boundaries you burn out. Spiritually, emotionally and by gum, physically (*cough* adrenal dysfunction!).
>>> Boundaries make your LIFE & business flourish – so make sure you have some!
5. Running a business is like having sex…no really, it is!
I have never felt as vulnerable and exposed as I have done running this business. Honestly, I would say it has been on the same level as having sex with my husband, Joe, for the first time. THAT vulnerable, that exposing…and *cough* that awesome
Doing anything creative is vulnerable as heck.
But seriously it takes courage to put your ideas, your passions, and skills out into the world in the form of a business and then ask people to invest in it.
So what makes for good sex, aside from the logistics of course? Well, there are many things but in my opinion one of the BIGGEST things is trust and so in business this means you need:
- to trust yourself
- to have a handful of people who are WITH you heart and soul and trust your idea/skills
- to trust the journey and God in you
Sex can be really awesome and so fruitful (hello babies/bliss) or it can also be damaging, destructive and downright awful and business is the same. It has the potential to provide so much joy, fun and fruit but it can also be destructive.
That’s where trust comes in.
So for me, I have needed a team of cheerleaders, people like Joe (husband/man of dreams), my sister Jess (who now works with me), my parents and people like Faith (fellow Boss Break host) or Laura (who I run a podcast with). They have been those people who trust I can do this. They trust in my skill, my passion, my ability to do this and some days I have to lean on their faith in me because mine has gone down the drain.
Annnnnd I have needed to trust myself and invest in my skills so I can be confident in what I do. Invest in skilled designers, website developers etc to make it totally legit. Trust in myself to invest in courses, coaches, mentors and training.
And finally also trusting in the process, taking time to be grateful and present in the moment. For me it has taught me too much about trusting God, trusting him in me and with me in all things.
Trust that you CAN do this, trust it will grow, trust what a select group of intimate friends/family say. Trust that you can do hard things. Trust the process.
Side note – I think I will talk about sex more often.
>>>> Business is like sex. Everyone should be doing it – hahaha!!
Resource: Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
So Lovely, those are my five lessons I have learned so far and seriously: I have learned so many more, from how to create a website, how to create customer service systems and create profit-loss statements, but let’s leave it at this for now.
And make sure you sign up below to be the first to know about The Boss Break – mastermind retreat for creative girl bosses. Otherwise, see you next week for part two of the Boss Break series!
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