I'm two months shy of 25 years on this extraordinary earth. I'm employed full-time; I teach Zumba three nights a week; I'm a dog-mom, girlfriend, daughter, sister, aunt, business owner; and lastly, I am an entrepreneur. By every single stretch of the imagination, I am an innovator, producer and undertaker. While some may argue the morality and good nature of my business sense, I take copious amounts of pride in where my heart and soul reside. I see the opportunity for improvement, change, partnerships and revenue in almost every exchange I encounter. I am constantly looking for new ways to make things work better, faster and more progressively. My heart and my brain long to make lives happier, healthier and more successful. I love my life and every working minute of it. But as almost any business owner or human being in general would probably admit, there are days that are tough. So tough, I want to cry (and by want to, I mean I do) and I want to give up. I want to tell all my clients to take a walk and I seriously consider selling piña coladas on the beaches of Mexico for all of eternity.
Every single day is a learning experience for me, and every project and deal I work through makes me a stronger and happier person. I believe it would be selfish of me to not share my insight with others.
While I most definitely cannot take the stress, disappointment and angst away for you (I would be cheating you if I did that), I can let you know that it really honest-to-God, will be alright. It will work out, you will prevail, and you can sleep at night. You're not alone, and at least one person in this unpredictable world has walked down the path that you are currently seeking. I can't make you succeed and I may not ever meet you, but we share common ground and common passion; I believe this to be one of the most powerful connections humans have the ability to experience.
So here it is. Here is my grand finale: The three things that I have learned, and am still perfecting each day, as a business owner and entrepreneur. I hope you not only read, but internalize, relate it to your life experiences, and let it help you feel how connected you and I are, and how the universe knows our work is diligent and true.
1. Every single client or partner you will ever meet and work with is extremely unique and rare.
These differences will frustrate you at times. I encourage you to let it frustrate you, acknowledge the difference, and then seize the opportunity to learn. Your way is not the right way and there is always room for improvement. More eyes and brains mean more solutions. Embrace the diversity and turn it into something positive.
2. Keep your cool.
Professionalism and class are much harder to come by these days than you may imagine. When you receive a snooty short email that makes your skin crawl, don't respond immediately. Take a second to calm down, look at something else and come back to it. The email you write immediately after reading it and the one you write an hour later are hauntingly different. Listen, breathe, step outside and come back with a positive, solution oriented response. Don't be afraid to be the bigger person when necessary, and defend your points that are valid and progressive.
3. Give love to get love.
For me, this plays an important role in not only my work life, but my personal and spiritual life. The universe works in magnificent ways that I will never fully wrap my brain around and I believe that what you put out into the world will most definitely find its way back to you. That being said, give your entrepreneurial and business love out. Give out your knowledge and expertise to those around you like beads at Mardi Gras (only don't make people take their clothes off for it). We are all experts in one area or another. People can always learn and benefit from your knowledge and not everyone will always be a client or consumer. I put this into play when I come across a website or social media platform that could use some improvement. I reach out with a very casual "Hey there, your site looks amazing, great work! Online marketing is my passion and as we are working together on X project, I would love to share a few tips with you on how you can easily improve your site. Glad to work together and happy to answer questions!" The gratitude and kind words I get back are more than worth it. What else? I get a client every now and then out of it! Bottom line, spread the love. Open your brain, no one is going to steal it from you, and do well for others.
To all entrepreneurs, young and old, experienced and inexperienced, press on. Take the moments that you feel the smallest and build yourself back up. Open the lines of communication with the people you work with and seize the opportunity to learn. The world has a special place in it for minds like ours. Keep up the good work.