By Jennifer Boonlorn, The Wellness Warrior Collective
When asked to share entrepreneurial advice with other small business owners, I often cringe. There is no one-size-fits-all guide book, and what worked for me may not be a fit for another business, and vice versa. I try to shy away from the “you should ______” advice and, instead, share some insight regarding the tools or procedures that did work for Soul Carrier.
Here are my favorite take aways:
- Listen to your intuition. If something feels off, it probably is. Take the time to listen to your own inner voice. A lot of people will want to give you their opinion or sell you on their services — give yourself the space to think, breathe, and not feel cornered when someone approaches you with a request or proposal. Tell people “Thank you for your offer. Let me take the next few days to think about this, and I will get back to you after giving it some thought.” Alignment with your values, and alignment with your business’ end goals, must eclipse whatever someone is pushing on you.
- Before you do anything, write out your values and end goals. Place this list next to your computer monitor or inside a journal/day planner that you visit daily. It is easier to turn down an offer when you are crystal clear on where you are going and what you want to accomplish. I like to call this concept my “true north” — I square every request, proposal, opinion, judgement, decision, and choice up against my true north, and I ask myself “Is this pushing me closer to my true north or leading me off course?” Once I ask that question, the clarity of my answer begins to come into focus.
- Don’t over-commit. Less is more, when it comes to your calendar. Give yourself the grace to say “No.” Your business is going to demand everything from you. At some point you have to draw the line as to just how much energy you can expend on projects and social events outside of your brand. It’s okay to take time for you — you can’t hear your intuition, nor the whisperings of your soul, if you are constantly on the go and juggling everyone else’s needs.
- Check out https://greaterphoenix.score.org/. This is an incredible FREE business resource connecting retired CEOS, COOS, CFOs, and business experts with business owners who need mentorship and guidance. There is no limit to how many times you can meet with your mentor, and the SCORE mentors come armed with a plethora of resources and connections. SCORE is also a national non-profit, so you can find a mentor in whatever city you reside. If you are in the Scottsdale area, email Carole Perfetti. She is an INCREDIBLE Score mentor!
- Use your alma mater for resources. Many business schools have free resources and centers for entrepreneurship that help guide startups and small businesses. I even used the graduate career advising center at Arizona State University to access great information pertinent to Soul Carrier.
- If you are a Sun Devil check out https://wpcarey.asu.edu/people/directory/entrepreneurship and tell Kammie Kobyleski (Director, Special Programs), that I sent you.
- Don’t wait to start tracking your expenses. Stay organized from the get go. Quickbooks is mandatory for clean bookkeeping. Ask the SCORE mentors and your Alma Mater if they offer Quickbook classes or mentorship if you run into questions.
- Check out Design Pickle. Flat-rate, always available, ego-free, unlimited graphic design help. Tell Russ Perry that Jenn Boonlorn sent you. I met him through Amanda Slavin of Catalyst Creativ. Be sure to check out the Rich Roll Podcast on Amanda as well!
- In the beginning use Vistaprint and Overnight Prints for your printing needs. Both are cost effective and more than good enough quality to get you started.
- Remember that DONE is better than perfect. You will go through many-many-many iterations throughout the course of your brand — don’t kill yourself trying to make it perfect on the first go around. Action always surpasses perfection when it comes to entrepreneurship.
- GET OUT there and DO! The magic pill to success is called HUSTLING and ACTION. There is no payoff without hard work and vulnerability. Sitting behind closed doors keeping your dreams safe and guarded from the world’s criticism is a recipe for cemented stagnation. Being an entrepreneur means playing all out in the game of life. You will fall down, you will scrape your knee (at times, more seriously than others), you will meet shady people who want to take advantage of you, and you will make mistakes. And you know WHAT!? It’s all OKAY because that is what it takes to actually be in business. Action happens on the court, not in the bleachers or in the stands. Don’t beat yourself up when things appear to crumble or you hit a snag in the road, learn from it, grow, evolve, and then pivot when needed.
- Remember nothing happens without you — take the time for self care. If you are not pushing forward, then neither is your business or brand. Make sure you are well rested and well nourished in order to make that push forward. It’s your baby — your dream, your brand. Make sure you are properly feeding you and it in order to make things grow.
Soulfully signing off with a commitment to inspire you to align with your soul and to be the warrior that you are!