What I've Learned After 2 years of Taking My Business Seriously
Time sure does fly when you are having fun, or struggling...or crying...or just wanting to crawl under the covers and never come out. But it has been a long two years, two years of RekitaNicole.com. I remember around Christmas of 2013, my daughter was only 4 months old, and I decided to buy a domain, with my name. At that moment, I knew I wanted to take my business to the next level, but with my name.
After 2 years, you would think I have my shit together. Hell no. I am still learning and still failing, but having fun messing up stuff. But I have learned so much about myself and the business of graphic design and blogging over the past 2 years , and I wanted to share it with you guys! These are some things that I learned...
I am naturally an energetic and inviting person. I love having fun and I am as goofy as it gets. I am so random and I have a little of a potty mouth. But tell me why I thought my branding should be the opposite of that. I thought that my brand and business should look a certain way to attract a certain client. But I also felt like a fraud. One day, I was buying a planner from ShopBando.com, and noticed they changed their site, and I was like this is sooooooo me. Why am I diluting myself for other people? I got my entire life. That was the moment I said, "I HAVE TO CHANGE, I HAVE TO BE MYSELF!"
Although it may seem I have this huge personality, I am actually pretty freaking shy. Especially when it comes to business. I felt so comfortable being behind my lap top and not meeting other people. But I also felt very lonely in my world and I was not growing. It wasn't until I broke out of my shell and started Periscoping that I felt more comfortable with speaking about my business, my brand, and ME. I had to come out of hiding and express myself, and it actually made me fee more confident. In fact, it gave me the confidence to do my first webinar. Lawd! I was having a heart palpitations the entire time, but it was worth it!
I found myself apologizing for the pinkness, brightness, and colorfulness of my brand. I had to understand and realize that I might turn people off. I had to realize not everyone is going to like my website or like my work or like me. And that is okay. I remember in middle school, I wanted everyone to like me, but it ended up bad and I felt miserable. Well, I learned in business that for one person who hates, you there are 5 people who like you, there are 3 people who LOVE you, and then there is that one person who stalks you. Cater to the stalker. Feed that stalker. Don't apologize for being loud and colorful, there is someone out there that feeds on it.
Be Supportive & engaging
Supporting other creatives is so important to me. Especially if i believe in who they are, what they are doing, and what they are saying. So I learned that I needed to support people like me and engage with them constantly. I also learned not to have just one squad. Have multiple squads that you can learn from and share with. I have so many friends now who are designers, brand stylists, brand coaches, illustrators, infopreneurs, bloggers, fashionistas, social media strategists, web developers. Yo, that is more than a squad, that is a COMMUNITY! When you promote and support others, people see you.
Don't be so hard on yourself and Toot your own Horn!
Something is going to suck, I am going to fail, I am going to mess something up, but I have learned not to give up on something I love to do. It is not going to be easy, hell if it was, everyone would be doing what I do. But this is how I survive, feed little humans, eat tacos, and watch cable. I have to fight for this. I also learned that I need to toot my horn and its okay to be proud and show off your accomplishments. Be your own "stan". Toot that horn, baby girl. But be humble and appreciate the good and bad.
Have some Eggs in a couple of baskets, but don't over do it
I learned to not limit myself to one idea or one product. Part of last year, I dabbled into photography. I wanted to start taking my own stock photos for my website, and then a spark happened. I started to doing it for other people. So, I added that to the list of things I can do and offer, but it is close to my main purpose...visual branding. However, when I start taking family portraits, that is when I know I need to slow down. I learned that I can't be everything. I am already a mother, chauffeur, chef, janitor, nurse, accountant, secretary, social media manager...you get it. I realized that everything that I do needs to stick to close what my purpose is....so I don't go crazy!
Do what works for you
I learned that just because it worked for someone else, it may not work for me. Someone could have started 6 months ago and get more clients or more sales. But she might be an extrovert and has excellent marketing skills. Total opposite of me. Some systems may work for others, but may not work for me. I learned not to take every helpful post as bible. I learned to do my own research and not to get saturated with so much information at one time. This really helped when I developed my own products.
Be Confident in your business
Seems simple. But a year ago, even when i was knee deep in my business, I still wasn't sure what my purpose was. Since I wasn't sure, my spouse wasn't sure and my mom wasn't sure. I wasn't really confident in my business, so no one else was really confident in it either. They though of it as a side hustle, a paid hobby until I got a "real job" . It wasn't until I got more confident about my skills and honed in on my purpose when people that were important to me believed in my business. My mom still wants me to get a " real job" but she does see that I am soooo passionate about what I do. She sees that I am no longer fearful of my future. So, I ultimately learned to have more confidence in myself, more confidence in my business, and more confidence in my talents. When I learned that, my business began to soar.
So here is to 30+ more years of Rekita Nicole Design Studio & Blog. I am so grateful that I get to do this everyday and raise my wonderful and beautiful kids. I honestly never thought I would be an entrepreneur, I am not business savvy at all. So, if i can do it, it can be done.