This past winter has definitely beat my mental health up, it just wasn't as easy to be productive and stay motivated when all I was doing was letting my life take control of me. Though this phase sucked, it helped me move on to a new stage of my life that I was unconsciously ready to take on.
When growth calls..
Practically all of my free time is dedicated to growing the 1evilhousewife brand, and being that I am still in the early stages, researching and brainstorming are all that I do. Yes, I still squeeze in time to work on enhancing my writing and photography skills, but there are other motions that have to be done to get a business running smoothly. From finding the most appropriate platforms, budgeting, building connections, to making investments. There are lots of trials and tribulations on the journey but the internet is so helpful in that department. My inner entrepreneur loves using Pinterest, Hubspot Marketing, and Youtube for brand building resources; there are successful entrepreneurs just giving away the tips and tricks that got them to where they are now.
Here are three action steps to marry as a young business that I found to be very useful throughout my experience:
1. OUTREACH to gain support and build clientele. Being the one to present yourself and your work first shows initiative and confidence. Just putting an open sign in front of your shop means people know you are worth the investment. Creating personalized experiences and learning about the people you are trying to reach allows you to have a better understanding of how to assist them. There is no more verified way of gaining a client than ensuring that you can get them someplace that they want/need to be.
Practice outreach by taking deeper interest in your target audience/client; form proposals to send to prospective's showing your knowledge of their work and displaying confidence that your skills are worth investing in. Never undersell yourself and be persistent!
2. ORGANIZATIONAL OUTLETS are a huuuuuge must! Please understand, there will be a lot of transactions taking place in ANY business environment; you'll want to make sure you can always easily obtain any information you need as efficiently as possible. There are a lot of applications and websites that provide organizational help, here are a couple of my favorite.
- Trello: "A Trello board is a list of lists, filled with cards, used by you and your team" Back when I was working with Feminist Apparel, they introduced me to Trello and I have been hooked ever since. I love this one so much because its a project management app; you can keep yourself and others updated with real time tracking, so if someone makes a change it is automatically seen by anyone you share the board with. There are more cool things like you can create a checklist, assign people to specific projects, and take notes on cards freely to always look back to. I've been using mines to get me ready for business development, moving, and my creative projects!
- Google: We all know google is the key to life at this point. If you don't have a google account please create one right now so you can access all of the cool applications they have to offer!I always recommend that people use Gmail so they can get the benefits that Google has to offer. Since so many people have google accounts, it's way convenient to use Google Documents, Google+, and Google Drive for everyday work tasking. Google docs is like Microsoft Word with sharing capabilities so your friends and coworkers can view/edit your work. Google+ is the offspring of Twitter and Pinterest; you can share your most recent updates and find out what the people you are already connected through via gmail are working on. Google Drive is a file storage and synchronized service, it is a great place to store your documents and make sure you can access them from anywhere by simply logging into your gmail account. The beauty of google is the universal features, real-time updates, different services that can be accessed from having a single Gmail account, and the efficiency it offers.
- ZenPen: This is just really great for note-taking and brainstorming; I use this website a lot to ensure that I stay focused. There are no advertisements, there are no pop-ups, just a black and white page with a word count. This website is great for people who tend to get distracted from those advertisements on the side of the screen showing those cute shoes you looked at 13 websites ago.. ( Yes, I am talking about myself! hahaaaa :(: )
3. CREATE A MISSION and live by it. This is probably the most important action step of them all. A mission is a short written statement of your business goals, philosophies and values. Create this as soon as you have an idea of where you want your business to go and how you want to get there; when you create your mission you should be able to refer back to it when you are making any business related decision. Make sure it is transparent, showcasing your true values and does not create an opportunity for your prospective clients and supporters to second-guess your capabilities, values, or intentions.Intersectional emotional intelligence? What is that?Though I am still in the process of creating my mission, two values I married as one for the advancement of my brand and my business are intersectionality and emotional intelligence. I urge everyone to place intersectional emotional intelligence into their values for a few reasons.
- Creating an intersectional way of thinking allows your platform to become way more inclusive, resulting in more opportunities and exposure. People come from different walks of life and though it may be hard to understand, you don't have to completely understand someone to give them a chance! We are all humans who live various different lifestyles, and that is more than okay. If someone says they are able, willing, and shows you proof to back it up, don't count them out simply because you don't like that they are this or that. Their personal lives don't concern you because guess what, Privacy Code and Conduct exist! Unless shared with consent, you are not entitled to know about anyone's personal lives. It's about time that businesses stop excluding and playing cherry picker with their audiences and workers anyways. Visit the highlighted "intersectionality" link above to hear Kimberele Crenshaw speak more on the term!
- Emotional intelligence is using emotions to build a better connection with people. To gain emotional intelligence you should practice Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and effective relationship management. Think of this as a form of telepathy; emotional intelligence allows you to build stronger connections and intuition of people you are looking to build a trustworthy and reliable relationship with.
As I continue to grow, I will continue to inform. I hope that you've found this information more in-depth and start practicing these techniques along the way.
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