In just a couple of months, Wild Ruffle will celebrate its 6th Anniversary.
Through the years, I’ve received many emails and calls from people who are considering beginning their own small business, and by far the number one question I’ve gotten is, “How do you do it? What’s the fastest way to make your business grow?”
So I’m here to share the magic answer with all of you. It’s the surefire way to make sure your business becomes a success. Read carefully, my friends, because this advice is pure gold.
The truth… is that there is no easy way. It took years of hard work to get here, and Wild Ruffle still isn’t where we eventually see it being. But it is on its way to getting there, and while there’s no simple answer to getting a business up and running and thriving, I do have some things I learned along the way that may be a help to you.
- Pray about it. Before I make any major decision, prayer is my first step. I tend to make emotional decisions, rather than rational, and prayer helps me to slow down and make sure my timing is right, and that my endeavors will be blessed because I’m seeking the Lord’s guidance.
- Be willing to work your butt off, and then some. While this concept seems like it should be a no brainer, we live in a world where we see overnight successes all the time on the internet. Most businesses don’t flourish overnight – there are usually years of blood sweat and tears that go into building it. Got a deadline? Stay up all night if you have to in order to meet it. Ever heard the saying, “Good things come to those who hustle?” Make this your new mantra as you dive in.
- Stick with it. There will be days in which you want to wash your hands of the whole thing and walk away. There will be failures. Some days will suck. A lot of days will suck, actually. And we’ve grown accustomed, in this day and age of immediate gratification, to getting what we want immediately. Waiting for success is no fun. But it is worth the wait to stick it out and see it through.
- Seek advice. Reach out to people you admire who have gone before you. Many of them won’t bother to answer. I sent out approximately a bajillion emails to women in business when I first got started, looking for any tips they might be able to throw my way, and hear back from only a couple. Don’t let it get you down – the ones who respond will be the ones who will come through with the greatest advice you’d receive anyway. Look for online classes you can take to gain knowledge and wisdom on your own timeline. Join Facebook groups with forums that encourage learning from one another. You don’t have to go it alone!
- Promote others. Find other small businesses that your audience will be excited about, and share them. Be someone who builds others up, and you’ll discover that you become someone that people are excited to build up in turn. In the same vein, look for people you can work together with to grow BOTH of your businesses. When I was a new blogger, I partnered up with my favorite local shop on a regular basis. I blogged about her items to share her fun stuff with my audience, and she shared the posts with her customers to grow my viewership. Now that we have a shop of our own, we still like to work together with the other shops in our area to mutually benefit one another. We all win when we are sharing the love.
- Bring others on board. A couple of years into blogging and hosting Pop Up Shops, I knew I couldn’t continue to grow Wild Ruffle on my own. That’s when Tammy came on board – and it was the best thing that could have happened to this business. She had strengths I lacked, and vice versa. Tammy brought a fresh set of eyes to reinvigorate the process and makes things new and exciting once again. And while a partnership doesn’t work for everyone, that doesn’t mean you should go it alone. If accounting isn’t your thing, fork up the money and pay an expert to do it for you. When staying organized becomes too much for you, hire a virtual assistant to get you back on track. It might hurt to cough up the cash. But it’s worth every penny because you become more efficient and are better able to produce in the long run.
- Be encouraged. You’ve got this spark in your heart to do something you love. There’s a reason it’s there. Hang on to that as you push through the hard days of owning your own business. Because though the tough times will stink, the wins will be oh so sweet. If you’ve got the desire, then you’ve got what it takes to achieve success.
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