People often tell me "you're living the dream!" and I am honored. I never expected I'd be a role model or inspiration when it comes to entrepreneurship. I do recall growing up and people always asking what I wanted to be. I would often say I wanted to go to college, I wanted to one day be Miss Hawaii, hopefully make lots of money and I wanted to be happy. Well as you get older you realize the extreme importance happiness has on your life. I decided to take control of my life, surround myself with positivity and do what makes me HAPPY.
After venturing out on my own and starting my own business, which I had no clue how to do and just kind of found my way via the Internet, I realized there are some things that were a real waste of time and I could offer some advice to those who are seeking the same thing. So here it is, some helpful tips for those who aspire to do what makes them happy and to make money while doing it:
1. Form your company as an LLC. Don't waste your time looking in to sole proprietorship as your goal should be to eventually become an LLC anyway. What it means: Limited Liability Company -- for the most part your personal assets are protected in the event that something happens with your company, it is now a separate entity and people can't come after your personal assets if something like getting sued transpires because of your business.
2. Lets NOT have a meeting. I can't stress this enough and one of my mentors even told me (early on) not to have meetings in person all the time; I didn't really grasp the importance of this until later. Everyone will want to meet with you. But sometimes these meetings are a complete waste of time (getting ready, commute time, parking, etc). I would suggest getting down to the details via email and asking what it is they specifically want from you, then perhaps take a phone meeting and then if you are all on board and this sounds like something you want to move forward with then meet in person. Otherwise you will be like me and spend every day meeting with random people in coffee shops trying to figure out why they want to meet with you when you could be doing something else.
3. Don't be afraid to promote yourself. This was a hard goal for me. I can't sell anything and I have tried to learn how to sell myself for years. This is the time to tell everyone what you are doing and why they need you. There is a fine line of being too pushy and aggressive, but if you see someone who could use your services or your products let them know. Say hi my name is and give them your card. It doesn't hurt to try and get your name and information out there. Who knows they might call and if they don't perhaps they might know someone who will. Be authentic, be soft and subtle and don't be afraid.
4. Networking is KEY! Once you've decided on your path, tell all your friends, colleagues, family and co-workers. The best thing that happened to me was former employers, friends, acquaintances and even people I interned for began to reach out. It's these relationships that really help you and if you nurture them and maintain them they will be your best asset. Make sure to tell the most important people in your life what you are setting out to do, what your goals are and how this will help you. They love you and will want to see you succeed.
5. Think positive. It is important to always remember that your happiness is your number one priority. If you are stressed, if things aren't going as you planned or if you don't feel like things are working out at the moment try to think positive. I have gone through this so many times. I doubt myself, I questioned myself, I freakout a little on the inside. Try to stay calm and face forward and do something positive. I have learned that it is the nature of my business to lose clients. I would sometimes (in the back of my mind) take it personal and think perhaps I wasn't doing a good job, maybe I wasn't the right fit, maybe they didn't like me, maybe I wasn't working hard enough. In all honesty there are many reasons why things don't work out and you have to learn from it, persevere and remain steadfast. When this happens it inspires me to work harder, seek out other leads and find other people who I can approach and tell them my passion and what I do. We are all human and each day is a learning experience. I always hold myself to a higher standard, remain professional and always try to think positive!
Whether you want to be a pro athlete, designer, chef or whatever tickles your fancy, I hope this helps to inspire you to do what you do and what you love! Just sharing some of my tips that I have learned along the way. If anyone has any other tips to share please feel free to comment below.