An Entrepreneur's Top 5

Photo by Jaime Feola of Moving Memories Photography

Photo by Jaime Feola of Moving Memories Photography

The Top 5 Things I Suck & Rock At

I recently teamed up with the amazing Claire Bouvier from The Claire Closet to produce an exciting new project- coming to all of you in 2017.  Part of the process was a focus group survey.  Among other questions, it had this "What are you Top 5 Strengths", followed by "Top 5 Things I Suck At". I may have tweaked the choice words on that one.  I thought my responses were worth a share. Maybe some other crazy DIY-er can relate!

Let's start with the bad news first. Besides- it's more entertaining.

What are five things you feel you need to know more about in business? 

1) Knowing when to shut it down- I have experienced two very real burn-outs where body, mind and soul suffered. This is also because of 2)

2) Work-Life Balance- It's more than maintaining your relationships- it's about your sanity as well.

3) Anxiety- I don't share this, but I deal with a decent bout of anxiety. Not the social kind, just the kind where the daunting knowledge of all my deadlines manifests itself physically. Migraines, insomnia, moodiness- I can a pretty shitty person sometimes as a result.

4) Legal- I need to get a better package of work contracts. My shoot contracts are templates. Granted, they are customized, but it is time to consult a lawyer. As my projects get bigger, I realize the importance of agreements.

5)  Finance Management- I've gotten a much better handle on it now, but for the first year or so, it was an absolute flustercluck. Believe it or not, my 17-year old brother and his wicked clip board skills have been a Godsend #keepingitinthefamily

 

BUT THERE'S HOPE! Continue below.

 

What are five things you feel you are an expert at in your business? 

1) Branding- I always receive positive feedback on my company branding - the logo, colours, tag line, marketing materials, social media, shoot uniform, my logo-covered car.  I went to school for this, and feel like that skill set has been a huge asset to my company's success. 

2) Creating Content- Being a videographer is the main factor in that. The nature of my business is to produce content. Content over commercial ;)

3) Networking- Just gotta get yourself out there.  Once you internalize that you do in fact deserve to be in the same room as every other business owner, you're set.

4) Putting on a business face- Sounds vague, but through mentoring and just general experience, I have learned when and how to put my business face on.  Whether it's the manner in which I reply to certain emails from particular clients, or the way I carry myself at events- being aware of you are speaking to, where you are, and how to slightly refine yourself in those situations is important. I'm not suggesting to fake it up. Just dress, communicate, and carry yourself appropriately for the present company.

5) Smart growth- knowing when it's time to invest money and resources into growth, and when it's best to wait. My industry is very expensive, and in constant motion (pun not intended). Gear needs to be updated, new markets and audiences need to be targeted- it can get expensive to keep up.  Knowing when and how much to put into that growth is key to survival.

 

That's it folks, just a quick share of my suppos-ed candid answers.  Here's to hoping someone relates so I don't feel completely neurotic.  Thanks for reading! 

 

6 EXCUSES PREVENTING YOU FROM BEING SELF-EMPLOYED

I Hate Mondays

I see it every Monday morning. Sad, tired posts summing up the hate people have for 5 out of 7 days in the week because they. hate. their. jobs.  That's 71% of your week. The remaining 29% is spent "living" and- go figure- dreading the other 71% you hate.  Now I don't claim to be a business expert, nor do I have very extensive life experience at a mere 23 years on this planet. But I am currently 100% self-employed with a car, 3-bedroom apartment, and a savings account I am actually contributing to. Also? I happen to be a university dropout.

This post is not a pretentious power trip. Nothing in life is guaranteed, and my business and lifestyle could very well fall apart tomorrow. But today? I sat down at my computer in my beautiful home office to share a simple message and hopefully inspire others to be who they want to be.  That being said, take this as you will.  If you hate, change it. If you want it, just f%^* do it.

In this blunt and likely to be misinterpreted blog, I tackle the common fears and excuses you may have burdened yourself with, preventing you from chasing the life you truly want.  In this case- I am speaking to fellow millennials who want to become #entrepreneurs, but welcome readers from all walks of life.  Here we go.

1. I'm Too Young to be taken seriously

Trust me- I hear you. I didn't even qualify for the commercial car insurance I am technically supposed to have on my logo-covered car because I'm under 25.  But don't let your youth, a true gift with an expiration date, be an anchor in your pursuit of being your own boss. Remember that (what seemed at the time) bullshit careers class you took in high school where you learned to turn a flaw into a "positive attribute"?  Here's one that isn't complete puff- what you may lack in experience, you make up for in fresh perspective, drive, and ambition.  You're more hungry than most. Perhaps quite literally if you're on a ramen noodle budget. You are also a lot more likely to be granted advice and taken under someone's wing as a young'in. Take advantage and truly appreciate these hands up the ladder which are likely being offered as a result of your ambition at such a young age. 

2. I'm Not Good At Anything

That's a bloody lie and you know it. Go for a long walk and come back to this post when you come to realize you deserve to treat yourself better.

3. I'm Not Good Enough to Do That AS A JOB

You love it, and you're good at it, but aren't sure if you're good enough. If you happened to return from your walk as suggested in #2, slightly more optimistic but still lacking confidence, let's real-talk. If you have a talent or skill set that you want to turn into your dream job, then you're already on the right track! Sit down and have a good hard look at why you believe you aren't good enough.  Is it because you don't have enough experience? No one is a pro, and everyone starts somewhere. You perceive a colleague or acquaintance to be 100x better at it? Reality check- someone will ALWAYS be better. Recognize that you will move up the ranks as you improve, and others will eventually be looking up at you. 

4. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO GET STARTED

You're already on your phone 90% of the time.  Use that incredible resource called the internet to do more than post selfies and swipe right. There are countless programs, grants, and organizations in your region that are literally there to help.  Look up blogs, videos, or even books that will provide you the answer to your questions. We are incredibly blessed to live in age that we do.  As millennials, the world is our oyster. Don't waste the precious opportunity our era has presented that past generations would have killed for. 

5. I'll Do It "One Day"

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If you finally mustered up the balls to approach the guy or gal you've been drooling over, and asked "Hey, would you like to go for a drink one day", do you really think you're going to land yourself a date? Maybe. Perhaps a bad analogy. But think about how much more effective your suggestion would be if you offered a time and place.  "Hey, would you like to go for a drink TOMORROW night at (insert place that serves alcohol and qualifies as date-appropriate)". The same applies to your goals.  Write that shit down. Make a checklist of the things you need to accomplish to get in the right direction, and start checking them off. I suggest a white board for said list. It makes you feel legit. 

 6. I'm Going To Fail

I'll let you in on a secret.  If you chase something with true and dedicated drive- only to fail-  You will STILL be happier knowing that you tried, than just accepting complacency.  Chances are, if you really do try by doing your research, setting goals, being patient and kind to yourself in your rise and fall, you won't fail. I hate this, but #YOLO.  Let that set in to the depth of your core. It isn't just a shitty hashtag, or something that university students shout out to justify stupid behaviour. It's a cold, cruel fact. Don't waste your "working years" being miserable 71% of the time.  

JUST A SIDE NOTE

You won't love being self employed 100% of the time.  To be honest, it can suck. A lot. You work your ass off. You feel fear, loneliness, and defeat in unprecedented ways. You are completely responsible for your income and financial well-being. But your life is yours.  If you hate, change it. If you want it, just f%^* do it.  

Tanya