This month we hear from Victoria Casebourne, Founder and Director of The Keepsake Co, a leading opportunity in the high-demand sector of baby keepsakes including fingerprint jewellery, 3D castings, pottery prints, silver jewellery and much more.
Believe me when I say 16 years of living the Entrepreneur life teaches you a lot…. here are some of the lessons I wish I knew back in my early 20’s.
There are going to be days when you cannot be bothered. You won’t have a boss to keep you accountable so you either need to be really good at motivating yourself in spite of your brain telling you to watch TV instead OR you need to find a group of people to keep you motivated like an accountability group or as part of your franchise.
We have to wear a lot of hats as a small business owner but be aware of the ones which are the most uncomfortable and make a plan to get rid of that hat as soon as you possibly can. You can do this by outsourcing or taking on staff. Most people start with a book keeper and go from there.
As above but this time become really good at spotting what feels really good to wear. The hat you are wearing when time speeds up and you find yourself loving every minute. This is where you need to spend more and more of your time as you grow.
Just because everyone else is doing something a certain way, don’t assume you should too. This is your business and I think this is one of the hardest shifts to make as you leave the corporate world and enter into the land of self employment. We are used to operating inside of rules set by others but this time you are setting the rules yourself. Don’t be afraid to set the rules which make you happy and work within those. I have managed to shift my entire business to have all weekends and school holidays off. This was something I wanted to happen and instead of saying to myself “not possible” I spent a year tweaking things until it worked for me. Anything is possible.
The only limit is in your mind. When you learn to by-pass that or re-wire your thinking then anything is possible for you and your business.
Obviously you have a lot at stake but don’t take things too seriously or you will talk yourself out of taking action. Approach it with an open and playful mind and see what you are capable of without beating yourself up if things don’t work out the way you wanted on a particular deal or situation. Pick yourself up quickly and commit to trying again but in a different way. Enjoy the process as it really is an incredible way of life.
The great thing with being a small business is that you are agile and can move quickly. So move, try and adjust. Keep learning, keep improving and keep trying. Don’t put things off as tomorrow never comes. Things don’t have to be perfect so give it a go and keep improving as you go.
I have paid myself right from the start but not much. What I have learnt is that I will always cover the salary I set myself and will always find the money to pay the bills afterwards. If I was to pay my bills first and only pay me what was left over I would never be able to pay myself much. Same applies if you ever had a pay rise and wonder where the extra money goes.
We spend what we have so just make sure you pay yourself well from your business and don’t fall into the trap I did in the early days of sticking in a tiny salary for too long. It is far to easy to become dejected and unmotivated as no one should work for free. Even if you invest the money for a rainy day and never really spend it on yourself… get used to paying yourself anyway via a direct debit.
If you burn out, which is easy to do when you are building a business, then you will have nothing left to give. So ensure you take time to rest and away from the business regularly. You will find you are more inspired and can achieve more as a result.
You are the biggest asset to your company. The more you learn, the more you will be able to grow your business into the empire you dream of. Always be learning from mentors, coaches, books and courses and apply what you learn as quickly as possible. No one knows it all so there is always plenty of room to learn from everyone around you. The time and money you invest in yourself will pay you back with interest and is by far the best investment you could make.