Over the past year, I started making a short list of what I could do to run my business and keep my sanity in tact. It’s hard, right? That balance doesn’t always come easy. Especially when it is easy to take things personal because as any small business owner knows – you do tend to take negative things or small failures personally. BUT guess what – it’s okay not to be 100% perfect! So here is my 5 things to start doing in your business (if you aren’t already and if you are, and are like me, here is a reminder!):
1. Embrace your business, and understand it’s okay to be human. Live out loud with no regrets. Chances are when you started your business you didn’t have thousands to invest in business coaches to guide you along and make it all easy for you. Raise your hand if you jumped into your business and had to grow it from the ground up alone. Both of my hands are up on this one. I adopted the ‘fake it ’til you make it’ mission statement from the get go. And, I learned through every failure and breathed a sigh of relief when things did work out. So, just know it’s okay to screw it up. Your business can still be awesome. Things just have a way of working out!
2. Make amends where you can. Awesome customer service is a necessary component to standing out among the millions of tons of businesses. Do your best to fix mistakes, but just remember some people are NEVER going to be satisfied no matter how much you offer up. Let it go. Let them go. They can be someone else’s problem. And you can go to sleep knowing you did what you could.
3. Not everyone is going to like or understand you. Around here we kinda like animals. More specifically, we kinda like animals in clothing. It’s just one of our things that makes work fun. We post our furry little friends sporting diamonds, pants, sunglasses and some people probably come across our posts and think we should find our way to the funny farm. And that is okay. We are okay with our own style and we get that not everyone is going to dig it. Be yourself, and do your thing. Those who do love you for it are the ones you want to be around you anyway.
4. Let the haters do their hatin’, and feel the love! One of the cool things in life is that we have the ability to let love in, and block out the hate. (We also have the ability to do the reverse but that is majorly, big time counterproductive and so, so bad for you and your business!). Years ago, when I was first starting out, I was following a small, homegrown type of business on Facebook. I loved this business. It was cool, fun, had a ton of followers for a small biz, and I just really thought this lady boss was super amazing. But then… I started seeing her post negative things and talking really negatively about another business and other things in general. At first I brushed it off, but then it happened a little more. It really turned me off, and I went on my way vowing that I would never respond to anything or post anything on my business page out of anything but love. This is also where my true belief in “my only competition is being better than I was yesterday” was born. So, I am grateful for this lady – but don’t run your mouth where you run your business. And, as for that business, sadly, it lost follower after follower and is not much of a anything anymore. Nobody wants to feel that negative energy! If someone is hatin’ on your business – just love them (and yourself) through it and go on with yourself. Again, let them and it go.
5. Learn from mistakes and use failure as fuel to build upon your success. Nobody wants to go through the yucky stuff but, man, that is where you can learn so much about yourself, your business, and other people when things go south. I did a million things wrong in the beginning but it was so necessary. Many of my policies and the way I do business were born out of the hard times, and seeing how I could do things better. I wanted my customers to have a five star, exceptional experience (and still do) but if you don’t get the negative feedback sometimes it is hard to see where you can improve. So, while it does suck to go through the mire of an unhappy customer, or a mistake, or flat out failure, I am convinced this is where God can pick us up and show us how we can redo things and make it better. Get through it and use it to your advantage.
And don’t forget to give yourself a break from time to time. Sometimes we can be pretty hard on ourselves, and at the end of the day, we might need to let ourselves off the hook or just show ourselves a little love. Business ain’t easy!
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