bestiesandbabies

Hey Bestie,

Welcome to our blog. We document our adventures in motherhood, family, and friendship. Hope you have a nice stay and subscribe to our newsletter to receive weekly updates on posts or follow us!

Lessons I Learned After Starting My Own Business

Lessons I Learned After Starting My Own Business

Delaya Says:

Imagine waking up everyday with the opportunity to do something you love.  Something you don’t refer to as work because you enjoy it and it’s something that actually fulfills you. You work with like-minded individuals to help others get to a better place in life and you end up becoming positive forces within their lives.  All the while, you’re making a comfortable living to support your family.  You can take vacations when you want; chill with your family as often as you’d like and just be an overall happier and healthier you.

This is what I wanted for myself.  After being on maternity leave for 8 weeks with Ava, and tasting the freedom from the 9-5 day job, I knew I needed to make some changes.  I wanted to be able to watch her grow and develop but being behind a desk wouldn’t allow me to that.  Well, it wouldn’t allow me to do it in the capacity that I wanted to.

When I got pregnant, I had already started dabbling in blogging.  In my research, I came across a lot of people who claimed they made a six figure income off of their blog and web sales.  It was a very attractive site to see, even more so after wanting to see Ava grow up for myself and not hearing it through stories told by my mom.

Over the following months, I worked hard.   At least I felt I worked hard.  I felt that Julia and I both worked hard to get this thing on and popping.  We cranked out content, we tried different promotional and marketing ideas, we sat in on webinars and downloaded e-courses and we sifted through a lot of what Pinterest had to offer.  For months we grinded and for months we heard crickets.

We tried switching things up and tried new tactics.  Maybe if we switched this one little thing up – and cause more work for ourselves – we’ll start to see the results we wanted and start raking in some dough.   It didn’t happen.

After about a year and a half of doing this blog thing, I thought that I – we -  would have been rolling in the dough by now.  That we’d be internet famous and that everybody and their mama would be wanting to work with us.  Sadly, that just isn’t the case.  At least, not right now.

All this time, because we didn’t get the results that I expected, I thought we were failing.  I thought that we were doing everything wrong and that there just wasn’t a point to do this blog anymore.  I expected this to come fast and easy and this has been my biggest lesson and adjustment, thus far.

Blogging and any start up business – if you’re serious about it – is for the long run.  It’s not some get rich quick scheme that you figure out in one day and cash out the next.  It’s slow and steady work.  You do it because you want to, not for the sole reason of making money. 

As we continue to work and build our Besties and Babies brand – and our other businesses - we know there will be more lessons along the way.  We know that there is great value in these lessons.  So to help you out, this post is going a bit further than this one story.  Along with giving you more lessons that Julia and I have come across, we’ve asked other entrepreneurial women across the web what they’ve learned in their journey.  Here are 21 whole lessons that different women have learned after starting their own businesses.

21 Lessons I've Learned After Starting My Own Business

1. There is no perfect time to start. Like the Nike commercial says, "just do it." Seriously sounds cliche, but it is impossible to have all your ducks in a row. And while you are trying to get everything perfectly together, you are missing so many opportunities left and right. Get started now and tell people all about it.
-Julia

2. Don't compare your journey to someone else's.  Don't try and walk some body else's path to reach your success.  You are your own person and you are your own business.  You will not be able to copy someone else's method to reach their exact level of success.  Don't waste your time thinking, "I want to be like them" when everything about you is dope.  Find your own way and make it work for you.
go to sleep.  Whatever it is, you deserve it, so do it.
-Delaya

3. A big lesson I've learned in the past 3 months? You CANNOT do it alone! Join groups, connect with others, learn, learn, learn! Blogging is NOT a solo activity, like I thought it would be. You need the support of others in the blogging community.
Keli Budnik of Lazy Sundays

4. Time management is the most important thing when running a business and a family. I use a digital calendar and paper calendars and take them everywhere! It is easy to get your schedule messed up if you do not have it readily available, and it can be hard to recover if you do mix it up. Keeping track of your time (time blocking) and what exactly needs to be done when (including family functions) is at the top of the list of importance.
-Julia

5. Being an entrepreneur requires faith, hope, and hard work. I’ve also learned to not devalue yourself or your work.
Shariyka Romero of IKOHAUS 

6. Keep learning.  You can never learn everything and strategies for business and marketing are always changing.  Stay on your toes and keep your mind open to new ideas by reading, listening to podcasts and by just being observant of other brands similar to yours.
go to sleep.  Whatever it is, you deserve it, so do it.
-Delaya

7. When I started my business, I had no idea how tenacious and relentless I could be in the pursuit of my dream (and how tenacious you need to be).  Being tenacious, relentless, and supremely focused on my end goal, my why, and my business has allowed me to grow despite it all.  In the face of obstacles, doubts, and fears to do it anyway because no one else is going to chase your dreams for you.
Heather Daniels of The Handmade Academy

8. There is no "failure" just lessons learned. Learn from every experience and change what needs to be changed so you can do better the next time. If you fall, get back up.
-Julia

9. Stick to a strategy or a technique for a good amount of time before deeming that it doesn't work. In today's age, we expect things to happen immediately like a text message and if it doesn't, it's on to the next.  Business strategy doesn't really work like that.  Give a new technique at least 3 months to show you any kind of results.
go to sleep.  Whatever it is, you deserve it, so do it.
-Delaya

10. The random thing take the most time: tasks like going through spam comments, accounting/receipt management and planning will be the bulk of your work. Make sure you allot time to get those tasks done!
Shelby Stover of Fit as a Mama Bear

11. Be your biggest fan. Not everyone will understand your business or want to work with you. Hey that is ok. You have something to offer and you know it. This includes family as well. Not all of them will be supportive or buy from you. Prove them wrong. Believe in yourself and your abilities otherwise no one else will.
-Julia

21-BUSINESS-LESSONS-LEARNED-AFTER-STARTING-OWN-BUSINESS.jpg

12. Images make a world of difference and investing in a camera is a great business choice. Even if you don't run a food blog, having quality and properly sized images will be one of your biggest traffic sources.
Shelby Stover of Fit as a Mama Bear

13. Find your vision, purpose and ideal client.  You should probably make a business plan but you can at least start with this.  This information should and will guide you in every decision that you make.  Your vision will keep you focused on your end destination, you're purpose will keep you motivated with a reason to why you're doing this and your ideal client will help filter things you should or shouldn't do to best serve them.  These are a must to have a clear and concise road to success.
go to sleep.  Whatever it is, you deserve it, so do it.
-Delaya

14. One important lesson I would share is "WRITE IT DOWN!" Grab a journal to use as business brain dump book and jot down everything that needs to be done. [I] write all time sensitive tasks down as they come to [me]. I highlight anything that needs to be completed in the next 72 hours and add an underline to any thing that needs to be completed in the next 24 hours. I flip the journal over and use the other side to write down things to be done at some undefined point in the future - like a wish list. Once you've captured all your thoughts, you can arrange them, prioritise them, set up systems and actually get things done.
-Ade Goode of Cookies and Strings

15. NEVER SAY NO TO AN OPPORTUNITY.
-Julia

16. Find a way to battle negativity and self doubt.  This is hard and in my opinion, not for the weak.  There will be days when you don't believe in yourself or what you're doing or days where it seems like the whole world is against you but it's very possible to get though it.  Find your happy places and little pieces of heaven and keep it pushin'.
-Delaya 

17. The best advice I ever took was to keep it legal. A friend and I started a business at the same time. I followed all my local, county, city, state and federal guidelines for starting a business. I paid roughly $56 yearly in taxes on a local level. My friend did not. His 2ND year on business, he was slammed by the county for business property taxes in excess of $5000! He failed to file his local taxes so the county & city separately did their own assessment and he was stuck with a huge tax bill!
Christina Bruner Polovich of Chrissy Adventures

18. If you have a fear of public speaking, get over it. The only way to build your business is to talk about it. The more people you get in front of and wow with your product or services, the better. And the only way to do that is to speak to people.
-Julia

19. After starting my private practice psychotherapy business, I learned that I have to set boundaries with my time. Running a business could take up all of your 24/7 if you let it. Being your own boss also means telling yourself to have rest, recoup time and family time. If you're not working towards balance, you're working towards burnout.
Katayune Kaeni, Psy.D. of Mom And Mind

20. The best lesson I learned after starting my business has to do with confidence. I had to force myself to realize I DO have what it takes to be a success. That "follow your dreams" IS the best route, but it takes courage and devotion to self discovery to do it! And that gut feeling I had telling me to go for it...I needed to listen to and put in the hard work!
Mandi Venable of Mandi Venable

21. Take a break.  We are all about self care as we build our greatness.  I'm mean, you can't make it to the top looking and feeling a mess right?  When you become overwhelmed and you feel the walls are closing in, it is perfectly okay to sit out a day or two.  Relax with some friends, chill with your boo and just go to sleep.  Whatever it is, you deserve it, so do it.
-Delaya

Julia Says:

Business is hard. Whoever tells you it is easy, will be doing you a disservice. Nothing can be done perfectly, you will always be learning, and there will always be new challenges. 

Delaya and I are strong believers in building our fellow community of business women and mothers up while working on Besties and Babies and our other businesses.

Let us know in the comments the biggest lessons you've learned after starting your own business.

7 Types of Gifts to Give a Mompreneur

7 Types of Gifts to Give a Mompreneur

5 Easy Ways to Learn How to Accept a Compliment

5 Easy Ways to Learn How to Accept a Compliment