It’s our birthday and we’ll blog if we want to. If you follow us on social media, then you know we just celebrated our SEVENTH year in business this week. In those past 7 years, I’ve moved to 3 continents, birthed 2 babies, and tried to keep my sanity intact, while navigating this crazy military lifestyle (spoiler alert, I didn’t).
What I have learned over the years, is that being a small business owner is tough, but amazing. The people I’ve connected with, the reviews from happy party planners, the friends who get excited finding out what I do, make all of the bad parts worth it.
This week I threw myself a party to celebrate, because in the words of one of my favorite milspouse biz owners, Kelly from Third Space Yoga, sometimes you just have to be your own hype person. Read on for my 4 biggest lessons learned from running a small biz, and grab the printables from the #bizbirthday party.
If you know me in real life, you probably realized I have a bad sailor’s mouth. I keep it low key around my kids, and then as soon as I’m around adults it just rolls out. This sign and quote sums me up to a T!
You can grab the free printable for it here!
Get the Party Prints!
4 Small Business Lessons from Seven Years in Business
Lesson 1: Say No to Stress
The whole just say no is ridiculously cliche, but true. I feel it takes most biz owners awhile to finally take it to heart. In the beginning of our business, I said yes to EVERYTHING. Things I didn’t like, didn’t have an interest in, custom orders I thought were downright ugly. After a few years and especially this last year, I learned that you don’t have to take on everything. If you say no, they’ll find someone else. You’ll be happy and a client won’t have someone working on a project they don’t have their heart in
Lesson 2: Stand Up For Yourself
A.K.A Don't let those copycats get away with that shiz. This has been one of the roughest parts of being a designer. Walking that very thin line between honored that your designs are good enough for copycats, and shaking in rage that someone would have the balls to do that. I still get mad, but now I don’t hesitate for a second when I send that knock it off letter. Seriously, don’t let people walk all over you. You don’t have to be hateful, but you do need to protect your business. Why let other people profit off our your hard work, right?!?
Lesson 3: Know Your Worth, Then Add Tax
What usually happens in the beginning of every small business, is you figure you would rather be inexpensive and raise prices later, than not sell anything at all. DON’T DO IT. Read this blog from The Merriweather Council. Or just read all of her posts. I bought her Etsy course a long time ago and it was a life changer. You’re worth more than less than minimum wage.
Lesson 4: Understand That There Is A Season For Everything
This one has been the hardest one to accept. This past year when we moved from Japan to Germany, I thought a month off from my business wouldn’t be a big deal. It was. Once I finally got my computer back, I was so unmotivated to do anything and so excited to explore our new home. Then we couldn’t get my 4 year old into a preschool. He’s been going to school since he was 10 months old, so this was a massive shock to him, and me! For a while, I had to let my business suffer, because I couldn’t just sit him in front of a tv all day. (Full disclosure, I totally did some days, still do actually. Netflix is the greatest thing ever invented). The first 6 months of the year was my mothering season. Now with fall pre-school quickly approaching, I get the next 6 months for my business.