5 Key Factors That Contribute
to the Success of Your Business

Happy 1 Year JJ Creative!

What an amazing year it has been, I have learned so much about myself and my abilities as a graphic designer and creative entrepreneur. The most crucial thing I learned from this last year was changing my mindset and truly believing in myself to accomplish the goals I create for my business. It all starts with being aware at the beginning and making the necessary changes needed to create a mindset of self-worth. It is you and only you in the beginning and it really isn’t easy. Facing the obstacles, doubts, and overall burnout that can happen from starting a business is REAL. If you don’t believe in yourself and your abilities, the rest will fall. With that being said, depending on where your mindset is in the beginning, if it’s not where it should be, do everything in your power to get it where it needs to be. Read inspiring blog articles, go to those networking events in your town or city, meet amazing people who will help and support you, listen to motivational podcasts, watch those you tube channels and how to’s, buy that course that will give you the skills and mindset to help you get started, or if you feel you need one on one approach, hire a business coach. Do whatever you need to move forward and be mentally and emotionally prepared for this crazy journey of entrepreneurship. Below are the things I learned and would recommend to anyone in the beginning stages of starting a business. Don’t go in blindly unprepared, be ready for the wins and the setbacks.

 

1.) Go in with the right mindset

So this first point is the most crucial in the beginning. When you open yourself up to the endless possibilities of what you can achieve and you truly believe in your abilities, amazing things will happen.

I think many people see the success stories of entrepreneurship and they think wow, this looks awesome! Total freedom to do what you want, make your own schedule, go for coffee with clients all day. This looks fantastic! Ok so yes there are so many positives to this life style and you can design your schedule and days. And you are your own boss and you have that freedom to do it in the way that works for you. This is a major positive to the lifestyle, but you have to be prepared for the ups and downs, the wins require hard work and goal setting and a whole lot of DOING. It’s honestly hard work and pure hustle the first two to three years getting started, gaining credibility, and earning that trust with new clients and people in your industry. And I will say that yes being your own boss is fantastic, but as well, one of the most hardest things to learn and master (still mastering and have a long way to go). Holding yourself accountable for everything, organizing an efficient schedule for yourself, prioritizing all projects, managing your time properly, and on top of that, staying motivated and disciplined throughout the day isn’t always as easy as it looks. Then to top it off trying to fit things that you love and make you happy in here and separating work and personal life can be super challenging in the beginning. This is IMPORTANT, your health is important and burnout is an ugly thing. Having the freedom to enjoy this beautiful world and the people in it is really why I love having a business. Overworking yourself to the point of burnout and exhaustion just defeats the whole purpose of starting a business in my eyes.

So what I am trying to say here is it’s hard; especially in the beginning. Be willing to put in the work and energy. Value yourself and your abilities and believe in yourself especially when things don’t always work out. Giving up is just so much easier when you don’t have any self worth going into it from the beginning. Get that foundation strong and surround yourself with likeminded go getters to stay motivated and move forward.

2.) Create goals and a system that works for you

So this is still in the process for me and I am continuing to experiment with new ideas and tools to improve my own system for my business. This part is really tricky in the beginning especially because it is truly overwhelming the tools and resources that are out there for business owners. I really was so overwhelmed with it all in my first 6 months. The best thing to do here is prioritize your top two-three goals you need to get started and be clear with them. Write them down and break them down into steps. When you have those steps laid out you can find the appropriate tools, management systems, organizational tools, and accounting software to get you there. I am a big fan of breaking down your goals into baby steps. As I found for me having one big huge goal sitting in front of me can be super intimidating especially in the beginning. So be clear with your most important goals write them down and research the best online tools that can help you reach these steps to launch your business.

3.) Create habits that improve your workflow and improve your business success

When it comes down to it, it’s really about creating and incorporating new habits into your lifestyle to improve your time management and productivity. This is where discipline comes into play as you need to hold yourself accountable for these new actions and habits that will better your day to day tasks and ultimately your business. Go get a planner and start time slotting and scheduling all the tasks you need to do. (This has saved me!) Add those new habits and work on them daily. It only gets busier and time really is valuable especially when you start to have less of it.

4.) Network and don’t stop

So this was new for me this year. I did a lot of traveling and always love meeting new people when I am abroad, but professional networking was a new concept for me this year. The first one I went to, I went alone and I was so nervous! I continued to go to more and I became more and more comfortable with the people I met and sharing my pitch about what I do. Now I just love it and it brings me joy to hear other people’s stories and collaborate with other business owners. Plus this helps grow your contact list and referrals go up.

5.) Focus on what you are best at, own it, then research the hell out of your target audience.

I have spent the last year working so hard at improving my design skills and really trying to take my work to the next level. It has been hard but so rewarding as it’s helped me understand what I am capable of creating when I put my mind to things and push myself creatively in ways I have never done. Know your competitors and what you are up against and then own your abilities and just be you! Once you become an expert at your skill or service that confidence really helps sell you and your business!

I don’t want to leave this one out because it’s so important. You may love what you do and be really damb good at it, but if you don’t know your audience (or if there even is an audience for your product) this could make or break your business! So do market research first and find out if there is a niche for your product. Create content that speaks to them and communicate your brand message through the channels that they are on. Be authentic and be you!