So many people can give you advices but sometimes, it just doesn’t resonate with you. Have you ever had that moment?
I sure did and looking back at a recording I did back in February 2021, I wanted to share some of the advices that I didn’t listen to. Just a caveat, these advices are from my personal experiences and I break down how they didn’t help me grow my business to where it is today.
Just give it a read and see if you resonate with any of it. I also share in this blog some of the experiences in my entrepreneurial journey and what better advices I could give that hopefully can help you in your own journey!
Don’t get me wrong with this one. I definitely admire people who went to design school and have extensive professional experience or worked in an agency environment because they have a unique set of skills that I do not have. This probably helped them a lot as they were building their own creative business.
However, what I am saying with this advice that I didn’t listen to is that, this is not the only path. When I built my own creative business, I had no idea about the industry. My background was marketing and business but not in design. I am completely self-taught and I am so lucky to have access to things I wanted to learn when it came to creative design online.
If you do not have the background you wish you had to start your own business, look for educational mines. It’s going to be much cheaper and faster and you even get to choose the skills you truly want to develop. Because of the accessibility of education, you can upscale your skills or learn new skills. Know that it’s never too late and it will definitely help you start your own business or propel your business further!
Someone told me this advice when I was stuck in my job. I quit my corporate job in 2016 and started my business right after.
Initially, I listened to this advice and the only thing it did for me was I got stuck in a job that was making me unhappy much longer. I understand that many people have this mindset and they are operating from a space where they can’t afford to leave their full-time job because their business isn’t on a level that will make them feel financially secured yet. Know that I feel you and I see you.
When I stopped listening to this advice and just went for it, I had three months’ worth of savings but didn’t really have a backup plan. However, I think that when I stopped listening to this advice, it worked for me because I am someone who works so well under pressure and tight deadlines. When I find my ass on fire, I am going to find an ice bucket if I need to!
I won’t lie and tell you that when I resigned from my corporate job, it was SCARY and STRESSFUL (you can listen to my full story here if you’re curious). But I am glad that I took a leap of faith. In hindsight, everything would have been easier if I had actual clients lined up and I had more savings, but still, I am happy with how everything fell into place. This experience of mine just showed me that I can deal, figure out, and go through any type of situation thrown my way!
I have mixed feelings about this one because on one hand, I am aware of the importance of specializing and niching down as you grow and scale your business. However, I didn’t entirely believe that you need to niche down as quickly as possible in the early stages of your entrepreneurial journey.
This is because when I started learning about design, branding, and strategies, I watched a video where it said that you should choose what path you truly want to follow, learn as much about it, and focus on that path alone. The problem with this approach though, is when you are starting out and especially when you are self-taught, how would you know what path you truly want to take if you only dipped your toes in one niche?
A better advice for niching down would then be experiment first with different paths until you find what you truly want to do, focus on, makes you happy, and lights up the fire inside of you! Once you find what this path is, that’s when you can scale and build a sustainable business from it.
It took me more time than what I initially wanted to zone in on what I want my business to specialize in but that’s okay. My journey is mine and I’m glad I didn’t try to niche down and specialize in the first thing I tried.
This is something I heard a lot throughout my journey especially from the older generation of entrepreneurs. The biggest problem I have with this piece of advice is that MONEY CAN BE ANYWHERE. It’s in industries when we think there’s no money in there.
Let me share with you when I worked with huge companies because they pay well. However, most often than not, the experience was terrible. I’m not saying that every big company would make your experience awful, but for me, it wasn’t who I personally wanted to work with. It comes down to values.
So, instead of going where the money is, I decided I wanted to really get to know who I want to serve and work with. If you get to know your ideal client by heart and you truly make the time to understand their pain points so you can provide the solution that they need, trust me when I say, money will be no problem.
I actually have a really useful free workbook to help you discover your Ideal Client – you can check it out here.
In one way, the people who advised me this were right. We have to toughen up if we want to grow our business. However, on the flip side, being real, authentic, and transparent really helped me build my business to what it is today.
I know that showing up as my real and authentic self to my audience is something that they truly appreciated. When you are authentic, you will reign in the people who will definitely want to work with you.
I definitely did not follow this advice because I give everything to my audience freely and generously. Having this kind of set-up in my business didn’t stop it from reaching the six-figure mark.
Truly, this is a mindset issue. In reality, nobody gives a crap about your secrets or your value. You aren’t reinventing the wheel with your approach. So many other businesses in your industry have different approaches that work for them.
What will make your business stand out are not your processes but YOU as a business owner, your experiences, and your unique skills and tools that you can impart to your audiences.
If you do not provide value and hold on to all of that knowledge that you have, and you share these only with people who pay you, you may never actually get people to pay you more because they can’t see the value that you can potentially bring them. So, give freely and generously because if more people will get inspired by the value that you share, that means you are doing something right.
Oh man, this is probably the most outdated advice any business can adhere to. Things have changed since 1909, the year when this was adopted by many businesses. The intention behind this quote was good but if you prioritize EVERY client experience over your business, you will definitely let them overpower your work, your decisions, and your business as a whole.
While you should craft an amazing experience for your clients, a part of this experience should be clear boundaries and expectations in place so your clients respect your opinion and see your value in your services.
Maybe this is still true to this day. But, with the many different platforms that businesses can make themselves be seen by their target audiences, you will definitely be drowned out if you do not sell or advertise to your people. There is a lot of work involved behind the scenes so that you can put your product in front of the right people, right time, and right platform.
I can attest to this personally because when I opened the One6Creative Academy in 2020, it could have been a flop. The products were freaking awesome and they bring tremendous results to my students, but if I was not proactive, people will not learn about them and purchase them. That is why you need to do your research when creating a product or service that solves a problem and later put in a lot of effort in the marketing aspect so the people who need it will see it.
So there you have it, eight advices I am glad I didn’t listen to. I hope you learned a lot from this blog and let me know what other pieces of advice you did not listen to and actually helped your business! If you want to learn more about my story of entrepreneurship, make sure to tune in to this episode on the podcast where I share my journey from Undervalued Designer to running my six-figure design business on my terms.
So there you have it, eight advices I am glad I didn’t listen to. I hope you learned a lot from this blog and let me know what other pieces of advice you did not listen to and actually helped your business!