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5 things I've learned since taking my business seriously.

The culture and ecosystem of business has intrigued me for my entire life. From fortune 500s to the corner store I frequented as a kid, the world of business was the land I loved to travel. I always knew I wanted to be a businesswoman. I just did not know in what capacity.

Hedonist is the result of that dream. To own something, to provide something, and to have a tangible result of applying what I learn on this journey. As a black woman, I believe it is important to share knowledge and uplift those around me. When I recall stories of black commerce from my mom and grandma, I always hear an air of helping others. When we all share, we all grow.

I completed my first pop up shop this year and stood alongside another black female entrepreneur who I had the pleasure of connecting with at the beginning of my journey. She is the kindest person I ever came across, and because she represented a protype of myself, she was my mirror that day. She reminded me that I am capable and that I can do this.

This year I am giving as much effort as possible. From my very first pop up shop on Juneteenth of '21, to launching my website, to being more vocal about this business on social media, there has been a lot that I am learning. Even this blog. I am still working through it, figuring it out as I go along. I still feel as if I have something to share for people who are considering this path, part time or full time.

Therefore, these are the 5 things I have learned since taking my business seriously...

1) I am good enough, but I am learning.

This one has been getting easier. In our society things come out the box almost perfect. Social media pages, brick and mortar stores, everything looks like perfection when it reaches us. This left me feeling very inadequate. I wasn't always giving myself the credit for showing up because I wasn't showing up like these other entities.

Lately that feeling has simmered because I actively do the work, and just remind myself that I am in the beginning stages of a business. The bells and whistles cost money, time, or both. When I get to that level, I can invest more, but for now my business looks good. I am proud of how she shows up. Everyone is starting from a different place, but it started. Being able to celebrate small wins and remind myself I am good enough and I am learning has been my biggest lesson.

2) Be confident enough to do it, be humble enough to work through it.

This sounds similar to the first thing I learned but it is very different. I am a product of 15 years of retail. I am confident in so many of my abilities. Waiting for something to be just right, means it will probably never happen. I learned that being humble meant taking feedback from others but also myself, and going back and making changes, nothing is permanent!

Take this blog for example. I know I want it to be a component of my brand. I like reading brand blogs as a way to connect with the brands I love aside from just being a consumer. It wasn't until I started writing where I realized I didn't know what to write about. I am confident enough in my ability as a writer that the posts won't be terrible. I am confident enough that one day I will have very enriching posts. However, I am humble enough that right now it isn't necessarily the case. But I will work through it.

3) I will fuck up....a lot

Fucking up will look different for different people in different areas of business. I am still sitting on product from my very first inventory purchase. I almost forget to pay invoices because I am using my personal funds to purchase inventory. I cannot always describe in a drop of a dime what my store is and why you should support it. The list goes on. I had to become comfortable with trial and error. I had to become comfortable with not having the answers. It is what it is. Then I refer to the first thing I learned, and I am ok.

4) You may not make any money for a long time

This one is really starting to sink in. Entrepreneurs do what they love. Yes, money is a factor, but you go so long without it, something else has to drive you everyday. I currently work 2 jobs and I am a single mother. I have little regular money, let alone money to invest in a business that will not bring me real profit for a while. I do this because it has always been a dream and a passion of mine.

This dawned on me recently when I completed my first pop up shop of the year. I made a profit on the items I purchased, but I had invoices to pay, my time for being at the shop for 8+ hours, the hours spent into updating my inventory after, researching products, and restocking. The immediate money I made that day was profitable, but when I really thought about it, I did not make any money.

Remembering my why has become very important.

4) I am only one person.

The aesthetic of running my own business seemed much cuter honestly. The cute desk, working on my laptop, having a store. But the nitty gritty is I am a one-man operation. I try and keep up with my social media, the website, buying for the store, writing, doing the admin. It is a lot of work. I am still learning to plan and prioritize the things I want for my business, the same way I would for someone else's. When I am having a day where I am hard on myself, I take a deep breath and remember I am one person, juggling a lot of jobs,

5) Have fun!

I was not having fun in the beginning of my journey. My tone for everything was I have to get this done, and this done, and it quickly became overwhelming. Owning my own business is a lot of work, but it is also very exciting. It is exciting to watch myself learn, grow, and share. When I changed that panicked tone into a more excited tone, the tasks became more manageable and a lot more fun.

I am excited to see what this space turns into. I am excited to share here. I am excited to see what community engages in this space. Maybe I will write another one by the end of the year. We shall see!!

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