Life of an Entrepreneur: Finding your Identity

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Here in America, job stability is something that many people struggle to obtain. Even some of the hardest jobs to fill are being cut back, in turn making it harder to provide basic needs and cover mandatory bills such as rent, gas or electric. People all over the world know what it means to work a job here or there to bring in a little extra money. But for the some, they push the envelope a little harder and decide to start their own business. Some people start their own business to have some extra money and to have more time with their family; while other entrepreneurs start their own business to one day achieve a rich level of job stability; not to forget, the opportunity to be themselves and implement their own ideas and dominate a market in a way that in a traditional job would kill their vibes.

When I started De’Borah Bloom, I just wanted to crochet a few scarves and make a few sets of earrings. I had a vision of being a restaurant owner and thought that maybe DB could help me learn the ropes on a small scale. After 2 years I attended my first festival as a vendor and received wonderful feedback and support. That is when I realized I needed to change my vision because my goal was too small. I realized then, that I wanted to be a walking work of art, I want to travel all over the world and bring economic gain and growth to my community then to the community of others. I want to start off with my flagship store and then grow and add a cafe to it, then add another location, then another location.

I realized I didn’t truly have the support I thought I would when some of my closest friends and family members left me hanging. It was very discouraging at first, but I pushed myself forward. I realized early on that you can’t tell your plans to everyone because everyone won’t help propel you in the right direction with positive vibrations. I did confide in others that I was out in the street grinding to their fullest potential, their words helped me through my support woes.
Even with the support of certain core friends, and the new friendships made, I still felt alone at times. I felt like people only saw the completed website, the finished video, the complete table display and the smile on my face. No one knew the real struggle of staying up late after you’ve worked a full time day job; getting up early in the morning to fill orders and take them to the post office before work. No one knew the countless hours of designing products, designing email blasts, counting crochet stitches, and so much more. I became a soundboard when people would ask me how my business was going. This skill is detrimental when speaking to the people that you know only asked you in order to start small talk, when you know they don’t really care. I would say “everything is going great;” or “You know De’Borah Bloom is my baby,” when all actuality I need to get back to the house so I can finish the graphics so I can launch a new campaign tomorrow.

I grew numb and thickened skin when I would reach out to someone to collaborate and they either rescheduled a million times or they ghost you, then pop up at an event and act as if you were the one that didn’t have time. I became automated then by saying “Well, I’m ready whenever you are, just let me know.” Leaving the door open in case they ever got their act together.

Then vending season hits and you’re set up in a million places for the month and you have to dress a certain way, schedule your life a certain way and your friends don’t understand that. I would turn down grown and sexy club outings with some of my friends because I was at a spoken word event, working. Never did I feel bad about it, because the vibes were always wonderful and my customers show me nothing but love, but explaining to my friends why I can’t attend their birthday party was a conversation I was never ready to have. I’m sorry but I can’t go to happy hour from 5pm-7pm; I have an event to vend that starts at 5:30pm. I can’t go to the family reunion because I have a table at a festival that weekend. While brainstorming this vary post, I had to decline a trip to Vegas! Vegas?! I’ve always wanted to go to Vegas but I have prior obligations.

You’ll find yourself being frustrated and end up in a mix of alternative plans. You know, when you’ve told someone an idea or goal that you’ve had but they end up pushing their agenda on you to get you to be on board with them in hopes that you’ll ditch your dream and help them achieve theirs. That’s never a good situation to be in, seldom times do people even realize its happening to them until they’re spending countless hours on someone else’s event but scrambling to find time to finish task for their own business.

Throughout all of the constant ups and the downs, the type of events you attend, to the way you dress, how you approach your social media, even down to the time you find to go out on a date, you have to change your approach in many ways because you’re now in the spotlight and want people to take you seriously. But what happens when you want to toss the whole idea in the trash and walk away? I’ll tell you exactly what to do:

  1. Remember your why. Without it you’re not going to have the passion and motivation to press on. Without knowing why you want to succeed more than you want to breath, you’ll never fight for air.
  2. Learn to keep your mouth shut. Pay attention to the people that don’t cheer for you when you tell them about your accomplishments. These are the people you need to be on the lookout for, they’re commonly known as vibe killers. They’ll kill any glimmer of light by downplaying your business, making you feel guilty for not being able to attend minor events with them, they’ll try and talk you out of the vary things you’re passionate about.
  3. Your goals aren’t big enough. If you find yourself becoming frustrated with small roadblocks, maybe you’re goals just aren’t big enough. Stop thinking on the level of I just want to make a couple hundred dollars for the holiday season, because when the holidays are over, you’re now in a dead space trying to figure out what’s next. My goal is to have a brick and mortar location, once I achieve that I’ll be working on additional locations. Now I have a larger goal that offers a little bit of opportunity to redirect my focus as long as the end goal is achieved.
  4. Find time to distance yourself. Take a walk in the park, go treat yourself to a glass of wine and a book at a local restaurant. Go out and attend an event you’ve never imagined yourself attending ten years ago, make sure it stimulates your senses. Link up with an old friend and catch up on life; briefly talk about your business if it comes up, nothing too in depth, the goal is to clear your mind. Get a manicure, a new outfit, or jacket, make yourself feel good about yourself and watch your mindset change.
  5. Find your tribe. Find someone that can and will mentor you to achieve your greatest potential. You’d want to find someone that has been where you’d like to be in life, someone that is possibly older and more wiser than you. Then also find others that will hold you accountable for your goals. If you say you’re going to have a new blog by Saturday, they’ll be calling you asking you where they can read it. You’ll most likely get it completed before Saturday and have the finished product, everyone loves the proud feeling of delivering what they said they’d do.
  6. Stop asking for permission. If you want to do something, do it. Stop asking others if it’s okay for you to live your life and go out there and achieve your goals. No one can insure your happiness but you, don’t go through life wishing you’d done things bigger and better. Reach your elder years saying, life was amazing, I tried everything I ever wanted.

Don’t lose a sense of who you are by conforming to social standards, and by redirecting yourself to hold onto friends, because if they really cared about you, they should be some of your biggest fans. And if they aren’t allow them to serve their certain purpose in your life and keep moving. Not every friend is going to be a complete package for you, some will be great for traveling, some for conversation, others for fun events just adjust accordingly and be yourself. Let go of that safety net and do the things that scare you you’ll be amazed at how fast you grow.

Be yourself and live your life unapologetically.

 

 

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Life of an Entrepreneur: Keep a Positive News Feed
Accepting Multiple Forms of Payment
Life of an Entrepreneur: Accepting Multiple Forms of Payments

 

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Life of and Entrepreneur: Accepting Multiple Forms of Payments

haute-chocolate-styled-stock-photography-spring-2016-blush-pink-marble-15-final.jpgAffiliate links may be present on this post 

Many entrepreneurs that sell a product resort to purchasing vendor spaces for the opportunity to gain exposure and additional sales. But little do we know, many people are unwilling to purchase from vendors with their cards because they’re unsure of the vendor’s security methods. Be honest with yourself, if you have ever had a fraudulent transaction process against your account or, watched how it flipped a loved ones life upside down, you too maybe on the fence with a street vendor.

There’s a way minimize this issue……

Be professional and on top of your “A game,” No one wants to give their money to someone that is unsure of what they’re doing. Check your body language; what does it say about you? Does it tell your customers you’re the boss, capable of handling the transaction and standing behind your work? Or are you anxious, shaky and uncomfortable? Make sure you know the answers to all of the major procedures and cash handling facts before you ever begin processing payments. Know how payment will be made, how long it takes to receive a refund, your refund policies and the security of your payment methods; start there and you’re off to a good start.

Use multiple ways to accept cash if people are unsure. Never bring less than $40 in change for small events and $200 in change for large events. You will thank me later.

Many people have a Paypal account, it’s secure, you don’t see any billing information and they actually feel better about the transaction.  You can send invoices, receive payments and accept deposits. You can even email receipts for cash transactions.

If you have a website, I use Shopify. (I am an affiliate) . But for your own personal store, explore your options on getting a secure payment method linked to your site. You can even manage your inventory and accept payments online and in person. Just Set up your shop, download the  POS app and  order your card reader. FYI they have a wireless card reader that is connected via Bluetooth that will allow you to swipe cards and accept a chip. I have never been more in love with a card reader before; mine works wonderful; I can send invoices, check my sales daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. You can link apps to your site to help with time management, inventory, emails marketing and more on your back page.

If you’d like to try Shopify free for 14 days, Click the affiliate link and get started on your online store today. If you don’t like your store, you don’t have to keep it, I’m sure you’ll love it though.

Try Shopify free for 14 days

Square was like the first ones to do it, but of course they’re not the only ones now; yeah the name is recognizable for older buyers so it may work in your favor. I had a card reader but it was misplaced, so I panicked thinking I couldn’t use the app, just type the numbers in and you’re still in the game. You can set it up for fingertip signature and zip code verification.

Square Cash– now I don’t really use this much, but it’s good to have. I tell people all the time, I know a million ways to TAKE your money. This is an app that you download on your phone and exchange payment with a phone number. They tell you their phone number, you send an invoice amount after typing in their number, they receive a message, accept the amount to be paid and the money is moved to your account. This also works well if you and your friends are out at a restaurant and the checks can’t be split, send the money to one person and they can pay the bill. If you have to pay for something, you can just send the money right on over to them with the touch of a couple buttons. They are a branch of Square, and you can even snag an official debit card to link to your account.

Of course the list of card processing apps are endless, I could go on for days. Just make sure whichever methods you use, you make sure it’s right for you and right for your customers. Many apps charge fees per transaction. Do the numbers and make sure you’re not losing too much money.

Hopefully this information helps you, take a moment and dive out there, tell me which apps work best for you and why. Good luck

 

ripl_image_1506025625318
Life of an Entrepreneur: Keep a Positive News Feed
Life of and Entrepreneur: Finding your Identity
Life of an Entrepreneur: Finding your Identity