Starting your own business is exciting, exhilarating and terrifying all the same time.
I was very naive 6 years ago when I first launched Dushi Designs and the reality of entrepreneurship was NOT what I thought it was going to be!
Here’s a few home truths about what I thought opening an online store 6 years ago would look like… and then what actually happened….
💻 I totally thought that once I built my website people from all over the world would come flocking to it…. Didn’t happen!
I had learn the hard way by studying SEO, marketing, and social media on the fly.
It took my ages to put each piece of the puzzle together to increase traffic and grow my sales.
💥 Completely thought my first promo video would go viral…. Nope, didn’t happen!
It got a handful of views and I am pretty sure they were friends and family!
🇦🇼 1000% thought that I would become BFF’s with Aruba Tourism Authority and they would share all my content so I could tap in to their audience/market… That never happened either… Still patiently waiting! Ha! Ha! 😂
📧 Thought every store on the island would be flooding my inbox asking to stock Dushi Designs merchandise… Nope that one didn’t happen either 😥
Aruba operates on a “friends and family” system (don’t @ me for this, you know what I am talking about! Ha!) So if you don’t know someone who knows someone then you ain’t gonna get a “lucky break” 🍀
Instead, I worked like a boss and made my own “luck” by knocking on doors, sending out lots of emails, curating my catalog and not giving up.
🍴 Completely thought I would be one of those “ladies who lunch” who has so much free time and energy to do what she pleases… Truth is, I work more hours now than I ever did in any of my old jobs. The difference is I get so much more gratification now and that makes all the early starts and late nights totally worthwhile!
📣 I thought that everyone would be cheering me on from the sidelines, super proud of me and celebrating my small wins and successes… Turns out not everyone likes it when you are happy, doing what you love and becoming successful… Who knew?!
It’s taken a long time for me to really understand how important it is to surround yourself with positive, uplifting people who are genuinely happy for you and want to see you go far. I never imagined that a lot of those people would be who I met and made friends with via Instagram through my business!
💭 My thought process 6+ years ago is so different to what it is now.
I am thankful for every knock back, every failure and every missed opportunity because they have taught me so much and pushed me to work even harder.
❤️ And I am forever thankful for each and every one of you who has supported and encouraged me either from the start or more recently. You will never truly know just how much that means to me!
So, if you are thinking of starting out in the enticing world of “entrepreneurship” just remember that hard work, passion, determination and always backing yourself is what will ultimately make you succeed!
If I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice it would be this:
Always go with your gut
Collaboration over competition wins every time
Be kind. It's an important skill to maintain in business
Do your research... On everything!
If you can't do something ask for help
Keep your inner circle tight
Surround yourself with like-minded people
Give yourself a break, mentally, emotionally and physically, your business will be more productive if you all yourself some time off
If you fail, fail fast, learn from it and move on
Don't give up on YOUR dreams, they are YOURS and no one else's
💣 So there you have it, my truth bombs…
Did you learn anything?
Did any surprise you?…
Fellow entrepreneurs, can you relate?…
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