When I began my first official business nine years ago, I had no clue what I was doing. As a new entrepreneur, I was excited by the idea of controlling my own destiny, making my own hours and pursuing a craft that I loved. I certainly had no idea that this path would change me and shape my character in so many ways.
As a recovering perfectionist and control-freak I’ve learned a lot on this journey; along with some important business insights, I’ve learned a lot about myself and life. So, in honour of my new website launch and all the work it took to get to here, I’ve decided to share the nine big lessons I’ve learned, and remind myself of often, while on this crazy adventure called entrepreneurship. I’ve written them as a letter to my younger self and I’m excited to share them with you. Perhaps I can save someone a little time and ease some fears along the way.
1. On Process:
You’re going to want to rush everything. You’re going to think you’ve failed for not reaching your goals fast enough. You’re going to compare your “beginning” to other peoples' “middle” and this will confuse you, creating unnecessary anxiety and stress. Learn to enjoy the ride; from the highest highs to lowest lows, every twist and turn is leading you somewhere greater than what you can even imagine right now.
2. On Trust:
In order to make this work, you’re going to need a massive amount of trust in yourself and in the universe. Practice trust and surrender every day. Whenever you think you are in control, you are simply making things harder than they need to be. Everything will be fine once you surrender to your path and realize that you are the only thing getting in your own way.
3. On Energy:
Your energy is a magnet. You will notice that as you grow and evolve, your energy will change too. That vibration will bring new people and experiences into your life. Always be mindful of your energy and honour it like you would your health. Learn to protect it and manage it. It’s a gift.
4. On Relationships:
The people you surround yourself with will impact your success and your ability to achieve your dreams. Let go of the people who want you to play small. Never stop seeking your tribe: the people who make it safe to simply be you. A healthy and inspiring network will lead you places you could never go alone.
5. On Fear:
Fear will cripple you some days. It will cause you to overanalyze your decisions and make you feel vulnerable and small. These moments will pass and the rush you will feel once you lean into these fears will help you learn and grow. Always look at fear as an indicator of something great on the other side.
6. On Advice:
There will be no shortage of people who will tell you what you should do. They will share their truth as if it is your own. The will want to fix and impose solutions on you. Be wary of these people and learn to decipher when their advice is real and when it’s simply there own shit showing up. Choose your teachers wisely and never trust a self-proclaimed "guru."
7. On Confidence:
Your confidence will waver; some days you will feel worthy, and other days you will want to shrink away so small no one can see you. Cultivate a deep sense of self-love. Be gentle with yourself because if you aren’t, no one else will be. Putting yourself out there will require you to not take everything personally. This will be a big lesson for you.
8. On Authenticity:
You will learn that being authentic is about integration. It’s about years of inner work, going off track sometimes, and practicing being your true self within a safe community. It’s a journey, a constant unfolding and willingness to share your vulnerability with others. Authenticity is revealing your raw truth at any stage of the journey, whether it’s perfect or not.
9. On Success:
You will start this journey thinking that success for you is a six-figure income, a loving husband and a few children. You will come to learn that this is not true. Instead you will wake up one day and realize that you have everything you need and none of that is attached to people or things. You will feel successful when you realize you already have everything you need. Success is having deep gratitude for being you.
I’d love to hear about your lessons. What have you learned about yourself, life or business on your journey. Please share in the comments below.
Love and light, Heather