5 Things I wish Someone Told Me...
1. "Amy, you are not helping yourself at ALL by saving money to do your own designs." At the time I had very little design experience and I am going for full transparency here, my marketing looked awful. I have had TONS of practice since then and now feel comfortable doing my own designs, but if you have little to no training, it’s a worthwhile investment to have good online presence. There’s too much competition to be mediocre. So… invest a little money and hire someone to design your logo or take some photography! 2. "Amy, your client is not just doing you a favor by hiring you. You're offering them something of immense value, too" When I started believing this, the leads turned to clients almost overnight. I realized that what I offer is a valuable service because it gives my clients something they can never get back, and that is their TIME. (And I do a darn good job making them look good as well.) When I adapted to that mindset, not only did my confidence in myself soar, but my clients’ confidence in me seemed to skyrocket as well. What I needed to learn was that entering into a partnership with a client is a strong win-win for both of us, not just for me. 3. "Hey Amy, that moment when you are on the floor in the fetal position crying because you think you can't do this? On the other side of that is victory." I personally believe that we have an enemy of our souls that wants us to quit and—usually at the point where we are about to experience a beautiful breakthrough—will try to convince us that “if you can’t run your company well, you should just shut it down completely.” At least that was the lie I was believing one evening after I made a mistake. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was on the verge of making a huge leap in my company. It was as if I was climbing a mountain and I wanted to quit when I had only 20 more steps to go to reach the top that I couldn’t see. Thank God I pressed on. Now when I get those moments of despair, I get excited, because I realize that I am about to hit another peak!
"I am convinced that half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from non-successful ones is pure perseverance." - Steve Jobs
4. "Amy, you need to take care of your health even before you take care of your clients." I had a nasty habit of putting myself last, and to be honest, I still struggle with this a little bit. I would put off self-care completely, believing that I should use every extra second of free time to work on my business or take care of my clients. That worked okay for me in my 20s, but I learned that my 30s are a whole different ball game, and I get tired more easily, and nobody warned me this would happen (lol).
If I am not practicing self-care, then I am not giving my clients my best work. On an airplane, we are told to put on our masks before helping others, because if you run out of oxygen yourself, you can’t help anyone else with THEIR oxygen mask. 5. "Amy, you are NOT the only reason you are successful." Yes, you may have a talent, sacrificed a lot, and worked your butt off—so no imposter syndrome allowed—but stay humble, because not everyone has had the privileges you’ve had: The best parents who gave you free housing during your start-up years, an amazing pastor who mentored you to keep going, a God who worked every little detail out for your good, a friend who referred you to an amazing client for no reason other than to support you, and about 8 thousand other people and scenarios. They all played a part in where you are today, so never get arrogant. Also, be so generous that it even hurts a little, because you have people to thank for your success, some you will never even know about or get the chance to meet.