If you're new to running a business, a personal brand, or are a seasoned entrepreneur, you'll know that's it's pretty damn tough! Yes, there are late nights and early mornings. Yes, things will break down and go wrong. No, you won't make money immediately. You will, unequivocally, not be an overnight success. And no, you're not alone.
There are some pretty Universal truths in the world of entrepreneurship; some struggles that you'll all go through at some stage. A lot of it, however, is all in your mindset. If you're highly-motivated, determined, disciplined, and want it enough, you should be fine. But what about you guys who aren't quite settled on a growth mindset? I've worked with hoards of entrepreneurs at this stage and here are some things I've learned along the way.
1. Start Collaborating; Stop Competing
"Darragh, my market is saturated to the balls. There are way too many talented fashion bloggers/stylists like me in Dublin..."
You're right. I could walk down Fade Street right at this very moment, and find about twenty-three part-time fashion bloggers trying to earn their crust flogging the latest skinny tea. But I ask you this: do they write exactly the same way you do? Do they shoot, record and edit their YouTube videos exactly the same way as you do, with the same b-roll and electro-swing tune? Would they style a leather jacket with the exact same pieces as you would? Probably not. When you shift your focus from Everyone & Their Mother Has Done This, to, Okay, How Can I Take This & Put My Own Spin On It, you'll start noticing a difference. If you can't be original, just be authentic.
Action Step: What if you could start working with people in your space, as opposed to trying to get ahead of them? Think, how can we help each other? Maybe try guest posting on each other's blogs or working on a YouTube collaboration.
2. Stop Always Saying ‘Yes’
When you're getting off the ground it can be so tempting to say YES to every single deal that comes your way. Sure, I'll tell my followers I can't live without this car air freshener, even though...I don't have a car! Take the example of an underwear brand working with an influencer in the United States. Is this collaboration really going serve both parties? Before any kind of collaboration or offer, ask yourself: Will I Look Back & Cringe About This in Five Years? In the same way, they say there's no such thing as bad publicity. Before doing any PR, ask: Will This Give Me Positive Exposure?
Action Step: A great way to make a business decision is to ask a simple question: Is this in line with my brand values? If it's not a hell yes, it's a hell no.
3. Start Embracing Negative Feedback
When I worked in bars and restaurants, years ago, I always had an issue with the whole "the customer is always right"! I call B.S on that. Years on, I have slightly shifted my focus on this. Sure, there will be someone who is being a dick for the sake of it. But when you're trying to grow a brand, you must listen to everyone. Remember, opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one!
Action Step: Act as if every piece of content, or every product you put out there is a test. And always listen to feedback, it will, absolutely, benefit you and help you scale your brand and grow. if you can add value with content, then your customer can add value with comments.
4. Stop Asking for Permission
Do you think Rosa Parks asked someone could she sit at the front of that bus? No, she sat her activist ass right down like a mutha fuckin' boss. How about you? Think about how many times you've been apprehensive about doing something bold, new, or even a little ballsy. How many times have you secretly felt unworthy of the life and business you want. You know your future self is getting a little tired of waiting for you to catch up with them. You need to stop talking, and start doing. STOP asking for permission. No one, not one other person will grant you permission to go after the life you want. Only you.
Action Step: Be a rule breaker. Do that thing, today, that you've been waiting to do. Take action! Start up that business; launch that product; write that book.
If you want more entrepreneurial content, have a look at These Entrepreneurs Your Boss Wants To Know About!