"How did you start?" is one of the most frequent questions people ask me about Compliment.
The answer to that question isn’t all that hard: I just did. I didn’t feel super “ready.” I didn't have all my proverbial "ducks in a row."
I summoned all my might to silence my inner critic and all the CAN’T Monsters in my head, and I jumped into the unknown.
I’d always loved playing with beads and making jewelry for myself, my friends and my family. That wasn’t new. I had some help getting the nuts and bolts of business licensure, etc. but really, I just trusted my good idea would be seen by other people who also thought it was a good idea.
This belief is still what drives me now that I am a year and half into being a business owner of a creative company.
Have you ever thought about turning something you love into a business? Do you have a gift or a talent you know the world would love, but you just don’t know how to “get it out there?”
By no means am I an expert at all things small business (yet!), but on this journey I've talked to so many people doing what they love and they all share some common core beliefs. I've learned that there are three valuable attitudes you MUST-HAVE before you take a leap of faith:
1. Believe in yourself and your product.
At the beginning of this pursuit, I was surrounded by a few people who REALLY believed Compliment could be something significant, and a few who chuckled, patted my head, and treated this little venture to be nothing more than a cute, silly, whim. Unfortunately for them, they play less and less of a role in my life now that my business is thriving. I have no doubt that my jewelry (and the sentiments that accompany it) bring people great joy. And the people who are willing to walk alongside me in that belief have room to be in my life. The others? They can find their own path.
2. If you can’t figure it out, ask for help.
If you’ve been with me on this Compliment journey since the beginning, you’ll remember the clunky website I designed myself. Newsflash: I have exactly ZERO web-coding knowledge. I knew I needed to relaunch my site with a new and improved aesthetic, so I hired someone. BEST. DECISION. EVER.
3. Seek advice from others who are doing what you want to be doing.
If I knew any jewelry designer/small business owner/teacher/writer/editor friends, I’d hit ‘em up, but I don’t. I’m the only one I know! So I have opened myself up to meeting new people who are doing one or two of the things I’m doing--and doing them successfully! Then I pick their brains for all they can teach me. This has led me on quite a few Google searches, lemme tell ya!
The recent result?
I took a HUGE leap of faith and invested in an online class specifically for designers (think ETSY shop owners, or those aspiring) wanting to take their businesses to the next level. The program is called the Flourish and Thrive Academy. (Hello?! I want to flourish! I want to thrive! Perfect name!) The women who teach the program are Tracy (a fine-jewelry designer from NYC who is making a LOT of money doing what she loves) and Robin (the former lead-salesperson for Dogearred Jewelry: one of my fave brands--aside from Compliment, of course!) You may have noticed slight changes in the way I'm putting Compliment out there, and may notice more developments to come. It's due, in large part, to the things I’ve learned through Flourish and Thrive. It’s been such an amazing experience, that I felt I just had to share, especially because they have, for just a few weeks, a free training series with step-by-step instructions on how to create more freedom in your life doing what you love. (Check out the video series here. I’m starting it this weekend and I’d love to have you join in the conversation with me!)
I tell you this because many people who are attracted to my line are also attracted to the idea of honoring the Self and making room in their lives to do what they really love.
Compliment does that for me.
What does it for you? Leave your comments below and join in on the conversation! Do you know someone who is ready to grow their creative business? Forward this to them!
And....I’m off! Gonna go have lunch with my friend Nikki and plan a little for Sacramento’s 2nd Saturday Art Walk this weekend! Compliment is going to have a table set up outside Identity Boutique on J Street! If you’re local, I hope to see you there!
Have a great week!