Thursday, June 11, 2009
Exactly two years ago today, I woke up an "Auntrepreneur." It was on June 12, 2007 that I decided to start the company of my dreams. I didn't know it then, but it was the happiest day of my life.
I have learned so much as an entrepreneur over the last two years - the first year spent developing the brand and SavvyAuntie.com, and the second year seeing the brand and website launch and grow. Savvy Auntie is a multi-platform media company. You've only see the tip of the iceberg....
I thought this milestone was a good time to reflect on a few of the things I've learned over the last two years.
30 things I've learned as an Auntrepreneur:
1) Believing in yourself in more important than having anyone else believe in you.
2) Believing in yourself makes other people believe in you.
3) Success is relative. It's important to relish each success. Then move on to a higher goal immediately thereafter.
4) "You should..." is the hardest thing for me to hear. Not being able to meet others' expectations of me or my ability to engage their good, sometimes really great ideas, is something I am not yet comfortable with. I hear "you shoulds" just about every day. I should learn to let it go.
5) I've learned that by sharing my journey, others are inspired. It's a pretty easy way to pay it forward.
6) All the things I enjoyed doing as a kid are skills I bring to the task now. I loved theatre, for example, which helps me feel comfortable on stage.
7) Respect is something you earn...not once, but every single day.
8) When colleagues in various stages of my career said to me: "You are meant for bigger things," they were right. I'm just now understanding what they meant.
9) I've learned that I'm talented at things I never knew I was talented at. Entrepreneurship is bringing out the best in me and I'm so loving what I am learning about myself.
10) I've learned that curiosity is one of the most valuable assets I have, so I've learned to be more curious, more open and more accessible to diverse ideas and new people.
11) I've learned that I don't have time for a hobby. And I'm ok with that.
12) I've learned that I don't work really hard because I love what I do. I work really hard because that's what it takes. Loving it is the reward.
13) I've learned that a 5 year old can be proud of her Auntie
14) I've learned that friends are very supportive and embracing of my entrepreneurship. And thanks to Facebook, they know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.
15) I've learned that I don't need a lot of clothes and shoes after all.
16) I've learned that making really smart business decisions feels really good.
17) I've learned that every problem has a solution if you really, truly believe it does.
18) I've learned that as much as you may inspire a stranger, their telling you that can be incredibly empowering.
19) Happiness is a decision I make every day. The days I forget to do that, I'm not happy.
20) Some people really do hang on to every word I say.
21) What I don't know, someone else does. They also know the stuff I didn't know to ask them about.
22) I've learned that people are incredibly generous with kindness.
23) I've learned that I can do just about anything I set my mind to do.
24) I've taught myself how to accept imperfection.
25) I've learned that it's not what you know. It's not who you know. It's you. It's 100% you.
26) Goals are limiting, if you think about it.
27) You don't become an overnight success overnight. I studied entrepreneurship, branding, marketing, business management and self-motivation for almost 20 years (on my own - outside of school and work) before I started my company. I just needed the right idea to become an entrepreneur.
28) No one has asked me what school I went to or what my GPA was.
29) Every single day is valuable and gets my company one or multiple steps further along it's way. It sounds trite, but I now have 730 days to prove it.
30) I take my company personally. And I'm ok with that.
What have you learned as an entrepreneur?
PS - Save the Date! Savvy Auntie's Day is July 26th and were planning some fabulous stuff for Savvy Aunties and for those who love them.