When I first mentioned that I wanted to create a company in Miramichi that offered services such as graphic / web design and social media coaching, someone told me, "that won't work here", so I put it on the back burner. In January of this year, I receive a message asking me to take over the social management for our local tourism association. "Wow", I thought to myself, "maybe this could work" and to the front burner it went. Here are things I learned!
1. Just do it!
ChelsB Coaching & Design was first created one February night in a caffeine fuelled frenzy from the website and social media pages to filing for an HST number, a process referred to as creating the "minimum lovable product". Just get your idea out there and see how the world reacts to it. "Perfect is the enemy of finished". My business model wasn't perfect and I had to evolve my way into it, later changing to ChelsB Creative Design.
2. Don't Be the Smartest Person in The Room
Despite my public persona, I am not what you would call a "social butterfly" and meeting new people can often make me nervous. One of the best things I have done for myself is get myself out there by attending events / conferences and joining organizations. There are so many amazing people out there who you can learn so much from if you just take the time to listen.
3. Your Tribe = Your Vibe
Running a business is difficult enough as it is, don't make it tougher by surrounding yourself with negative people. Over the last six months I have met all of the people you see above. They have encouraged me, mentored me, been patient with me and let me bounce ideas off them (or rant to them).
4. Take You Time
Don't burn yourself out. Take the time to participate in activities you love: go for a walk or yoga glass, see your family, remember to eat your lunch.
5. Find Your Own Path
There can be a lot of pressure about what you "should" be doing. I am a Biochemistry student who also travel blogs who also works in a technology start up who also owns a digital marketing company. I've met engineers who own a lunch company and know a lawyer who has a donut side hustle. Who you are now may not even be what you are six months from now, don't be afraid to change and evolve (like my business card game!).
6. Insta vs. IRL
It's so easy to compare yourself to others but you have to remember Instagram (or what people are putting out there) is the highlight reel, not the full film. This past spring I had the chance to spend two months travelling, while my Instagram was full of great photos (like the left), real life also included spending my days working and taking client calls at very strange hours.
7. Keep It Local
Supporting local businesses helps to keep money and jobs in our communities while allowing you to make great business connections. The photo above is of a New Brunswick beer enjoyed at VERA restaurant which is locally owned by a #girlboss.
8. Don't Let Competition Scare You
This past summer I read a news article where one business owner was complaining that a nearby business owner was also selling slushies. When I first mentioned my idea for my business, I was told that "there are already other businesses doing something similar". There are also dozens of vodka brands, it's about identifying what makes your business special. You can even learn from your competitors!
(In the case of the slushie feud, I did not feel compelled to support a business who would stoop to publicly shaming another entrepreneur.)