I remember launching this business 8 years ago so clearly.
It was something I’d given a bit of thought…but the timeline was sped up and with little preparation, I nervously dove in.
I had landed my dream design job at a studio I loved but a completely different business (a blogging workshop!) I’d started on the side a year before with my two best friends unexpectedly took off REALLY quickly.
Pretty soon, I needed the flexibility to travel and teach in locations around the world. This sounds like the ultimate dream now but 8 years ago, I was trying to figure out the logistics of the design career I’d worked so hard to build and there was no way around it…so I put in my notice.
I left my stable, full-time job in September 2013 and dove into the unknown with a few weeks to flip the switch on this new design venture so I could freelance from the road.
I pushed the Branch site live the day before boarding a flight to LA to meet with a client…and somehow figured everything else out from there.
In that time since, these are the 8 biggest lessons I’ve learned:
1. You will make constant mistakes. Part of running a business and offering services is that you’re dealing with fellow human beings. Mistakes happen but the sooner you learn from them, the sooner you’ll move forward.
2. You will never have all the knowledge. I’ve read books, taken screenshots of a gazillion Instagram captions (LOL) and invested in so many courses and still….every day I am learning something new.
3. You’re never going to be fully caught up with your to-do list. I only just crossed off an item that’s been haunting me for 5 years LAST WEEK. Things take the time that they take…and that’s okay.
4. Your website will never be 100% finished. Your business is in constant transition and will evolve at a rapid pace. There are always services to add, processes to tweak and a portfolio to update.
5. Finances will be up and down. Some months, money flows in with ease and others make you wonder if everything is going to come to a grinding halt. It can be scary but if you keep showing up, building relationships and delivering quality work, things pick back up.
6. Comparing yourself to others has zero payoff. Take the time you spend aimlessly scrolling and obsessing and dedicate it to producing your own content instead. The truth is, when you’re making progress on your own business and vision, you’ll feel so much better.
7. Your dream isn’t too big or far-fetched. 8 years ago, I was working from a spare room in Portland. Today, I’m writing this from my studio in Palm Springs. It took me years to make this dream happen and I had plenty of disappointments along the way…but I always held out hope that there was a way.
8. You’re never too old and it’s never too late to do that thing you’ve been thinking about in your business. Raise your rates. Launch the course. Say no to something that no longer feels aligned. Introduce new services that excite you.
Here’s to running a business that you love and creating an existence that lights you up.
Thank you so much for being here! -Shauna