Thinking about starting your own business, growing your business or currently running someone else’s business? Here are my top 8 lessons I have learned over the years, especially after expanding my business.

1} Build Slowly

Most dream builders like myself have an insatiable creative drive and would build multiple projects/dreams at once if possible. However, I have learned that  dreams take nurturing, thought, testing and ample time to grow properly. Let your business grow in the necessary time needed to create stability before jumping into the next project. For example, I could have purchased everything for my business in the beginning instead of allowing it to blossom slowly. As an impatient, in the moment type of personality, I have had to train myself to pull back and not allow my moment of impromptu lead the way. My team has seen small changes happen over time, and it allows the business to save financially for unforeseen happenings if they shall occur {electrical mishaps, needed supplies, etc.}.

2}Fail. Then Succeed

How grateful I am for the countless times I have failed. After I wail a bit about it {sorry, but failing…hurts}, I evaluate where the error took place, what lesson I learned and how to either fix it or move forward. My mistakes have been both small, medium and OUCH! That one stung quite a bit. The best part of failing? You get to share with other’s your mistakes and hope they listen. For example, I knew in my spa to have a very focused and limited menu on the types of facials offered. In my past, I have had an elaborate menu and learned that only a small portion of that was ever used. That lesson going forward saved me ample overhead and marketing costs.Another minor failing was a new service I invested in heavily to have almost zero interest in. I learned to “test” the market first, see if there is a desire for that service and ROI before diving in all the way.

3}Wait. Think.React

Responding within minutes is what I used to do. Now, I wait. I ponder. I ask advice. I weigh options. I read and search for answers  I don’t have yet. I put myself in the other person’s shoes if needed. I pray. Sometimes prayer isn’t answered immediately for that text response, that e-mail, that question or answer you think you need to get back to right away. Equally I have realized that sometimes my response completely changes after giving it some time. It is ok to not respond immediately and give yourself some time. It has saved me many unnecessary headaches and heartaches.

4} Hire Higher Talent

I am not the most talented one in my spa. Did I just write that? You betcha. I hire well. No…I hire GREAT. For those who currently work for me, they know how hard it was to get the position. My last two hires took over a year to find the best candidate. Everything has to align just right for the next fit onto our team. That includes input from the team. My business always does a team interview during the hiring process. During interviews, I ask myself the question Dave Ramsey gave as a tip in his book “Entreleadership” : Do I generally like this person? Would I  want to go to lunch with them? If myself or my team doesn’t fit with them easily, then my client’s certainly won’t. Hiring a new team member is in investment, it is costly. Not only financially but time wise and business wise as they are being introduced to your hard earned clients. You want to make sure they align with your business’s culture and hold a combination of talent, personality and character that will enrich your brand.  Prior to creating your dream team, establish your business’s guidelines & procedures and stick to them. As a leader, make sure your team is happy but that everyone is doing their part. One person’s actions can affect the entire team so hire the best, including outside sources. For me, it took a long time to have a good fit for a CPA, attorney, cleaning crew, IT contractor, WP contractor, building contractor, social media contractor, etc. I am thankful for everyone I have now after filtering through one’s that did not fit.

5} Get comfortable with confrontation

Oh my, this is a big one. For those who run from confrontation, get ready to face your fears if owning a business. Everyday I deal with confrontation. For those who fear it, think about it like this: it’s just conversation. It doesn’t need to be this overwhelming huge monster of a deal. Handling confrontation in a cordial way is definitely an art, one that I have to work on constantly. I have found the best way is to do so in a casual manner, in a fair and friendly way. Also, if you don’t deal with it, you are burying it deep until it blasts out in a negative manner. So prevent it from accumulating, deal with the small things before they get out of proportion.  My team knows that I am pleasantly direct, so there is not a guessing game and my emotions are level headed.  It is also a comfort to them, as they know I will approach small to large issues and handle them in a fair and gracious manner.

6} Educate yourself indefinitely

Apps, podcasts, classes, seminars, lunch meetings, get togethers, mentors, meetups, books, magazines, blogs, etc. There is always room for g r o w t h . Every time I invest in furthering my knowledge I have always  taken at least one important bit from it. An array of sources are out there to get involved and keep learning {here are a few ways I keep on track}. A favorite of mine is through the Eventbrite app. You can find local happenings that may interest you and who knows who you will meet from it! If I never went to a WP meet up, I would have never met my WP coach {hi Pamela!} or found out about a WP {wordpress} conference and also who introduced me to my IT person who miraculously restored my computer when it crashed. Life’s circle is smaller than we think.

7}Have a Mentor & BE a Mentor

This one is my favorite. For those you know me, I love to give advice! Admittedly  too much. Why so? Because someone usually has shared it with me and I can’t wait to share it with you! It gives me great joy to watch another succeed based on something I’ve passed on through experience or have been given through my mentors. Having mentors in my life has guided and shaped me into striving to be a better leader and overall person to others. In return, pass the torch alongside and down you {others in your craft and learning your craft} as well as in your personal and spiritual growth. When you find a good mentor, remember to nurture that relationship and never let it go. They will give you great wisdom and council.

8} Take time for yourself

Use your schedule to your benefit. Before I thought it was silly to schedule my “maintenance”, interests & volunteer time, health, family and friend time. Now, I realize how silly I was to not have it scheduled. Now all of my gym appointments are scheduled, community group, volunteer times and maintenance, and when I see my family and friends. When I wasn’t scheduling it {and I’m not that rigid, somethings are not scheduled and I am flexible} I realized I missed seeing my nephew & niece as it was during their naptime. Or they had a playdate. I realized, hey! They also have a schedule and I do too, so I wanted to make sure they fit into it. The same happened with my friends as we are all busy, so now I can look at my calendar and actually feel relaxed seeing both my business, health and relaxed times fit in.

But above all I have learned… trust that your heavenly Father  knows what you don’t. I either read or say this verse on a constant basis as it has  been eerily true {And I see it through this}: Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. 

*My 5 tips for success? Gotcha covered…right here*


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