It's been just over six months since I opened Totally Taylored's retail store in Bottleworks and time.has.flown.by. This dream feels like it's taken so long to achieve and also gone by in the blink of an eye and man have I learned a lot.
I went into brick and mortar life with no experience and almost no one to ask the deep dark truths about because let's be honest, we live in a world where people love to gate-keep. But here's the thing, I'm an open book baby and I am here to tell you that business owning is not for the weak hearted. Let's talk about what I have learned since opening our doors 180+ days ago.
- Trust is the most important thing you can bring to your business. If your customers don't trust you, trust you'll be open, trust you are listening to them then it'll be really hard to keep them. Without our customers we wouldn't be open, and we aim every day to build stronger and deeper connections with each and every person and that starts with establishing trust.
- Take breaks, you can't work 24/7. This is something I didn't learn until a month ago when I experience awful burnout. I'm not talking "ugh work sucks I don't want to go" I'm talking emergency meetings with my psychiatrist and new medications to help me just keep 'being'. I tried to do too much on my own and my body gave me alarming responses to let me know I need to stop.
- Ask for help! It's okay to not be able to do it all. Believe it or not, TikTok and Instagram aren't honest portrayals of owning a business. It's hard work but it's not built alone. Lean on your community, I promise they will lean back.
- Be true to yourself and your purpose. This is especially true if your business is like mine and is a reflection of yourself. Your customers will know when you are forcing something so remain authentic. You are what makes your business unique, use it!
- Speaking of forcing it, nothing should be THAT hard. Business is a tough cookie, don't let me fool you. But at the end of the day, it's just business. You will grind, you will cry, you will think you're the luckiest person alive but never let if be so difficult you lose sight of your life. A failed business is not a failed person, if it doesn't work you are still worthy and loved and not a failure.
- People will 10000% doubt what you are trying to build. Don't lose faith in being the only one who can see the vision. As you continue down your path you will collect people who see your vision too and believe in you but I can also promise you won't lose the doubters. But this is a commitment to the long haul, not overnight viral videos.