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6 Things I’ve Learned In My First Year of Business

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A little over a year ago I got this crazy idea. Somehow an idea came into my head that perhaps working a 9-5 day job was not my only option in life. Perhaps I could actually be my own boss.

Turns out I was right because today marks the one year anniversary of my business!

Lately I’ve been reflecting on everything I’ve learned over the past 12 months as a creative entrepreneur. There’s been days where I felt totally elated, like I was literally floating on clouds. There’s been days when I wanted to scream and cry and throw my computer out the office window all at the same time.

All of this reflecting made me realize that I’ve learned a TON through my experiences and I want to share them with you, whether you are on a similar journey – or maybe just starting to get that “crazy” idea of being your own boss.

Through my yoga practice, I’ve developed a love for affirmations, which are positive statements that you repeat to yourself to instill a sense of love, gratitude, confidence, etc.

These lessons I’m sharing today are so important that I’ve decided to write them out as affirmations. This way, I can keep these positive statements as daily reminders of what I’ve learned. I hope these affirmations will inform me, day to day, about how I want to show up in my business, and in my life.

I also hope these affirmations help you find some clarity or guidance whenever you might be struggling or feel unsure with what steps to take.

Trust your intuition

Something I’m constantly reminded of through my yoga practice is to trust my intuition. This also means trusting your gut. This has shown up for me in business in a few ways. One of the big ones is when considering possible clients and projects. After a while, I’ve learned that it’s pretty easy to know when a client or project is a good fit – and when it’s NOT.

Learning to listen to that intuition has been a huge struggle for me, but I always feel the effects of my decision. When I go against my gut I almost always end up regretting it. I’ve written a little bit about how to define your ideal client and what to do if you feel stuck in a project you feel is not working out. Trusting your intuition takes practice…and more practice. So keep this affirmation close by, because you may be like me – needing daily reminders!

Your life is a canvas and you can create your life in each moment

A common question I get from my friends is how I manage to get things done being my own boss. Because there’s no one around to tell me what to do, I get to make the rules. Yes, it’s totally awesome to be able to hit up a yoga class in the middle of the day or take off early just because. But when it comes down to it, every single moment is adding up to a bigger whole. Every action I choose is creating my life. If I start procrastinating on something, it doesn’t take long to feel the backlash in the form of stress and overwhelm. There must be a balance between doing whatever you want and doing what you must. Keeping this affirmation in mind helps me stay focused, with the intention of creating the life I want and taking the appropriate actions to get me there.

Speak your truth

Something I’ve struggled with my entire life is being completely authentic with everyone – all the time. I’m definitely the people-pleaser type, always wanting everyone to be happy, even if that means negotiating with myself about my own comfort levels. Maybe it’s the virgo in me that wants to avoid conflict at all cost. And then there’s definitely that introvert side of my personality that sometimes keeps me from saying or doing anything at all, even if a situation feels icky.

None of that works when you own your own business.

When entering into a contract with a client, it’s a mutual agreement that is ideally beneficial to both parties. I’ve learned that it’s super important to not only make sure that you are working with clients who are right for you, but also to be very clear up front about your working process and what they can expect from you. First, it requires you to create a process and stick with it. Then, it requires educating potential clients about that process. Being straightforward about how you work, what you will do and what you won’t do is very important to maintaining a quality relationship with clients, where everyone feels heard and ultimately benefits from the project.

Believe in yourself

Ok, this one might sound a little corny but it really does help! I think you have to believe in yourself at least a little bit to become an entrepreneur in the first place. But once you get going, there are many MANY times when you’ll start to second-guess yourself. There have been times when I booked a new project and, after the initial buzz wore off, would find myself wondering “what the hell am I doing?!” What I’ve learned after experiencing this creeping fear multiple times is that you just have to decide to believe in yourself and have faith that you know what you’re doing. Because it really is a choice. You can either sit around worrying about not being good enough or you can simply decide that you are. Once you get that part out of the way, you can actually get to work.

You are worthy

This definitely ties in with the last affirmation of believing in yourself. A lot of the fears that create insecurity stem from not feeling worthy of whatever it is that you want. For example, when I first started my business I was charging what I now consider to be a pretty low rate for the type of work I was doing. Because my business was fairly new, I felt like a phony and wondered why anyone would want to hire me. After a while I started to realize that pricing my work so low was actually under-valuing my services. I started to realize that I actually did have a specific skill set that others wanted to pay me for! Recognizing the value that you have to offer is key to building a successful business (and pricing your services right).

Be grateful

No matter how much you have going for you it can be deceptively easy to slip into a mindset of self-pity or scarcity. This mindset is fueled by fear. Just like it’s easy to forget all of the compliments you’ve ever received when you get one insult – and your mind starts to latch on to that one negative statement. Then that starts to create a negative cycle of insecurity or self-doubt which can become a self-fulfilling prophecy if left unchecked!

That’s why it’s so important to focus on the abundance all around you. Instead of focusing on the one thing that has been bothering you, choose to focus on the positive things. It’s not always easy to shift the energy, but one way to do this is to focus on being grateful for everything you have. When I started a gratitude journal, I really felt a shift in the my energy and where I was focusing my attention. I’m a firm believer that like attracts like – what you put out there is what you will receive. By showing gratitude for what you already have, you are practicing creating a positive and abundant energy – and that is exactly what the universe will send your way.

About the author

I’m Taylor…I’m a designer, developer + dreamer. I help creative entrepreneurs build an online presence that showcases who they are & what they do. Read more…

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