The creativity, passion, hard work and dedication it takes to be a Girl Boss is no small accomplishment. There were so many beautiful Girl Boss vendors this weekend at the Holiday Pop-Up event, and as a blogger, I’m always looking for ideas on future content. This event was no exception! After speaking with dozens of female entrepreneurs, I discovered commonalities among all of us when it comes to our businesses. Here are a few lessons from us fearless femes and ways you can benefit from our mindset.
Girl Boss Lesson 1: Start with a Purpose
Without exception, the Girl Boss came from a career or industry that didn’t bring them fulfillment or serve a need in their life. They realized putting sweat equity every day into a work week that didn’t bring them joy was a means to an end- a paycheck. What they needed was a purpose. Something that brought meaning to their time and served a need in the market. Whether she is a new mamma leaving the workforce to take care of her young family, a seasoned corporate employee with the constraints of a glass ceiling, or a job that left no spark for creativity, she longed for a purpose that would fuel a product in the marketplace.
Her purpose became her WHY. What is your why? Why do you do what you do? In your profession, what is the more profound satisfaction you receive from your line of work? It needs to be more than a paycheck. Is it the service to others and changing their life for the better? Can you see a need you meet for your client that warms your heart? What emotional connection can you make with what you do, be the why you do it? This is huge! When you take pride in knowing you offer a product or service experience different than your related industry, you focus your effort on the why it brings great satisfaction. I highly recommend you watch the Youtube video, Start with WHY, by Simon Sinek. I’ll include the link below. As he states, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Girl Boss Lesson 2: It Takes Passion
As I strolled from booth to booth before the event officially opened, I was eager to meet my community of women that stepped out on faith to begin their own business. After the initial exchange of names and pleasantries, I asked them what they do. They…lit…up! To watch a woman in her zone of joy and passion is a sight to behold. The countless hours and financial investment necessary to bring the finished product or service to a display for the world to see is a labor of love. The birth of her dream is the event when she can share her business with curious customers.
Girl Boss Lesson 3: Appreciate Our Efforts
Don’t even ask us to figure up what we make an hour. It’s ridiculous. The price tag you see on our product or service is based on what we think the market is willing to pay. By the time you figure the supplies, and hours of the creation process, it feels like we are working for free. No joke. To put a price tag on our baby is an emotional task, alas we must do it. When casual customers pilfer and finger our wares without thought or consideration to the emotional investment we’ve put into our business, it feels like the simple snap judgment of the table display can capture our essence. It doesn’t.
Reader, please understand when you go to a flea market, farmers market, boutique, or small business event, these are people first. Their business is their passion, their dream, their hope of making a difference in your life as well as their own family. Each small business is emotionally vested in how they are perceived. Do not treat a Girl Boss like a stranger on the elevator -no eye contact at all costs! Instead, ask her where she found the inspiration to start this particular business. Compliment her on the craftsmanship or aesthetics of her booth or packaging. Give her eye contact and tell her, “Thank you for building our economy.”
This weekend, Libby and I featured our Revive Your Shine: The Shine Experience online program with my new book and holiday gift set. We love what this program offers women!
Girl Boss Lesson 4: It Takes Time
If you would have told me how many times I’d change my mind on a script, or a piece of marketing material I would have disagreed. Searching for the perfect plan to grow my following on social media, or landing on a niche market? Mind numbing. I probably wouldn’t have left the comfort of my successful interior painting business. Had you laid all the cold hard facts about starting a business in my line of work, Life Coaching and Image Consulting, I might have extended my “someday” dream to an “if only I would have” regret.
Mylanta it takes time to build a business! The success you see from famous people in your industry are only memorable because they took the time to grow, foster, and nurture their fledgling passion. We see Chip and Joanna Gaines as an overnight success, but they spent years honing their skills with local clients. Oprah is an international icon for women entrepreneurs, but she slogged the streets looking for work in any media outlet that would have her. You can’t pass through a decent sized town without seeing a Kentucky Fried Chicken, but Colonel Harland Sanders slept in his car trying to find someone, anyone to invest in his idea for a fried chicken restaurant.
It takes time to develop a marketing plan, create a product or service, and build a following that can support you financially. Do not give up! Be patient and learn during this process. Keep working your day job while you steadily grow your profits from your Girl Boss dream. Rarely, I mean rarely do we hear of an overnight success. The reality is, they were working long, grueling hours, burning the midnight oil, and receiving rejection after rejection on their baby dream. We only hear about them once they have become successful. In the blink of an eye, they are newsworthy, but to them, it’s a payoff for all the years they spent nurturing their idea, refining their process, and moving forward even when well-intentioned friends told them to get a “real” job.
Girl Boss Lesson 5: We Support Small Business Owners
Our current purchasing habit is haggling for the lowest price. We shop from the comfort of our home, watch the security camera for UPS to deliver our package, and drive through town seeing store after store shutting their doors. These aren’t just little mom and pop stores either. I’m talking national retailers that have realized their sales in the brick and mortar storefronts are showing such a loss in profits they convert their market to strictly online sales. We are in a strange place for the consumer.
Most of the Girl Boss owners I met have the ability to sell online as well as local pop-up events like this weekend. We have moved our market to the online arena to fit the needs of the consumer, but with so much static and noise from the big box retailers, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. I would rather spend my money on a sweater or candle or homemade trinket with a person I’ve met and had a real conversation with and put a face to the business. When you shop this holiday season, remember to support your small business owners, the local boutiques, the friends that have a service where you can purchase a gift certificate.
Support your business owners by encouraging them and giving reviews on Facebook and Google. We rely on positive reviews to be seen among the masses. When you purchase from a local business, show your support by feeding into the scary monster system of SEO and Google Reviews with helping them create visibility.
Girl Boss Lesson 6: Strong Women Support Strong Women
For each of us to succeed, we need each other. In the infancy stages of ideas and dreams for a different future, we need each other. Instead of fostering competition, we foster companionship. The brilliance of other women never ceases to amaze me. We freely offer advice and share methods of success as well as potential pitfalls of the industry.
As we head into the holiday season, find a Girl Boss you will support. Find local businesses that provide a unique gift giving experience. Encourage the small business owners you know to keep on keeping on, even when there is a shift in the economy or their industry.
Click here to watch Simon Sinek Start with WHY. It’s made a huge impact on how I talk about my business.
SHINE BRIGHT and SHINE OFTEN!