I am by no means a professional business owner. My entrepreneurial adventure started just shy of 2 years ago. In October of 2015, 7 months pregnant, looking for a way to increase my income but not wanting to give up time with my newborn.
A friend of mine introduced me to a direct sales business promoting health and wellness products and this girl was killin it in her business. Life was improving for her and I was super attracted. I put my everything into starting with this company and reaching my goals to be successful. Eventually, I was not making that much money and it wasn’t a company I loved.
There’s a new cat in town
Moving forward to February 2016. There’s a new company in the direct sales world, promoting fast and easy to use makeup. Makeup wasn’t my strongest asset, but I wore it everyday. Interest in making my morning routine easier was the selling factor for me. My confidence jump from this business experience was HUGE. Women joined my team and my inbox was constantly flooded with messages of women wanting to know more. I learned tremendous amounts about what it takes to run a business. Eventually things became over saturated and I realized I wasn’t offering anything different and unique. Even worse I didn’t know about half of the things going on in the company and I slowly lost motivation.
Becoming my own boss
When 2017 rolls around, I’m ready to take things serious about doing what it takes to quit my job and replace my full-time income with my own business. At the end of the day, promoting products for someone else and receiving a set amount of commissions was not my thing. Thinking long and hard about what I wanted to do, this business had to be something I was passionate about. This business needed to challenge me and keep me motivated. I wanted something where I could share my creativity and myself with others. In March of 2017 I took the jump and launched a custom vinyl design business, Moonlight Meraki. I use my free time to create custom vinyl shirts and everyday products such as coffee mugs. I just entered my fourth month on this adventure, and let me tell you, it’s been rough, but I’ve learned SO much and the rewards are so worth it.
10 things I’ve learned
- Know that success takes hard work and determination. When you want something, you have to go out and get it. Nothing worth having is just handed to you.
- Haters will always exist. No matter what you do in life, there will always be someone who doesn’t agree with you, and they will challenge you. They will try to bring you down. DO NOT LET THEM.
- Be content with giving up things that do not contribute to the cause. I’ve passed up on invites to hang out with friends, beautiful weather outside, hours of sleep and the list goes on. When orders need to be finished, designs need created and goals need to be reached, they are far more valuable to me.
- Organization is key. One of the worst feelings is missing out on a sale because you forgot to order the supplies for an order with a deadline. People contact you for your business at all hours, you may be next to your books to write the order details down, or you might be out shopping and not have any of your stuff with you. Find a system to keep track of all your business details and USE IT. My go to is my Erin Condren Life Planner to keep track of everything going on in my life! (Use the link https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/jessicastevens0617 and create an account to get $10 off your first purchase)
- Never forget your ‘WHY’. Your ‘WHY’ is exactly that, why are you doing this? When you determine why you really want to be your own boss and design your life, that is your driving motivational force.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people. They say you are the average of the 5 people you hang around most. We are influenced by those we spend our time with. Whether we like it or not. Build a tribe of dreamers, believers, doers and leaders and run wild with them.
- People will tell you “NO”. Not everyone is going to have a use for the product you offer, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you or don’t support what you’re doing, it’s just not for them. That doesn’t mean you give up. One “NO” gets you that much closer to a “YES”.
- You will cry and want to rip your hair out. You are going to be running on little to no sleep. Three orders are being picked up in the morning. Your machine isn’t working and you just melted a shirt. It will happen. Things can’t run smoothly all the time. Accept it for what it is. Learn from it. Then celebrate with a stiff drink of your choice when you finish.
- Follow your heart. It is seriously draining to work a business you are not passionate about. People will not be excited about supporting you and will notice that lack of passion. Find something you love that is already a part of your life and find a way to make money with it. There are TONS of direct sales companies and they are a great place to start and learn from others. If you can’t find a company that offers a product you love, start your own business.
- All the blood, sweat and tears are worth it. Though it may seem at times all your efforts are a waste, I promise you they are worth it. You will learn more about yourself and your abilities than you ever knew. People will support you and encourage you and you will realize that what you are doing is making an impact on people. You will experience freedom with your finances and be able to do more of the things you want to do. Most importantly you will discover that you deserve to live a life you are in love with.