I am so excited to share the part two of the blogger’s interview I did all about what lessons did they learn in 2016. Yes, 2017 has started but January is national organization month and is always a great time to set some goals and change a few things in your business. Here are what 13 creative business owners had to share about lessons they learned in 2016 and some of their 2017 goals.
1. Olivia MgGowen – Faux Painter – Designer– Blogger from Reinvented Collection
Having content is key. Posting three or more new blog posts helps keep traffic to my site increasing. Pinterest and Instagram are the best social media tools for bringing traffic back to my site. Having a tribe of women is uplifting and encouraging, dare I say crucial? A tribe doesn’t have to be people in my same niche. People outside of what I do present a new perspective that I didn’t think of or see inside my box. For 2017:
2017 goals: 1.Building, learning and implementing strategies to grow an email list 2. Creating a private resource library for my audience. 3. Building Pinterest & Instagram
2. Roshanda Pratt- Storyteller Strategist
Clients really want a chance to get to know you, become part of your tribe, find themselves in your story give them the opportunity. The more you tell is the more you sell. Secondly, the greatest thing you can do for yourself and those you are called to serve show up as yourself. There is a lot of information out there weed out what works best but never, ever lose you in the process.Finally, understand the more you reach a certain level of success the more is revealed about your character. While some look at success as more money, I’ve looked at success as more maturity.
2017 goals: Every year I pick a theme or my story. 2016 was my sweet 16! After much prayer, 2017 will be my year of EPIC. The very word means story or legend. I’ve decided from the personal to the professional this will be my EPIC year of changing the narrative. I plan to not only change the narrative for myself but the many women who want to show up in a compelling, authentic way in their business and life.
3. Julie Harris: Branding Designer from Whiskey & Red.
The value of being able to delegate. As small business owners, we are responsible for everything, but we don’t have to do everything on our own. It’s ok to ask for help or seek out assistance in areas of your business that don’t require 100% you. Being able to delegate work has allowed me to open up time to focus on ways to grow and enhance my business and not just run my business.
2017 goals: So many big changes coming in 2017! I’m looking forward to continuing to expand as we prepare our business to hire our first junior designer and begin expanding our team with other web experts and new services.
4. Abigail Humprey from Think Creative Collective
In order to reach your goals you absolutely have to set deadlines. When are you going to accomplish these goals? What steps do you need to take in order to make it happen? Start writing it down, find a system that holds you accountable.
2017 goals: For the first time in my life, we are working ahead. Goodbye working on launches the night before. Hello 90 days of getting stuff done in advance.
5. Mariah Tomkinson from Bloom Hustle Grow:
Make connections!! Reaching out and becoming friends with fellow online entrepreneurs has had such a positive impact on my business and mindset. If you are a solopreneur it is so easy to get lost in your own head. Having those biz friends can help a ton to move you forward and also realize your struggles aren’t really unique. It’s an experiment. Owning your own business is a huge experiment, you will figure out what works and what doesn’t along the way. It’s important to have a strategic approach, but you also just have to jump in, do the work and not be afraid to make changes. No one has it 100% figured out.
2017 goals: I want to be better about making connections and reaching out in 2017. I was lucky enough to have the above-mentioned biz pals reach out to me. I want to be more proactive in doing the same and reaching out to others. To continue to push myself and get outside my comfort zone. I realize video is playing an increasingly important role in social media and I need to work on making myself comfortable on camera. It’s not something that comes naturally at ALL.
6. Erica H. Vincent from Ladyboss Levels.
1.) Listen to your circle – if you’ve selected a circle of biz buddies for trust and prosperity -TRUST them and adhere to their advice for you to prosper
2.) Getting up physically doing the same thing daily is daunting and lacks room for growth. Create a system for your daily workflow and automatic as much as you can without appearing spammy and unauthentic.
3.) You must have more than 1 income stream to thrive successfully as an entrepreneur find ways to diversify your solution for multiples markets of people.
2017 goals: I’m looking forward to expanding my Lady Boss Levels membership sparking a bold, bossy, abundant movement across the world all while physically working 10-15 per month.
7. Megan- Blog Designer
1) Defining your client properly. When I first started 23Pixels, what I imagined to be my ideal client turned out to be way too broad. At first, I think we all suffer from the fear that not catering to everyone ultimately means losing business. The minute I realized that this was far from the truth, and I narrowed down who my ideal client was, I was able to reach more people that ACTUALLY needed my help. I saw my email list grow, my followings grow, and my interactions with people grow. Seriously, don’t be afraid to narrow down your ideal client. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.
2) Not beating yourself up if things don’t work the first time. I think at times we all need to take a deep breath and realize that we are on a really exciting journey, and no journey comes without a single hiccup. Whilst I’m not new to web development, I am new to starting my own business. Although, it soon became clear to me that I absolutely love helping others create their own professional websites, and it’s a path that I really want to explore. But, as I’m new to this business thing, I am going to get things wrong at times, and you know what? That’s OK! We shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves when something doesn’t work the first time around. I get it, it is frustrating. I’ve been there, and I’m still there, but it’s nothing we can’t learn from. So learning not to beat myself up when something doesn’t convert as well as I thought, and instead of taking that frustrating situation, evaluating what I could do differently, then trying again, well, it worked wonders for my own sanity. Remember, mistakes are lessons in disguise. So don’t be so hard on yourself.
3) Goals and organization are the keys to getting things done. OK, this is the part where I confess to you that I’ve always been a to-do list addict. My insane organization and lists left my friends at uni wondering how I managed to get everything, including my dissertation, done earlier than required. Let me tell you, I was the least stressed person there! So before I started 23Pixels, I had already discovered that organization was essential. But the difference between university and running a business is that you don’t have goals already set out for you, you don’t have deadlines already agreed upon, you don’t have anyone holding you accountable. All of these things, when you’re managing your own business, are left for you to decide. And this is flipping scary at first. So many possible directions, not enough time to explore them all. At the start of my journey, I definitely suffered from this feeling. But then I decided: wait for a second, I am still that control freak who can get things done early, I just need to set myself some proper boundaries! So, from here, I outlined the things I wanted to complete within the year, within the quarter, within the month, and within the week. As my goals were laid out in this manner, I’d sort of given myself deadlines too. Oh boy, oh boy, did my productivity go up from there. In fact, because I personally found this to-do list so helpful, I now give it away for free to my consulting clients, so that they too can start feeling as productive as I do! Being the boss of your own business is all about setting goals, deadlines, and boundaries. Don’t be afraid to get a huge whiteboard out, a massive calendar, and plan away. With a proper plan in place, you’ll feel so much more confident about where your business is heading. Oh, and then stick to your plan, of course!
1) The first thing I’m looking forward to in 2017 is the launch of my first course! Being able to teach you, step-by-step, how to create a kick-ass professional websites is the reason why I started 23Pixels, so I’m super pumped!
2) I’ve decided 2017 is going to be a year in which I start to collaborate. There are some awesome ladies in my niche, and being able to make friends with people who have the same goals as you, being able to collaborate on those goals, and help each other, really gets me excited about my journey with my website and services..
3) The last thing I want to change in 2017: My social media strategy. In my personal life, to be completely honest, I SUCK at social media. I’ve never been a tell-everyone-about-my-day kind of person. So when it comes to social media, I’m learning as I go along. I get Twitter, and the tips I implement and share work. I know this because they work for me. But I cannot be a business owner in the online world and have social media in the back of my mind, especially as I’m new in the game. So to keep me motivated, and to keep social media a priority, particularly for my course creation and the group I want to create within it, I have to change the way I see social media. I’m going to expand my tactics and implement proper strategies for Facebook and Pinterest.
8. Jacque Jackson. Nurse and Baby Photographer.
Don’t rush! Begin at the beginning. I did not do all of the fundamental foundation work because I was so excited. I ended up having to back up a little and work on things that should have been completed before my website and business went live. Learn to accept that you are where you are because that’s where God wants you. If you beat yourself up about not being further into your business or booking x number of clients you will miss the blessings and messages of that moment. Surround yourself with a good advisory board of people who are for you! Whether it’s friends or a spouse or peers in business also. Keep people that will not encourage you when you feel defeated or support your growth and ideas away from your board!
2017 goals: I’m looking forward to launching some of my new ideas and slowing down to enjoy the progress and growth oh Oh Baby Concierge. I definitely will be getting out more and meeting more people!
9. Carrie Swails from Rock Your Weird and Photography Awesomesauce
To build your business to reflect how you want your life to go, not anyone else’s.
Taking it easy, and just focus on what I am good at and what works for my business. In 2016, I have learned that there is no “right path” to success for you, except the path you take to get there.
The biggest lesson I learned in 2016 was to surround myself with other business owners who lift me up instead of bringing me down. If you’re the reflection of the 5 people you talk to the most, I wasn’t talking to great people. So I shed the people, companies, and things that I didn’t want to be a reflection of in favor of finding a new tribe of people who I can aspire to be more like.
2017 goals: I’m really excited about a series of online courses I’m releasing between now and April!
10. Michele Heyward Business Coach for Engineer Ladybosses
- Be Seen & Heard
- Your target market may not be open to your services…yet
- Be prepared for rejection
2017 goals: Doing more speaking engagements about inclusion in engineering, coaching engineers who are starting Firms and becoming a full-time consultant
11 .Brittany Butler – Money Stylist from Miss B Fab.
To build your business to reflect how you want your life to go, not anyone else’s.
2017 goals: Taking it easy, and just focus on what I am good at and what works for my business.
12. Kayla Hollatz– Community Coach for Creatives.
You have to be willing to look at your first year in business as a beautiful, messy experiment. It’s important to launch new things and see what your target audience connects with. Some of my most successful brand extensions have come from being willing to try something new and create simply because I loved it and thought my community would too. Those business ideas then take on a life of their own!
2017 goals: I’m looking forward to looking at all of the content types I experimented with in 2016 in order to narrow down what works best for my creative process and what my community loves most. Then I can be more productive with my time and make sure I’m giving my audience what the desire.
13. Blog and Website designer Louise Ross from Autumn Rabbit.
Stay on top of your social media or get someone to do it for you! Ask lots and lots of questions! Never assume that you know what your client is going to want, especially if a lot of communication is electronically rather than face to face or by phone. Having an air tight contract in place. Protect your business! If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, hire a knowledgeable lawyer to do it for you. 2016 felt a lot “safer” because I had these in place at the beginning of the year.
2017 goals: Hiring a brand new social media expert to manage my accounts. Working smarter, not harder.
Wow what an eclectic group of lady bosses. I loved reading your business lessons and expert advice you have for fellow creative women entrepreneurs. Cheers to a fabulous 2017.