I was one of the lucky few to graduate right into the height of the recession. Jobs were limited. I remember working as a receptionist in the field I studied and dreaded each day. I would walk around the city block my work was on and begged myself please don’t go in. That’s when I realized I needed to make some changes. I ended up not only quitting that job but also moved from New York City to Los Angeles. It was there that I met my mentor who taught me the ins and outs of blogging. To this day we stay in touch and watch each other grow.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Believing that I can do it. I think it is a common fear most entrepreneurs have. Basically, building a profitable entity from thin air when you have never done anything like it before, is a tad overwhelming when you think about it. How I got over that internal fear was consistently listening to my intuition. I also began reading income reports of other bloggers, which made me realize this is possible and I can do it.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I am currently reading Letting Go, The Pathway of Surrender by David R. Hawkins. It was recommended to me and absolutely love it. The premise is about removing the blocks that every human hangs onto in life that ultimately gets in the way of receiving happiness, abundance, prosperity. I recommend it to any entrepreneur who feels like negative beliefs or self doubt is holding them back from obtaining their goals.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it?
What would you do differently in hindsight?
All the time. My family didn’t understand what I was doing. I had friends’ parents ask me at the dinner table how I made money. There was constant judgment. All until I started to do larger collaborations. That’s when they switched from judgment to jealousy. There are of course my main circle who have had my back no matter what and are happy for my success. I ultimately had to let go of the ones who couldn’t be happy for what I was doing and continued to stick with those who believed in me since day one. My biggest tip though is don’t engage with the judgment of others. It’s easy to want to defend yourself, but believe me it’s just a waste of time that is better used focused on your business.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Never giving up. There were points where I really wanted to stop everything and get a comfy job. Had I done that though, I would have missed out on some of the most incredible life experiences. I pushed through each time I wanted to give up by saying, “okay, if you don’t see progress by this month than we can start looking for jobs.” And what always happened was I land an awesome collaboration or deal that kept me going.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
The importance of asking your worth. I did a lot of free work when I first started. I thought it was part of the game in getting your name out there and building up your portfolio. I really wished someone sat me down and told me, “no one deserves to work for free.” Every brand and company has a budget, even when they say they don’t, they do. If they aren’t will to pay you, then move on to those who will value your time and talent.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
I would say your biggest ally and friend will always be your gut instinct. If you know a deal is not a good idea, trust it. If you have a gut feeling you need to go somewhere or do something illogical, trust it! We all have this awesome internal guidance that knows exactly where we are meant to go and how to get there. Trust it and follow it.