As much as we try and we lie to ourselves, we can’t all do it alone in business. Even as solopreneurs, there’s no way we can run our businesses completely on our own.
There are people near and far who help to mold our businesses, whether the big-name business leaders or people close to home. I honestly don’t follow a lot of the “big” names, mostly because I don’t want to get stuck in the “think big” rabbit hole. So instead, I’ll focus on some folks closer to reality who have made (and continue to make) and impact on my business.
I’ve been really lucky to have a supportive family as I started my entrepreneurial journey. With my dad being a former business owner, my sister running a business full time and a grandfather who spent his entire career in his own business, I guess you could say it’s in the genes.
It was my dad who taught me, at a young age, the value of hard work. But I didn’t know it at the time, and I certainly didn’t appreciate it. He worked a lot and my parents expected a lot from me (though I was quite the rebel and definitely didn’t live up to their expectations in my teens or young adulthood). But I’d like to think that eventually I pulled through! I also “blame” my dad for being an early bird and for causing me to bring a computer bag packed with work whenever I “get away” for a few days. But that’s a story for another day.
My biz friends
When I first started my business, I knew no one. And I knew nothing. Seriously. I had no idea what I was doing. I floundered around as a freelancer for about six years before I finally broke out and started running my business full time. I still didn’t know anyone, and while I was finding clients, I wasn’t finding the right clients.
Eventually I found an in-person networking group and, more importantly, Facebook groups. I have met the most amazing women in Facebook groups—women who have become my friends, near and far. Three of these friends have formed my “safe place,” the people I can go to when I have lost all motivation to do my client work (yes, it happens), when I need someone to tell me what I’m doing wrong, when I want to complain about a project and, most importantly, when I want to celebrate all the good, better and amazing that goes along with business ownership.
My first coach
I’ve worked with a few business coaches over the years, but none quite compares to my first—Erin Garcia. I first met with Erin at a time when I was defeated, working 60+ hours a week and barely paying the bills. I had just accepted an almost-full time gig at my former employer (talk about ego check), but still wanted to work in my business.
Erin helped me understand how to price my services, who I should be targeting in my business and where to draw the line with clients who didn’t value me or my time. Though I worked my butt off, she was really the catalyst who helped me get on the right track to profitability and a sense of peace and accomplishment. And I’m still working with her today.
My daughter is a big reason I took the leap into full time business ownership. Not because I was a new mom (she was 10 when I quit my job), but because she deserved better than a mom who was stressed out and crabby. All.the.time.
Skylar has taught me to manage my time better so we can spend more time together and to make better decisions about what projects I take on and which projects I pass on. After all, a huge bonus to being a business owner is that I get to make those decisions instead of being at someone else’s mercy.
I know as my business continues to grow and develop, I’ll count more people who have helped me through the thick of it. But if I had to name who it is that has propelled me forward to finally feeling like I’ve got it together, these are it!
Who have been the biggest influencers in your own business? I certainly hope you can count at least a few family members in that list.