Entrepreneurship: The Come Up Is Lonely But It’s Worth It

The honest truth is that entrepreneurship is a lonely process. No-one will care about your business the way that you do and you’ll notice. You’ll be the one staying late and coming in early and the one to pick up the pieces if something goes wrong. It takes a lot of responsibility, determination and pure hustle.

In the beginning it will most likely be you all by your lonesome working as the sales person, the secretary, the designer, the marketer…and whatever other position your business holds. It will be super challenging and guaranteed a little bit scary but when you land your first client or start to see your business grow to include your first employees it will be rewarding.

Entrepreneurship by nature is lonely. Yes, you can still spend time with friends and family and that should definitely be a priority in your life, but no-one will truly feel the emotions of the process as much as you will.

“If you want to be an entrepreneur, it’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle. It defines you. Forget about vacations, about going home at 6 PM – last thing at night you’ll send emails, first thing in the morning you’ll read emails, and you’ll wake up in the middle of the night. But it’s hugely rewarding as you’re fulfilling something for yourself.” – NIKLAS ZENNSTROM 

In 1994 Jeff Bezos quit his job on wall street to start Amazon out of his parents garage. Back then internet usage was growing at 2,300 percent per year, so Jeff came up with an online marketplace for books and within 60 days he was making $20,000 per week. This isn’t the average story for startups but it is important for two reasons. 1) Jeff took a leap of faith and quit his job to pursue something he believed in with no guarantee it would work. Although his parents did loan him the startup money, no-one cared about the project as much as he did. 2) He started something when it was still relatively unknown and worked extremely hard to do so.

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“Entrepreneurs must be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time” – JEFF BEZOS

If you’re not okay with being the last stop for any problems than true entrepreneurship isn’t for you. Part of the loneliness comes from knowing that anything that happens, good or bad, falls on you and at the end of the day, it’s up to you to make the heavy hitting decisions and take full responsibility.

The upside of loneliness is that after a long period of time in which people misjudge you, underestimate you, or cheer you on from a distance, you are the one that will see and feel the reward.. and the satisfaction of proving everyone wrong. This won’t happen though without the ability to overcome failure and being able to see the reward.

Entrepreneurship has an amazing upside that comes with being able to live your passion. Waking up everyday and doing what you love is what each of us should want for ourselves. By redefining what life means and creating our own realities we can actually become happier more productive people. To stay happy, keep your priorities in check, know that friends and family are wildly important and that the loneliness you feel now won’t be forever…and it probably doesn’t feel like normal loneliness. It’s a different kind, a hopeful kind, one that holds the silver-lining of success.

“Entrepreneurship is about turning what excites you in life, into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward with it.” – RICHARD BRANSON

For a long time I’ve known I was meant to work for myself. I never could stand when I had a boss telling me what to do. I understand how that sounds…but it’s the honest truth. Customers are one thing, when they need a product or service and request it a certain way it is your duty as a profession to give them the best you possibly can. That to me still feels like working on my own terms. Having a boss dictate when I could go home, when I had to sweep the floor or never have time to listen to my ideas was just something I couldn’t stand. I had a LOT of different jobs before I realized working for another business just wasn’t for me.

Now that I’m growing my own business I want to be the type of leader someone can openly share ideas with and hopefully feels good about working for. But I’ll also understand when someone is truly an entrepreneur at heart.

Entrepreneurship is scary and tiring and it comes with long hours but it is the only thing that has ever felt right for me and so if you’re reading this and you understand the different type of good-weird-wonderful loneliness I’m talking about, I’m just here to say hi… I understand and I salute you.

 

Carlee.

 

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Can You Make Me Feel? |The Real Power Of Branding|

This might be a short little post about the power of emotion and why it is, at least to me, the only real factor when it comes down to branding. I feel this way because consumers are people, and people, most of them…feel.

The largest determining factor for me when I buy something or connect with someone is always how I feel.

Our emotions fuel every small and large decision we make. I mean, yes rational thinking comes into play, but when you feel strongly for something…sooner or later it’s going to win you over. Emotion is a beautiful thing, it starts relationships, builds communities and brings people together in acts of humanity.

When we begin branding we play around with our colour choices, logo design and tag-line. We have fun thinking of content ideas and mapping out the structure of our business, blog or You-Tube Channel. We take the time to break down our social media pages and make sure they look cute and polished. If for a single minute we forget about who we’re trying to bring value too with our product, service or content then we have done a great disservice to the consumer and to ourselves.

How people feel when they see you, your content, your product, or after they use your service should be the single most important thing in your mind while you are combing through your social media or creating a logo.

Without evoking emotion you cannot create an actual connection with someone…and isn’t that what you want to do after all?

It is wildly important to remember that behind every screen there is a human being. On the other side of that LinkedIn account there is a real human being typing out a real and often emotional response.

Branding the right way means having respect for the human being behind the technology, and truly connecting on that human level.

So how do you create a deeper connection?

Ask questions.

Actually care.

Have empathy for the consumer.

Do your market research.

Support your community 100%.

Give them something worth their time and energy.

Put yourself in their shoes.

Be honest, open, relatable, vulnerable and real.

 

 

 

The Ozzy Osbourne Content Creation Method

Ozzy is a rock legend, his vocal talent was clearly bestowed upon him by the rock god’s themselves. He is so insanely talented that it would be hard to picture him doing anything else, I mean could you see him sitting behind the desk at a dental office answering phones? No-one would be able to understand him at all!

It is amazing to me that people like Ozzy are such obvious examples of the fact that we all have strengths and weaknesses, and the people who use their strengths ultimately find their innate gifts and change the world. Ozzy isn’t a talk show host for a reason… whenever I’ve watched him do an interview I could barely make out every other word. [maybe it’s just me but somehow I doubt it]

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So many people are stuck because they’re trying to be a receptionist or a day-time television host instead of the amazing lead vocalist they were truly meant to be.

Content creation is a beautiful thing for many reasons, but my most favour is that it allows people to be truly creative and express themselves. A side bonus to all of the creativity is that it generates awareness and revenue for personal brands and companies when used correctly.

By now you probably understand the method, find your talent as a creative and shine as bring as you can using that method. If you are a writer then you should be writing long stories here on LinkedIn that matter to people, grab readers attention and make them feel something, really take them on a journey and use all 1300 characters. If you’re good in front of the camera, as a videographer, podcaster, graphic artist, or have a gift for interviewing people use it. Whatever it is, do that and find a way to collaborate with people who have talent in the areas you lack.

The cool thing is that just like creatives have different talents, people consume content differently. I absolutely love reading books, but my friend swears by the fact that she’s only read one book in her entire life and chooses to consume content in video form. Whatever your talent is, video – written word – audio – interviewing – art, there are people primed to consume it in that way. It’s like we were all made to fit together and support one another.

So how do you really know which creation method suits you?

The only real answer is to get out there and try different forms of content creation and see which one works for you. Chances are you may already know you have serious skills as a videographer or writer and you may want to use that method of creation first before branching out into others to really build a solid foundation.

Ask for honest feedback and you will receive it. LinkedIn is an amazing platform where so many people would be happy to give you a real answer, in a really nice way. Truly listen to the feedback you receive, both positive and constructive. This one tip alone will put you years ahead of the game if you actually listen and then execute. Once you start putting your work out there you will be able to see consumer reactions quite quickly and gauge what your next step should be.

Don’t be discouraged if the form you thought you’d be great at doesn’t work, you have so many options for creative content production and it takes patience to learn, improve your skills, test audience reactions and ultimately grow an audience. If you truly feel absolutely deep in your soul, down to the very heart of you passionate about a certain creation method like videography or podcasting, take the time to get serious and learn that skill to the best of your ability. Once your audience starts to grow, nurture it by connecting with each one of them one on one. This takes some time but nothing beats real genuine connections that ultimately turn into friendships.

This steps also takes some serious insight into who you actually are as a person and who you want to be. Is your voice similar to Ozzy’s, you mumble when you talk but you can sing a wicked tune? Chances are you were made to sing. Same goes for each one of the methods… during this journey you may even find to your benefit, that you have talent in a few areas.

How Do You Find People To Collaborate With?

Asking for help or advice is really positive and humble place to start. You will be connecting with people that are skilled and talented in different areas than you, who will know more than you and when you come from a place of humility they will teach you, trust me. LinkedIn is full of creative people looking to collaborate and help each other succeed. It takes a bit of creativity in the inbox, sharing a personal story about yourself and truly helping them to see your vision. It is a marketplace of creativity and you my friend have taken the first step by making an account.

Ask and you shall receive. This the no bulls*t way to how I have landed some really amazing interviews and received advice from people much, much….much more successful than I am.

Seriously take a look at yourself through the Ozzy lens, are you a receptionist or a rock-star? Either one is fine but it’s about staying true to yourself, knowing where your strengths are and collaborating to reach the next level. Ozzy after all was in a band called Black Sabbath, he needed people to play the other instruments and create some epic music.

Let me know your thoughts. I cover tips to becoming more creative, forward thinking and generating new revenue on my show Revenue Monkey #revenuemonkey. See you tomorrow for Self-Care for Your Business Monday.

Carlee. – The Self-Care Enthusiast & Host of Revenue Monkey.

http://www.theselfcareenthusiast.com

How To Remain A Badass Even When You’re Having A Bad Day.

We all have bad days, they happen because we are human and sometimes life likes to mess with us a little bit; make sure we know we’re still living. The day goes something like this: the alarm doesn’t go off, you call the office to tell them you’ll be 15 minutes late, you get in your car but you remember you chose not to put gas in it last night…sacrificing that time to watch another episode of Shameless on Netflix, now you’re another 20 minutes late, by the time you get to work Stacey has taken credit for the idea you told her about yesterday, and to top it all of you forgot to brush your hair.

Wait, did I mention coffee? Yeah…you didn’t have time to grab a coffee either.

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Now tell me you haven’t had a day like this at least once. It’s so easy in that moment to say f*ck it and write the rest of the day off as a complete disaster, I’m definitely guilty of doing it.

It’s taken me some time, but I’ve learned the difference between having a bad moment or morning, and making it last all day. (cheesy quote alert)

When you really think about it, can you even afford to have a bad day…for the whole day? It just takes up so much time and energy. It’s not really the fact that you might have children, or other people counting on you (although important), it’s the fact that you know you’re stronger than a few bad moments, and surrendering to them would mean letting yourself down.

You remain a badass when…

You can laugh it off and find the humour in an otherwise annoying situation. Why, because everyone would rather be stuck in an elevator with someone who’s calm and can crack a few jokes, instead of someone who’s loud, angry and aggressive. (Replace elevator with office, school, or any general activity in which you partake).

You choose to walk away and master your emotions. One of my biggest shortcomings is not walking away at the right time. If you’re having a bad day because someone keeps pushing your buttons, remember your awesomeness, and choose to walk away. All the fuss usually isn’t worth your time anyway.

You say “f*ck it” and continue on as usual. This strategy has worked well for me in the past. Sometimes there’s not much left you can do, and the minute you say those two magical words, the stress just melts away. The day can start a new!

You practice self-care like a damn pro. Obviously I’m big on this one. After a bad day, I like to remind myself that yes, I’m still a badass, and yes it’s a good idea to continue to take care of myself. Find what self-care looks like for you, a bubble bath, good music, yoga, doing some artwork, boxing; it’s individual to you and what makes you feel good.

You connect with your tribe. My tribe is literally a few good friends and my mom…mostly my mom. It’s the people that you can share anything with, and they always have your best interest at heart. Connect, laugh, cry, share your day and all of it’s bizarre mishaps, I promise you’ll feel better.

You learn from it. So maybe you set two alarms, get a coffee maker that instantly brews at 6am, stay away from telling Stacey anything in the future… whatever it is, you can learn from it and going forward, you will have levelled up your badassery.

You’ve managed to define the word “badass” for yourself and live up to it. Yup, whatever the word badass means to you. Maybe it’s hitting the gym everyday, not letting other’s control your emotions, continuing to hustle, standing up for what you believe in, knowing your worth when other people don’t, speaking up for yourself, having the courage to do what is right. Find what it means for you and live it.

 

Last,

You forgive yourself if you don’t do any one of these things, because having a bad day is okay, and believe it or not you’re still badass. Yeah, it’s not really a trick, it’s amazing if you can manage to succeed at doing all of the above, but if you don’t, take responsibility for your side and know that tomorrow will bring something new, and often better.

YOU are strong, capable, and courageous. Even when you forget to do that one thing… you know, the thing that’s been on your list for the last two weeks and it’s finally caught up to you? Yeah, even then, still a badass.

Keep it up,

Carlee. xx

 

 

Too Fat To Blog?

“Am I too fat to blog?” the thought had crept into my mind the moment I got serious about blogging and building a brand. Creating online content means putting yourself out there in the form of video, picture, audio and written word. I wanted the blog to be fun, honest and bring value to my audience, but the very thought of starting, brought huge amounts of self-doubt and insecurity. As I gazed down at my body I questioned myself, am I too fat to blog, am I too fat to build a brand?

I had watched women of all sizes create amazing platforms on social media and to be honest, I hadn’t thought about their weight either positively or negatively. The reason I watched their content was because they provided value, humour, good-vibes and personally made me feel good while I consumed it.

The fear might sound irrational, because so many different types of people all over the world create successful brands and businesses everyday, regardless of their appearance…but it didn’t seem irrational to me at the time. I had looked up to major bloggers and brands with beautiful, strong  women running them. I was honestly worried that my appearance wouldn’t measure up and that my appearance is what mattered most.

I mean hell, I can fully admit to enjoying good food, often, and not exercising as regularly as I should, but should that stop me? Should it stop anyone ? 

The obvious answer is NO FREAKING WAY!

Anytime you put yourself out there on social media you have to be ready to put up with some level of criticism. What you shouldn’t have to put up with is believing those things long after the laptop has been closed, and you’re sitting at home wondering if you’re good enough.

It took a lot of journaling and taking time to figure out what exactly it was that I wanted to share with people. I am “The Self-Care Enthusiast”, after all…I can’t come to you honestly and say I don’t have doubts or insecurities. I can’t offer you only images of me in a designer bathing suit sprawled out suggestively on the beach (although, if you’re into that thing live it up, do you girl!). What I can offer you are seriously open and vulnerable blog posts about the good and the bad aspects of self-care, mental illness and entrepreneurship. I can be real with you, because sometimes that’s all we need.

So yeah, before I started the blog, my Instagram, the Facebook community and the brand as a whole, I was scared shitless because I thought I was too fat to be taken seriously. I write this while I eat a piece of pizza, after practicing a 30 minute yoga session in my spare bedroom. I’m finding balance babe, any way that I can.

I write this because there are a lot of us out there creating content and sometimes it’s nice to hear that other people are just as human as you. If you’re afraid to start, I’ve been there. My advice? Create the content, figure out why and who you’re creating it for and have fun with it all. If you aren’t having fun with it no-one else will.

Oh, and the best way to deal with an internet troll is the block button. Don’t give them the satisfaction darling, you’re worth so much more than that.

 

Love to you all,

Carlee.

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IF YOU AREN’T CONNECTING, YOU AREN’T BRANDING

Business as far as I can tell is exactly like life.

Once you have everything you’ve wished for whether its money, or cars or a successful small business, what matters comes into focus.

Connection.

Connection is what will build your business, brand, sell your products or build your community and lack of connection is most assuredly what will stop whatever you’re doing from growing.

The only true way to build connection is to actually give a shit.

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Whether you connect in person or on social, you’ve got to interact and start conversations with the people who take notice.

Giving a shit means that you’ll find creative ways to connect, you’ll ask better questions and when you provide value to others you’ll do so on a much deeper level.

You’ll basically set yourself up to be a leader in whatever you choose to do IF you’re passionate about it enough to put in the time and effort it takes to connect.

It isn’t easy, it takes a lot of work and a ton of time, but if you’re willing to go the extra mile day in and day out to build a strong foundation of people willing to support you than you’ve won.

You’ve won because that’s realy all that life comes down too, the relationships you build along the journey and how many people you’ve helped along the way.

We all know this, yet we still fail to act on our knowledge.

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In my opinion, people fail to act because they don’t see the quick results. Building relationships in business is exactly like growing in a long-term romantic relationship. Sure at first you really like each other and you laugh at each others crappy jokes but as the years go on you actually begin to love each other, know each other on a different level and if it’s really good, you wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Branding is the same thing. It takes patience, effort, time and even forgiveness at times. If you can understand the similarities and your in a position of geniunely caring about what you do, you will succeed against all odds.

A brand isn’t built from a logo or pictures with the same aesthetic.

A brand is engaging with your audience on a whole other level.

If your good your competition will take months or years to catch up.

If your extra good you won’t even give a shit about your competition because you’ll be so focused on building those connections.

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So how do you connect?

Like, share, comment, direct message. Start the conversation and keep it about the other person. Good things take time.

And you never want to be the friend who only takes to someone when they want something…

Are you building a brand? What tips on connecting with your audience do you have?! Would love to get sharing.

 

Carlee xoxo

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