7 Things I learnt from starting my own Business

2018.09.16

Welcome to my Blog!!!

Being in the Design industry for over 9 years I started my own venture 3 years ago. I’m constantly learning, from others in the industry, from business books, from being online, but most of all from my own experience. It’s actually the real-time stuff where I’ve learnt the most. Particularly learning from my mistakes! Below are the 7 things I wish I had known before I even started my business.

FORGET ABOUT THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT - Your light bulb moment is unlikely to make you a billionaire. (Sorry!) I know we have all heard the rags-to-riches-dreamt-up-the idea-in-my-bedroom story but those cases are rare. You’re more likely to make money from business ventures you didn’t even think of initially, or got to gradually. This is totally from experience; true success for us hasn’t been about the one idea (1st styling studio in Bombay). I mean I thought it would be but instead its been a whole host of other ideas complementing the existing idea. Does that make sense?

STOP SITTING ON THE FENCE - If you have an idea, go for it. Like NOW, go for it. There will never be that perfect time. The economy will never be just the way you want it and the market will never finish being polled or analyzed. You could spend months waiting for the right moment. Its far better to take the plunge, get it out there, and then perfect it. There is no perfect first step. If you DON’T take action, you DON’T move, it’s as simple as that.

GET REAL - You will spend about 30% of your time (if you’re lucky) doing what you set out do: designing, writing, baking, stuff you love that sparked the idea in the first place. The rest of the time you will be strategizing, dealing with administrative work, executing, marketing, and answering a s***load of doubt from new clients! Get real – the fun stuff always comes second, I hate to tell you.

ZAG, DON’T ZIG - By this I mean do things differently. Anyone can start an interior design or styling studio– there is no skill in that. Where the skill lies is making it different, unique and yours. Whether that is through content, design, or style is up to you. Don’t be gimmicky or too on-trend and remember if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO YOUR ADVANTAGE - Social media is cheap. Yes, it’s super time-consuming, but for very little cash you can engage with your customers, attract new business, and build your brand and a fabulous community. If you are just starting out and you have no followers, DO NOT BUY THEM. For the following reasons: 1. It’s unethical. 2. It’s deceptive (and transparently so). 3. It’s ultimately sad. It’s super obvious when a business has faked it – there is very little activity per number of likes. If your likers aren’t legitimate, they won’t be engaging, commenting, or driving traffic. Build your community from the ground up, – you will get an amazing group of loyal people following and interacting with you. That is a treasure that can’t be bought.

FACE YOUR FEARS - Here are my greatest fears: things never being quite good enough, thinking I can always do better, and putting too much pressure on myself to meet sky-high expectations. I have – or should say, had – a fear of not being liked. I had to realize that the minute you put yourself out there, you’re live bait and people will criticize you. There’s no getting around that. Want to know what is good about it, though? It toughens you up. It actually makes you a better, stronger, more determined person and it focuses you. So face those darn fears, I say, and don’t worry about what others think!

DON’T QUIT - You will only be a successful entrepreneur if you love what you do. There are no shortcuts across the playing fields. It’s hard, it’s tough, and you have to slog it out and have patience. You will fail at a few things, but my most pioneering ideas and the most successful ideas have come about because of those setbacks and hurdles.I am surviving and I can tell you this: if you can survive the “no money in the bank” scenario, you will be able to survive anything. You’ll be unstoppable… and also be back to being able to sleep at night! Do all of that and one day you will look back and go like “did I build that? You – all on your own – built this thing that gets recognized around the world, a business that is financially stable and has enabled you to turn a dream into a reality!” It’s intoxicating, it’s addictive and the possibilities of where you can take it are endless! Go be an entrepreneur I say!