It’s sort of a loaded question to ask, but we asked it anyway because we want to give you the best business advice for creative entrepreneurs that we possibly can. Well, as much as possible without you actually being a coaching client or part of our revamped Jetsetter Academy 😉
Buuuut, before you get a glimpse into some of our industry’s top dogs’ brilliant brains, I need to give you a WARNING!!! because my goal is to inspire and empower you, not overwhelm you. That said, be on the look out for advice that fits where you’re at in this season of your business. Heck, in your life for that matter. Please, please, please do not walk away thinking you need to do it all or be it all. Be you. Just the best version of yourself. That might mean implementing one or two of these things to start.
Rant over. Onto the goods. We asked some of our favorite industry friends one tough question and we’re so grateful they’ve taken the time to share their thoughts and hearts with you! (Don’t worry, Jesse and I didn’t weasel our way out of answering this toughie. You’ll find our two cents at the bottom.)
If you had to boil it down to one thing that’s helped you get your business where it is today, what would that thing be?
I understand that, as business owners, we want to see RESULTS. But we must separate ourselves from the results themselves. You are not results. You are not defined by a client refusal. You are more than a denied project. You are not the outcome of a flopped launch. You are more than you let yourself believe. When we separate ourselves from the outcome, we free ourselves to believe that the right clients will find us, that new projects will arise, and flops are just valuable business lessons in disguise. When this happens, we are free to believe we are worth far more than our hearts can imagine. So, go on sweet friend, separate yourself from the outcome and enjoy the ride. // Jasmine Star
I think the single most important thing that I have ever done in my business overall has been thinking differently. The way we market, the way we create educational products, the way we try to see business is just a little different from the rest of the world and that has served us so well! We stand out in both the photography and education world because we’re not afraid to do things differently! // Katelyn James
Running out of money is the number one reason businesses fail. We see too many entrepreneurs who fail not because they can’t make enough, but because they spend too much — or don’t have a specific, purposeful plan for where their money is going each month. That’s why we recommend that everyone read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, and live and breathe his principles for managing money. // Amy & Jordan
Wise counsel! I meet monthly with a group of fellow CEO’s for Biblical business counsel and to learn alongside each other. It has been the best thing I’ve ever done for our business. I don’t feel alone on the “leadership island” anymore. Surrounding myself with this kind of accountability and support has been a gift! // Lara Casey
ONE thing is hard, but a BIG shift for me has been realizing I need to build my business to run when I can’t. Not just like, seeing that as a concept, but like, doing the hard work to make it happen. If I’m the quarterback of my own business, I don’t know when I’ll be out, right? I could get injured tomorrow and be out all season, so how am I constantly thinking of how I can build this to run either when I can’t … or just need a nap. // Ashlyn Carter
I realized that I have the power to change. When something wasn’t working, I made the change that I needed. When I realized that I was being “team too much,” I made changes to simplify and streamline in order to get on the other side of busy. You can continue to make excuses and put things off or you can realize that today, this very second, you have the power to change for the better. In your business and your life. // Shunta Grant
Focus. Now, I don’t mean the ability to focus on a task and be super productive and get all of your to-do list to done (I’m not the best at that if I’m being totally honest). What I mean is focusing on your business. Focusing on what you’re doing. And that’s it. The ability to put your blinders on, ignore everyone else, and keep your head down is what it took for me to build my business. It ain’t always easy! But, it’s so incredibly worth it. I mean, if it worked for Oprah during the talk show wars of the 90s, it’s gotta work for folks like you and me. You’ve gotta be your version of Oprah. Ignore Phil Donahue (and Sally Jessy…and Ricki Lake…and Jerry Springer). Keep your head down. It makes all the difference. // Tyler McCall
Opening up and connecting with women who get it, too! They’re the ones pushing me through hard times, challenging me to reach a dream and cheering me on as I do. My business would be a lonely, isolating place without them (and truthfully I don’t think it would be anywhere near “successful” if I didn’t have them in my life)! // Kat Schmoyer
Consistently seeking the wisdom of people who are smarter than us. Whether that’s through coaching, attending a workshop, or simply calling up a friend when I’m stuck on something, having the ability to pull from beyond JUST my own resources and brains has been invaluable. I honestly wouldn’t be in business today if it weren’t for our industry mentors-turned-friends who were there to either cheer me on or help problem-solve in some of the most challenging seasons of business. And what’s been really rewarding is how, now that we’re “veterans” in the industry, I’ve been able to turn around and occasionally offer advice or wisdom back to the folks who have always been there for me! // Abby Grace
Having a plan and a vision for where the business is going. Too often, we get caught up in the day-to-day details and miss opportunities that are right in front of us. Making intentional time to work on your business—stepping out and looking at the big picture—can re-ignite creativity and passion and help you build a strategy to move your business forward.
For example, my team meets quarterly to discuss what’s working, what’s not working, challenges, opportunities, and much, much more. Having this dedicated time together where we’re not buried in the to-dos allows us to do things like brainstorm new (or improved) products or put together a marketing plan for the next few months. If we didn’t have this time set aside, we may never have accomplished some of the amazing things we’ve done! // Amber Housley
You get two for the price of one here!
Jesse: Consistency. Yes, there will be times of hustle and pushing it, but there needs to be consistency, no matter what season of your business you’re in. When you’re consistent, you’re always making forward progress. Even if they’re just baby steps, you’re heading in the right direction!
Becky: Doing the scary, “risky,” hard things not everyone is willing to do. Sometimes that’s putting yourself in front of the camera. Sometimes that’s scrapping something you spent a lot of time and money on. Sometimes that’s trusting your gut and saying yes to a big, fat idea that seems crazy! Sometimes that’s humbling yourself and getting back in the game after a failed attempt. If you’re willing to get uncomfortable and overcome awkward, you’ll stand out from the crowd and gain a lot of confidence along the way. // (Yours truly!), Idealust
What stands out to you? What words jumped out at you? What inspires you to take a different approach to how you’re currently doing business? We’d love to hear in the comments below 🙂