Updated: Jul 7, 2020
I wrote and erased and wrote and erased this blog post I think 5 times and here's where I have landed. I made a choice (paired with prayer, per usual) in March that I wouldn't let Covid hold me captive - not in my personal life, not as a business owner, not as a mom. And by and large, it hasn't. And while you can get all the bad news, I wanted to bring you some good news. I want to share with you how I'm thriving during Covid as an entrepreneur because I FULLY believe you can, too.
I want to bring forth ideas to you that may help - perhaps today or maybe tomorrow.
I want to reveal real ways I have pivoted in my business and how those things have not only kept my income steady, they have increased my revenue more than I ever anticipated.
If you are like me - an entrepreneur, a solopreneur, a mompreneur - I UNDERSTAND. This season is crazy! It's hard and emotional and things are changing so rapidly, forcing us to fight even harder for peace and for profit. Here's what I've done and you can do it, too.
SERVE // To perform duties or services for another person or organization.
First, I have shifted my brand DNA to be far more about serving than selling. As a business owner, my job is to sell. I have to sell my services and products to make money. It's pretty straightforward. But I realized back in March I had room to grow to serve my community and my clients and so I did - and am doing - just that.
I created two free guides - one for interior designers and one for homeowners.
For designers, I revealed the 6 educational resources I use regularly as a self-taught interior designer.
For homeowners, I shared my 5 ways to make your house more cohesive because over and over again, this was the number one challenge I heard my clients talk about. There was a problem, I offered a solution. This is serving.
I am shifting my content to offer more education and give more "how-to" directives so while people are at home, they can take my tips and implement.
I'm sharing where I source products from and ways you can purchase. From my Amazon Shop to my Liketoknow.it page, I am spending more time on this than I have because that's what my community told me they wanted from me. And yes, I do get commissions but the time it takes to execute across these commission-based platforms can arguably make it not worth it. But, in this season, I figured if my community wants it and I could break even, it's worth it.
I'm listening and trying to truly serve people in this season - you can, too. We aren't boiling the ocean, we are just trying to use our gifts and talents to better the world, even in the smallest of ways.
INNOVATE // To make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.
I think now more than ever is the time to get creative and take some risks. Innovation actually thrives in a time like this so why not test it. Try it. Create it. Publish it. Sell it. Whatever IT is for you, I think it's worth moving it right along and not letting fear or negative thoughts get in your way. The truth is, nobody is thinking about you as much as you think they are so just GO ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF.
I designed and starting selling face masks amidst a moment where I knew the experience of creating a product, marketing a product, selling a product and shipping a product would push me far outside of my comfort zone. That is where innovation thrives. It was uncomfortable and hard but, with the right people around me, I did it.
On the flip side, an example less robust is around how I market myself on existing interior designer platforms - a la Houzz and Pinterest. Those platforms are not new. Having a listing or using them is also not new. But refreshing your listing or using them in a new way or studying how to use them better for your business - THAT IS INNOVATION. You've heard me talk about my success with Pinterest which continues to be a win for my business. And then I decided to create a guide with a step-by-step fool-proof approach so you all could do the same. And that was my first paid product I launched...ever. And I had to figure out how to do that - BRING IT ON, INNOVATION! This has been done 4 million times but not by me. And the same goes for you. Don't let fear of someone else's success or them being further ahead stop you from innovating. Please, we need you.
EDUCATE // to give or receive training in or information on a particular field.
If you ever wanted to take a class or learn to cook or become more intelligent on a certain topic, you actually have no excuses now. Sorry for being abrupt but it's true.
I have literally listened to 20+ podcasts in the last 2 months and Googled "how to's" on everything from SEO and ESPs to drop-shipping and gardening to lead-magnets and course creation. I am stacking my brain with information and it doesn't stop there - I am putting it into action. Education is only as good as what you do with it - don't leave it in that brain of yours - USE IT AND SHARE IT. Your business will be better because of it. What are the things yo've been putting off because you don't know how to do? Well, ask a friend to help or open up Skillshare or go to YouTube. Just start. Start where you are with what you have. I promise each small action will lead to big wins!
AUTHENTICATE // To prove to be true or genuine.
Perhaps the hardest for some and perhaps the one that doesn't feel like there is a payoff, being authentic right now is something I believe will set you apart form your competition. Showing up for your community and your customers in a way that is real, that is relatable and that is honest can have a lasting impact. It's the long game and it's a heart game. Some may disagree, but I have seen the success personally as a result of me trying my best - imperfectly - at being who I am.
I share my struggles and I talk about my faith and my failures openly because ultimately, if we are going to work together or you are going to purchase something from me, I want you to know the person behind the brand. No, the world doesn't need you to share your deepest darkest secrets or pain. But, being more than a highlight reel and more than a perfect photo and trying to show up as the person you were created to be? That is good. So dang good. Play the long game and see how being YOU will lead to success and peace and joy. It has for me and as I've said before - it can for you, also.
Be well, friends.