As I honor the lesson I’ve learned from living without Jess LC, I think it is also important to give thanks for the strengths that the accessory company taught me which still serve me today.
Many of these lessons will also relate to other entrepreneurs, as well.
#5. Branding is essential.
As I grew my lifestyle brand, I recognized the power of good design in the product and in the business materials. Though it would be wonderful to assume that everyone will love a superior product, branding is usually what gets people in the door – or scouting a website.
This brand awareness has helped me develop a consistent color palette, photo selection, and graphic style on my service site and here on the blog.
Plus, I learned the power of the online photo. When it comes to online shopping for products – and even many services – people consider buying based on the quality of the photo because the physical object is not able to be seen in person.
#4. Always take full responsibility.
When your business has your name on it, you learn to take full responsibility for things because at the end of the day, people are buying “you.”
This was not always easy to handle. Outside factors can affect quality, timeliness, and inventory shortages. But no matter what, I was always the end of the customer service line.
This taught me to live with integrity, honesty, and generosity. And in difficult situations, it has also taught me when to stand up for myself.
#3. Leadership trumps delegation.
Growing my team for five years taught me the power of leadership. Rather than delegate to teams with a lot of oversight and micromanaging, I get more accomplished because I believe in the people I work with and let them do their own thing as much as possible.
Yes, I give feedback and guidance, but I try to avoid putting limits on any team member.
I simply encourage them to “make things as amazing as they want!”
#2. Live with uncertainty.
Early on, I realized there is always an element of uncertainty when you work for yourself. At first, it was terrifying as I had little money and bills to pay every four weeks.
However, over the last six years I have learned to trust the process, do my best, listen to my gut, and let the rest unfold with time.
Speaking of which…
#1. Just Keep Going.
I know, I know. I’ve said this a million times. But I can’t really say it enough. There is no other factor that is as essential to success as the ability to just keep going. I learned how to do this even when things got hard from marathon training, and I have applied it throughout my years in small business ever since.
“Just keep going” is not about doing the same thing forever and ever. It is about following your gut and continuing even when things feel hard. Because you never know what might be just around the corner.