If you’re an entrepreneur and creative business person, I have a feeling that you can probably relate to a handful, if not all, of these business roadblocks. And if you are just starting out, it’s a great read to prepare you for what is in store when you start your own business.
I’ve read the book Purple Cow by Seth Godin, a few times in the last two years. The principle of the book revolves around making your business outstanding; a purple cow among the boring black and white cows that everyone is used to seeing. It sums it to state that in order for you to be remarkable, you have to be different.
I started my blog, “Real Estate in Stilettos” as a creative outlet to my business website www.NikkiSingh.com. I wanted my blog to be different, and I quickly learned that I was one of the few Realtors in the city that actually had a blog and used it parallel to my real estate business. I started the blog with things I thought people wanted to read and then noticed that my followers were interested in certain topics, rather than just real estate topics. This allowed me to focus on the branding element of my blog and turn it into a business.
Here are some of the roadblocks I experienced and how I overcame them to keep my business running successfully:
Pricing Your Services Based On Your Worth
I was so scared to price myself competitively for fear that I would scare away potential clients and customers, but what I was really doing was diminishing the value of my work and giving people a reason not to take me seriously. While you can’t start out at a ridiculously high price point when you’re first starting your business, it’s important to price yourself reasonably (especially if you’re trying to take your business from part-time to full-time). Money is what separates a business from a hobby, and in order to do what you love, you have to be compensated for it to keep your business up and running. I’ve said this a lot on the blog recently but it’s because I’ve been there and I see hesitation among others in the industry who get so focused on the passion side of things: it’s okay to make money.Criticism
I’ve learned the difficult reality that you can’t please everybody and not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay. In my niche, I found that I lost connections with a lot of my fellow real estate contacts. What was once a great circle of real estate minds I was proud to be a part of quickly turned into less interaction with my fellow peers and more distance from close colleagues. This was mainly due to the “real estate” section on my blog where I wrote a number of articles to assist new realtors in their new found career. Nonetheless, I didn’t let it stop me, and continued t write as a way to assist my fellow realtors new to the industry.
Managing Your Time Effectively
It is so crucial to develop good time management skills from the very beginning of any business. I’ve had to really crack down on scheduling out my workday and setting boundaries on the number of client showings and shopping breaks I take. I set office hours so others have expectations of when I’ll be working and answering emails, and I’ve even had to cut back on checking in on social media - even when it’s business related. I feel like this will always be an area that I could improve upon, but I’m learning more and more about organization and time management with each passing week. Being taken seriously
A family friend of mine recently inquired about my business a week and a half ago, and although they probably meant nothing by it, they mentioned how surprised they were that my business was doing fairly well. It isn’t the first time that I’ve heard a comment like that, and I think it has something to do with being a young female realtor who also happens to run a successful branding career blog.
I’ve struggled to get others to take me seriously in the past, especially those who are older than me, so I’m extremely cautious about sharing high quality content and keeping a professional tone on the blog. I’ve learned that the more I take myself seriously, the more others take me seriously, too.
Effective Use of the Word, "NO".
People pleasing and business are like oil and vinegar; they just don’t mix. And as a huge people-pleaser and perfectionist, I had to learn that lesson the hard way. I said yes to any and everything, and I ended up being burnt out and frustrated in the long run. Taking on projects outside of the scope of what I offered kept me from taking on projects that I truly wanted to work on, and my creativity and stress levels suffered as a result.
I’ve learned that people can (and will) walk all over you if you let them, especially in business. And while I feared the disapproval of others, I’ve also learned that people tend to respect you more when you set boundaries and stick to them.
Competition is inevitable and necessary in any industry. Without competition, we wouldn’t be as encouraged to innovate and push ourselves to come up with new ways of doing things. Our free market society is driven from competition; it’s a good thing. Keep in mind that competition in business is different from competing with people themselves; the jealousy and envy game is another issue in and of itself.
The truth about business is that it's always changing and evolving. Just when you think you've got it figured out, a new challenge pops up. There will always to be more to learn (usually by trial and error), but I've seen that it's all part of this fun whirlwind of a journey.
With Love | Nikki xo