8 Years + 8 Things (part one)
It’s Outlaw’s 8th Birthday!!
It’s been an incredible number of years and I am so excited for even more to come! I feel like every year in business you not only learn so much running about business but also about yourself. So today, as a nod to the last 8 years of learning and growing Outlaw Creative. I thought it would be fun to talk about 8 things that I’ve learned along the way. Listen Now
Let’s jump in.
Find Your people and serve them well
When I started my business my main goal was to, of course, to gain traction - and to attract enough clients that would fill up my books. So at the beginning, this pretty much meant that as long as a client has a heart beat and a checkbook, I was game to work with them!
I was in it to win it and I knew that I needed to book as many clients as possible to make this entrepreneurial dream work. So my door was open to pretty much anyone and everyone.
But I think this is where a lot of people get stuck — and it’s definitely a place that I got stuck in for the first couple years of my business!
I was so eager to fill my schedule (and make real money!) that I took on way too many of the wrong projects! Projects that didn’t fit with my vision (or sometimes even my skillset!), which ended up draining all of my creative energy.
I heard this analogy that I think fits perfectly here called the Red Velvet Rope policy.
The Red Velvet Rope Policy is to think of your business as a red carpet event (think of it like the Emmy’s or Grammy’s). And you’re at the front entrance and fully 100% in charge of who gets in.
The people that you do let through get treated like royalty. They’re your VIPs. They are your ideal clients! Once they get inside, everything is setup to serve them well — from a business perspective this is everything from your brands message to your services and offerings, all the way to your customer support.
Then there’s the people that you DON’T let in to your special event. People that maybe don’t respect your process, or have a project that’s outside of your skillset, or maybe they’re not in the specific industry that you want to work in.
These may be wonderful people, but they aren’t the right fit for you.
And I know that it’s sometimes hard to say “no” but there’s a way to say no with class — support them by giving them a referral to someone else or another business that can serve them well.
Your business will thrive when you work with the right people. So make sure as you grow you put out the red velvet rope.
2. Stay in Your Lane
We’ve all been there, it’s 11pm you should be sleeping but instead you’re scrolling through the entire internet. But what starts as an unconscious scroll through instagram looking at cute cats or clothes, or fill-in-the-blank, can quickly become a comparison or jealousy game with others.
I think we’re all guilty of this at one point or another -- especially when we’re just starting out and kind of comparing where we are to where everyone else is. But here’s the thing, there’s will always someone further along than you are.
It’s important to remember that every successful entrepreneur began at the same starting line in their business.
It’s so easy for us, when we’re at or near the starting line, to compare ourselves with someone else’s “middle” but we need to remember that it took a lot of time for them to get there, and there’s often a LARGE puddle of blood, sweat and tears behind them!
I know that the comparison struggle is real -- especially if you’re in an industry that seems oversaturated with super talented entrepreneurs. Trust me, I’m a designer, there are SO MANY ridiculously talented designers out there that have work that just blows me away!
But I honestly believe that we all have something unique to offer, and I think the most important thing you can do is to stay in your lane and keep growing, and keep working on developing your own craft!
3. Visualize Your Goals
One of my very first business coaches had me do this exercise that I initially thought was kind of fluffy. She wanted me to “intensely visualize my goals”
She wanted me to really visualize my future and write down everything — from what I ate for breakfast in the morning, to the color of the walls in my new office space, to who was on my team and what kind of projects we were working on.
So I did. I wrote down what a day would look like 3 years out, and 5 years out, etc.
And you know what happened? As I started writing, I started getting more and more inspired. And I started really seeing what my life could be like if I put in the work. If I focused on my goals. And it was awesome!
My coach asked me to do this exercise because she knew that I had a lot of uncertainty around where my business was going and what kind of life I was painting for myself.
What I learned is that you cannot take massive action towards your goals if you have uncertainty - you have to have a clear picture of where you are going.
By intensely visualizing your goals, and attaching all of your senses to them, you create this feeling, or even I guess it could be described as an attachment, that can really help propel you forward. ESPECIALLY in those seasons of doubt that all of us have as entrepreneurs.
4. Keep It Simple
It’s natural to want everything that we put out into the world to be perfect. And of course we all want to highlight our best selves, and our best work. But sometimes, we get SO caught up in the details and get stuck obsessing over getting things “just right” that we actually hold ourselves back from taking action.
“Complexity is the enemy of execution” — Tony Robbins
When we overthink, overplan, or overwhelm a situation we stop moving forward, and we start feeling stuck.
I’ve done this myself (way too many times to count) and I’ve stalled out so many personal projects because of it. This podcast is a perfect example!
I started thinking about starting a podcast A YEAR AGO! But I made the mistake of creating this huge to do list in my mind - I completely overcomplicated it.
I made the process of starting a podcast so insanely complicated, that it prevented me from actually just taking action.
Luckily, after months and months of basically just talking about it, I finally got to the point of frustration and thought to myself this is just totally ridiculous. People, I literally just needed to push a button and record something!
Case and point, keep it simple!
Most things that we’re doing in our business actually are not that hard. Yes, there are certain things that you need, steps to be taken.. But at the end of the day it’s all about taking action, and taking one step forward at a time -- and simpler we can make it the better!
We’ll be back next week with the second part of this episode, and the last 4 lessons that we’ve learned over the last 8 years. So stayed tuned!
Until then, follow along with us on instagram! @outlawcreative