Hey friend – how are you, really?

For me, the last few months have been INTENSE. The most intense since Re:Creative launched, if I’m being honest. Starting a business is one thing, but driving expansion and growth in the midst of a pandemic is a whole other ball game. Ouuuuf. There have been many meltdowns. There was even a week when I cried every day. The struggle has been REAL, so if this past season has been a heavy one for you, know that you aren’t alone.

September marked Re:Creative’s 5-year anniversary – I almost let it slip by without a pause to appreciate how far we’ve come. I had to consciously give myself a minute sit with how huge that milestone is. HELLO, having a business for five years is a big freaking deal! (But, let me just say – I think I’ve learned more about running a business in these last few months than in my total five years combined).

As I pause and reflect on the last five years, I wanted to round up some things I learned along the way, and a few I wished I knew from the beginning. Whether you’re a new business owner or perhaps a seasoned one, these reminders will help you check in and remember how far YOU’VE come, too. Here goes:

• Be yourself, be authentic. Yes, authenticity is a buzzword right now, but the lesson that comes along with this is, you can be professional *AND* be yourself. Not only does this make you feel better in your business day-to-day, it also builds lasting relationships with your clients, attracts dream opportunities, and creates a life you love.

• Listen to your gut — when something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t. Your intuition will never steer you wrong. Read this one again.

• Get things in order when you start your business. Like, RIGHT AWAY, okay?! Business insurance, business license, business bank account, accounting software, client contracts. It can feel overwhelming (and kinda scary!) when you are starting a business to think about lawyers and accounting but trust me – you’re going to have to think about it eventually, and this will save you so much time and many headaches along the way. Your future accountant thanks you.

Set boundaries with your clients and the types of jobs you take on. Be honest about what you need, set expectations, and stick to ’em – for your clients, and yourself.

• Outsource the tasks you don’t enjoy. FOR REAL, friend. Did you start a biz to do a bunch of stuff you hate?! Yeah, me neither.

• Preserve your work-life balance. This has been the hardest one for me. Hobbies, personal relationships, vacations, me time — these are essential in keeping you sane, happy and fulfilled. Lots to discuss here – stay tuned for a future post allll about this topic.

• Create systems and processes for both the team and for yourself. Systems help ensure everything is running smoothly and efficiently. I created systems for the team but only realized recently that I need to implement systems for the tasks that I am responsible for, too! Also — continue to update your systems and add new ones as your business grows.

• Don’t become complacent. Always be learning, invest in your education, seek new inspiration, and level up.

Here’s the deal: Owning a business is hard. It can feel isolating at times. It can feel overwhelming and suffocating. It can be scary. It absolutely will be meltdowns in your car in the middle of the day. But it is also fulfilling, liberating and exciting. You take the good with the bad – and my goal is to help you recognize more of the good.

From one business owner to another, you got this!