When I was in business school and they told us 90% of first businesses fail, I actually thought to myself, “Heck to the no that won’t be me!” Well not only did my first biz “fail” so did my second. But guess what? I don’t view them as failures at all! I learned so much from both but the biggest thing I learned from them was what my true passion and purpose is! I missed a lot of the little signs or those nagging feelings of “yesssss this is what I love!” along the way so I’ve decided to share a little look into what I ignored for years until we started Bold & Pop and I had that ah-ha! moment of “this, this is what I should be doing”!
I started my entrepreneurial journey in college with my first business, a shoe design company. I used my time in my senior year to do an independent study where I worked on creating the business plan for my company (if you read my blog about 5 pieces of biz advice you can ignore, you know how I feel about this…). Since I went to a business school, there were a lot of other awesome aspiring entrepreneurs and I was lucky enough to get in a great group where we would periodically meet up at one of our professors’ homes and chat all things biz. I continued to do this after graduation and I just love the comradery and brainstorm sessions that would take place. You know that feeling when you’re around people that just get you. I loved that and couldn't get enough!
Fast forward a few years and I was playing with the idea of shutting down business #1 to start business #2, another accessories company. I realized that because I was both designing the shoes in business #1 and also running the business it was near impossible for me to single-handedly scale the company. I also realized that I enjoyed the business side of things more than designing (I was hand painting the shoes so it was very time intensive.. you can see why scaling was impossible!) So alas, I shut down business #1 and in true entrepreneurial form, in 3 months I had my second business up and running.
With this one I decided to focus on the business-side of things a little more since that’s what I realized I really, truly enjoyed. Instead of designing and creating the pieces myself, I purchased wholesale and resold them. This was much more manageable and I was able to really focus on the fun stuff… Marketing! This is where I fell in love with styling images for Instagram and using them on social media to drive interest, engagement, and ultimately sales. I loved that I could still use my creative side but combine it with my business mindset.
While this business was much more manageable and way more my speed, I also was let go from my full-time job only a year or so into the business. I hadn’t quite gotten the biz to a level where I could make a liveable income (I was seriously bootstrapping y’all!) and if you’ve heard about Anna and my story before, you know after leaving our jobs we decided to join forces and start Bold & Pop! YAY!
I ended up shutting down biz #2 about a year into Bold & Pop because running two businesses is harddddd and I didn’t feel I could give 100% to either. As much as I loved that business and was seeing it grow, I decided Bold & Pop is the one paying the bills and here it is.. My ah-ha moment! Bold & Pop combined all my passions into one! Say whatttt? This is when I realized this is what I should be doing with my life and I needed to be able to give 150% to it!
So here they are, the signs I almost missed along my entrepreneurial journey:
My takeaway from business #1… I loved, and I mean LOVED, working with other entrepreneurs, small business owners, aspiring business owners, side hustlers, you name it, I wanted to talk, brainstorm, and help them.
My takeaway from business #2… I LOVED the marketing side of business. This is what I went to school for but didn't realize that I have a true passion for creating strong visuals and using those to create a cohesive brand until I started biz #2.
Now what do I do at Bold & Pop? I work with other business owners to help them develop various parts of their brand to all tie seamlessly together and that my friends, is where my true purpose and passion lies!
So my point in saying all of this is… Don’t be discouraged if your first, second, third, etc. business doesn’t work out. Take a second to evaluate what it was that you loved about that business and what it was that you didn’t really enjoy as much. That will help lead you to your true passion and purpose.
If something isn’t clicking, it might just mean it’s time to move on, learn, and head to bigger and better ventures.