5 Things I Learned While Running a Feng Shui Business
I own a Feng Shui consulting business. This sentence alone provokes a thousand assumptions and misconceptions. As an entrepreneur, we are presented with opportunities to make a good living doing what we love and sharing what we enjoy. While we do our best to seize the moments, they almost always come with a set of challenges.
My business is unique and difficult to understand. I remember asking myself once, “How do I get customers when they don’t understand what I’m selling?” If they don’t understand it, how could I turn this into a valuable and profitable business today and tomorrow?
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, every start-up will face a huge learning curve. It’s all part of the game. But after 5-plus years of paving the way for my work, these were the most pivotal revelations I learned while running a business:
Passion Is Not Enough.
Passion is a great start. Having the deepest kind of passion and enthusiasm for something you love is powerful. It will push you through leaps and bounds you never thought possible. It will be the motivation behind the desire to succeed and make a difference, and you will be better equipped to overcome obstacles that will inevitably show up.
But passion must also be accompanied with business smarts. Nobody went to business school to learn business. You learn the business by being in the business. You must develop an understanding of people, technology, information, and process. For me, business savvy and passion are like an equation – they go hand-in-hand. One without the other will be the difference between launching a successful, profitable, and sustainable enterprise, or a glorified hobby.
Everyone Is Going To Have An Opinion.
People care, especially those that love you and wish to see you succeed. And they will offer all the advice you ever care to hear. There are merits to considering them, but there will come a time when it will be imperative to shut them off and decipher what makes the most sense for you and your business. While you should be open to new ideas and constructive criticism, don’t adjust your sails on a whim based on your fear of people’s judgment and perception. Above all, don’t let everyone else’s voice cloud or confuse your own.
You must have your own solid opinion about the direction and health of your business. You need to establish who you are and why you’re here, what you’re about, and how you intend to service others. If you can formulate these answers from the start, it will be easier to listen to external feedback and save you the time, discomfort, and emotional heartache.
Who The Heck Are You?
What makes you so special? Are you outstanding? What are you doing that hasn’t been done a million times before by a million other people, better, cheaper, and faster? Are you an innovator, setting the path for the rest to follow? Are you an original, creating new ideas from inspiration? Or are you a follower, doing what everyone else is doing?
No business – particularly a small one – can be all things to all people. The more narrowly you can define your target market, the better. With this, you have to establish and position your brand that will set you apart from the rest. Don’t make the mistake of doing what’s popular or fall into the trap of cutting corners. Sustainability and reputation are about defining your unique position that your target market cannot find anywhere else. This will be part of creating and surviving in a niche market.
Failing Is Inevitable.
Yes, you will fail. Because even successful people like Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Soichiro Honda, Richard Branson, Stephen King, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Gates, did not start out on top of their game. Failure is inevitable and they can show up as missed opportunities, lost business, and negative criticism.
In business, there’s a saying that success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. So I try to remember what Einstein once said, “Failure is success in progress.” It’s healthy to embrace this as an opportunity to grow, to learn, to try again, and do better. If you fear it, you will never have the courage to go beyond your wildest imagination. Take calculated risks to minimize the chances of failure, but don’t let the anticipation of failing be the reason why you shouldn’t forge ahead.
Love Every Aspect Of Doing Business.
I wear multiple hats running my own business. And you will find yourself needing to know a little about a lot in order to succeed. You can’t just be good at making the product or delivering the service, but you also have to understand the basics in and around accounting, sales, marketing, branding, PR, operations, etc. You have to love every aspect of doing business and be willing to jump out of your comfort zone, time and time again.
The longevity of your business relies on you being adept and versed in all areas of doing business. It will take time but you will be a well-rounded and better entrepreneur for many years to come.
To learn more about what we offer at Feng Shui by Jen, please visit: www.FengShuibyJen.com.