Facebook reminded me of a very special memory today. So special I thought it deserved a whole blog post.
On this day, one year ago, Africana Skincare was born (back then called Africana – delicious for your skin). It is exactly one year ago since I announced to the world my “birth” to a project that has changed me inside and out. It feels so long ago but at the same time as if it was yesterday since I bought my ticket to a rollercoaster ride full of ups and downs, or put simpler, since becoming an entrepreneur.
Looking back at this year it has been a very educative one. Lesson upon lesson, challenge upon challenge. It has been exhausting, sometimes draining and sometimes lonely. I always used to work in an environment where I was told what to do. Where there was a team and job tasks were divided. Now I need to plan and execute everything myself from start to finish. I may find time to take a break physically, but mentally my brain is always switched to mode “on” because if I don’t do it, who will do it for me?
After having read all of that you may think to yourself, so what’s the point in becoming an entrepreneur if everything is mostly negative?
Taking the step into the unknown and starting Africana Skincare has brought me my passion and my purpose back. Once you find those two things, everything else flows and make sense. The insignificant things that you used to put too much attention to before, fade away because you do not have time for them again. You become more focused and determined than ever. You are motivated again because you start following your dreams and realise that it is possible to create that life you always imagined in your head but never thought it would be possible to achieve.
We live in a society that restricts us from who we really want to be or what we really want to do. Salaries are a jail into making dreams possible for others and into a routine of unhappiness.
Not having a stable monthly income and being restricted financially is not the most attractive or easy. It has brought me months of frustration, sacrifice and asking myself, how will your survive? However, it has also opened my eyes into seeing how attached we are to money and how scared we are to lose it. This is were selfishness comes into play and the idea of always wanting more and more. This in turn creates certain characters in people which I will not go into because this is not the post for that.
My advice to you if you are thinking of starting your own project
Be mentally prepared. Be mentally strong. Starting your own business or project is not a joke. It is a complete change of lifestyle which will require you to even change certain mindsets and daily habits. Mentally you really need to be strong to overcome the 1049590 thousands of challenges that will come your way.
Do not be scared. Take the risk. If you are the type who loves routine and is scared to be out of his/her comfort zone, being an entrepreneur is not for you. Being an entrepreneur is constant change, constant lesson learning and if you want to reach success you HAVE to take the risks. I have been told on many occasions, by acquaintances or friends, Tatiana you need to be careful from others copying your ideas. I always say the same, look competition is inevitable. It is like a market where everyone sells bread. Even though it is the same bread, each bread seller will have its market and clients.
Surround yourself by other entrepreneurs & people on your similar path. As I mentioned earlier, entrepreneurship can be very lonely. Additionally, non entrepreneurs may never understand your path. They may question what you are doing and/or how you are doing it. You may start feeling as if you are crazy or you’re doing something wrong but when you sit down with other entrepreneurs and realise they are going through the exact same challenges as you, or have same thought processes as you, it comes as a relief – Have a look into mastermind groups.
Feed your mind with positive content. Break certain habits. One of my biggest lessons has been to open my eyes to the idea that what we feed our mind with is how we will behave. I used to watch a lot of reality shows which are full of arguments and drama (my life would sometimes feel as if it was a constant drama). Start listening to motivational speakers. To successful people. Read enriching books. But most importantly, be careful who you surround yourself with and what you tell people. Be selective.
Delegate and take breaks. I used to believe (I actually sometimes still do) that I can be superwoman. My project is like my baby and I am overprotective with it. For this reason I am scared to delegate any tasks. However, mental breaks are so important. Do not feel guilty for simply doing nothing. Or for taking a one week holiday and leaving your laptop behind. The same way, find people to delegate tasks to.
After a whole year of entrepreneurship I am still learning. I have just written five advices that you should follow but I am still battling with most of them myself. It takes time, experience and maturity to really learn how to balance out your life. To learn that we are not superwoman.