-(or are thinking to start a business, project, break into new industry)
I’ve been meaning to write posts for people like me who do things or who want to start doing things. By doing things I mean people that make, create, record content or things and put them out there for general consumption by the public. I have been a makeup artist for 4 years in June and the owner of an e commerce cosmetic brand (Kem lux beauty soon to be known as Kem beauty) for a year and 5 months now and on youtube for 2 and a half years. So I think it’s safe to say that although I don’t know up to half that there is to know about business, creating content, providing service or selling a product- I know my fair share of the know-how. I learn every single day whether I want to or not- especially when I make mistakes and I have made a lot of them (none of them detrimental thankfully). Here’s a short list of a few gems of wisdom I have learnt and think you ought to know:
- It will not be easy. It is not supposed to be easy- it’s supposed to be doable.
There’s a common misconception that everything that you like doing is supposed to be easy. We see people online and in reality who do things and we think why can they do that so easily and I can’t? The truth is they aren’t always going to show you the struggle, nor do they have to. Any thing worth having won’t fall into your lap, yes blessings are about and some things come easier than others in your journey; but most times, blessings come when you show that you can handle them, and if you navigate through life thinking everything should be handed to you, you probably won’t have a real work ethic in place to handle great opportunities and blessings. There is a story in the struggle, and there are defining outcomes to every challenge and the lessons learnt are invaluable. Nonetheless this isn’t to say that everything has to be hard and not doable. There are a lot of things in life that are hard but if EVERYTHING you try to do for your project etc is hard? then maybe reassess your mindset, your position or even if this is for you.
2) Be careful where you place your validation
Likes online are nice but they don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. When you reach a certain number of likes and follows it won’t surprise or interest you much anymore and it is at these times where your genuine love for whatever you do has to show its face. Good feedback, likes etc are really nice to see but a balance is required. You shouldn’t feel like you need these things to carry on. If the most important reason you do things is for people to validate you online, then when you don’t get the reception you wanted, it can create some unnecessary feelings of inadequacy. You have to validate yourself. You should believe in your skills and ideas enough so that whether people jump on board or not you still move in strength. People will come, trust me: especially if what you are doing is from the heart and you actually put in the required work. Don’t let the act of people jumping on your bandwagon be the beginning of you believing in your journey. Try and utilise your skills so well and make such dope work that the direction and purpose stays the same regardless of whether people jump on or not. When I first started makeup I used to try and get so many likes because it made me feel like my work was good and when I did a look for a client that I though was bomb; if it didn’t get the likes I wanted, I would doubt my skills. 4 years on and that that is absolute crap to me, I have learnt to refuse to see my work as any less beautiful because of likes etc. There needs to be an understanding that your work is good and appealing to others but also a conscious effort not to let that become a driving force behind it. When you focus on creating and not seeking perfection or likes etc, customers will come, work will come opportunities will most definitely come.
3) Not everyone will like your work, nor will it appeal to everyone. Don’t take it personally.
Quite simply ^ that is that.
4) You will not “get rest” when you die, that is stupid.
Don’t believe the hype. We all have the same 24 hours yes but time needs to be used wisely for it to be on our side. Working throughout the night every night and dedicating all your time to your project is not always a healthy or productive solution. Learn to water all your plants: including you. If you are not good, your work won’t be its best. Sleep well, eat well, see people, talk to people, take breaks. I turn off my notifications when I get to bed now. I found myself answering emails at midnight it was like I was addicted and that’s not right. It doesn’t make me sad or tired but it’s just not right, I need time for me and for my mind to healthily unwind without the constant emails. It’ll be there in the morning. Set those boundaries so that work doesn’t become your worst enemy or drain you of yourself. Yes you are a creator but you also have other identities that need attention and TLC.
One day I was at uni and I remember my Masters thesis was due in two days, I had a group presentation the next day also but I had gotten like 50 glow oil orders from the site as I had just launched it that week. My boyfriend was ready to help me package the orders as usual but he was literally looking at me with such a concerned side eye. I had just come in extremely grumpy from a 9am-6pm day at uni and I was halfheartedly saying lets get it- knowing that I was one cry away from an anxiety attack (laughing as i type this). We set out all the orders, he helped me label everything, seal everything and prepare all the mailing bags and I was getting frustrated and things muddled up and he said Kemi go to sleep now we can carry on tomorrow. Guys, I didn’t argue i went to make noodles and went to bed and I slept so well that night knowing that I chose myself. I was happy to have someone there to let me know that it was okay to take a break and prioritise other things. I had SO many breakdowns at uni last year, some were delayed response to my fatigue some were in the middle of my massive workload. I wouldn’t do it again quite honestly, the juggling of a business and masters that is. Nowadays, I do have the odd night where I’m up all night packaging orders but I am happy to make that sacrifice because 1) it needs to be done and 2) if I have been taking care of myself the way I should be- one night of putting in work won’t affect me as much as if it were a continuous thing: Working smarter.
5) your network….
You need people. You cannot do it alone. Getting help is a sign of strength not weakness. If you don’t work with others, ask for help, talk to people about your ideas you will remain in the same spot for a while. Yes, you may like that spot – but isn’t the goal to keep on moving forward? or are you a complacent person? As long as you have good people around you, you will go far. I asked for help from my friend Alex late last year and he is into coding and tech stuff- nothing to do with what I do but he ended up giving me great advice on my site and also ended up showed me his girlfriends work – now I want to work with her! Anyone that is doing something well can give you an insight and advice on at least SOMETHING. My friends helped me plan, execute and run my pop up shop event in 6 weeks last August and turned it into something that I knew I couldn’t have done by myself. M y strength doesn’t come from me alone, God uses people to speak to us if only we will listen and drop the pride. The best opportunities can come by you reaching out and asking questions, starting a conversation and being open to learn.
I hope this post made you think! should I continue a kind of business creative self help series on this blog? let me know and drop some of your gems below.
Love and light.