At the end of the year I think it is pretty safe to say that people find themselves in a place of retrospect thinking over the past year. Pondering their failures, rejoicing for their successes and plotting on what’s to come. I am no different and although I can truly say I am proud of the things I accomplished in 2012 there were still some mistakes that I made that came attached to some valuable lessons.

This year I faced my fears and launched my business Divinitee. It was a long time coming and it felt so good to finally succeed and have the support of so many of you and others behind me. On the back end I learned a lot about business, people and myself. I know many of you may be pondering starting your own business in the new year so I thought I might share some of the mistakes that I made. This blog is about my life, but I also hope you see it as an uplifting, and useful tool. If I can stop someone from making the same mistakes I’m all for it. Sharing is caring!!

Source: justfindit4u.com via Mimi on Pinterest

1. Be selective about who you go in business with: Remember my blog post about Separation Anxiety. Without airing all of my dirty laundry, said person was also my business partner. I went into the venture thinking that I was insufficient to run it on my own. I was afraid and I let that fear convince me that I couldn’t succeed on my own when indeed I could have. As a result, my business credit has been ruined and financially my business is bankrupt. I will come back, I don’t know how but I will.

Moral: of the story is believe in yourself. If it’s not absolutely necessary to include someone on the payroll then don’t.

2. Utilize Your Network: To piggyback off #1, some of the things I brought on another person to do I could’ve essentially pulled on and bartered with my network to get those things done without having to answer to another person regarding my vision. If you have surrounded yourself with genuinely helpful people you will find that you have most of what you need. For the things you can’t manage within your network pay a professional to do it. Keep in mind you get what you pay for, sometimes its better to pay someone well up front, rather than having to pay someone to fix another persons mess.

Moral: Before you share your business or get discouraged about not having the money to do something consult your network. You will be surprised.

3. Do a SWOT Analysis of Yourself: For those not familiar SWOT stands for Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. Look deeply at yourself and your capabilities. Although you may feel you don’t have the time to do the Social Media aspect of your business but you are good at it, you need to make the time. My good friend Erika shared with me something that rings true in my head…”Either you have time or you have money.” If you have no money then you need to make the time to do the tedious tasks required to keep your profits in your pocket and allow your business the time and space to grow.

Moral: Make the sacrifices. That may mean no sleep. I’ve heard toothpicks will hold your eyelids open very well at work!! The sacrifices are nothing compared to the joy of success.

4. Don’t  Sweat the Small Stuff: Starting a business requires so many minute details and processes on the back end from business licensing to business card design. Don’t let those small things stop you from working toward the bigger goal. I am the kind of person that feels like everything has to go in order and when I don’t have the money or the resources to make one thing happen I let it halt the entire process. Don’t be like ya girl. Still get clients, keep making your product, keep working under the table while you’re getting those other things in place. Otherwise the small things will discourage you from your ultimate goal.

Moral: Keep moving and if you have to FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT!!!!

5. Have Fun: Starting and running a business can quickly turn your passion into a headache. Keep in mind why you are doing what you are doing and if at any point you feel unfulfilled reassess whether or not you really want to continue. At this time I am no longer passionate about Divinitee. I don’t know if it’s the situation or if I choose not to run a business that requires so many moving parts. I am not throwing in the towel yet but I am reassessing. In the meantime I will leave the website up while I figure out my next steps and processes.

Moral: Sometimes we think we want things until we get in the throes of it. It’s okay to fold but think about why you are throwing in the towel. If its fear keep going, if it’s lack of passion take a minute to think before making a huge move.

Are you pondering starting a business in the new year? Are you a business owner, do you have any additional tips to add?

 

26 Responses to You Have What it Takes

  • Carissa says:

    Mimi I absolutely LOVE your blog-it is so real! These tips are very helpful and I’m sure if you keep praying that God will reveal to you the direction that you are supposed to go. This is just a hurdle that you have to overcome! Just like you told me once on my blog that if you stay faithful the path will be revealed to you! And ever since you told me that it has stayed with me…so I know that you know that and everything will work out for you. You are such an inspiration to me and I’m glad that I connected with you…Im excited to see what God has for you!!!

    **writing these tips down**
    Carissa recently posted..Wet Ones Sticky Situations (CONTEST: WIN iPad Mini or Six Flags Tickets)

    • Carla says:

      I totally agree. Your blog is not the typical “Mommy” blog. You really are a down to earth, relatable person and that’s why I love your blog so much. I’ve thought about starting a business, many times, but never went through with it. Ultimately, it is something that I plan on achieving, just not at the moment.

      You will bounce back.. strong and better than ever!
      Carla recently posted..Taking a moment.

      • Mimi says:

        Oh thank you! It has been a blessing connecting with you. You have so much to offer and so many years ahead of you still to make sure your dreams get done. I’m proud of you!!

    • Mimi says:

      *holds back tears* Oh Carissa, we all are just on a journey and I am so thankful that we all are able to help each other with tidbits here and there. Thank you for giving that back to me. I need it!

      Happy New Year!

    • Mimi says:

      I have never had anyone tell me I couldn’t do anything. To think that people fall prey to dream killers is so sad. You said that, “keep hustling and everything will work out.” It always does!

    • Mimi says:

      So sad that the people you trust the most use that to their advantage. I have learned a lot about people and I know how to proceed moving forward.

  • LaShawn says:

    Oh I needed this today!!! I’m plotting, thinking, planning, worrying about starting a photography business next year. It’s something I never would have thought I would do. And some days I think my fear is overtaking my vision!
    Stay encouraged!! And thanks for this!!

    • Mimi says:

      I learned to overcome a large majority of my fears in 2012. I’m still a little scared but once you take the first leap watch out world!!

  • Kita says:

    First pat yourself on the back because you started it. Some people die with the dreams still in them. I love my network and always start there. I have had so many no’s with this magazine and just last week a stranger who has been watching me for a while gave me some great stuff and I am on my way for the new year. Re work your plan and start fresh.
    Kita recently posted..It’s My Birthday

    • Mimi says:

      My mother died with her dreams in her. I think that is partly why I am so determined to succeed at something. Not just for her but for my children to see an example of how life can be if you follow your dreams. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for Kokoa in 2013

  • Law_Fal says:

    all of these are good words of wisdom. i like #3 especially! perseverance is important when trying to accomplish things. i like vision boards as well to keep you focused….

    • Mimi says:

      Yes, my vision board is going to be on point. I get distracted and sidetracked so easily. I hope it really works as a physical reminder of where I am trying to go when the path seems lost.

  • THANK YOU for this, your posts are always right on time. You can and will bounce back from all the set backs, so sorry you had to go through this but it was a lesson I learned too (HARD CRASH COURSE IN TRUSTING MYSELF) and we’ll all be here to support you and any business you start. Stay encouraged
    Candace (NYStateofMom) recently posted..Truth Moment

    • Mimi says:

      Thanks Candace! Bouncing back is always so hard but we have to learn this hard lessons and only build character for greater things ahead.

  • Gerri says:

    Great post, Mimi. A lot of these tips go for women who are in their careers, too — not necessarily working for themselves.

    I am so sorry that you had to go through that with your business partner. BUT. God places these things in our way to get our attention, strengthen our faith, and TEACH US ABOUT OURSELVES. If God is reading your blog post :-), he’s nodding his head saying, “Well done, Mimi. You’ve learned my lesson.”

    He has something in store for you after this. But I know that YOU know this. Accept it for what it is, move on, and do better next time. You already have the tools you need!
    Gerri recently posted..On the 6th Day of Christmas (+ Why I’m Doing the Happy Dance)

    • Mimi says:

      You said some truth. We do always have the tools inside of us that we need. Either we don’t know which ones to use or we are scared to use them. Fear has to be removed from the equation!

      How does the saying go, A delay isn’t a denial or something like that. I’m taking that and running with it!

  • Miesha says:

    Yes! I am planning to side hustle my arse off in 2013 so this is very helpful! Thank you! I agree with the others, the situation with your former business partner happened for a reason. Were y’all friends prior?? Just aquaintances? Just curious because ish like this will ruin a friendship.

    You definitely have what it takes to dust off and keep moving! I’m wishing you nothing but the best!
    Miesha recently posted..Last weekend

    • Mimi says:

      We were friends, as in friends like family. I thought about you and your issue when I was going through. Tough life lessons that always have us coming out on top! Can’t wait to see what your side hustle brings in 2013!

  • miss donna says:

    and just think – these wise words of wisdom will remain here for all to read, learn, and be inspired. thank you so much for sharing your story in an honest way. often times we only see the “glamorous” side of entrepreneurship, which can be deceiving. i’m here to help you in any way i can…wishing you continued success in 2013 and beyond.
    miss donna recently posted..personal style | how to accessorize

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