7 Business Lessons I’m Learning Lately | Growing Up GirlBoss
The past few days have been filled with meetings, both in person and on the phone. I noticed how different I was from when I first started a year ago. It surely doesn’t feel scary anymore. I remember my first client meeting, though it was for a wedding-- a completely different industry. But at that time, I probably watched every youtube video about client meeting— what kind of questions to ask, what to bring, what to wear, what to say, what to talk about, how to end the meeting. Haha!
Now, it’s just the most natural thing. I don’t have to prepare a week prior and I’m going to the coffee shop I’m just hopping out of excitement instead of shaking of nervousness. During the meetings I’m just so immersed. And I keep on answering questions and pushing out ideas and suggestions as if they’re never running out. It’s only when I’m alone again and I reflect back on what just happened that I realize how natural and easy it felt for me. Like Abba was just carrying me the whole time and it wasn’t me who was talking.
That’s what inspired this post. I always deem myself very fortunate, boldly daring to even proclaim that I am the luckiest girl in the entirety of the whole earth. I can’t help it. I’m learning so much! I always talk about what I learn spiritually but I also realized that there are so many practical things about entrepreneurship that I can share too!
It’s funny. When I was first drafting this post, I felt like I was so certain of these lessons already and that I had them engraved in me. But then things popped up and I’m reminded that learning is an endless journey. And this journey feels like a constant training to becoming the woman God has called me to be. Everyday is a chance to learn about myself, Abba, the industry, work, the universe. The world is my school and my office and my *playground* I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I usually write this kind of article for my weekly newsletter. But today I thought I’d collect them in a single blog post and maybe make it a series so I can look back at my journey one day. If you would like to sign up to receive my newsletters every Monday morning, you can do so [ here. ] I write about inspiration and lessons that I learn. They’re very personal and mostly straight from my journals! Haha!
Anyways, grab some popcorn. I have my hot choco with me. It’s gonna be a loooong ride with these 7 lessons!
1. Finding balance between professionalism
and staying true to myself.
One thing that has challenged me lately is knowing how to carry myself properly. I’m not one to take everything too seriously and with my joyful disposition, there were times where I know I’ve overstepped my boundaries. I knew I had to learn how to talk to people and meet them where they are, not pull them on my atmosphere.
I’m learning the balance between being my enthusiastic self while staying professional. Geez, I can’t talk about memes on a meeting! And HA! Remove all the smileys in those proposals, girl.
Lately I’ve been declaring that I’m learning to be the professional businesswoman that God calls me to be. The confident CEO who knows business, who’s not afraid of numbers, who can handle big girl stuff. At the same time, I’m being very careful doing that without losing my enthusiasm and myself altogether in the process. Because as much as I want to be “professional”, I never want it to come to a point where I feel like a talking robot and my clients only come for my services. Ahh, it’s the best thing when they tell me they want to work with me because of my energy! So I shouldn’t be apologetic for that either. I’m owning it. And I pray I find my groove in between!
It’s been confusing but I’m up for the challenge!
2. Confidence in what I can bring to the table.
When I’m faced with something that requires me to put on my big girl pants & carry myself with great conviction, I just say “I’m channelling my inner TC”
During my sabbatical last January in Calgary, I met with her to take pictures and to sit down for coffee.
And just like how she changed emotions and body language modeling so effortlessly, she’s someone that’s fearless, unapologetic, strong and so so kind all at the same time. She’s everything at once.
Watching her and listening to her speak about boundaries and priorities had me in awestruck wonder and when she had left, I stayed for another hour at the cafe filling my journal with what learned from the few hours we spent together.
I learned that yes, I was very self-aware and confident in who I am. But not confident in WHAT I can bring to the table and my abilities. My limiting beliefs came to surface.
I learned that I felt so unworthy because I kept telling myself “I’m just new here..” “I’m just starting..” “I’m only 20..” These were my beliefs despite people telling me they love my work. It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter who believes in us if we don’t believe in our own capabilities.
When you’re firm in who you are, what you’re worth, when you know your limits and set your priorities into what will move you forward, back that up by working in the direction of your dreams— YOU BECOME UNSTOPPABLE.
The universe will pay whatever price you ask of it. And a prerequisite for asking is believing you’re worthy of it. And a prerequisite for believing you’re worthy of it is knowing you can deliver. And that comes with practice. And time.
Believe you’re worthy of it and the universe will serve it.
3. Making everyone feel like a Somebody
There’s a quote that says “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.” And that’s exactly what I want to and always try to do.
I make my clients feel like they’re my only client. I take my time creating proposals and personalizing my emails as much as possible instead of just sending a price list. The women that I meet I make sure to talk highly of them and remind them of who they’re capable of becoming and how much difference they’re making.
And I do it not because it is a strategy or a tactic. But simply because it is just how I would like other people to treat me.
I had a situation in the past that had me in such a pain I’ve never felt before. I cried so much I ouldn’t even look at, let alone hold, my camera for days. I never want to feel that way again. I never want anyone to feel that way.
So I try to make everyone feel like they’re part of something bigger. I remind them that they’re needed. That it’s not the same without them. That they play a crucial role. I want to make them feel like they’re Somebody.
And when people come across me, I want them to feel a sense of increase. A sense of belonging. I want to leave things better than when I found them whether that’s through my services or simply the words I speak to them or how I inspire them.
Golden rule, girl.
4. Setting up systems
This makes my life so so much better. Whether a system for organization, communication, creating a template I can just fill out, a scheduling page, a PDF for questions.. They allow for more efficiency and ultimately, scalability. And even systems with my time or what I’m wearing or what I eat so my brain doesn’t have to think what to do when. I learned I’m good as long as I have my first and last hours to myself. Anything else can happen in the in between!
Moving forward, I want to be able to create more systems whether that’s payment, on boarding, sales funnels. IM SUCH A NERD ABOUT ALL THIS. And when you have a system, I learned that it gives you more confidence.
I’m getting a clearer version of where I would like to take this thing next.
5. How I do one thing is how I do everything.
I’m learning that everything is DEEPLY connected in one way or another. We don’t always see it but there is a pattern of existence. It’s something I learned from a Sam Ovens training. If I was bad in one area, I’m bad in all areas. And if I was happy in one area, everything else follows suit. Everything is tied together and perfectly in sync.
My inbox, my room, my money, my mind. If one of them is organized, it is reflected in the other areas! And that’s the same with my principles, habits and if I’m staying true to my values. They will reflect how I do things in other areas, as well as how I'll do them in the future.
If I’m honest with the small things, I can be trusted with the bigger things. With the bus tickets, with my tithes, with simple questions asked.
If I can be generous to my family, I’ll be generous with others. If I can handle what feels like betrayal from people I trust, I’d be able to handle criticism or bigger betrayal from people I don’t even know yet.
If I know how to give $10 out of $100, I would be able to give $100 out of a thousand, and $100,000 out of a million.
The way I present myself to clients now is preparing me for when I’ll be taking much bigger projects.
And the way I treat my contractors will determine the kind of employer I will become.
If I am disciplined in my business, I’ll be disciplined in my marriage.
If I can be an understanding sister, if I can do the dishes even when I’m tired from a long day just so my mom doesnt come home to them when she’s tired from work, that’s preparing me for the kind of wife and mother I want to be someday.
(This reminds me of the Filipino meme, “advance ako magisip” AHAHHAHAH i’m sorry if you don’t get it!)
It’s like one thing is preparing me for another. And I always make sure to check myself, if I’m still gazing at the big picture or if I’m becoming short sighted. We’re in it for the long run.
But even though I try to be as disciplined, I’m learning to give myself grace and allow myself to experiment as much as possible. I’m learning not to be too hard on myself when I make a mistake because I’m still so young and there’s so much room to grow.
6. Time as my currency
It’s weird, how the days just seem to get by faster and faster. Days also seem shorter and it’s getting more challenging to make time to do what I love. To work ON the business instead of in it. To sit down undistractedly just writing a blog post. HA! But I’m falling more in love with the process of it all. I love this kind of “busy.”
The other day I was wondering, “when was the last time I felt boredom?” Haha! I’m never bored these days and I think it’ll stay like that for a long while. There’s just always something to do and the little pockets of time that I get, I use to ground myself and fill myself back up, either by reading, journaling, going for a walk. It sounds so cheesy, but I’m so in love with the life that I get to live and I’m proud of the things I choose to fill it with.
I really make it a point to always stop and journal or reflect on what’s happening because if I don’t do that, I’m afraid I’d miss out on the fact that I am living what I used to only dream of, or might I even say, I’m living the deepest desire I didn’t know my heart has had.
Realizing how valuable my time really is, and how it’s my only non-renewable resource, I weigh my yeses and no based on it. How much time will this take? Because I learned that when I say yes to one thing I am saying no to another. And I want my yeses to be intentional especially when I’m spending them away from my family or if they’re taking away from the time I can use to read, or journal or study.
Im being braver to say no even if sometimes it still feels like a sacrifice, a silent prayer telling God, “I trust that you have something better for me.” I’m learning to know and own my value.
7. Staying appreciative.
“Not because of who I am, but because of what you’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who you are.”
If there was a word counter for my journal entries, I’m sure the top words are “Thank you”
When I look back, I realize how these are all products of the choices I’ve made before. Though I am sure of God’s faithfulness and how He always meant to bless me anyway, I’m careful not to feel entitled about anything.
I know that it would’ve taken one thing. One decision. One choice. One “yes” or a “no” that could’ve led me to a complete different life. Maybe worse, maybe better. But right now I am grateful for the season God has me in. For the blessings in my present.
I was in a co-work session with the girls from YEGBOSSBABES and there was a college girl joining to film us for her project. I realized how I was just in her position a little over a year ago. Conducting interviews with other people for my college paper. And how I could still be at that position had I made a different choice.
She asked us a few questions, one about how we see being an ambassador. I said I saw it just like how I saw everything else in my life— a privilege. Because I understand that there are so many people who are probably more qualified, more talented, more experienced, and there are many people who would want my position and yet there I was. I understand that this is a privilege that not everyone gets to have. A life that not everyone gets to live. A choice that not everyone gets to make for themselves.
I always look back to when I was the girl in my old bedroom and I promised God that I will never ever complain when I get to this point. And now I’m here, the memory of that grounds me. Because sometimes I still think, “when I get to that point, I will never ever complain about anything in my life ever again.” but then I remember that once I also said it when I was only praying for the things I have now.
And when others look at me, I never want them to even get the slightest chance of accusing me that I’m not appreciative or I don’t maximize the things I have. Most importantly, I never want to give that girl a chance, if she was here to watch me, to be able to say “Girl. I’m praying for that. How could you complain?”