Advice for Entrepreneurs

I’ve been an entrepreneur now for 16 years and am on track to have my most successful year, even in the midst of a global pandemic and no social media as of July. How? Here are ten lessons I’ve learned and yes, I‘m one of those annoying entrepreneurs that dispenses advice without anyone asking! But here we go…because many of you are in the early years or dipping your toe in with the global shift of business.

  1. I didn’t start with social media and had to grind, read by read. This taught me patience and dedication. Most of my ads were printouts and I honestly can’t remember when I started a website — but it wasn’t the first few years. Be grateful that you have so much access now with social media, though you pay with lack of privacy and carving a niche from the herd.
  2. Success comes from referral. This teaches me appreciation of others. I have SO many wonderful people in my life who send clients my way and it is literally the backbone of Shivaya Wellness.
  3. Success also comes from giving the best session I can, every time. This teaches me devotion. It also supports #2.
  4. I have open hours every day and an easy online calendar Acuity — for booking and payment. This teaches me flexibility and delegation.
  5. I choose when I wish to work. This teaches me self-care. This is a new way of being for me — rather than stress my calendar. It was only seven years ago that I was able to dive into Shivaya Wellness full-time. A 10 hour work week is my max now.
  6. I erased my debt and haven’t added more. This taught me financial responsibility and a new level of freedom. I basically survived my 20s with credit cards and piecemeal jobs — no judgement there because I wouldn’t have had it any other way — but it followed me into my 30s, even with a teaching career. Once I became an entrepreneur, I accrued debt which is common when you carry your biz. I hated it and debt definitely affected my confidence. I paid it off bit by bit, invested in the market when I could and a few years ago, cashed out at a high and paid off the little remaining debt. I LOVE the feeling of being debt-free and will never go back. It also allows me to save money which supports #5.
  7. I bless and pray for every client at the end of a session once we hang up. This teaches me gratitude.
  8. I don’t need social media for success. This teaches me to follow my own path. It also teaches me to TRUST and have FAITH. Yes, it’s easier for me to give up social media because I have traction after 16 years but I did have some loving pushback and wonder at the choice I made. When I gave up FB at the beginning of July, my business literally cratered the first two weeks. It shocked me because every month has increased since January. So, of course I was like, OH SHIT, RAVEN WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? and found myself sliding into worry, though I have savings for dry times. Yet even with that nagging voice in my head, I had no desire to go back to FB, though they didn’t trust my decision and kept my page open for another month (it’s up even now, though I can’t access it — don’t get me started…) July is notoriously slow with vacations, etc and I do think my “people” wanted me to take a break – as I’ve been steady on since the pandemic began. It was an uncomfortable one, for sure — but July recovered nicely and August is on target to be my best of the year, so far.
  9. Success isn’t based solely on the numbers. This teaches me to see the big picture of my life. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled that my business is thriving at the levels I imagined years ago, especially when my younger self didn’t know how I’d get there. So often the desire for lots of money can overshadow the patience required to set yourself up in your biz but once the success arrives, it is really sweet. Being an entrepreneur is a wild journey; you definitely need the courage to guide yourself through some very tough times and be your best advocate.
  10. I love my work but I am already aware that I will walk away to do something else. This teaches me that I am a creator with infinite abilities. I don’t have huge goals for Shivaya Wellness now and am happy to continue working with clients for the foreseeable future. But — being who I am — I already know that there is another experience calling me. I’m in no hurry to get there but welcome the unveiling as it arrives.

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