Today I’m celebrating three years as a full-time business owner.
I will never forget the day that I FINALLY dropped off my application in the mail to make my biz official.
Or the day that I officially opened up my business bank account.
Or the day that I turned in my two-week notice and pursued this business full-time, once and for all.
Over these past three years, I’ve made mistakes, hit different milestones, I’ve grinned so big my jaw hurt, and I’ve bawled my eyes out so bad that I looked like I went caving & had a headache that lasted all night.
It’s been wild.
None of it would have ever happened if I hadn’t of said yes to the dream God placed on my heart. Do you know how different life would be if I hadn’t said yes? How hard that is to wrap my head around that?
Today I’m celebrating persistence, commitment, and every little (and big) thing God has given me throughout this journey.
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned over the past three years, that I want to pass onto you:
Keep God First
I fully believe that this isn’t my business, it’s God’s. Keeping Him first in everything I do brings me so much peace, and I feel 10x more fulfilled in the work that I’m doing. Probably one of the biggest notes on this is, paying attention to when you feel at peace about something. There have been times when I’ve pursued projects/partnerships that I didn’t feel at peace with, and they didn’t turn out so well. On the flipside, every time I’ve felt at peace over a venture it’s always been incredibly rewarding.
Trust Your Gut
Let me take this a step further – trust yourself over other people. Now please hear me, this does not mean that you should never trust other people! What it does mean is, take other peoples’ suggestions and ideas with a grain of salt. Remember, you are the one running your business. That means that you actually do get the final say on most things. Make sure you’ve prayed about decisions and thought about them for a couple of days before moving forward.
Have someone help with your taxes
God bless our CPA, Melissa. She has been an absolute God-send in this area. Having an expert to help you with your taxes, file the correct way, and send the proper links for paying them is wildly helpful. I highly recommend Melissa if you’re not sure where to start with this.
Keep your expenses aseparate
On a similar note, keeping business expenses separate from personal ones has helped immensely. Things get a bit messy when you try to combine the two. Once you’ve filed your business, go to your bank to open up a business bank account. It will change your life.
Set boundaries to avoid burn-out
One of the hardest lessons I had to learn, and yet one of the most valuable ones. I’ve talked before about my season of intense burn-out in 2019. It was a season of saying yes to too many things, not taking care of myself, and suffering in the process. When I began implementing boundaries, things began to change for the better. Now, my weekends are off, my work days end at 4:30, and I’m more mindful of what I’m saying yes to.
Investing in Education
This one has continuously propelled my business forward in new ways. Whether it’s buying a new book from amazon or hiring a business coach, investing in my education always pays off. Every time, I walk away with new tools, deeper knowledge, and valuable connections.
Thinking of the Bigger Picture
Taking the time to dream about what I want the future of Joelle Elizabeth to look like brings me so much clarity & purpose in the here and now. It’s amazing to think of all the ways God can and wants to use this business to reach other people. Looking at the bigger picture gives you a direction to follow.
Remember What It’s All About
There was one moment in particular that humbled me in a way I’ll never forget. It was a day when I began to lose sight of who this was all for. My focus began to shift away from the people I was serving, to the money I was wanting. And that can be a dangerous slope. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with money, our intentions are a critical thing. Keeping your heart in check & remembering who you’re serving makes a huge difference.
You Need a Support System
Having people in your corner who support you, listen to your ideas, and challenge you to continue growing is wildly impactful. It motivates you, keeps you in check, and makes things more fun! When I began surrounding myself with people who were driven, brought their own strengths to the table, and were further along than I; that’s when my business began to grow even more.
Don’t Forget to Celebrate
Running a business is hard work, and sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the hustle of it. Taking moments to soak in all of the work you’ve put in, and the doors God is opening for you can bring so much joy. Celebrate the wins! They’re meant to be celebrated and appreciated.