Redefining Entrepreneurship: What's Next For Living Over Existing
There are two different types of entrepreneurs; The ones who dream and strategize about their next big business idea before executing and the ones who stumble into entrepreneurship without a clue of what was about to hit them.
I am a chronic stumbler.
My first business, an online shop where I created and sold jewelry, happened because I couldn't afford to buy the expensive beaded bracelets that I saw all of the celebs wearing, so I decided to create my own. I bought a few supplies, started to wear the pieces out in public and low and behold people began asking me to make bracelets for them as well. Thus, the business was born. I set up an online shop and dove head first into entrepreneurship.
My personal brand happened because of the first business. I started blogging because honestly, running a business felt lonely. I didn't have anyone else to talk to about what it was like to run a business from the ground up so I used blogging as a platform to vent. Sharing my stories, frustrations, failures and successes led to other women asking for advice on how to get their business started. After emailing pople for hours and giving them advice, I became curious as to how I could begin charging for my time. All of a sudden what started out as a blog turned into a full-time coaching business.
And then there is Living Over Existing.
My original intention was to write a book. That book idea then turned into a podcast where I would give other women space to share their story. And I couldn't create a podcast without a website, right? And if I was going to take it that far then I needed to build the community and its own social media presence. Needless to say what started out as a book has unexpectedly turned into its own brand. And I don't hate it. Since wrapping up the book and the book launch, I have taken some time to sit still and really figure out what I want for this space. Unlike all of my other businesses where I've dived in head first and learned and branded along the way, I want to do this right. I wanted to create a plan and execute with intention.
Which brings me to why this place exists. For the past few months I have been hearing a lot of chatter in my community and in the online business world in general about how many business "gurus" and platforms make you feel like you HAVE to implement certain strategies or business models in order to be profitable. That if you're not already at half a million dollars you're a failure and that you have to sell like a car salesman in order to turn a profit. Last year I went through the same struggle.
If you have read Living Over Existing then you know that I went through a stint of comparison and doubt. Long story short I became so overwhelmed with comparison and trying to keep up with every tactic, strategy, ecourse and webinar that the internet was telling me that I needed to do, that I actually considered closing my business for good. For days I would cry while questioning my purpose and seriously considering finding a job. That feeling of emptiness is something that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy and I see it popping up more than ever in creatives who want nothing more than to do what they love.
That's why I want this space to redefine what it means to be an entrepreneur. I 100% believe that whatever your purpose may be, there is space for you to turn that into a business (if you desire). I believe that there is a way for you to use popular marketing techniques in a way that aligns with your purpose and the people that you want to help. And most importantly I believe that there is no one size fits all formula to success.
Another major point that I've heard me audience complain about is how to do life as an entrepreneur. Just because you start a business doesn't mean you all of a sudden live in a world where other responsibilites no longer exist. I want this space to provide you with the tips and advice you need to excel in your business but I also want to hit on topics that affects us all outside of building a brand. Topics on self care, parenting while pursuing your purpose, dating while building a business, what to do if your business fails, etc. If I can be honest and just dream extremely big for a moment I want this brand to be like the Who What Wear or The Everygirl of entrepreneurship as far as consistency, epic branding and great content goes. A brand that is helpful and intentional but is also for real women.
So what do I have planned next for this space?
First, I'm really focusing on creating content. The one thing that I have learned from running businesses in the past is that great content really speaks VOLUMES especially for new brands. I will be doing this through the podcast, written articles and The LOE Down which is our weekly newsletter. Even though my personal brand has been successful, I still need to gain your trust through this new brand. The best way to do that is to create content that helps you with the things that you're currently struggling with. Unlike before, I will be bringing on contributors to help me stay consistent with the written content here while I focus on the brand itself and producing the podcast.
I will also be popping in here to keep you updated on what's going on behind the scenes. The ideas that I have for this brand are bigger than anything I've ever done before so I want to document what it's like to build a brand from the ground up.
"create a brand worth investing in."
Like any business, you have to have a clear plan on HOW you will make money. As I am also considering pitching the brand for funding in the future, I know that it's important to build a brand worth investing in and most investors will want to know how much you've been able to earn. Right now we have a few products in the shop but my goal is to have at least 10 physical products to offer by early 2018. Not to toot my own horn but Im great at creating physical products but it has been a gift that I have shied away from because again, the internet made me feel like I needed to be creating digital products. But I'm excited to dig back into the ecommerce world.
As of right now content and the shop are my two main focuses. One of my weaknesses as a business owner (and I'm not afraid to admit it) is that I want to do it all and do it all right now. But in the past, that "do all, be all" mindset only caused me a bunch of stress. So as mush as I want to begin creating events and different things for the brand, I'm holding off to make sure we are good at what matters most before moving on to something else. And ya'll, I created an actual business plan! 😱
I'm not sure what God has for me and this space but I know more than ever that it's my job to take the first step and that I can only have faith that He will take care of the rest!
written by alisha nicole
alisha nicole is an author, business coach and the founder of Living Over Existing. View her website