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6 Lessons on Entrepreneurship I learned from Family
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6 Lessons on Entrepreneurship I Learned from My Family

Entrepreneurship runs in my blood. It’s something I feel like I was born with and as I look back on the different lessons my family taught me, whether consciously or not, it’s shaped me into who I am and the way I navigate being an entrepreneur.

Fun fact: When I was 8 years old, I made holiday-themed stationary. I used paint pens and colored pencils to create cards and paper with pretty borders. I then photocopied the originals and printed out a ton. Then, I made my parents a PowerPoint presentation all about why I should be allowed to go around my neighborhood and sell this stationary. It was VERY detailed, and they got a huge kick out of it. They also agreed to my proposition. That was probably my earliest memory of being an “entrepreneur.”

Below are 6 lessons on entrepreneurship I learned from my family. Lessons I hope you can take with you and implement into your life as well. Keep reading, and I would love to hear a lesson you’ve learned too!

Lesson #1: Have a Strong Work Ethic

Maybe this is a no-brainer, but it’s easier said than done. My Grandpa Jack (my Mom’s Father) was extremely hard working. He came from the generation of folks who worked very hard at their 9-5 and he did so happily in order to provide for the family. For 30 years, he worked at the same company as an accountant and while he never went out on his own like an entrepreneur, it’s a lesson that anyone can apply to their life. He was extremely reliable, trustworthy, and so hard working he almost never took a sick day his entire time at the company. Having a strong work-ethic is essential in being an entrepreneur, because there will come times when you have to put in more hours than you’ve ever wanted to put in (no matter what you do). If you understand that, you’re in a better position to get to a place where you won’t have to do that your whole life.

Lesson #2: Have a Strong Support System

My Grandma Ettie (my Mom’s Mother, short for Esther) was the most nurturing, understanding, and supportive person you ever met. She was exactly the kind of person you’d want on your side and if there’s anything that entrepreneurship has taught me, it’s that it can sometimes be a lonely road. She was the support system to Jack and her family that everyone needs. Find someone to be “your person.” You will need them when days get tough, when you need ideas to bounce off of someone, when you have great days you want to share, and when you have breakthroughs that need nurturing. If you’ve never read The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron talks about needing a “catcher’s mitt” person. Someone to nurture your artist, to encourage you, and to support you. She also taught me to be that person for someone else and I cherish that.

Lesson #3: When You See a Need— Fill it

My uncle Mark started his own company creating first aids kits to businesses and factories.
He saw a need and filled it. He took control of his future, of his idea, and then implemented it. This is so important because often we see a need for something and even as that entrepreneurial spirit stirs inside of us, we live in fear of acting on it. He taught me that you can create your own destiny and be your own boss.

Lesson #4: Being an Entrepreneur Requires Stamina and Laser Focus

My Grandma Betty (my Dad’s Mother) came from a very very poor family in Colorado in the 1930’s. They had virtually nothing and my Grandma struggled with being seen as the incompetent girl in the eyes of her father. That really lit a fire in my Grandma to surpass everyone’s expectations and be successful. Her present didn’t look anything like the future she knew she wanted for herself, so she worked her tail off to get to where she wanted to be.

Eventually, she moved to California with her mom and brother and quit high school her sophomore year to start her own business. She had sewn some clothes here and there in the past but decided to learn everything she could about sewing, hemming, you name it. She started a business as a seamstress and realized what she needed to do to up level competition. She decided to make herself a “professional,” offering a pickup and delivery service. This made her more professional than anyone her age and in the local market. Throughout her lifetime, she had laser focus and the utmost determination to find success in the businesses she started.

Lesson #5: Believe in Yourself First

My Dad has that entrepreneurial spirit in his blood, just like his mom. His entire life he’s worked his way up from job to job, breaking into industries that didn’t even seem possible in years past. Something my Dad has taught my brother and I is that it’s so important to have confidence in yourself. You will need to take risks throughout your life and journey in your business and the only way that will be possible is if you have the confidence in yourself to do so. No one else will believe in you, if you don’t believe in yourself first. He didn’t need anyone else’s approval or validation to go after what he knew he wanted. He knew he had potential and summoned a determined force within himself to be relentless until he got to where he wanted to be. So often I talk with people who say they want to make changes in their lives or want to start a business, but they don’t go after it with confidence and that laser focus. Every day an actionable step needs to be taken. It’s easier said than done, but my Dad taught me to be driven and to go after my dreams with confidence every single day.

Lesson#6: It’s Okay to Pivot

My parents made it a priority, and had the privilege, to spend as much quality/family time with my brother and I as possible when we were little. They cared deeply about the way they raised us and I always appreciated how much emphasis they put on family time. My mom worked for many years of her life, but there came a time when she felt the need to pivot. She strongly felt the need to be home with my brother and I and what I learned is that….that’s okay. There will come a time in your life and business where you will need to shift things. Either drastically or incrementally, but it will need to be done. Welcoming that change instead of dwelling on it could be one of the most beneficial lessons you can learn. I’m so glad my Mom taught me that it’s okay to pivot and make changes or honor what you feel in your heart is the right path to take, even if it’s different than originally planned.

Many of the lessons I’ve learned I had the privilege of learning while my grandparents were still alive. Some lessons though, I really didn’t learn or even realize until long after they passed away. I’m very close with my family and even writing this post makes me so proud of my parents too. I’ve never felt more honored to be a part of this family and look back on their journey, while taking what they taught me for the road ahead on my own.

What lesson on entrepreneurship have you learned from your family? What’s something you want to start implementing into your life? Tell me below by leaving a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Photo Credit: “Made to Create” Coffee Mug Photo by Hannah Robinson. Coffee Mug by Me, find it here.

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6 Inspiring Podcasts Every Women Entrepreneur Needs to Listen To
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6 Inspiring Podcasts Every Woman Entrepreneur Needs to Listen to

My obsession with podcasts really only started this past year, even though they’ve been around for a long time. It was always something that seemed like a lot of mental work, to have to sit and listen to a podcast (and I had never clicked the purple podcast icon on my phone before). But then I went down the rabbit hole and stumbled upon a few inspiring podcasts I couldn’t get enough of and soon my drives to auditions and time on the treadmill at the gym were filled with podcasts! I’m big on finding inspiration and motivation through other people’s stories and it’s a definite possibility you’ll be glued to your headphones after listening to some of my favorites. Below are 6 podcasts filled with uplifting, motivational, and touching messages from women entrepreneurs who truly inspire you to go after your dreams and goals!

The Laptop Lifestyle Podcast

This podcast is for “virtual entrepreneurs, millennials on the go, and adventure seekers with big dreams,” and I love Alexis! What’s awesome about her is it feels like she’s right there in the trenches with us navigating entrepreneurship (even though she’s doing big things too), and yet we’re gleaning SO much great information from all the creatives she interviews. Episode to tune into: Episode 33: Pursuing Faith and Authenticity in a Filtered World, with Lifestyle Blogger, Lauren Kay Sims


The Influencer Podcast 

Julie Solomon is THE GIRL to go to for all things blogging, PR, marketing, and pitching related and I’ve been following her for a long time. I recently did a mastermind with her and was amazed by her eye for improvements and sweet help! I was so excited when she launched her podcast and I’m addicted to it! The women she interviews give such sound advice for following the paths you know you’re truly meant to follow and not being afraid to start the business of your dreams. So many of the conversations she has had stuck with me and I hope you’ll give it a listen! Episode to tune into: Episode 16: From Assistant to a 500K Influence– The Evolution of Creative Dawn McCoy

The Goal Digger Podcast

I remember the day I tuned into her very first podcast! Thanks to recommendations from The Rising Tide Society Facebook group, it was such a cool feeling to think I was going along on her podcast journey with her! The podcast is a “live-workshop style business podcast for creative girl bosses, so you can train from the experts how to dig in, do the work, and tackle your biggest goals along the way.” Now, I listen to every podcast she puts out and I love the way she communicates her messages so clearly and in the most personable way. You’ll find yourself remembering her advice months later. Major inspiration for how to #hustlewithheart! Episode to tune into: Episode 57: How to Know and Attract Your Ideal Client

Make it Happen Podcast

The podcast for big-hearted creatives that you’ll fall in love with! I stumbled across this one day when I was looking for a podcast specifically on how to work through all the creative ideas I had that were overwhelming me. Jen Carrington is a UK based creative coach with some BIG takeaways about living a wholehearted creative life. She takes big ideas and breaks them down into simple and beautiful concepts that you walk away with ready to apply to your own life and creative projects. Plus who doesn’t love her accent?! Episode to tune into: S04 E03: CLARITY VS CERTAINTY 

Femtrepreneur:

They describe their podcast as perfect for online course creators, but I’ve found some super helpful information on here about blogging, content creation, and so much more! They are absolutely hilarious and have the funniest personalities which is great because there’s nothing worse than an interesting podcast topic ruined by a boring host haha. Also lots of amazing freebies! Episode to tune into: TFS 015: How to Balance Freelancing with Lauren Hooker


Off Camera with Sam Jones

You’re probably wondering why this podcast filled with actor interviews is on the list if you know anything celebrity photographer about Sam Jones, but I wanted to include this one for SO many reasons. There’s nothing more inspirational than listening to people tell their stories of how they made their dreams come true and that’s what every episode touches on. These people share their trials and tribulations, their accomplishments, touching moments, you name it. It’s inspiring to listen to because it serves as a great reminder that there is no one single path to get to where you want to be or what you want to create in this life. Go listen to it! Episode to tune into: Episode 2: John Krasinski

 

What’s your favorite podcast right now? Tell me in the comments below by scrolling to the bottom and dropping me a note, I’d love to hear from you!!

 

 

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Spotlight on Constant Creatives: Lexy Olivia

This is the second installment of Spotlight on Constant Creatives and I am ecstatic to introduce on the blog today my best friend, my inspiration, my constant encourager and supportive partner in the creative world Lexy Olivia! I don’t even know where to start with this amazing human, which is why I know her interview will stand for itself. She is so intelligent, kind, one of the most selfless people I know, a great storyteller, and an incredible artist. If I had to name a friend who gets what it’s like to be a constant creative, to be an entrepreneur, to travel down that road of having a fiery passion for something, it would be Lexy. From meeting in high school to navigating the creative and business worlds together, she just GETS IT! Scroll to the bottom and let me know your favorite part of the interview by leaving a comment!

Lexy Olivia interview

Can you tell everyone about who you are? Let’s hear about your creative business and passions!

Hey everyone! My name is Lexy and I’m the constant creator behind my brand Lexy Olivia.I chose my namesake as my brand because I wanted it to evolve with me as I grow and expand into new endeavors. Currently, I make watercolor book inspired prints for a really unique niche on Instagram called Bookstagram. I’m currently deeply invested in this loyal community and have an amazing group of followers who are incredibly supportive! I’m super passionate about growing my skills and evolving my business. Beyond that, you’ll always catch me outside! Summiting mountains, running, rock climbing, jumping out of airplanes or off of cliffs, you name it I’m out there! Being surrounded by nature and living a rejuvenating and adventurous lifestyle is of the utmost importance to me; without it, there is no creative well for me to draw from!

Have you always considered yourself a creative?

Absolutely! I always knew I was born to create. At a very young age I had dreams of being an artist. I would fantasize about being an actress! Watching my dad draw and sketch my whole young life impressed upon me a great appreciation for art of all kinds.

What led you to take that leap into starting your own business?

It started out as a way for me to cope with my serious health issues. I had to quit my job after being sick for such a long time and the doctors didn’t know how to help me. I found myself living in a new state with no friends and no job and was starting to get seriously depressed. I went down to the art store one day and picked up a $7.99 paint set and began painting. I’d show friends and family my designs and they were all really enthusiastic, so I thought why not? At that point, I had nothing to lose. It truly evolved and unfolded beyond my wildest expectations.

What’s your favorite thing about having an unconventional 9-5 lifestyle?

Freedom is the greatest gift that this lifestyle provides. I’ll never stop being so thankful for those days when there’s a foot of fresh powder on ski slopes or I have the chance to travel the world and I can be flexible and nimble enough to take my work on the road.

Have you always known you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes! I’ve been running other people’s businesses since I was 16. I always had a keen eye for identifying problems and optimizing solutions. But of course, it wasn’t my business so I didn’t have full control over the outcomes. When I turned 21 I tried the corporate world on for size and it didn’t fit. Now I could never imagine working for someone else. Sometimes it feels so surreal I literally yell “I’M THE BOSS!” when I’m having a hard day to remind myself that I definitely got this. Being able to collect data to optimize your interactions, conversions and advertising strategies is so satisfying to me. I find the business aspect of my brand equally as gratifying as the pure artistry. 

Being an entrepreneur has its ups and downs. Can you name a moment of failure that you ultimately learned from?

I don’t necessarily believe in failure. There have been so many times that I’ve made choices and looked back and realized I could have done better. At the same time, when you run your own business you’re the only one who is in charge of everything. It is impossible to foresee certain obstacles so I try to be really gentle with myself. Despite my best efforts to think through each situation and consider every possible outcome, sometimes I drop the ball. Every time I face a challenge, I try to welcome it as growth and change and take notes on how to avoid similar situations in the future.

What’s been the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome in your creative journey?

I can’t say that I’ve overcome it quite yet, but time management is often paralyzing to me. The flipside of having so much freedom is also having a total lack of structure. Creating structure for myself is vital but it’s a skill I haven’t quite cultivated.

How has your business evolved since you first started?

Wow, what an amazing question! I hardly take the time to sit and reflect. From starting out painting a smiling lemon and whale cards, to managing high-level business accounts, packing orders, crushing deadlines and maintaining a life, I’d say everything has changed! My level of responsibility is so much greater these days, but I’d never trade the thrill of a challenge to predictability.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own creative business or go after something they’re passionate about?

I’d say just dive in. I personally don’t believe that we’re here on this earth to hustle and grind so we can pay bills and live monotonously. I think we are here to realize our highest selves, love one another and do things that set our souls on fire. Fear is such a limiting factor in today’s world. I know we have a lot to lose; from friendships to job security to our homes. Maybe we fear judgement or whatever your limiting beliefs may be, know that you are worthy of the highest joys and success in life. Whatever that may look like to you, go after it.

I love that inspiration can come in so many shapes and sizes. Where, who, or what do you draw inspiration from?

I’d say YOU definitely inspire me! I try to surround myself with people who expand my parameters. I like to look at people who are doing radically different things in life. I think it can be dangerous to saturate your feed, whether it be digital or in real life, with people who are doing the same things as you. I love reading the New York Times every Sunday and reading through a Wired Magazine front to back. Technology, science, quantum theory, health and organic living are things that are constantly inspiring me. Assimilating the information I absorb back into my artwork is the challenging part.

What’s something you’ve focused on personally this year to better yourself or your business?

I’ve really shifted my focus to growing spiritually. I found that the lifestyle I created for myself was running me into the ground. I feel like that is such a learning curve for entrepreneurs. If I’m the only one who is directly in charge of how much income I make, shouldn’t I work as hard as possible for as long as possible? Wrong! You should design a comfortable lifestyle where you’re productive but also taking really good care of yourself so you have limitless creative potential.

What’s a dream of yours that you hope to accomplish in the coming years? (P.S. I know you will!)

My ultimate dream is to create a film that I write, direct and star in with you as a creative collaborator! It’s been something that I have visualized my whole life. I truly look forward to the day this dream actualizes. I can see it all now; from the crew to the script and the feelings I’ll have when it’s all coming together! Lexy Olivia interview

 

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra that you live by?

A personal mantra I live by is mind over matter. I really push myself in every area of my life because I truly feel like we live in a world of infinite possibility. Thoughts are things and if we think we can achieve something, then so it is. A business mantra I apply is “learn, test, pivot.” To me, it is the essence of being an entrepreneur. You should always be learning, testing your hypothesis and applying that data back into your business to always get better results.

You have an unmistakable style that shines through on your Instagram. Can you tell me about your aesthetic and how you feel it reflects who you are?

Thank you so much! I feel like it’s definitely an ever evolving work in progress. I love how it oscillates between light & dark photos but there’s always tons of color! It’s a duality that I think I experience in life between the light and the dark. I just want my feed to inspire people and evoke a sense of gratitude and happiness that rubs off on people.

How are you a “Constant Creative”?

I cannot escape the Constant Creative lifestyle! Sometimes when I’m trying to quiet my mind and relax, I have non stop visions of new products I’d like to see, more partnerships, bigger productions. I could be listening to a song and envision an entire short film set to that song! It is endless and so exhilarating. I started out having no formal knowledge of painting and now I do it for a living. I love the constant creative process of being inspired to learn something new and incorporating it into your life. Who knows, maybe pottery is next! Although, I think I’d like to take up longboarding…

 

Quick Six:

  • Favorite book: Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls!
  • If I were to walk into your kitchen I would find this freshly made: Hummus or pesto! Eating clean is something I don’t compromise on. I love to have things prepped and ready to grab when I’m working full throttle all day.
  • A song you love to sing at the top of your lungs: I have a confession to make. I LOVE singing but I find myself rapping more often. You can generally always find me rapping Tupac or J. Cole lyrics when I’m driving in the car.
  • A hike you want to cross off your bucket list: I’ve been training to climb the Grand Teton which is a 13,700 foot mountain that I live near!
  • A person, dead or alive, you want to meet: I had a hard time with this one! Mostly because I don’t really idolize anyone. I love meeting people in general and hearing their stories. I think it would be really amazing to meet some of my friends that I’ve made through social media in real life though!
  • You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Pastel rainbow! It’s the first color scheme I ever painted that I fell in love with and is indicative of my style as an artist. A soft blend of all the colors we see around us.

Thank you Lexy for sharing your thoughts and story with everyone! You are such an inspiration! You can follow lexy on Instagram  or Facebook and be sure to check out her shop!

 

P.S. Did you miss the first Spotlight on Constant Creatives interview with Queen Shirin? Catch up here!

 



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