Prepare the confetti, slice the cake and start the party tunes…Lifestyled You just had it’s one year birthday! It’s hard for me to believe that one year has already passed since I just went for it and filed for a new LLC. This was the second time in my life that I’ve started a business – first in 2011 with the dance studio, and now with Lifestyled You Coaching.
I can tell you that the first time involved a lot more stress, fear, panic, anxiety and hesitation. Deciding to go into business for yourself can feel terrifying for sure. I was 26, had no business background and no financial support cushion to fall back on if things went south. It wasn’t without some bumps in the road getting started, but I was able to find success and stability quickly and kept growing until I sold the business in 2017.
After selling the studio, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do career-wise. All I knew was that I loved being my own boss but wanted to have a completely different type of business this time around. I wanted to do something where I could maintain the freedom I desired for my life while still helping others learn and grow. Compared to running a studio that involved hundreds of dancers, parents and staff, starting up a new solopreneur blog business felt like a breeze! I had no fear or hesitation – the risk was obviously much different this time around. Instead, I just felt excited and full of possibility in what I might be able to create.
In this first year, Lifestyled You has gone through many evolutions and iterations to become the Life + Mindset Coaching Business that it is today, and I’m sure it will go through many more as time goes on. That is the joy of going into business for yourself – you get to choose exactly what you want it to be! As you learn and grow and develop, so does your business. When something doesn’t suit you any longer, you can pivot and change. Your business gets to serve you exactly how you want it to.
I can honestly say that I never thought I would start my own company or be the boss lady in charge, much less do it twice. However, I’m so glad that I did. The amount of confidence, empowerment, strength, creativity and pride it has brought me is unparalleled. My first go-around with the studio gave me some financial freedom and now Lifestyled You is giving me the lifestyle freedom that I was missing. Now I get to help women create all of this for themselves, just like I did – what could be better?!?!
So you want to be a business owner…
So you’ve got an idea for your biz, you know you’ve got a product or service the world needs, but you have no clue where to start…I feel you, lol! Though I didn’t have any business knowledge when I started, I was lucky enough to have a design background, I knew how to create graphics, logos, etc. and how to build a website. Double bonus was that my husband has an MBA and he could help me out with a ton of the tech stuff as well.
But the one piece of advice I would give any blooming entrepreneur is to get help where you need it! You aren’t going to know how to do it all, and you don’t need to! There are experts in every field that are there to help you figure it out, do things for you, and remove some of the stress and anxiety that is bound to pop up. You can’t let the thought, “But I don’t know how to do xy+z…” stop you from starting your own business. If people succumbed to that, we wouldn’t have any businesses!
I want to introduce you to my friend and brand designer, Alisha Whaley with Alicole. She is going to explain how she can help remove some of the overwhelm and confusion that comes with creating and building a brand so you can feel more at ease as you develop your dream business!
Take it away Alisha!…
As Laura mentioned I am Alisha founder of ALICOLE. I am a brand strategist and designer for busy women in business, taking the guesswork out of building a Brand Identity that attracts MORE dream clients.
I am known for being brutally honest and dealing it to you straight, no chaser. So, here’s the facts:
Branding has nothing to do with YOU or your business at all.
Wait, hear me out … this concept is the #1 pit fall I see so many business owners falling prey too. Thinking that if you build brand visuals (ie. branding) that has everything you personally like than the client you are want to work with will magically appear.
Yah, no. In reality, you’ll end up repelling who you DO want to work with and attract who you DO NOT want.
The reason for this is because all anyone cares about is the experience you provide. How you make your audience feel. To avoid this it’s essential that you have these 3 fundamentals in place before you begin designing anything.
1) Brand Values: Have 5 core values for your brand (also known as ethics). Think of them as the guidelines you live by. Your beliefs, morals, standards, what you call them does not matter, but writing them down is essential.
These values act as the foundation of your business. They are what everything else is built upon. Once you have your core values written down, you can begin to build a brand board.
2) Brand Board: Using your values as a guide, build yourself a Pinterest board of images that invoke the experience you want your business to project to your dream audience. When you come across an image YOU personally like, ask yourself it if meshes with your values. If yes, pin it. If no, move on. Give yourself a limit of 3-5 images for each of these categories:
- photo filter style
- overall vibe/mood
Now that you have a good grasp on the foundational aspects of your business it’s time to move into, what I think is, the most important step in building a successful brand identity …
3) Brand Clarity/Consistency: It’s important to start with the values and brand board but more so it’s important to have a clear idea of WHO your dream client is. Knowing in as specific detail as you can, who your dream client is will help you create consistent content. This is SO MUCH more important than looking “pretty”. Knowing the WHO also helps you to design your logo, website, business cards, etc. in a way that will not only capture who you are as the owner but also resonate with your dream audience.
Following these simple steps will help you to not get super overwhelmed. I know how hard it is to design for yourself, it’s even more so if it’s not a strength of yours. That is why I created a “How to Niche Down” guide to help you outline ALL the things I mentioned above. You can grab your FREE copy RIGHT HERE!
I hope this helps alleviate any of the confusion you may be having. If you are still unclear, I would love to help strategize with you. My superpower is being able to take your brain dump and organize it in a way that captures YOU and attracts MORE of your dream clients.
You can find me in all these places: