It’s hard to believe that I launched YGL Enterprises 10 years ago. It was the ultimate risk, but I felt the timing was right and I was ready for new challenges and opportunities. Lucky for me, my instincts were correct. As I reflect on the past 10 years, I realize that without the support of family, friends, colleagues, and most importantly, my clients, I would not be here today. Please know that each one of you has had a lasting impact on my success—both personally and professionally.
Being a small business owner is not easy. You must wear many hats, and there have been countless days when I questioned whether this adventure was one meant for the long-term. What kept me going? My commitment to honestly reflect on how I responded to key events, positive and negative, and to make better choices going forward.
These are a few of the lessons that I have learned over the past decade:
- “Being” and “Succeeding” are two different concepts. To say that you are in business is one thing; putting in the hard work every day takes determination, reflection, and the realization that you don’t have all the answers. This is the hallmark of a business with an eye on the future.
- You MUST be willing to adapt to change. The world, your target market, and your industry is constantly evolving. As a business owner, it is essential that you keep an open mind and not fear change.
- It’s natural to experience the feeling of self-doubt. We all have moments of uncertainty. Am I making the right decision? Can I achieve this goal? Embrace that feeling. Take time to reflect. Seek out a trusted colleague or friend to share your thoughts about the direction of your business. New perspectives provide new opportunities.
- As a small business owner, you will always walk the tightrope, balancing business development with meeting client expectations. There are 24-hours in a day. No more, no less. Try to find the right balance, so you don’t end up in a trough of no work. It takes time to develop new business.
- Embrace the client experience. There will always be a handful of GREAT clients, as well as FRUSTRATING clients. Learn from both. Remember it’s the CLIENT who hired you to do a job. Give it your all, then reflect on what you want more of in the future and how to achieve that goal.
- One solution does not fit all situations. Every client is different. No one likes a cookie-cutter approach. Listen to your client, determine their primary needs, and then deliver.
- Trust your instincts. If that little voice in the back of your head says, “Hmm, this doesn’t seem right.” Listen! Don’t rush into “yes” if you are unsure of some aspect of the situation.
- Finally, take time to thank yourself. Sometimes, we are our own worst critic. Take a breath and remind yourself that being in business and staying in business is a huge success in itself.
Again, I thank everyone for helping me continue to offer my services through YGL Enterprises. Your belief in me is what keeps me going every day. I look forward to 10 more years of helping each one of you achieve your marketing goals.