See to seize, survive and thrive.

Boss: Know no bounds

See to seize, survive and thrive

Entering the world of an aspiring entrepreneur is such a foreign world to me. While I am still doing a lot of learning, these past 4 years (since starting this side hustle), has been quite the adventure. Just like any new learning experience, it’s a wild ride you are not too sure if you want to stay on or get off.

Lucky for me, I have always thrived in the unknown (strangely enough, not in the ‘go into a haunted house’ type of thrill) but more of a ‘ dive into a ridiculous situation & hope I float’) type of way.

As a newbie in the world of being an aspiring entrepreneur, it is certainly emphasized that you have to be willing to take a risk; and you have to believe in your abilities to succeed….even when you aren’t too sure of yourself.  The old adage saying “Fake it till you make it” is what gets me through those moments where I have gotten discouraged in this learning process. That mantra is what gets me through times that lack clarity or when the thoughts of self-doubt start to infiltrate. It is amazing to learn what you are truly capable of when put under outrageous circumstances.  When my back is against the wall, I tend to perform better under pressure.

The idea of ‘faking it till I make it’ in the small business realm isn’t easy. Sure, repeating it over and over like a broken record helps; but for me, I need a little bit more than that. Here are my strategies that help me “fake it till I make it”.

  1. Act as if you know what you are doing. People who invest in you want confidence & assurance that you know what you are doing. Yes, for the most part, you are great in what you do; but in those moments when you are unsure of yourself, sometimes you have to play the part of the expert. Or maybe you have to believe that you can make that (unrealistic) deadline. In the end, sometimes you surprise yourself in what you can do  when you initially were unsure of your capabilities.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Mistakes happen. Yes, there will be moments where you underestimate yourself. We’ve all been there where we over-committed (at least I know I have). It’s important to note that the minute you recognize that you have been in the wrong, apologize immediately and determine an action plan to rectify the situation. Everyone has been in a pickle at some point or another. The trick is: don’t make the same mistake with that same customer. If you’ve set out a modified plan, follow through with it; no ifs and or buts. And then forgive yourself after all is said and done.
  3. Learn from each opportunity. In all success or non-success moments, there is always something to be learned. Seize those moments of achievement; and replicate those steps in future opportunities. Celebrate those successes because each one is huge. For the latter moments, reflect on what that limitation was and try not to repeat it. If you fall & trip, get up and keep on trucking. Yes, falling smack down on your face can be humiliating; but there is nothing more humbling than falling & rising above that fall.
  4. Build credibility. All your successes will contribute to your credibility. All the positive feedback on what you do will build your integrity as a small business. The customers who show their loyalty through repeated involvement with you demonstrate your credibility. Track your progress and share your successes. When other (future customers) begin to hear about what you offer, your business is bound to expand.
  5. Take the time to learn & grow. There is always something to be learned. Whether its refining a skill, expanding you current repertoire of skills, or learning something new, you can only benefit and grow as a business when you enhance your knowledge-base.

As a (newbie) self-employed boss, the concept of “know no bounds” is really all about seizing all opportunities with an attitude of conquering it all despite any challenges that come your way.

For me, it’s eyes on the prize of building my small empire & exploring the craft world, while strutting through,  in my best outfit like I’m the boss (even in moments when I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing ).

Always me, SoireeFrills Co.

This week, I continue to be highly motivated by orders coming through my way. We are into week 3 into the new year; and the momentum that typically comes along with new year’s resolutions continue to carry me through.

Boss-in-training: No-no bounds

Don’t be afraid to fly

I love birds. Birds are a symbol of freedom. They seem so carefree when I see them up in the sky soaring above. If it’s one thing I want my girls to know, it’s teaching them to find their wings and to capitalize on spreading their wings.

I truly feel that people are meant to feel free in what they choose to do.

I recognize that teaching someone else to fly (obviously in a metaphoric sense) is scary, especially as a parent who sits on the other side of the fence when looking into raising their child. To fly is to risk falling; and falling means the risk of  hurting oneself. This essentially means when you allow someone to fly, you risk seeing that person fall. As a parent, you never want to see your child struggle, fail, or cry….but  just as there is a correlation between rain and rainbows, flying and falling go hand in hand like two peas in a pod. The risk of falling is quite high when one flies; but the goods that come with flying are that much more extraordinary…and I want them to find their extraordinary.

I want them to know that the world is theirs to explore, that there is nothing out of reach in this world. I want them to feel that life is an adventure worth taking risks. At the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to feel free & invincible like a bird?

Dear Elle and Enne,

I want you to be free just like the birds in the sky. The possibilities in life are endless if you take a chance on life and on yourself. You can do whatever you want (unless of course it’s to elope with a stranger, then you surely cannot do that). I want you to pursue your dreams. There is no such thing as impossible. Don’t let anyone tell you something is impossible…and if they do, I will be secretly cheerleading you to prove them wrong. Don’t be afraid to find your wings; don’t be afraid to fly.

 In your journey of growth, if and when there are moments that you fall, fail or lose your way, I will be right here to pick you up. If your wings ever need mending so that you can return back to flying, I will be there in a moment’s notice. The world is yours to explore.

Love, Mom

Be you; Do you. The rest will follow.

Boss: Know no bounds

Be you; Do you. The rest will follow!

Embrace you for you; embrace your style. Not too long ago, as I was starting up my small business, I would often peruse other stores and online businesses to see what was hot on the market. While there is a place to keep up with current trends, you can only be truly great (and genuine for that matter), if a project personifies you.

It is very difficult to do something and be passionate about something when it isn’t your style. It’s even more challenging to market your products when it is not in line with your vision. Branding your products, specifically if you are maker or a crafter, will be essential in marketing your merchandise/ crafts/ products.

So here I am being upfront and honest with who I am with you; and what my personal style is all about.

I’ve always loved colour and use of pattern. I love bohemian & funk style. If it’s bright, you know I’m all about it. Florals, yup!! My entire closet is full of florals. Geometric shapes; best believe it. Rocker chic, right on right on. Cutesy things, I’m all over it. Could it fit the 70s or 80s genre? Then for sure it’s my style.

Some people may see it as tacky, and for some, it may drive them up the wall when things seem “too busy”. Hearing that used to bug me. Over these years, I’ve come to terms that your style isn’t their style. How boring would that be if everyone was the same? Those who see your passion for what you do will see it in your work. And when you do great work, people ask you to do work for them. It has brought me great joy being a part of my customers’ celebrations through my creations. You will often see bright colours in my work…However, I will also tailor to people’s styles for their celebrations. There is nothing more that makes me happy when people tell me my stuff was “a great hit”.

For that, I am eternally grateful that I’ve learnt to love my personal style, do great work, and share that work with others willing to invest in me. Afterall, people who choose me to do their party décor, whether it’s their banners, backdrops, party favours, etc., could have picked someone else, but they invested in me. For that, I say thank you.

Do what you love, love what you do. Be you, and always do you. The rest will follow.

Always me, SoireeFrillsCo.

Boss-in-training: No-no bounds

Don’t feel the need to conform to the norm

I have always dressed both my daughters in bright colours from the time they were born to the present day. Sometimes their outfits are a bit much, especially when I see them around other kids who are dressed in ‘current trends’ and are wearing outfits that could have been featured on a trendy Instagram account. I remember one day feeling slightly embarrassed that my kids were in mismatched colourful outfits during a party and I remember clearly how I felt when it was pointed out to me (several times that day, I might add) how their pants and tops did not match.

A few weeks later, while getting my daughters ready for another party, the critique was ringing in my ears, which then prompted me to tell my (older) daughter that she needed to wear the black colour leggings with the bright patterned top because you surely can’t wear two bright pieces of clothing articles together. She was upset, because a few weeks ago, she wore something similar & she could not understand why all of a sudden I was telling she couldn’t. Needless to say, I argued with a 4 year old for 10 minutes before the argument ended. Can you guess who won?

It wasn’t me, I did not win. I spent some time reflecting afterwards on what had happened there. Where was this coming from? It then dawned on me; I was falling in that trap of being a people pleaser. Because I was made to feel embarrassed a few weeks back, I did not want a replay of those emotions. And perhaps a part of me was justifying my behaviours in that I did not want her to feel embarrassed. But you know what? On that day when I tried to make her switch outfits, she was so happy to pick out her outfit all by herself (like a big girl) & I remember her being the happiest kid amongst the other kids. She was laughing and running, and she reminded me of a free bird. She was comfortable in her own skin. And when I realized this epiphany, I was disappointed in myself. I have prided myself in being okay with being different all my life, yet here I was trying to conform my daughters to the norm.

Since that day, I allow my daughter to pick out her own outfits (but of course only intervene if she wants to wear that same flower girl dress for the millionth time that same week, lol) . Afterall, it is wonderful for them to have that autonomy for self-expression and allow them to explore who they want to be. It is amazing how much they already know what they like or do not like at the age of 4.

These kiddos teach me, and remind me, that what hits home for me as an adult, are relevant life lessons to kiddos who are also mini adults in the making.

Dear Elle and Enne,
The real life lesson here is that we are all different and we all have the right to be different. People are always going to judge and sometimes try to bring you down with what they think is right and what’s wrong. Sometimes you will love what’s in & what’s trendy. There will be moments when you have similar opinions from those around you. But there are going to be challenging times when what you like or think  is going to be vastly different from others. Embrace the differences; embrace what feels right to you. Those are the circumstances that will test, but define, your character.  If people try to make you feel bad, be strong & stay committed. Those that you love will love you for who you are, quirks and all.  Don’t feel the need to conform to the norm. You are brilliant the way you are in what you do and how you do.

Love,  Mom

New Year, Modified you

2017! New year, fresh start, new ventures to work towards your aspiring goals. People don’t typically have to wait until the new year to try something new or to jump start on an aspiration, however a new year rejuvenates and provide fuel for that engine waiting to be ignited….and I am certainly feeling ignited.

For years now, I have aspired to participate in the blogging world. This year, I am committing to blogging weekly about two  topics that I am very passionate about.

The first topic; “Boss: Know no bounds” will be about my insights and experience as an aspiring entrepreneur of a small craft business. Every week, I will be highlighting what motivated me throughout the week as it relates to my small business.

As many of you know, ‘building your empire’,so to speak, is no small feat; especially when you are a mom of two young children (both currently under the age of four), have another professional career during the week, have a household to run, & of course, have other life roles. It’s a juggling act, it’s literally a circus.

“Boss: Know no bounds” will feature my motivation throughout the week, what message resonated with me, & what lesson I learned.  It’ll be my lens into my journey of building my business  & how I keep going at it despite the challenges that come my way .

My second topic, “Boss-in-training: No-no bounds” will highlight lessons & perspectives I want to pass on to my two daughters. As a mother of two girls, I often sit and think at night (of course after they’ve gone to bed & I’ve had a moment to reset my brain) what main life lessons do I want them to know growing up; what personality traits do I hope for them: in order for them to thrive in this complicated world. When they are this little, all you want to do is hold on tight, protect them forever, and have them live in this ‘flowery bubble’. But we all know that isn’t reality. At some point, you have to let your kids develop their wings & let them fly. So as scary as it is as a parent to let your kids fly, just knowing that allowing them to fly & flourish is how they will thrive in life.

“Boss-in-training: No-no bounds” are life lessons that are important to me & what I’d love to teach my daughters.It will highlight the “dont’s” , which will then shift in the “do’s. This will document my advice for my girls on  how to be your own boss in their world.

In sharing my insights, I’m hoping this blog will inspire other entrepreneurs (that girl boss, lady boss, mister boss, boss man) & other moms raising their kiddos. Plus this blogosphere will be my platform in documenting the trials & tribulations I learn as I go in this wild adventure as an aspiring entrepreneur & mother.