It wasn’t enough.
The truth is many entrepreneurs are insatiable and are chasing ideas instead of dreams.
A lot of us want to see exponential growth and we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. We buy into the “millionaire overnight complex” without considering where we come from and what knowledge we possess.
For a long time, I was relying on vanity metrics: follower count, comments, and engagement to prove I was a good entrepreneur.
I relied on viral videos and shock content. I didn’t ask myself if this was sustainable and aligned with my passions. I just created content that would get views and attention. Over time the followers, the comments, the viral videos we’re not satisfying me. One weekend I made $25,000 in sales due to a viral video and I remember feeling nothing.
I was appreciative but unmotivated. I wasn't moved. I knew something was wrong.
How can I make money like that and it doesn’t feel worth it? I was a first-gen, low-income college grad and I was finally making money but, It wasn’t enough. I had begun a new journey in entrepreneurship, where I genuinely had to question my incentives, my purpose, and endeavors.
I had to get back to my roots and I had to be practical about what knowledge I had.
So here’s what I learned, here’s how I bounced back:
DON'T BECOME A TREND. BECOME THE STANDARD.
Last year my business skyrocketed.
I was gaining 5000 followers or more per month. I was making thousands on webinars. I was making $10,000-$20,000 in a month in sales. I was experiencing the success that many entrepreneurs dreamed of. This made me into an overnight influencer. I had begun to realize that others looked up to me, envied me, and most importantly I became a trend in the small business community. This was overwhelming for me because for the first time in my small business journey…I felt big. This feeling at the time, I thought would last forever; but it didn't.
Many entrepreneurs are working on social media and social media operates in a way that prioritizes popularity over substance. It prioritizes trends over sustainable business growth. It prioritizes shock overvalue.
I began to be so caught up in social media that it began to affect my mental health. It began to affect my performance in customer service. It began to drain me of my passion for entrepreneurship. So, I pretended to rebrand my business. I know that sounded ridiculous, but I had told myself I just wanted to rebrand (definitely not true.) I closed my store for nearly 4 months. I told everyone I was working on a new branding idea. But, I was not. I was wrapping up orders, graduating from college, and trying to find some peace. My business was far from my mind.
I never felt so good. During that time I realized that I knew nothing about being an entrepreneur. I knew nothing about marketing. I knew nothing about what I truly wanted out of this experience.
So I meditated on it, I created a real business plan, I outlined my business strategy, I gained certifications in Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing, so that moving forward I can make informed decisions on how to reach my goals. I created a branding kit for myself. I created a true brand for myself that could be scalable.
I gained my passion for my business back.
So, I guess what I want to convey to you kind reader is the following:
Don’t get wrapped up in being a trend, or creating shock value content. Be yourself and be honest about what your passions and capabilities are. Stop comparing yourself to others.
And lastly, don't give up if you haven’t given it your best shot. And you KNOW, if you've given it your best shot.