Today marks 5 years that SwagHer Magazine has been in business. It seems like longer and Lord knows a part of me feels that we should be so much further along, but I am proud of what we have accomplished so far, especially when I know how much I have had to do alone. Today I wanted to share what I have learned after five years in business.
- Business is business. – This is an obvious one and I have never had a problem with conducting myself professionally. However, I have had problems with taking things personal. I used to be confused as I looked through my list of “business associates” and noted how none of them wanted to advertise in the magazine, but I would really feel like a failure when advertisers did not renew. I thought it was something I had done or did not do. Sometimes maybe it was, but I also had to learn sometimes people want things, but they just cannot afford them and sometimes people often times are too afraid to spend money to make money.
- Numbers mean everything. – I have always hated math. It‘s the one area of my business plan that I struggled with. I hate numbers, but this year I said I wanted to operate as a big business and incorporated tracking systems all of which entail numbers. This is the best way to see growth or if you are being stagnant, and of course, it is what advertisers want to see.
- There will be down time. – By down , I mean there will be times when no one is thinking of your business or service and everything appears to be going wrong. You may want to give up. Don’t- unless you know that you can do so without ever looking back. These are the times you will discover both your passion and purpose. Keep the faith. If this is really for you, you will be tested, pass, and come out stronger.
- You have to make sacrifices. – If I ever thought the little work I did during the first three years included sacrifices, I was sadly mistaken. It was not until I decided to move my children to another state, pack up my car, move to Atlanta, and stay with some random person I met on Instagram did I realize what this meant. I will save the details of my journey for another time, but believe me when I say I have sacrificed a great deal. I only hope the saying, “the greater the sacrifice the greater the reward” is true. So far so good.
- You must know who you are. – I used to get so upset when I would see others copy what I was doing. It hurt more because usually I had the creativity but they had the money, so they could come behind me with all the corrected kinks I had to learn to smooth out on my own. I admit it was frustrating and can still continue to be, but you have to know who you are and have faith in you and your capabilities. After all, at the end of the day, the only person you can truthfully depend on is you.
Most businesses fail within their second and fourth year, so I am very excited about this accomplishment and looking forward to what’s next. For those who have made it to 5 years or further what have you learned that you would care to share? I look forward to hearing from you.