Recently, someone asked me the question of which one was harder. Was it harder for me to bounce back after a devastating divorce? Or was it harder to build my business?
It took me a second, I had to pause and hold clutch my pearls, because I was like, which one was harder?
I think that they’re both very different.
But honestly, I think that building my business was the hardest.
And when I was writing down those 3 things I wish I knew before I launched my business, I said, “Oh, man, let’s be honest.”
I was like, “Oh, these are 3 really, really, really hard things.”
And so I want to get into that today.
My prayer is that when you read what my 3 things are, they don’t scare you away from entrepreneurship. Because they could.
But my hope is that it actually gives you some encouragement in whatever places you are in. And so it gives you the permission to be learning, growing, and evolving.
So these three are not in any particular order, but they are where they are.
These are the 3 things I Wish I Knew before I Started my Business
- Launch Fatigue
Have you ever heard the phrase launch fatigue?
I had never heard of it.
To put it in basic terms is that when you are launching a product or service, and the launch is over with, a lot of times people just crash after a launch because of launch fatigue.
And I remember the first time I ever did a launch was when I launched my brand, my website and that I was having the goal of making $10,000 in my first month..
And I was doing all the things.
I was waking up early, I was staying up late.
I was working with all the people, working nonstop, and doing live streams, and growing my email list, connecting, just doing all the things.
And I remember after our launch week was over with. I felt incredibly depressed.
Now, I’m not talking about the regular, like you know, we say, “Oh, I feel depressed.” And I’m not making fun of people that battle with depression.
I have overcome depression.
So this is not me saying, making light of it. Okay? But how sometimes we’ll say, “Oh, I feel depressed”
And we actually just feel sad.
This wasn’t one of those things.
This was like, I could barely get out of bed.
This was one of those things where I was just like no matter what I listen to, even if it’s a happy dance song, I could not get out of it.
I remember, I think it was day 2 or day 3 of this when I said, “Maybe I should just chill.”
So, I just took 2 days off and did nothing.
Then the weekend came and I did nothing over the weekend.
And I just felt better. And I was just like, “Hmm, that’s really interesting.”
It took me a couple of years when I watched a bunch of other people launch and somebody girl named Courtney had posted in a Facebook group about launch fatigue.
And I was like, What? And it hit me that I don’t know a whole lot about the body.
But it’s like you’re building all this energy, all this stuff and then when it’s over with, it’s just like a crash.
So it’s kind of like when someone’s doing something like a Tour de France or they’re doing this big marathon. And then when it’s all over with, if they don’t get back into their routine and some facet that they just crashed.
And so that’s what happens to people when they have a launch.
You can literally crash if you’re not doing things in between the time of your launch and if you’re just going too hard.
And it took me a while to realize this. That’s why we have our self-paced course Monetize the Tok, and I started to learn healthier ways to offer that to our audience, because I was really exhausted.
At the end of my challenges, it was just so exhausting.
And I just said, “I can’t do this to my team and I can’t even imagine how they feel at the end of a launch.”
I don’t want that for me. And I don’t want that for them.
And so if you’re somebody and you do live launches. If you do challenges, webinars, or leading up to a product launch or whatever.
It’s really important for you to build in time during that launch to do nothing, to go get a massage and to sleep a little bit extra. And give time after that to do nothing.
A lot of my friends go on vacation.
And I’m like, “Oh, they take these 3 day vacations to like Mexico or whatever.”
Where they just take time off and they give their team time off so that everybody can recuperate.
And I think that that’s awesome. I think it’s brilliant.
You know, I’m in a place now where I’m asking myself. “How can I give my team a day after a launch?”
How do people do it? How can I give that to them, too? Because if I feel that way, I can only imagine how they feel because they’ve gotta give me all the things that I need.
- How Scary it is to Grow in your Business
I always thought that “Okay, I’m at $250,000, $300,000, $400,000 in my business, it’s gonna be easy to go from $400,000 to over a million in a year”
I don’t mean cumulative over the years. But like from zero to a million cumulative in a 12-month timeframe.
I thought that would just be easy.
Oh my god, that is not easy.
When you really want to grow your business, you’re hiring people like the regular part-time, regular full time.
You bring on a full-time assistant or you bring on a full-time graphic designer.
And there’s a lot of pressure.
I didn’t realize how scary I was gonna feel when it was time to grow.
It took me a while to do this.
But one day, I finally said, “What are my regular monthly expenses?”
I made a list of all the things that I paid for on a monthly basis.
And I look at that number. I was in shock of how much money comes out of my business account every single month.
And I had this moment where I said, “Stop everything, fire everybody, let go of everything”
Because I said I could be out of business at some point in time. You know what I’m saying?
I was like, this could be the end of me.
It was so scary to see that number. And there was no way around the fact that here is this number and here’s how much money is coming out every single month.
Here’s how much money has to come in every single month just to break even. But here’s how much money has to come in every single month and we’re going to constantly make more money to add to what we already have into the bank.
Even now when I think about it. I’m just like, “Wow, that’s so scary”
And I remember I had a conversation with my sister. She never really understood what I do in my business.
And finally one day she said, “So tell me about your business. How’s everything going?”
I said, “Well, it’s really scary right now.”
She said, “Why?” And I was like, “Well, I have these many expenses coming out every single month, and people are relying on me to help them pay their bills.”
Now we have money, but it’s still very scary when you have that on your shoulders versus just you having a job or you having your own expenses.
But when other people are relying on you. It’s a whole different ball game. And she was just like, “I never even thought about that, that you have people relying on you that can pay their bills.“
And I’m like, “Yeah, that’s my life.”
And it just hit me over and over again, of how scary that is.
But don’t get me wrong, it’s still a beautiful thing. It’s a beautiful experience to have to be able to have people that work with you and all the things but it’s very scary. And it’s something that I want you to understand.
It’s something that I want you to prepare for, knowing how much money needs to come into your business right now, how much money is going out and then all the other things on top of it.
Okay? And then I also want you to think about if you bring on another person, how much is that coming out of your bottom line every month, every quarter or every year.
Recently I was like, “Okay, what if I did 4 brand deals a month and I got this much money per brand deal? Okay, that’s gonna pay for those expenses”
And so that’s just another way of going like “I got these mega expenses, and here’s how I can cover that”
That’s just me and my strategic mind trying to make sure that I don’t feel certain pressure because it’s a lot when you have the pressure on you to build your business.
- How much I needed to grow in order to lead people and in order to lead my company.
When I think about how much I need to grow. I can’t say that it’s overwhelming. But it has been like, “Oh my, I’m not as awesome as I think that I am”
“I’m not as great a leader as I think that I am”
Because not only do I have to run my business, sell my products and services, and serve my clients, but I’ve got to mentor the people that work for me.
I’ve got to learn their love languages.
And to add people as employees, I’ve got to understand their cultures and what’s happening in their countries.
I’ve got to learn their encouragement style, if they want praise privately or public praise? Is it words, gifts, or what is their thing?
I have to learn how to manage my emotions, especially when I’m hormonal.
Catch myself like, “I should not have meetings with people, not text people or send messages on slack when I’m feeling upset.”
There’s just so much stuff when it pertains to me having to learn and grow as a person.
I just want to throw the whole business away because it’s so much.
It was so much when I looked at myself and my ability to communicate how I was feeling, communicate what I needed in a way that each person could receive it.
Like one graphic designer needs this, a video editor needs this, a chatbot person needs this.
Everybody is different.
My capacity has been stretched by 45 million times and I wish that I knew the level of stretching that I was gonna have to go through.
I wish that I knew more as an employee.
I wish that I spent more time learning when I was in school.
When I was working for bosses, I wish that I just knew so much more than I know now.
Now, I don’t regret it, I’m not gonna throw my business away, I am gonna always keep going.
But this is just how I felt, you know what I mean?
It’s been beautiful and awful all at the same time, if I could be honest.
But when I look back at my ability to watch a person go from deflated to encouraged.
When I watch a team member go from on the brink of losing their jobs to rocking it.
Because, “I learned how to encourage them, I learned how to motivate them, I learned how to help them mature in their position”
This is not the last time I’m gonna manage people. If and when I choose to have kids, it’s like, I’m gonna be coming into this person’s life wherever they are. And I’ve gotta learn to navigate that.
Not to mention, my desire to get remarried. And so I’m gonna have to navigate getting to know this dude.
Getting to know this man. Like when he’s having his positive and not so positive moments. When I’m having my positive and not so positive moments. When we’re having what the Church calls heated fellowship.
You know? When I mend those moments, having to learn how to handle myself and all those types of things, is crucial.
I honestly wish that I knew all this before I started my business, but I’m proud of myself that I’m on a journey.
And then I’m figuring it out.
And I’m glad that I have people on my team and in my company and communities that I’m in that are like, “Okay, we’re gonna be here with you, we’re gonna encourage you, we’re gonna tell us what you need, how can we support you?”
I’m glad that I have those people around me because it could get very lonely, it could get overwhelming and it could just cause the person to quit.
But I’m learning that if I am honest and vulnerable with the people around me then I can get more of what it is that I need and I can learn better how to support my people.
I posted on Facebook and said, “You guys are leading companies, leading teams in different countries. How are you keeping up morale and doing all this stuff when they’re on Zoom?”
And the fact that I was so honest and transparent with my question, I got so many people that gave me so many good responses.
And these things are what I never would have thought of but because I was aware that I did not know what I was doing in certain regards and was honest and transparent enough to ask it on social media.
I was able to get those answers.
I want that for everybody else.
I want everybody else to have those experiences.
I want you to go, “Okay, I’m just like Keenya. I don’t know what I’m doing either in some regard but I can figure it out and I can go to people. I can be public or private about it and I can go and get the things that I need. And I can become better and I can grow and all the things”
So, I hope you have enjoyed outing myself in this article.
I hope that, me, sharing my experiences, my decade of growing moments with you, hope you appreciate them.
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