1) #GIRLBOSSby Sophia Amoruso: I just read this on a flight from Colorado to New York and would definitely recommend it. I love that Sophia Amoruso talks about how it takes HARD WORK to make it as an entrepreneur. I think a lot of people get the idea that working for yourself is great cause you get to set your hours and do whatever you want…but they don’t really appreciate the amount of work you put in every day.
2) Wild by Cheryl Strayed: It’s a memoir about a woman hiking the Pacific Crest trail on her own. It’s a great story, with all kinds of quotable content. And soon to be a movie.
3) Manage Your Day-to-Day by Jocelyn K. Glei: I haven’t actually read this one yet, but it’s on my list. Been thinking a lot about how to create routine in my day because I think it’s important for productivity. I have so many ideas and I want to make sure I have time to get to them.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learned since launching? This might sound really boring…but the biggest and most important lessons I have learned since launching August Ink are about taxes and financials and legal contracts. I took a lot of time the past six months to take classes and talk to lawyers and just learn as much as I can. It’s been helpful, especially since bigger opportunities are coming my way. One of my favorite sayings is “fake it till you make it,” but sometimes that’s not the best strategy. Especially when you are dealing with potential commercial licenses and the IRS. Most communities have free and low cost resources for small businesses. My local Small Business Development Center has become almost a second office for me…I have gained a great mentor and it also allows me to meet other small business owners. The networking is great, but since I work from home by myself, the social piece of it has been invaluable!
What’s your advice to someone interested in starting their own business? I think you hear this a lot…but let go of the fear! Being a creative entrepreneur is hard because you’re putting yourself out there every day to be judged by people you don’t even know. It’s easy to get hung up on losing Instagram followers or one of your products being a total flop. But the fact is that you’re not going to please everyone and not every single piece you put out there is going to be a success. You have to learn to let those go. Some of my favorite products are not best sellers, but I’ve learned to just move on and come up with a new idea!
Also, be ready to WORK HARD. You can have all the ideas in the world, but if you don’t work hard and figure out how to execute them, then your ideas aren’t worth anything. That’s why you can’t patent an idea…only the process or product!
Where do you receive inspiration? I like to think I find a lot of inspiration on the internet…mainly because I would like to justify that hour I just spent on Pinterest. While I think the visual stimuli is helpful for me (I’m not giving up my blogs or Pinterest or Instagram any time soon), I’m finding that getting out and trying new things is a huge inspiration for me. I recently discovered weaving and I have been pretty addicted to it. I’m already on my third piece. The other weekend I spent almost an entire Saturday night weaving and watching the whole 6th season of Parks and Rec, after which I felt newly inspired and ready to get to work in my studio. I was coming up with new ideas and totally felt motivated to reconcile my accounts in Quickbooks. When you’re a creative professional you can easily stop creating just for the fun of it. I think creating something new and different from what I do on a day to day basis was a huge boost for me. Or it was the entire season of Parks and Rec! Who knows?
If you could have one famous entrepreneur as your mentor who would it be? I think it would be Tory Burch. She has great connections, but she is also smart and understands the importance of working really hard!
What is your indispensable gadget: iPhone, it pretty much has everything I need on it.
What’s your favorite app: Instagram
What’s your favorite account to follow on Instagram: That’s a hard one since Instagram is my favorite app, but I would have to say @elisejoy.
What’s your favorite item in your closet: Well, I’m currently crushing on my new August Ink tees. I own once of each design! Of course.