Heidi Lou Design turns one!
What a year it has been. I can’t even begin to explain the highs and the lows I’ve experienced. There have been literal blood, sweat and tears. Yet I don’t think I’ve ever done anything so rewarding. To have built this successful little business makes me so exceptionally proud of myself.
I started this business because I wanted to do something I love and create a freedom lifestyle. And along the way I fell in love with helping other women to do the same thing. What an honour it has been to be given the opportunity to do this.
I can’t believe it’s been a year. In a way, it feels like I started yesterday and in another, it feels like I’ve been doing this forever.
I’m so excited for the future of Heidi Lou Design and the places I’m headed.
I do really want to thank each of my followers for your likes, your shares and messages of support. It means the world to me. A big thank you to my friends and family for your unwavering support. And to my incredible clients, thank you for trusting me with your business and believing in me.
Here’s to many more business birthdays!
In celebration of my first business birthday, I asked some of some of my favourite business women to share their biggest lesson they learnt in their first year of business. I was pretty blown away when each of their answers came through. Their answers are all so different but there are so many valuable lessons in there.
Thank you to each of them for contributing. You’ve all inspired me in some way during my first year of business so I feel proud to feature each of you.
“The biggest thing I learnt in my first year of business is that it's actually possible to love something too much! While it's so tempting to spend every single minute building your business baby and working away, especially since suddenly all your labour has visible results for your growth, you achieve nothing if you burn yourself out too quickly. It may seem like there are no incentives to rest when you run your own show and when it's so much fun that it doesn't feel like work, but we all need rest AND distance from our own ideas so we can get perspective and refresh our creative stores every now and then. So make sure you take breaks and give yourself down time, because in the end you'll last the distance!”
“The biggest thing I learnt in my first year of business was how many hours it actually takes to build it and keep it running (and how many different roles you have to play!!).
I learnt that the long hours are almost inevitable if you really want to grow and continue to learn, but I felt so blessed every day as I love what I do and can really see how important it is to love what you do - otherwise the self motivation to get through those hours in the week would be hard. I also learnt how important it is to spend our small amount of spare time wisely, as this time can then affect your performance for the rest of the week (ie only hang out with supportive friends, avoid drama like the plague, take time to relax, do what makes me happy and move my body!).”
Jaharn Giles, Your Creative Start and Smor Store
“Learning to say no is the biggest thing I learned in the first year of my business. It’s not easy when you need to pay the bills, but staying true to your vision, and doing the work you love, attracts even more work you love.”
Anna, ivy designer collections
“In my first (almost) 6 months having my own business, I’ve learnt that things can get pretty tough. It’s challenging yet also really rewarding. It’s taken me out of my comfort zone and has made me a more confident person."
I’ve learnt that it’s ok to have time off you need it - it’s important to have balance. I’ve learnt that when things feel hard, to just breathe through it. I’ve become more resilient and more sure of my love for fashion. I’ve learned how to do new things across all aspects of the business - from buying trips to see new season styles, to balancing the books after hours. Most of all, I’ve learned I’ve capable of taking on challenges I never dreamed I could’ve before.”
Emma, Canvast co
“You need to learn to love yourself before you start in business. Because it will test you on an emotional level you’ve never encountered before. It will make you doubt yourself, your abilities and your right to success, but if you love yourself enough you’ll always come back to that. And find yourself a tribe that will love you, even when you find it hard to”
“The biggest thing I learned in year one of business? That business is HARD. Year one of my business was so emotional, a total rollercoaster. There were so many tears and doubting myself and my business model. Having coached many other business owners too, these emotions are totally normal! Just accept that it’s part of the journey and if you can hang in there, things DO get easier! My advice to any business owners in the earlier stages of business 1) Be prepared for the financial strain… the majority of business only just break even in year 1, 2) Do a lot of work on your mindset- how you THINK about things will have a huge impact on the results you achieve 3) Surround yourself with an epic support crew- join a Mastermind, hire a coach, or find some business buddies you can regularly meet with to support you on this crazy journey called business. Just remember, you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to, so just hang in there.”
“Our first year in business was an absolutely transformational one personally. We had come from a toxic work environment, where we had taken a massive hit to our self-confidence and self-belief. We had been led to believe that our industry was competitive and negative, boy we in for a pleasant shock. After leaving the workforce and stepping out into our journey of biz-ownership, we discovered this amazing hub of other Women in business on Instagram who had similar stories to us and were all online supporting and believing in each other. We began to meet up with these lovely ladies and discovered they were just as amazing in person, and these online friendships turned into real-life friendships. Our confidence began to build back up, and with it, so did our client base. In that first year we made the leap from Oh My Digital being a "side-hustle" to a fully-fledged full-time, chillin in our pj's at home with the dog's gig! We couldn't pinch ourselves enough, that two gals who had been so close to being defeated, but believed in each other and kept pushing, could have come so far after such a tough journey. So our main takeaway from that first year, don't let ANYONE tell you that you're not good enough, or that you can't do something. Believe in yourself, and rely on those who lift you up. Keep your circle tight, and only keep supportive, collaborative and positive people around you. Life is too short to waste time on haters!”
Nicole, TNR Concreting and Nicole’s Lane Co
“The biggest lesson I learnt in my first year of business was realising that nothing will change if you don’t change. You need to think outside of the box, take risks, be open to opportunities that scare you, make yourself uncomfortable but willing to try. Meet new people, market your business in new ways and be open to new ideas. There is so much potential for growth if you allow it.”
Triss, Lunar Vibrations
“One of the biggest things I have learnt on my business journey is just how important it is to stay completely true to myself, my passion and my vision. Lunar has transitioned and changed a lot throughout the last few years, I was selling all these different items that my customers really loved, but I wasn’t feeling that passion anymore. I sat down, made a clear vision and removed everything that didn’t align with that. Which was scary, taking that risk of changing everything even when things were going well.
I am now offering the most incredible high quality crystals which I look at every single piece and think this is where my heart is. So that has definitely been one of the biggest things I have learnt, taking that step and staying completely true to what I am passionate about.”
HEIDI, Heidi Lou DESIGN (ME!)
“The biggest lesson I’ve learnt in my first year of business is not to compare my journey with others. I’ve spent too long thinking about how other business owners got to their position and what I should be doing to get there. I’ve learnt to focus on my own lane and give myself a big pat on the pack for how far I’ve come.
You just can’t compare your journey to someone else’s. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.
Just do what feels right for your business, do everything with love and the results will come.”