It has been a minute since I last wrote a blog post, and I'm excited to get back into the swing of things with this fun introductory post! I'm currently running a giveaway over on my Instagram (you can check it out here and enter, if you want) and one of the requirements is to answer 2 questions that I have up in my stories! Well, since there's been about 200+ questions submitted, I thought I would briefly answer a few of the top questions I've been receiving here.
So without further adieu, here's 5 of the top questions I've been asked:
1. How did you get started in your business? How do you keep it going?
I wrote a whole blog post about how I accidentally started my business, and that explains a lot of how it all started (truly, it was unintentional in the beginning). But what happened next, and how I've kept it going, has been an unapologetic desire to follow my dreams and create things. I think the most important thing I've done over the last three years is really lean into the quote, "Done is better than perfect." It's easy to fall into the comparison trap, feel imposter syndrome, or just struggle with being creative for a living - but I've found the biggest secret to being an entrepreneur is continuing to move forward and chase your dream.
.... That, and google how to do everything. Seriously, Google is your best friend in business.
No, I'm not even remotely kidding.
2. How do you balance your time, working two jobs, and are able to do it all?
First off, I don't do it all. Not even close.
Literally when I see this question, I shake my head... and I feel bad that people think I can actually do it all. I can't! It's never my hope to only share my successes, when there's a mountain of failures right alongside it. Social media can be really deceiving, and it's easy for things to seem one way, when they really could be another (whether intentionally posted that way or not).
So here's a few things that I haven't been doing:
I've been wanting to figure out Pinterest strategy for forever, but I just don't have time. I can't tell you how many online courses I've signed up for, and paid really good money for, and most I haven't even logged in once for. I have tons of books on my shelf that I haven't read, I don't attend hardly any meetups anymore, I sadly rarely see creative friends or go on coffee dates, etc. I usually end up doing laundry, only out of necessity, when I don't have anymore clean undies to wear. I've been wanting to travel somewhere with Daniel, but our schedules are so crazy, that it looks like we won't be able to travel somewhere new and fun until next year. Y'all, there are SO MANY home projects that we haven't done... It's almost embarrassing how little we've worked on this house over the last 3 months.
There's a lot of things I've been wanting to do with Rosalynne Love (like create and share YouTube videos regularly, come out with a few online courses, do weekly "live" videos, blog regularly, launch a podcast, teach handlettering live, etc). that haven't happened yet.
There's plenty more things, but you get the idea... There are many things on my list that don't happen, but instead of beating myself up, I choose to focus on all the blessings that are currently in my life.
So while there is a lot of things I don't do, there are still a lot of things I juggle in my life. I do work 30 ish hours a week at Chick-fil-A Corporate (blog post about that here). I still run my company full time. I'm a wife, house keeper, plant mama, friend and family member. I enjoy working out regularly and I absolutely love to cook and grocery shop. All of these things take up most of my time. It can be hard to balance... But there's an ebb and flow to everything.
If I have a lot of RL stuff, I'll work less that day at CFA. If both jobs are busy, there's a good chance Daniel and I will be eating pancakes for breakfast. I try not to skip workouts, but sometimes I need that extra hour to work on something. No two days look the same, and for my personality, I am thankful for this! I've also learned that I do best with a lot of chaos and a full schedule (it's weirdly how I'm most productive) so I thrive under so many things going on.
But at the same time... I have to be careful not to over-fill my schedule, and thus emit my non-negotiables (because for some reason, when life gets the craziest, the most important things seem to drop off my list first. Working on changing this).
So the most important thing you can do is prioritize your schedule.
Figure out what your priorities are (for me their my quiet time in the mornings, spending quality time with Daniel, and making time for self-care). After that it's making sure I make time to regularly see the people I love the most - friends and family. Then the rest of the stuff can and will work itself out.
3. How do you find time for rest and to be with your husband?
Like I mentioned above, I prioritize my schedule. There are certain things that are non-negitables, and spending time to be with my husband is one of them. I choose to do this and have to fight for our time, because when our schedules are crazy and the orders and emails are piling up, it's easy to push off time with Daniel or making time for myself (one of the hardest thing for women to do, I'm convinced).
The problem is: I really enjoy working, and so it would be easy for me to work 24/7. However, I did that when I first started out, and it definitely had an effect on our marriage, on me personally, and on my business. It isn't healthy for anyone when you work non-stop. Taking breaks is actually what helps fuel your creative genius!
So I've found that I have to make Daniel a priority. I need to spend (nearly) daily quality time with him, and make sure that I give him the brain space so I can be intimate with him regularly, too.
As for myself, I've established working out as a part of my routine. This has all the obvious health benefits that you know, plus I feel like it gives me an hour a day where I don't have to think about anything. I'm so grounded in the moment, and I'm focused on doing something that's challenging, but good. I feel like fitness has helped with my mental toughness.
I'm still working on being able to listen to my body, and figure out what "rest" truly means for me. I'm still working on giving myself grace, knowing that I can't do it all, and accepting that I often set unrealistic expectations for myself. I'm also fighting hard to set Sunday's as my Sabbath day - a time where I don't look at my phone (at all) and I do things I enjoy - usually being outdoors, working on my garden, or reading a book.
4. How much money do you need to start a business and not be in debt?
Starting a business, I'd say that you need less money than you think.
My recommendation would be for you to look over your finances (with a spouse, if you have one) and figure out how much money you can set aside to start a business. For me, I think I started my company with a few hundred dollars. There are SO many ways you can sell products without having to spend a ton of money (especially when you're starting out). There's companies that do Drop Shipping (where you design the product, they will print and ship it) which has no up front cost. Literally just google, "Drop shipping product company." Putting these items on Etsy only costs you $0.20 a listing (which most can afford) and then a small percentage of the sale. So it's virtually a free "website" to get you going.
You could even solely sell on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest! All of these are free platforms where you can sell, advertise and promote your products.
You can just do custom orders, which means you're only buying once someone has purchased. Or solely work on a pre-order bases, where you collect all the orders and money up front, then purchase, so you're not out anything (or out very little).
If you do want to do bulk items (like I do in the shop) then my recommendation would be to find a small business that specializes in promotional products, and work with them! When I graduated, I no longer had access to screenprinting equipment, and didn't have the money to buy my own kit, so I worked with a local company to print my tees! There minimums were 24 shirts per design/order, and that was a semi-affordable way to keep my business going.
All in all, being a business owner means that you figure out ways to be scrappy. You can't have a team of 25, with the world's most beautiful website, flawless instagram, Hollywood quality YouTube channel and 10,000 different products on day one of launching a company. You don't need to hire a graphic design - use Canva (it's free) to create your logo, IG Story templates and Pinterest posts. After you've gained some momentum - definitely hire another small business to help elevate your brand! But in the beginning, it's okay to figure out something that works.
Done is better than perfect. Published work is better than ideas in your head.
It's okay to be a beginner. It's okay to start somewhere, to be new, and to slowly grow. That's what I've done over the last 3 years, and it's helped me figure out my brand in a way that will last - instead of quickly burning out and piling up a ton of debt.
My logo, brand, website, style, etc. has changed a lot over the last 3 years. I'm glad I didn't invest heavily in branding and products in the beginning, when I was still figuring it out. I've slowly increased my investments as I could, and I've been able to operate a cash business and grow to where I am today because of this.
5. What keeps you inspired? How do you come up with new designs and feel confident that they will sell?
I've learned that you cannot force creativity. It's like the wind - it comes and goes without you really knowing where it came from, where it's going, or when it will come back. So I lean into this. If I'm feeling creative and inspired, I'll take a blank sketchbook and jot out all the ideas and sketches I possibly can. If I'm having a day where I just can't be creative or get the creative thing I need to done, then I'll walk away. Sometimes I'll go for a run to clear my head, or I'll clean the house, or do something else on my list I've been putting off.
I also learned that a way to maintain consistent creativity, is to spend time investing in yourself. Like I talked about earlier, self-care is so crucial to being a creative! I've found that when I regularly spend time with Jesus, get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, and spend time doing things that are life-giving (aka reading, coffee dates with friends, travel or gardening) then I am infinitely more creative!
An empty engine won't run. You can try to force it, but you'll do more damage than good. So it's important to fill yourself up with things that are filling, and not depleting.
Also, it's important to know that even if you're really great at self-care and doing life-giving things, you'll still have days where you're just NOT feeling it. Instead of beating yourself up during these moments, just acknowledge them and move on.
Many times, I accept this as a way God's telling me to slow down... to stop trying to do ALL THE THINGS (which I think I can do sometimes) and perhaps focus on a simple task that I've been putting off. Sometimes just making my bed and putting away the clean laundry that's in a pile on the floor can do wonders to clearing out my head.
Plus there's always the hope that tomorrow's another brand new and beautiful day.
Hope this Q&A session was helpful for you! I'm excited to dive deeper into all these questions in future blog posts and YouTube videos. If there's any questions you've been wanting to know - just leave them below and I'll add them to my list of things to answer!