April 5, 2022
Like most women in America, I grew up watching all of Disney’s happily-ever-afters. I was fascinated by them; it was easy. Perfect girl meets perfect boy, and by the end of a 90-minute movie, they were off to begin their perfect life together.
These movies gave me high expectations for my future prince charming, so you can imagine the shock when real life didn’t live up to the fairy tale I’d imagined.
My prince charming, AKA my husband Austin and I, met through our church while attending BYU-Idaho. He was everything a guy should be: charming, funny, outgoing, and head over heels for me. There was just one problem… I was not into him AT ALL. After we accidentally started dating (yes, that’s a thing!) I wanted to break up with him.
And honestly, I would have if it weren’t for the fact that we were assigned the same group in church activities that semester. I knew it would be UNBEARABLY awkward if I broke up with him right then, so I did what any girl would do and went to seek advice from my roomies.
After many long discussions with my roommates, we concluded that I would simply have to wait out the semester before breaking up with him. It was only a few months away, so surely I could make it until winter break to go home for the holidays and forget the whole thing.
(Spoiler: that didn’t happen)
The more time I spent with Austin, the more I realized that he wasn’t so bad after all. I was somewhat surprised to find myself enjoying and even looking forward to spending time with my boyfriend… We quickly became inseparable. Learn more about us.
Why am I telling you all this?
Yes, it’s funny to look back at how I almost broke up with my now husband of 3+ years but it’s more than that. As I have retold this story countless times, I’ve stumbled upon the most valuable business (and life) lessons I have ever learned…
The biggest one is this: You need to give something a fair shot before deciding whether or not it’s going to work for you.
Every time you implement a new social media strategy… you need to give it the time and attention it needs to flourish.
Every time you launch a new promotion… give it time and attention before deciding it was a flop.
Every time you hire a new employee… give them the time, attention, and direction they need to thrive in your business before deciding if it’s going to work out or not.
Think about it – you wouldn’t plant a seed to immediately dig it up before it’s had the chance to grow, would you?
OF COURSE NOT!
So why are you so quick to throw in the towel when it comes to your business and personal endeavors?
It’s essential to let things grow, and growth only comes from proper care, time, and attention.
When Austin and I first started dating, it was SO uncomfortable, nothing like what Disney had prepared me for. We were awkward. Struggling to get to know each other without a fairy Godmother there to sprinkle magic into our interactions.
I was ready to walk away, give up on something that hadn’t even begun. Luckily, I didn’t throw the relationship away when I initially wanted to.
Another great example is my sister. She has been playing music since she was a little girl and has always had the dream to be a music educator. She’s recently launched a website and created a brand identity. Did her business take off overnight? No. But it’s growing, and she’s so happy being able to provide music lessons where she can.
So what changed in Katie’s business and in my relationship with Austin? And what can we change in our business mindset to give our new projects the fighting chance they deserve?
We are constantly bombarded with instant success stories, both in business and life. We are taught that relationships and businesses are built in the span of a 2-hour movie, and that’s simply not the case.
Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I see things like, “How I Quadrupled my Income in 3 Weeks”, “ Do THIS to grow your social media engagement instantly,” or “Here’s how I quit my 9-5 in just one week.”
All of these things are SO appealing- and you can understand why. Seeing someone else portray the results you want is exciting! It makes you want to dive all-in too, but what happens when you follow everything they advise and don’t achieve the same results?
Is it time to call your old boss back? Is it time to give up?
That’s a hard NO! The best things take time.
It is crucial to know at your core WHY you do what you do and why you do it the way you do. Having this knowledge allows you to be authentic and show up for yourself and your clients in a way that depicts your true character. Read this blog about showing up as yourself.
Authenticity wins every. single. time.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT implement a practice into your business simply because you see someone else doing it in theirs. They are not you, and you are not them. The beauty of the online space is that there is room for all of us. So why would you want to copy someone else?
By doing so, you’re likely to:
The easier solution?
Take ownership of your brand and have confidence that you know your target market and how to serve them best. Check out some business owners who have owned their brand!
You have to trust yourself.
To produce longevity in our business and relationships, we have to understand that it is a marathon, not a sprint.
A long journey that is meant to be taken one stride at a time.
When dating Austin I knew that I wasn’t looking for a fling. I wanted someone I could spend my life with. When starting a business, your goal isn’t (or shouldn’t be) just to make a few bucks. You want something that will grow and continuously bring wealth to you and your family.
The best way to play the long game is to be patient with the process.
As you put in the work to do the research, implement new strategies your clients will love, and allow yourself the time and space from trial and error, you will build a sturdy foundation for your business to flourish on.
Austin is the love of my life. I seriously can’t get enough of him. That would never have happened if I had called it quits when I didn’t see immediate results. When starting a new business venture, whether it be a marketing strategy or a new product, make sure you give yourself the space and grace for it to bloom. Who knows, it may end in a Happily-Ever-After.