I currently live in Brooklyn with my three little boys and husband. What can I say, I’m the unofficial -but official - Queen in my house. I love weird combinations of food (more on that later), going out (MOMS CAN DANCE TOO), and seeing the "A-HA" look on a founder's face when they unleash the story that has been buried in them and their business for way too long.
I know you are all HUMMING it. I’m sorry for that.
I made a shit ton of mistakes when I started my business at the top of 2017.
Yes, going through the mistakes is part of the entrepreneurial process. But not pivoting soon enough in another direction is the reason most people like us don’t see that 5-year mark.
It’s easy to think you’re working hard when you are clocking in a lot of hours.
But if the work isn’t needle-moving or revenue-generating then who cares how hard you are working.
Case in point, my first year in business I busted my ass. Literally doing the whole “burning the midnight oil” thing.
Waking up early.
Going to bed late.
Working on my WEBSITE and my proposal DESIGN and so many other things.
I brought in $40,000 at the end of 2017 -remember I live in NYC. That number does not go far.
My husband had also taken his own career risk a year prior so all I remember this time in 2017 was a pitted feeling in my stomach as I stared at my baby and toddler in our small NY apartment & did a mental calculation of my credit card balances.
I was shocked when we ran my numbers. (I should not have been but I didn’t pay any attention to the financials.)
I remember seeing all the “end of year” reflection posts talking about gratitude and gratefulness and I felt like I needed to wave a white flag….but you wouldn’t know it.
Because at that time I, too, subscribed to the “image of success” more than I do now.
Again, me at NASDAQ. I was literally spiraling into debt, yet slap this baby up on IG with some caption and you would have NO. IDEA. I felt so out of sorts that first year. Lost. Confused. On the edge of a breakdown what felt like every other day.
THIS was the “amazing entrepreneurial life” that everyone raved about online?
Recently I made a video -or a Netflix documentary in short form video world -talking about these mistakes I made and what was going on behind-the-scenes at home as well.
I wish I could have told that girl some things then that I know now:
1️⃣ Stop calling yourself “just a freelancer” because we can tell you’re not really buying into what you do. WHEN will you step into your role as the founder of your company? Because that is what you are.
(This mindset set me back years and is the top mistake I made in hindsight.)
2️⃣ You are starting to spiral into some scary credit card debt. Please ask for help. Tell someone. I know you’re shameful but it’s better to get on top of this.
3️⃣ Hey Patrice, why aren’t you telling anyone about this business? You never did send out an email to anyone…how come? And you are so social yet you have not gone to a single networking function IRL or online? How come? Why are you hiding?
4️⃣ You should talk to people Patrice and find out what others in your field are charging. I say this with love because you’re doing a lot of video work for basically free & this is why you are in a not great financial situation…
5️⃣ Girl, STOP with the long, flowery, design*y proposals. If you take one more FULL work day doing these, I am going to have to call the Canva police. Please start using your time on other things….maybe see No. 3 or 4?
👀 Watch the video for how this story ended but please for the love of God do not let anyone’s social media highlight reel make you think that overnight success is a thing. Or that it wasn’t really hard to step into the shoes of becoming an entrepreneur.
As I enter my 6th year in business I am FINALLY in a flow. But it took me a solid 4 years to not have panic attacks on the daily.
And as I finish my 2022 dissertation, I want to thank you so much for letting me in your in-box most weeks.
I’m still small enough where I get a gut kick in the stomach when someone unsubscribes. Even going as far as emailing someone once asking her “if I could have done better.”
She told me she “subscribes to this from 2 emails …..”
And while December 2022 is a whole hella better than December 2017, I am always learning and hopefully teaching you and inspiring you to please keep on going (but maybe just be a bit smarter than I was on some of the earlier stuff!)
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!
I have lots planned for you in 2023 & no matter where you ended up this year, please know that forward momentum plus time is a powerful remedy. And a reassurance that we all are going through a journey and where you are is exactly where you should be.