On Saturday we attended the Cosmopolitan Self Made Summit in London. It was a very exciting day jam packed with inspirational speakers, workshops and plenty of food and drink. The event was sponsored by Tinder (well known dating app) and we were fortunate enough to listen to the head of PR and Communications talk about her journey and success. It was extremely well organised and everyone was very friendly. The majority of the audience were women so there was a great sense of empowerment amongst us. Some of the speakers that we listened to were Emma Willis, Tess Holliday, Emma Watkinson, Katie Piper, Binky Felstead and Rosette Pambakian. We are a huge fan of the magazine so it was also great to get an insight of how the magazine works and to see the Editor-in-Chief, Farrah Storr, in action.
We have noted down a few of the ideas that we have taken away from the day and we have decided to share them with you.
You are the brand - Every decision you make, creatively or financially, will help to shape the brand. Your values and morals need to reflect those of the business and it needs to be personal to help your audience relate to you.
Learn to let things go - Don't take everything personally. Sometimes things aren't supposed to be and that's OK. You can't please everybody. Don't get swallowed up by the negativity and try to move past it and create positive.
Don't be deceived by other people's success - It may look as though your competitor has got everything figured out, it may not be all as it seems. So what if they have just reached their quarterly target? As long as you are meeting your own expectations, try not to be disheartened by other people's success.
Lift each other up - We are all in the same boat so why does it have to be a competition? We are all trying to make our dreams come true and make our business work so why can't we support others while doing this?
There is always more to learn - You need to be constantly pushing yourself and learning new skills. Take every opportunity that comes your way and always look for new ideas. Take steps towards improving yourself and your work ethic so that the business can grow as well as you as an individual.
Don't be afraid to ask - You don't know unless you ask. You may be surprised with how generous people are with their time and their experience. Sometimes its helpful to learn from other's mistakes and to also develop a network of people around you.
Learn to take criticism - When someone gives you criticism, they are not purposely pointing out the negatives, they are simply trying to give you constructive advice to help improve the situation for next time. It is hard not to get defensive about people's opinions on your ideas and decisions but sometimes it can help you in the long run.
There will be bad days and good days - Don't expect to have a great day every day. Running a business is a rollercoaster. As soon as you are exceeding, there will be downfalls. Unfortunately this is something that you need to accept and learn to deal with appropriately, It is a great test for your confidence and problem solving skills. No one is perfect at this but sometimes the best way to learn is from your mistakes.
Invest time in networking and meeting people in your field - Make friends with others in your industry. You never know when you might need a helping hand with a situation that only they have experienced. There is always enough room for everybody within an industry so why can't it be friendly and supportive?
Learn to delegate - As the business grows, you won't be able to do everything. Asking for help doesn't mean you've failed, it simply means your skills and expertise should be focused on a certain part of the business. You don't want to risk making mistakes and costing the reputation of your business. Employ someone to help lift the load and add value to your business.
Success is measured in different ways - Each individual have their own expectations for their business. Some may say success is when they have taken 1,000 sales within their first 6 months, others may think that getting 5,000 followers on their Instagram is a success. Create your own goals and try not to compare yourself to anybody else.
Don't be afraid to try - Sometimes we are scared to take that leap because of a variety of different reasons. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. It's not 'if', it's 'when'. Believe in yourself and you just never know what may happen.
What if I fall? Oh darling, but what if you fly? - Erin Hanson