I've had my company, Harlem's Fashion Row, for 7 years now. We will celebrate our 8th year anniversary on August 17th of this year. I can honestly say that it's take 7 full years for doors to open with ease. Up until this point, it's been a struggle and an uphill battle. When you are like me and have only an idea, passion, and drive it's not easy. You see, when I started HFR I didn't have any connections or money, but I knew this was an idea that could change the lives of many so I pressed forward.
I started saying that it's taken 7 years for us to see success, but then I found a flaw in that statement. I've actually been successful even during the tough times. It's all about how you define success. For me, I've decided to define success based on daily wins. I've had many of them and I've learned many lesson.
I want to share the top 10 lessons I've learned from starting HFR:
Lesson 10 Follow up is required. When someone gives you their card, it's an invitation to stay in touch.
Lesson 9 Be nice. Being a southern girl this comes easy and is not quite welcomed in Fashion, but I've found that being nice opens many doors.
Lesson 8 Act as if it's already done. I could expand on this, but it would be long.
Lesson 7 Surround yourself with people who believe in your vision.
Lesson 6 Hire people that know more than you, have better connections than you, and can execute better than you.
Lesson 5 Be prepared to fall on your face. The best wins come from the times when you have faith all the way up until the last second.
Lesson 4 Go big. Going small doesn't inspire anyone. It won't even inspire you, so don't waste your effort going small.
Lesson 3 Have fun! Sometimes we can get so stressed and anxious about executing our ideas that we don't take the time to enjoy the process. Enjoy!
Lesson 2 Introduce yourself in unique ways. Make new contacts. Don't be afraid to call or email people that don't know you. Most of my major relationships have come from just sending an email or making a call. However, do it with finesse. Send cupcakes or a nice hand-written note. These unique introductions go a long way.
Lesson 1 Jump the Cliff. You have to just do it. Put it out there to everyone so that you stay accountable and make the leap!
I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment on some of your top entrepreneur or life lessons.