I did a post a while ago about some podcasts that I enjoy listening to. Some are about business/ boutiques and some are about true crime documentaries. I like to listen to Podcasts about entrepreneurial topics mainly because they offer ideas and things that I could improve on in my business but another aspect is they make me feel better and more confident in my ability to run a business. I will be the first to admit I don't have the slightest idea what I am doing.
No, really, I am out here just winging it.
All I knew going into this (a.k.a running a business) was that a successful business owner that I previously worked for told me I wasn't worth her time and I believed her... at the time. I also had worked for people in the past and after that experience that believed I was worth their time. I saw one major difference in those people. The workplaces that believed I was worth their time had more repeat and loyal customers for one but the major difference was their employee turn over rate was low; extremely low for a college town. Most employees were there from their hire date to graduation and some even stayed on after.
See, I made a mistake. I left a good job at a restaurant and an internship with an incredible boss to work for a terrible person. I was told I had to give up the internship because she wasn't comfortable with me working for her competition. I cried daily at that job but by then I knew I wanted to eventually open my own store and to do that I had to learn how. I also needed to graduate and with this new job came an internship that I desperately needed to graduate. It was a win, win right?
Has anyone ever told you if its too good to be true then it probably is? They are right! Trust me it usually is too good to be true. I had a new job in the field I wanted to be in and an internship that offered me a way to graduate while learning the ins and outs of a boutique all tied up in a neat little bow. I quickly began to realize that something had gone terribly wrong. I didn't know to run a successful business you had to spy on other stores to get ahead. I didn't know you had to hover over all of your customers to make sure they wouldn't steal from you. I didn't know that turning the hangers the wrong way on the rack on accident warranted yelling in the back until you cried. I didn't know you had to crush people in your industry to get above them. Despite all of this I worked hard, I tried to learn, I met every sales goal, I hovered over customers so they wouldn't steal anything, I asked questions, I tried so hard... but in the end it wasn't worth her time and she snatched it all away. I had given up things to be there. Devastated wasn't the word for it. But, I still needed to graduate. (Newsflash you don't have to be ruthless to run a good business, you don't have to spy and assume the worst in people, that will only make people resent you. They my buy your clothes but they wont respect you.)
So, I found another store in town looking for a marketing/ PR intern. She was kind, she believed in me, she believed I could help her. She wanted me to help her and she wanted to help me. And I was able to graduate. I feel like I could have helped her more but I was in a bad place from the other job. I cried all the time because I was questioning what I wanted to do with my life, I questioned my ability to do anything in the fashion industry. And I was angry. Think Taylor Swift Reputation era angry.
Slowly, through working with my new boss and lots and lots of research that summer I decided timidly to open a business. I told only a few people because if it failed I didn't want people to know. I began following other business owners on Instagram. Learning from them, looking up to them. Not spying on them or stealing their ideas and copying them but being inspired by them.
One has stood out to me considerably more than others. Her name is Taylor Jones. She is the owner of The Tiny Closet . I think she stands out because we are about the same age and we graduated with the same degree. And she is very motivated and she is successful and as far as I can tell without actually meeting her is a kind person. (Proving my theory that you don't have to be ruthless to be a good business owner.) Follow her on Instagram you will understand how her personality radiates through her business. She recently started a podcast and I am loving it! In the first episode/ introduction she says she's going to talk about chasing your dreams and not letting people or the past define who you are and what you're going to be in the future. I was listening in my car and I literally was like yes, this is what I need!! Because, again I am out here winging it and sometimes its feels like I'm on top of the world but others I am asking myself what am I doing? Who am I that someone would want to shop with me? That fear is so bad that sometimes I literally feel like I can't get out of bed but I know that this is what I want more than anything in the world.
Heres what I have learned, you do not have to trample others to get what you want (COMMUNITY OF COMPETITION), there is room for other people. It does you no good pull other people down to make yourself feel good; you may feel good and think you look good doing that but to others you just look silly.
Since my experience with that boss I have figured out there is so much more me than being worth her time. Who cares, she was one person with many enemies. In the fashion industry and the business industry one person with many enemies is not where you want to be.
So, check out her store and her podcast here. Also check out some of the gals on instagram that are amazing and inspiring to me:
If you want more podcasts like this one to listen to check out this post here.