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One year ago today, I launched my little pencil biz out into the world, knowing that I was passionate about what I wanted to do…and not knowing exactly how to do it. Looking back even 365 days, I am in shock at how this dream has become so much more than I ever could have imagined. Here’s what I’ve learned in the last year, titled in heavily-cliched bullet points.
Easily THE best part about running my business has been getting to connect with so many of you — of finding true, genuine kindred spirits who I can share my passions and life with. I feel so grateful for that. The people supporting you and your business are what makes the struggle and effort and difficulty worth it. ILY ALL! Truly.
I’ve realized over the course of this year that we are the ones that so often limit our progress. In my (limited) experience, business is full of roadblocks and hard days, but we can accomplish big things when we don’t limit our dreams of what we can achieve. In one year, I got to collaborate with Brightbox (and hand-stamp thousands of pencils) and author duo Christina Lauren, create pencils for subscription boxes and stores, and network with so many incredible women-owned businesses. I never would have imagined that for Longhand Pencils, and yet, in a year, it happened. This year, I’m going to dream even bigger.
Spending money on yourself when you’re running a business is really important, even when you’re trying to limit your expenses and run a business on a budget. To become a better business person and entrepreneur, you need to invest in yourself. Take classes, attend workshops, pay for a mentorship or coaching. Join communities, participate in networking opportunities, and spend time and $$ giving your brain and body a break when you need it. As you prioritize your training and well-being, you’ll be able to better run a successful business.
(This year, I participated in a writing conference, a mamapreneur business retreat, and more — it helped me so much to not only meet supportive communities and network, but invest in training that helped me learn new skills. I’m also planning a winter writing retreat!)
It’s been amazing to see how Longhand Pencils how grown over a year. Truly miraculous. But I also know that so much of my growth has been due to the long hours, hard work, and (likely) literal blood, sweat, and tears I’ve put into the business. I work and I work and I work. Growth doesn’t happen overnight, but as we keep working hard to build our businesses, good things come. Expect hard days, but be patient with yourself and your business. Keep going!
I want to thank every single one of you for your support and encouragement over the past year. I cherish this little pop-culture loving pencil community and I look forward to the years ahead of us. Thank you for celebrating my business birthday month with me!
Download the birthday calendar to follow along on each day’s celebration!