Owning your own biz is no joke. It takes guts, grit, and a stiff drink from time to time! But the joy that comes with doing what you love with your best friend is truly unmatched. If you are looking toward the new year and wondering whether you should pull the trigger on your own biz, we say #GOFORIT! And since we’ve got almost a decade (#yikes) under our belts, we thought we would share some our non-negotiables for small business success…

TAKE THE RISK OR LOSE THE CHANCE. Just leap! Nobody gets anywhere sitting on their butt waiting for success to come to them. Put yourself out there, get uncomfortable, and trust your gut. Don’t be discouraged by the small (and sometimes large) failures along the way—it is all part of the process.

PARTNER UP. If you want to go at it alone, do it! But, if you are looking for a partner, you’ve got to find the right fit. Trust is key, balance is essential, and humor is a must. You will butt-heads and you will have to work through it. It is a marriage—a roller coaster of highs and lows and deadlines and celebrations—all as a team. It is difficult and amazing and complicated and fun. So, whether it be your lifelong best friend or a new acquaintance, choose wisely.

SHUT IT DOWN. You know your friend who clocks out at the end of a shift and maybe shows up the next day or maybe gets the sniffles and calls-out sick and hangs out on the couch? Well, THAT AIN’T YOU. You are on call and on the clock all day errrryday. So, you must know when to turn it off. The phone is going to keep ringing, the emails are going to continue to flood your inbox, and your mental checklist is never going to disappear. But it is your responsibility—for yourself AND your business—to check out and take time away. Because if you lose your mind, you will lose clients too.

SUPPORT. Family, friends, spouses, pets, whatever—you’ll need it. Find yourself the kind of people who will help you paint lobby walls the night before an opening, will spread the word about your business to anyone who will listen, and will show up to cheer you on at your first large scale event. This support network will help you during the hard times and celebrate you in the great times! And we promise, it will all feel like an uphill climb without them.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT. Get to know the owners of the local coffee shop, engage with patrons at the local pub, and be aware of ongoing city/town news and happenings. Make some roots! Clients will want to feel connected to you, and that will happen as you connect to their community.

STAFF. Well, duh, right? As the saying goes, you are only as good as your team. Find people who are great at what they do—who believe in you, and who share a passion for your brand. Create a staff environment with little drama and lots of enthusiasm. Set clear expectations and boundaries and encourage everyone to be the best versions of themselves.

POSTIVE ATTITUDE. Ya know all the “Law of Attraction” shiz? Well, it states that positive thoughts bring positive things and negative thoughts bring negative things. And while it may not always be that simple, it often can be. A negative attitude about your worth or potential for success is going to earn you a free ticket to failure every time. Be positive, look on the brightside when things get rough, and try to creatively shift your mindset when necessary.

HAVE FUN. But, really. We don’t care how much money you are making—if you aren’t having fun, you should re-evaluate. Power through the stuff that is crazy, and stressful, and hectic, and find a moment within the work to have fun. Because it is your job, but it’s also your life. So, there it is—our recipe for success! It ain’t easy, but it’s worth it. And if you were looking for a push—here it is. GO DO IT. You only get one shot at this life, and true happiness is always worth the risk.

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