Happy 6th HeartFire Media!
There are two strong emotions that come up when I think of my sixth year. First is excitement of course! But then, being my analytical self, it really dawned on me. Did I just spend the last 6 years of my life building something from scratch? Did I do good? Am I where I’m supposed to be? And last but not least…why in the world aren’t I rich yet?!
Quite honestly, I’m glad I wrote this blog, because I really needed to search for those answers. The good news is that I have come to realize, no matter how bad some failures were, the bottom line is I SURVIVED and had a TON of wins. Statistically, about one-third of small businesses fail within the first year and 50% fail within the first 5. I am very proud to say that I not only survived opening a Media and Marketing company in San Antonio, but had tremendous growth personally and professionally. But, it wasn’t without some good old blood, sweat, and lots of tears. Here are 6 hard lessons I learned along the way:
1.The “Hard Part” never ends, it just changes.
For whatever reason, I thought the harder I worked in the beginning, the more money would come in, and then I could kick back and let my staff handle most of the work for me. Not true at all. The truth is, the bigger you want your company to grow, the harder the work becomes. It doesn’t get easier, the challenges just change. Much like parenthood, I made a big mistake by eliminating the need for attending local mixers, conferences, workshops etc. Not only did my lead generation go down, but my relationships and partnerships slowed down too. I forgot what got me here in the first place- relationships! It’s called Public Relations for a reason. Also, the skillsets you have now won’t work in two years, three years, four years from now. You have to keep learning new skills and bettering your craft; especially in technology.
2. Customers Still Come First
There are times when your ego can get in the way of a customer relationship with the good ole “Well if you don’t like it, you can go somewhere else.” While, I indulge myself with this kind of defense-talk, I have come to realize my customers are my biggest assets in every sense of the word. Just because they have been with me for a few years now doesn’t mean they won’t leave you for someone better or less expensive. Business is Business. And besides, some people just like change. Never stop working your butt off for the people who believe in you.
3. If You Don’t Love It, Don’t Do It
In business and in life there’s this thing called “Low hanging fruit.” I have made the mistake of taking on jobs because the money was good and we needed it at the time. But, the more we entertained that type of business, the more we distanced ourselves from our original passion and vision. Just don’t do the work that isn’t in your wheelhouse, no matter what the cost. You will end up selling tacos out of a truck when you originally started out as a burger joint.
4. Never Stop Learning
The Media and Marketing industry has changed drastically over the past 2, 3, 4, 5 years. It is easy to get comfortable in the groove you are finally in and feel like an expert in the marketing industry… when BAM! Another app like SnapChat is created, Google analytics are changing daily, and video technology is booming. We are always playing catch up and, that’s ok as long as we continue to educate ourselves and keep trying new things. This year we introduced Live streaming services to our company offerings because we know what is to come in the future and the importance of staying in the forefront of the business. Do I always want to learn something new? No. Does it make us better? Yes.
5. The Vision Changes And That’s Ok.
When you first start your company, you don’t have all the answers. There will be dramatic things that shift including the market, technology, cultural changes etc. I have to remind myself… I still want us to be the #1 Video Marketing company in San Antonio, the best creative marketers, and create engaging and entertaining content like none other. These will all still happen and are happening, but the journey might change here and there. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, just means it won’t happen on your timeline exactly how you wanted. Let go and keep chipping away one day at a time. I still want that multi-million-dollar studio! (Read about that blog here). Stay tuned…
6. I Am Just Getting Started- Just Keep Moving
We were so blessed with the tremendous success of the creation of the Bean & Chisme Webshow. We have become great content creators with our “Badass of the Week” series in our newsletter and social media platforms. We have produced TV commercials, social media videos, and PSA’s that have sparked imagination and pulled at heartstrings from time to time. I couldn’t be more proud of all of the things we have accomplished with the best videographers, editors, animators and graphic designers in San Antonio. Am I where I want to be? No. Will I get there? YES. Just keep moving and never look back.
I would like to give a sincere Thank You to all of you who have helped me along this journey. Whether you were just a supportive fan of the work, a client, a family member or friend. All of you have been a part of this journey in some shape or form and I could NOT have done this without you. I am forever grateful because you believe in me and that’s all that matters. There is so much work to do and great things are happening. Please stay tuned for more to come, we are just getting started. God is GOOD!
Jeremiah 29: 11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”