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REINVENTING YOUR BRAND- AND YOURSELF

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While I have pivoted many times, and am constantly in pursuit of something new, I have recently found myself in a unique position. I have spoken in previous posts about my first business, Blow On The Go, and my experiences with it, and I have decided to relaunch the business. Closing the business is one of my greatest regrets, and it wasn’t until spending the last few months working in different salons, and a more recent personal situation, that made me realize how much I miss it. Relaunching and reinventing a business can be exciting and scary at the same time! Starting up a business you have already ran before gives you an advantage in the sense that you know what to do, where to go, who to approach and how to approach them, and all the things you had to learn the hard way the first go round, you can now easily implement. That’s the exciting part. The scary part? You understand the challenges, you know your weaknesses, and you’re aware of the competition. There are no delusions. There are no fantasies. You know exactly what you’re up against, and if the stakes are high (and I hope they are), that can be intimidating. If you are also considering reinvigorating a business you have dissolved in the past, or stepped away from, here are some things to consider:

INTELLIGENTLY ASSESS THE COMPETITION

There is competition in every business. The first go round, Blow On The Go didn’t have much direct competition, the concept of in-home, on-demand blowouts was still fairly new and I didn’t pay much attention to the competition and how they had positioned themselves. I was simply aware that they existed. You want to intelligently assess your competition. Who are they? Who are their clients? How are they approaching them? How successful are their efforts? How are you different than them? Is it a genuine point of difference? When I first started Blow On The Go, I met with a publicist from Alison Brod PR, and she asked me “what makes you different?” And I struggled with a genuine answer. I knew that the quality of my service was better than the others, my clients even expressed that much to me, and so I said that. She shook her head and told me “doing a better job is not a real point of difference. You need to go back to the drawing board and think of what your true point of difference is.” I didn’t have a real one, I practically did what all the others were doing! Had I intelligently assessed my competition, I would have been able to find my businesses point of difference in the midst of that. I could have found a void and filled it, instead of being just another clown in the circus.

BUILD A STRONGER FOUNDATION

Ok, lets be real. No one steps away from a business that is taking over the world. When I stepped away from Blow On The Go the first time, it was for several reasons. The main reason being that I was struggling to grow the business, and it was beginning to cost more than it netted. When I first launched, it hit the ground running almost immediately and I was working at a pace I could barely keep up with. I had a ton of plans for how I wanted to grow it, but the partnership I was locked into with Gilt City was making it difficult for me to retain clients at full price, hire as many stylists as I needed because the payroll budget couldn’t be very high, and the contract had stipulations that made it impossible for me to enter other partnerships. I was so busy, and had so much food on my plate, that I didn’t realize my business wasn’t being nourished with what it needed. Sure you can get full off candy, and it taste delicious, but it cannot nourish or sustain you. The same for my business. I was so focused on keeping up with the demands of ONE partnership, that I didn’t take the time to build that strong foundation and strong relationships and partnerships that could carry my business through anything.

WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER

At its peak, I was doing 14 hour days at 5-6 days a week. I left my house at 6AM every morning, and didn’t get back in until about 8:30PM. Every day. I took clients back to back to back, I was on my feet all day, and I rode the train an average of 10 times a day. Ripping and running is putting it mildly. I was a mad woman, and towards the end of it, I was completely burned out! I grew to resent everything I had built. It had all became way too much! My former supervisor when I was an intern at Global Grind, Datwon, told me one day “it’s not about working harder, its about working smarter.” I was 19 when he told me that, and it completely changed how I saw and did things. I somehow managed to forget this with BOTG. Do the work, of course, but allow your business to do some work for you, too. Outsource, delegate, partner, hire, and position. If you are working harder than you are smarter, you won’t have much left for yourself. Emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, you will be spent.

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