As I approach my first anniversary of being a solopreneur, I thought that this would be a great time to share my journey so far and some of the things that have helped me on this journey. I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset. I started my first company at the age of 10; I used to polish furniture for the older people in my neighbourhood, and that was how I was able to support by Marvel, Beeno and Dandy comic fix.
I have toyed with entrepreneurship throughout my working career as an adult, but it only stuck for me two years ago when I registered HR@Heart, I was still working my full-time job, and it was my side hustle for over six years, I just never claimed it until 2019. Today I am proud to call this company my pride and joy and the only thing I can see myself doing until my time on this earth expires.
I have read so many books, watched videos and taken as many online classes as my mind will allow, and I wanted to share with you what I have learned on this journey so far.
- Do not compare your journey to others. Have you ever heard the saying, “comparison is the thief of joy?” It’s the truth. The only person you should be chasing in this journey is you and you alone. Sometimes you have to wear blinkers to keep you focussed on what you are trying to achieve. Don’t look at what someone else has done to get in your head and think you are a failure. You are not a failure; even when you fail, you learn something new, how not to fail. So keep going and stop comparing yourself to Sasha or Malcolm. They are doing them, and you need to do you.
- Find your community. I do not know how often I have said this, but I will keep saying that community is everything. Find people with bigger dreams than yours that will keep it real with you and that you feel safe to share your ideas and receive the constructive feedback you need to keep moving. No man is an island.
3. Embrace technology and social media. We all saw what happened to the poor Instagrammers and Facebookers the other day when Instagram and Facebook went down for 8 hours. They almost lost their minds when they could not connect with their audience. So please do not put all of your social media eggs in one basket. Instead, spread the love, and don’t be afraid to try new ways of marketing your business, such as TikTok. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just for teenagers. I learned how to write my book using TikTok videos and new ways to organize my home and save money on this app. If you are not on TikTok, you are missing out big time on cultivating an audience like no other. Build your email list, create communities using MightyNetworks.
4. Embrace failure. I have fallen and got so many things wrong in this journey so far, and I am not ashamed to admit that there have been times when I wanted to hang up my hat and say that I am done with this. But, it is important to swallow your pride, get out of your head and take a break from the crazy. Sometimes, I go for a walk or window shopping in the shopping complex down the road from my home. By the time I get back home, I see things with new eyes, ready to go at it again. Every day will not be the same, but when you fail, celebrate it and think about the new way you learned not to do something Vs the trauma it caused you.
“Community is everything”
We have all read the articles that talk about how most new businesses fail in the first year. However, women-owned businesses are shifting this dynamic dramatically, so keep on pressing forward. The odds may be stacked against you, but where there is a will, there is a way. If you have the will, make a way.
This journey has not been a bed of roses, but I am enjoying the ride. I love learning about new technologies to run my coaching practice with. I enjoy learning new ways of working in HR through my clients. I see HR through so many eyes, and it is messy and beautiful all at the same time. Talking about the mental health challenges in HR is not just about my experience in HR; it is about the experiences of every HR professional that I connect with as a client and in my communities across LinkedIn and Twitter.
It is true what they say about doing what you love, and I am at a stage in my career where I am doing what I love every day, and I look forward to seeing where this takes me.
Julie Turney is an HRforHR Coach, Founder & CEO of HR@Heart Consulting Inc. A boutique coaching firm where she helps HR professionals to build their resilience agility and find their “HR Voice”. Julie is also the author of the book Confessions of an HR Pro: Stories of Defeat & Triumph, Host of The HR Sound Off Podcast Show, and she is the lead organizer of DisruptHR Caribbean for (Barbados, Trinidad & Jamaica).