I honestly never thought I would be experiencing what I am at this very moment. I always knew that there was a purpose behind FabEllis, but five years ago, I looked at this online space as a hobby. I never imagined that one day, it would be my business. I never imagined that it would be something I would earn money from and more importantly, something that so many of you enjoy reading. I'm so thankful that I could never fully put into words what it means to see a dream become a reality. Today is my first day being a full-time entrepreneur.
I'm here and I give God all the glory for allowing my dream that once appeared impossible to now be a reality. The truth is, though, I really had to prepare for this moment. I began preparing for this day last year. As I reflect on what I did to prepare for this day, I realized I prepared in seven ways.
Seven Ways I Prepared to Be a Full-Time Entrepreneur
1. I prayed.
If you follow my blog, you know that I'm a Christian. God is, in fact, the one who gave me the name FabEllis as I was sitting in my mother's living room in 2010. I talk to God about everything so naturally, I prayed to Him about this. I knew that being a full-time entrepreneur seemed impossible, but I know that all things are possible through Christ. So, I prayed to God and let Him know my dreams. I wanted to be a full-time entrepreneur. I already felt in my spirit that this is what God wanted for me because He always gave me ideas, but I was never able to give them my full attention due to working full-time. God now knew my desires. I knew that my next step was to work my faith. I had to make a plan and work for what I wanted, but first, I needed to talk with my husband.
2. I talked with my husband.
When my husband and I met, he knew that FabEllis was something I was passionate about. It wasn't long before he was involved in FabEllis too. He has designed a logo for the brand, been the dj at events and currently, takes the majority of the pictures for the blog. My husband has seen how the brand has grown and he knew my desires to be able to do this full-time. Even though he knew my desires to do this, it was still very important that we discuss it and be on the same page. When we first began talking about it, financially, it wasn't the right time. He asked that I create a plan so I did. Once we went over the plan together and I began executing tasks, we agreed that it was now time.
3. I developed a plan and wrote out my goals.
Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it." - Habakkuk 2:2
One of my aunts who is like a mother to me has always told me to write down my goals. She told me everything she has ever written down and prayed for, she received. I realized last year that there was no way that this was going to work until I created a plan and wrote out the vision. So, I wrote out the day I wanted to be my last day of work, which is today. I also wrote out goals, such as paying my car off and reducing debt. I prayed over my goals and plans daily. My car was paid off almost six months ago. I began to see my goals being completed and as I crossed off each one, I knew I was getting closer.
4. I reduced debt and saved money.
One of my main goals to make being a full-time entrepreneur a reality was to reduce debt. There were many times in the past that I wanted to take the leap and just do FabEllis full-time, but I knew it wasn't the wise thing to do for my family. I didn't want a financial strain on us so I decided that reducing debt and saving was very important. One of my first goals was to pay off my car. I paid off my car early and began saving $325 a month due to no longer having a car note. I also began saving all of my blog earnings so that by the time I left my job, I could have a significant amount saved. It was hard to tell myself to not spend, but seeing my bills decrease and my savings increase really made me proud of myself.
5. I began to increase branding.
I have always been told that if you want your business to be taken seriously, you need to appear like you take your business seriously. I wanted to increase my branding. So, I started with investing in better business cards. Minted.com is my jam for business cards. I also began using personalized stationary for thank you notes. I purchased a post office box to receive packages. Lastly, I began using hashtags on Instagram for certain aspects of FabEllis. If you look on my pictures now, you will probably see #fabellisbeauty or #fabellisfashion. I developed these so that if someone saw images they liked on my Instagram, they could click on the hashtag and see all of my fashion or beauty related posts.
6. I researched and read as many articles as I could.
Although I was setting goals and paying off debt, I still needed to know exactly what I was getting myself into. I began to research and read as many articles as I could. I read monthly earning reports from other bloggers, ways to improve my blog, how to diversify income and how many bloggers spent their days as a full-time blogger. I gained a lot of knowledge, but I will forever be learning. The truth is, earnings from a blog can be up and down. I learned that I can't always depend on sponsored content. I have to get out there and not only pitch to brands, but develop a product that I can sell. I began to write out my ideas and I'm excited for upcoming things I have to share.
7. I updated and enforced my rates.
I had to get serious about my money. No more freebies. I updated my rate sheet. When people approached me about collaborating, I provided them my media kit and rate sheet. I also began developing contracts. I have been impressed by the amount of people that are willing to pay my rates. I feel that taking myself and my talent more seriously has caused others to take it more seriously as well.
I could never thank you all enough for all of the love and support you've shown over the past five years. Thank you for making this possible for me!
What is your tip for anyone wanting to become a full-time entrepreneur?
God bless & stay fab,