The Journey Continues: Part 2, Losing myself.
We talked about why and how I finally started James Marie. The reason I started James Marie or my “why” was to provide uncommon clothing for the unordinary woman. I don’t identify myself as a person in the “In Crowd.” I don’t even feel comfortable saying “In Crowd.” What is it? Who came up with it and who determines who is in and who is out? When I started my business, I received so much unsolicited feedback. People would give me advice on everything from how to market my business to what I should purchase (inventory) for my business. The most unfortunate thing about it was that I actually listened. This was probably one of the biggest mistakes I ever made with James Marie. When you have a business and you identify your “why," it is ok to take good advice but make sure that “advice” aligns with your “why.” I can remember being told that in the city of Philly, in order to become big, you have to be a part of the “In Crowd.” I tried it. I tried going to events and talking to people that were identified as being a part of the “In Crowd.” It was not genuine. These were great people, but they were not my people. My people are like me, awkward but genuine, accepting of all people, understanding and accepting of those that are different. Now, I am in no way saying these are bad people. I am simply saying, they are not my people and I cannot fake it like they are to be liked and to have my business liked. But, that is exactly what I did. I tried the fake it until you make it method and both me and my business suffered because of it. This was one of the first of many mistakes I made as the owner of James Marie.
Identifying your “why” is one of the most important things you can do when starting a business and staying true to that is the second most important. Remember people may not believe in you or your "why" early on but once they do you will have a customer for life. Stay true to it and do things with authenticity and patience.
Stay tuned for Part 3. It only gets better.
As always. Thanks for reading.
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