Being a successful online entrepreneur is about balancing big dreams with hard work and a hunger for your craft.
Most people have the "big dreams" part down. They create Pinterest boards and post motivational quotes to Instagram, join Facebook groups and online conversations — curiosity, enthusiasm, and inspiration abounds. But it's the hard work and hunger part that can trip people up. One-on-one client work can be exhausting to even the most experienced professionals. Tackling the financial, legal, and systems side of a business can be frustrating. Showing up in real life to network with like-minded creatives (or even, your idols) is intimidating.
Fantasy is easy to find, costs nothing and can be enjoyed no matter your skill level. When I started 2016, I mapped out my grandest goals and wildest fantasies for 2016.
Starting a branding studio was not one of them.
I was committed to honing my craft by throwing myself deep into 1:1 client work. My side projects would be journalism and magazine writing. I wanted to continue to become a better writer through hard work, but I still had fantasies for my business. My client work was teaching me so much about how content originates, evolves, and revolves a business. In my most satisfying projects, the writer and designer worked hand-in-hand toward the same vision, instead of siloed by a creative director who cared more about the work being completed than cohesive. I started to daydream about working hand-in-hand with a designer.
In a designated section of my new planner, I wrote out what I wanted to accomplish in the next three years. I let myself dream big. I wrote "start a branding studio" under my 3-year goal list.
My biggest wish for my business has come true, and a few years early. Last month, Jessica Bramlett and I launched Rarest Fortune, branding for born creatives. We're a writer and a designer joining forces to bring our clients cohesive brand identity like website copy and social media, sales slides, logos and website design.
I first noticed Jessica Bramlett at Being Boss New Orleans. She was easy to spot with neon pink hair and a wide floppy hat. I knew she was a designer and, like me, she was one of the youngest in attendance. But in-between Bourbon Street and beignets, I didn't get to spend more time with her.
When Being Boss Miami was announced, I was thrilled that Jessica reached out to room together. Then she asked about partnering together on some projects, so we spent the majority of our time in Miami getting to know each other. We explored together, ate dinner together, swam in the ocean and even took moonlight walks on the beach. (Partnering up is totally like dating.) Being with her was easy. She's always bright and happy, incredibly kind, adorably sweet and sassy when you least expect it. I knew her talent was incredible, but I wanted to know that we could work together. A long weekend in Miami gave me no doubt.
We came home and immediately started planning. We chose the name Rarest Fortune because we both share a core belief that being artistic, and living a creative life and business, is rare. It's fortunate. But most of all, it's hard work. Our visual identity began to take shape, inspired by dreamy '70s vibes and raw, natural wonders.
Within a couple of weeks, we launched a splash page and Instagram feed and booked more than $12k in work.
I can't begin to explain how much I love what I do and how grateful I am to have Rarest Fortune with Jessica. When you allow big dreams and hard work to exist in tandem within your side hustle or small business, amazing things can happen.