Dear Diva Readers,
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I get so many people asking me how I started my company. They are usually people who are wanting to start their own business but have doubts, which is totally normal! They have this great idea but aren’t sure about the details and have had others-often well meaning family and friends- tell them it’s too risky. I too had naysayers when starting The Antiques Diva & Co. People thought I was crazy when I told them I was going to start a luxury-based service involving both travel and interior design at the height of the global recession.
I originally was writing a series of books about antiquing in Europe, but with the recession of 2008, no one was publishing books. When my book series wasn’t published, naysayers encouraged me to throw in the towel and channel my energies towards more economically viable business models saying, “Forget antiques, design and travel – there’s no money to be made there.” And I ignored them. I learned early on that I had a vision that others couldn’t see. When you own your own company it’s imperative you trust your instincts. That may be one of the best pieces of advice I can give.
You absolutely should seek advice from experts – but recognize that just because an expert has good advice, it does not mean their advice is applicable for your situation right now. Some pieces of advice I save for later. Others I negate as invalid. Above all else – do not doubt yourself. No one knows your business as well as you do and the surest way towards success is PERSEVERANCE. Gage what you have control over, set a realistic target and then steadfastly walk in the direction of that goal each day. When that goal is met – move the target – and keep going forward.
That leads me to another very important piece of advice for young entrepreneurs. Just do it. A lot of people talk about starting a company – but the only people who succeed in business are those that just do it. Do not wait until you are an expert in your field. Do not wait until you know everything there is to know. Do not wait until you are perfect. Just do it. When it comes to brand evolution, perhaps the most scandalous piece of business advice I can share is this: Do not wait until you’ve got the perfect business plan in place to start your business. Yes, you DO need a business plan. But it doesn’t have to be perfect. A good business plan will evolve over time as you learn more about your market, discover hidden sources of incomes and grow into your service. A successful brand will establish parameters which stay consistent – within which to operate – but it will evolve with the market and economic environment.
By listening to your gut instinct, planning as much as you can, and just doing it, you will be well on the way to starting a business that is as unique as you are. It’s important to listen to the advice of others, but it’s just as important to listen to your own voice and do what you know you need to do.
The Antiques Diva®