So today, (literally today......June 24, 2021) as I celebrate my third year in business, I am channeling my inner Jerry McGuire and shouting to the universe, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”
The recovering overachiever in me struggles with wanting instant success. I mean, I’ve put in the work, the product is brilliant and beautiful, there isn’t really a reason to wait. Success is mine. But that’s a little unrealistic. There is no such thing as overnight success - unless you’re Brittany Spears, and we’ve all seen her MTV Behind the Music, so even the fabulous Brittany had to put in some hard work to get to where she is today.
Here’s the thing - we all start out as little fish in the big sea of whatever new something we are trying to build. So now, I find myself navigating these big, big, BIG waters. Waters of sustainable accessories and e-commerce websites; and swimming through the ever-changing rules of Instagram accounts and Facebook pages. And I am learning to be grateful, especially for all the other fish that come alongside me as I #justkeepswimming.
Reflecting on these past three years has me looking at what I have learned along the way. Throughout it all, I can see three resounding lessons that have shaped me into the businesswoman I am today!
- Be grateful. For everything. For every lesson, for every pivot, look to them with gratitude. Each turn on this journey has led me to something new. Admittedly, it may not have seemed that way at the time. These plot twists have led me to something better—each and every time.
- Hire experts. I’m a gal that loves hats (literal and proverbial), and sometimes running an accessories business means that I am wearing more than one hat at a time. Whenever possible, I take off some of those hats! They look better on the experts anyways! Now, my team of contractors stretches across the US. Just three years later, I have an IT team, copywriter, graphic designer, illustrator, photographer, videographer, and fabrication experts that all look amazing in their chosen hats and let me do what I do best. Run my company (CEO, Baby!) and design, design, design!
- Become an Expert. One day I’ll be able to pass off all the hats I still have sitting on my CEO shelf, but for now, I’ve learned that if hiring an expert isn’t possible, the next best thing is to become one. From Social Media (Oh Em Gee, if they could stop changing the algorithm for a hot minute, that would be just great!) to all the other areas of a business...Marketing, Finance, Product Sourcing, Shipping, Receiving, Video and Photography Themes, Styling, Wholesale, Launching a new line of home goods (Eeeek! So close to this one going live!) Not to mention mastering the ins and outs of Overseas Sales (ok, this one is huge, and I CAN’T WAIT to share more!)…there is always something new to become an expert in. As I said, I’m a gal that really likes hats….
Today I am letting myself dream about what I envision for the next three years of Paula Parisotto. I see a team of good folks doing what they do best. And, friends, they are dressed to the nines, sporting all the hats I used to wear! So what about all that expertise I gained over these last three years? I am using it to build teams, inspire my fellow entrepreneurs, and pouring it into being the best designer I can be!
Naturally, as I celebrate these last three years, I also find myself remembering where it all began...Six years ago, I was a gal with a service business, a dream to create a product to coincide with it, and enough business acumen to know she lacked the design and fabrication skills to make it happen.
But not knowing something has never stopped me from trying something new! Now I have a beautiful bank of aha moments to draw upon anytime I feel discouraged because the last three years has gifted me so very much:
- A gifted cork purse that started this whole journey
- A desire to learn how to make my own accessories from cork
- Learning design concepts
- How to source products that are both sustainable and made from quality materials
- The joy of creating my sample products
- Creating a brand and a team
- The indescribable satisfaction of seeing something you designed come off the production line for the first time!
- The Firsts of starting something new - The first sale to a stranger, first marketing photos, first out of state sale, first overseas sale, first web sale, first expansions of the accessories line, first wholesale sale
And now, Year Four of Paula Parisotto is already bringing it with the firsts, and I am excited to see where it leads us! For all that has already happened, and for that which is to come...I am so very grateful.
I thought I could, and I did. And so can you. - Reach out any time; I am here to cheer you on as you build your own something new!