My First 365 days of Being an Entrepreneur / by Katie Brown

It has been 365 days since I have officially (legally) been in business, on my own, financially and in every other way possible. It has been 365 days since Real Food with Gratitude, LLC was born. What a year. There were ups and downs, excitement, anxiety, overwhelm, nervousness, fear, stress, chill, busy and any other antonym adjectives you can think of. But, it has been the BEST year of my life. 

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My personality thrives on passion. My passion for food, my passion for success, my passion for “creating something”, overall I just am a very passionate and opinionated person. With that being said, the typical/norm corporate environment with certain “rules” did not work for me, all that well. Not to say that I don’t like to follow rules, but you know… its not my favorite thing to do :) (especially when it comes to be micromanaged) I say this because i’m not the type to need someone to tell me to “work hard” or constantly watching over my shoulder or even telling me “when” to work aka 8-5pm because I know me and I know, the work will get done. I have always been that way because I grew up with a Dad that was the same way so I truly picked up the entrepreneur vibe even as a little kid.

Ok, so with all the being said, it has officially been 1 year of having my own LLC and as you can imagine, I have learned … a lot. I thought I would run through some of my biggest successes, failures, highlights, life lessons etc and overall what I have learned in case you are interested in building your own business as well. 

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Successes:

Honestly, my main success is that I am actually happy, i’m making money and feel like I am on the “right path”. But to get to that point, I had to have successes along the way. Some of those are:

  • Enrolling and Graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and am now a certified Health Coach

  • Taking a leap and hiring a business coach for my first 6 months to tame some of my fears and self doubt

  • COMMITMENT! I committed to this, put my mind to it and feel as if I actually achieved what I committed to

  • Becoming a Certified Barre instructor

  • Passing my Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) Group Exercise Certification test —> becoming Group Ex certified

  • Putting myself out there and out of my comfort zone and attending 3 food Expos/Conferences out of the state, alone

  • Traveling solo for the first time

    • Went to LA for Expo West — to better my business, myself, meet brands, try new products and did it all financially and physically alone

  • Successfully creating, marketing and running pop up fitness classes, 3 nutrition workshops in my hometown

  • Becoming the social media consultant for 3 small businesses

  • Being able to “do” the work

    • Discipline and work ethic generates results

  • Meeting a few best friends (lolz, over the internet)

  • Being Passionate

  • Learning (and knowing) that authenticity is indispensable

Failures: 

  • Straying away from who I am to try to appease social media

  • Spending way to much time on ONE thing and putting everything else to the wayside 

  • Buying every single “fad” or “cool” product I saw for a few months instead of listening to who I really am (i.e wasted money)

  • Believing everyone and everything

  • Thinking success happens overnight

  • Letting the comparison game get in my head (to often)

  • Not finalizing things or getting a contract in place BEFORE working on content for brands

  • Doing or taking on to much at once

  • Wording something wrong in an email that didn’t go over so well (OOPS! But, you can only grow from those awkward experiences)

  • Forcing content when something “didn’t fit”, etc

  • Accepting “a job” that I was not passionate about strictly for the money (this is also a success because now I know not to)

  • Baking, time and time again (but at least i’m getting better!)

  • Authenticity is indispensable 

Life Lessons/What I’ve Learned:

  • Only do something if you’re passionate about it

  • Learn to Say N0 (but also, Learn to Say Yes)

  • Don’t let fear stop you

  • Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

  • Be OK with the fact that you may work different hours and schedules than your family/friends

  • Don’t Take it Personally

  • Challenge Yourself (and continue to do so)

  • People will always Come and Go

  • You Can’t Please Everyone (nor should you try to)

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help

  • Don’t be the Victim

  • Entrepreneurs do not just “have a job”, they ARE the job (but learning to understand balance is important) …i’m still learning this

  • Learn to DISCONNECT/UNPLUG … i’m definitely still learning how to do this

  • Get Out of your Comfort Zone

  • KNOW YOUR WORTH!

  • Authenticity is indispensable 

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authenticity is indispensable … the most important thing I have learned thus far. As I realized, I am no longer spending my time and effort into someone else’s business … I am now spending 100% of my time and effort into, ME (my brand, my photos, my food, my everything). With that, being REAL is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. I am putting myself out there, I am attracting people to, ME (and pretty photos of food!) There is no other way to distinguish yourself and your business (which honestly, those 2 things start to blur together in this world) than to BE YOURSELF. As you read above, my successes, failures and lessons all contain, authenticity is indispensable. Success wise, Being REAL is something I have never had a problem with (and honestly, that has its pros and cons). Failure wise, I had times over the last year where I lost sight of that and ended up seeing negative effects from it. Lesson wise, I believe that Being Authentic is something you are constantly learning to do because we are constantly learning more about ourselves. So, keep learning, keep growing and keep moving forward but most importantly, keep being you. #youdoyou

If you are on the fence about making a leap of faith, making a change, quitting your job, following your passion, etc…don’t let fear stop you. I promise that if you have the passion, you “do the work”, commit, and BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE… you CAN DO it, too.

Thanks for reading and please reach out if you ever have ANY questions, feedback, want help, want to chat, etc. I am here FOR YOU.

Cheers to another year of more successes, failures and life lessons! #realfoodwithgratitude