Four Years of Running Hey Erica Smith & My Top Three Lessons
As excited as I’ve been to relaunch this blog, I can’t lie I’m nervous!
If I’m honest my emotions are all over the place and there’s so much I wanna share it’s hard to find a place to start.
… so I’ll just start at the beginning.
I started this business back in 2018 while I was still working for AT&T as a full-time Retail Sales Associate.
I had left my career in professional sales & advertising three years prior and stumbled upon the opportunity to work at AT&T, honestly by fate.
Something woke me up at 6am and told me to apply.
Being obedient I did — and amazingly there was an opening at a nearby store that wasn’t posted yet.
I started my career at AT&T and nothing was the same:
- Training was FIRST CLASS, out of town with free money for food and gas.
- I got excited about working for a Fortune 500 company and climbing the corporate ladder.
- I MURDERED my sales goals (of course, professional sales background)
- .. and I went on to work at 3/4 stores in the Shreveport/Bossier, Louisiana market
- I was known as ‘Ms. AT&T’ **lol hilarious when I think about it now.
- but I ULTIMATELY QUIT and booked over $20K in two weeks, validating my business idea.
Then I lived happily ever after..
Let’s be honest.
This is what I thought entrepreneurship looked like.
Make money, live happily ever after.
During the early days of online marketing and business, entrepreneurship was painted as this unbelievable once in a lifetime opportunity for true freedom to live life on your own terms.
They painted this image of working on the beach, with your favorite drink in your hand while your phone raked in money for you 24/7…
Well, they lied.. kinda.
Comment below if you remember this time.. it was a trip right?
So what’s the reality?
Entrepreneurship isn’t easy.
Entrepreneurship is a SKILLSET.
… and most importantly, Entrepreneurship is NOT for everyone.
TOP 3 LESSONS I LEARNED IN FOUR YEARS OF BUSINESS
Lesson #1 – There is NO perfect formula.
When you first start your business you have to go through a LOT of trials and errors, testing, retesting, seeing what works and what doesn’t for your audience.
You’re also tasked with choosing a business model that you can stick to and stay consistent with long enough to see measurable results.
One of the hardest things for me in the beginning was sticking with one flow long enough to have measurable results.
I made plenty of mistakes from jumping concepts before I had enough measurable data to see if it was plan was valid, if my sales process was working, etc.
I made a lot of emotional decisions and did a lot of what I “felt” would work instead of what was proven to work.
*If you guys want a blog post about the biggest mistakes I made in my first year of business, leave a comment below and I most definitely will do that!
“Successful businesses are built on data, not emotion.”
… emotions will have you in dark places as an entrepreneur.
… I’ve been there.
And it’s my next lesson.
Lesson #2 – COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY
Listen Erica, you gotta stop.
Stop looking at her Instagram.
Stop thumbing through her content.
Stop following her.
I learned this lesson right around the curve of year two — after I had made $20K in two weeks.
After my IG Reel had gone viral.
After I had been featured on a couple different international podcasts.
.. and even after I was getting real time results for my students and they were succeeding.
I still felt like I should have been doing MORE.
Once I looked back on that season of life and that season of business, I realized that it was really hard for me to transition out of a world of poverty and into this world of limitless income.
It was amazing, scary and intimating at the same time.
I had made more money than I ever had in my life then all of sudden..
We entered a global pandemic.
I lost friends.
Family got weird.
… whew.. just really wild times..
But God definitely held me down the entire way through that season of transition.
..and I’m forever grateful.
But I gotta admit, the thief of joy (aka comparison) came to me many a nights and made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. Or that I wasn’t “plugged in” enough or networked enough.
I’m SO GLAD God freed me from that.
The things, people and female creators I used to be intimated by are the furthest things from my mind now.
I learned the beauty of blocking, and prioritizing my mental health over everything.
… I also have refrained from commenting and sharing posts from people I know I didn’t like.
I have to show up as my most authentic self.
…and I can’t do that if out here being fake and engaging in conversations with the enemy.
**long ended spoon sis, keep feeding them — but with a long ended spoon.
Because nothing is more important than your peace.. which brings me to my final lesson.
Lesson #3 – FAMILY OVER EVERYTHING
Don’t forget why you started your business in the first place.
...Never forget your WHY.
When I quit my job almost 3 years ago, my number one goal was to be present for my baby girl Lyric before she started school. My schedule was insane and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to take care of her and spend time with her they way I had dreamed all before those first precious years passed me by..
My baby is 5 years old about to turn 6 next month and I am vowing to her that I will be present and she won’t know me for always being on the computer, working around the clock.
I promise that I will be with her as she continues to grow up, teaching her the facts of life and what it means to be a young woman of God and have great integrity.
I promise that I will be an amazing momma for my son, who I have to show the example of the kind of woman he should desire as a wife and partner.
My prayer is that God will continue to fulfill the desires of my heart like he has thus far and position me to be the most phenomenal mother I can be.
…and of course the rock of my WHY is my husband Sederek.
*SIDENOTE: I can’t wait to get into the marriage blogs (because whewwww chile 🤦🏾♀️🤣💕)
I could not run any of my businesses or create any content without this amazing man by my side.
He helps with the kids and the housework when I’m swamped and fighting for air.
I know it can be difficult for men to swap “gender roles” but he does it for his us and I’m so grateful for that. **and please know that I be ready to swap back because I love to cook, clean and take care of my babies.
And I think that why it’s really important to know what role you play best in life — business and marriage.
They’re so similar. (I can write a million postings on that too.. lol, again if you wanna see that then leave it in the comments below, let me know!)
Yes, entrepreneurship is hard and it’s most definitely not for everyone — but it is more than worth it.
If I could go back and do everything all over again, I would for sure put more focus and emphasis on my personal brand, focus on what makes me great, talented, different and outstanding — while maintaining an excellent work-life balance.
As an entrepreneur you’re going to be pulled in so many different directions, but it’s 100% worth it once you learn balance and patience.
And for all of you momprenuers out there fighting time and sacrificing sleep to create a life and legacy for your babies to walk into.. I see you. I’m with you. We’re doing this together.
See you in the next one!
P.S. Hey Erica Smith, I’m proud of you girl! You did it! Happy four years.. Let’s geaux get um!