10 Lessons I Learned in 10 Years in My Business

Over the past decade, I've gathered invaluable insights from my journey as a business owner. Here are ten lessons that have shaped my path to success and hopefully will inspire you.
1. Believe in Yourself
When I started my career as a fashion illustrator, many industry experts doubted my potential, especially because I loved drawing women. They said no one would want to display someone else's face in their home. Despite their advice, I persisted. Not only did I prove them wrong, but I also gained immense confidence in the process.
2. Pick Your Niche
Initially, I explored various avenues like collaborating with brands, live sketching at events, licensing my work, and selling my own products. After years of experimentation, I discovered my passion for selling my artwork directly to customers. Focusing 1000% on my direct-to-consumer (DTC) business has led us to achieve seven-figure sales with our branded products.
3. Love Your Fans and Customers Hard
From day one, I've been deeply grateful to everyone who supported me and purchased my work. I cherish their feedback and strive to give them special treats as tokens of my appreciation. Building strong relationships with my customers has been incredibly rewarding.
4. Invest in Yourself
As a natural learner with no prior business experience, I invested a significant portion of my profits into coaching, courses, and memberships. This continuous self-development has been crucial for my personal and business growth.
5. Know Your Worth
Never underestimate your value. Don't lower your prices just because others are doing so. Recognize your worth and stand by it.
6. Be Innovative and Creative
Compete in the blue ocean rather than the red ocean. Create new categories and look outside your industry for inspiration. Innovation in marketing and product development has set my business apart.
7. Planning is Everything
Owning a stationery company, planning comes naturally to me. I meticulously plan my production calendars and marketing strategies for each collection launch. This structured approach keeps me focused and clear-headed.
8. Perseverance is Key
Celebrating my 10th business anniversary, I am grateful for my perseverance through numerous ups and downs. I didn't give up when industry experts doubted my art's future or when retailers stopped stocking my products. I built my own brand and platform, communicating directly with my customers. When one door closed, others opened.
9. Build Your Business Around Your Life
From the start, I knew I didn't want to manufacture my own products, so I outsourced production. I hired teams for customer service, warehouse fulfillment, and marketing, allowing the business to run smoothly even in my absence. Currently, I am overseas visiting my family, and everything continues to operate seamlessly.
10. Be Flexible and Pivot When Needed
Initially, I sold prints, mugs, and totes. As I discovered the planner and crafts community, my sales soared. I fell in love with this niche and focused more on producing planners and stickers. However, I remain ready to pivot as trends and customer interests evolve, ensuring my business remains a long-lasting brand.
These lessons have shaped my journey and helped me build a successful and fulfilling business. I hope they inspire and guide you on your entrepreneurial path.
Find and follow along with Rongrong on social media to see more Planner, Sticker, Fashion Illustration, and Small Business content! And let her know what else you would like to see.

Instagram Profile

Facebook Profile

Facebook Group

Youtube Channel

Tiktok Channel

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.