Too often we hear stories of paralysis by analysis; these are the stories of great ideas and super creative career ideas, only to be left dead in the grave by overwhelming negative thoughts.
I can’t do this because…
No one has done this before…
What makes me different; why would this work for me…?
And how many of you focus on busy work because you are scared to do the thing you know you need to do?
How many incredible ideas would be brought to fruition if people were less likely to listen to their own head trash, and more apt to get creative and overcome their limiting beliefs?
This is why we LOVE this Get It Done Gal!
Rachel Rouhana, founder of Haute Chocolate Styled Stock Library, started her photography business with no photography background, and no creative and/or design background.
Yes, you read that correct! Rachel Rouhana had NO creative background when she started Haute Chocolate!! She was 100% self-taught via Google “University.” 🙂
“You don’t have to have it all figured out before you launch”
In January 2015 Rachel had a need. She was annoyed at the thought of having to buy one-off stock images for her design needs via Etsy or other stock photo libraries. There was a hole in the market!
She had a simple thought.. what if there was a library that housed stylish feminine photos I could have a membership/access to and utilize as many photos as I need?!
Being pregnant with her second son at the time, and knowing that if she put this thought to rest until after the baby came, she knew it would never get done or someone else would create it before she had the chance to.
There wasn’t a moment to waste…
“Taking the first step is always the hardest thing, but you quickly have to transition and realize it’s just taking one step at a time.”
There’s so much you have to do to start a business, it is too easy to become overwhelmed. In order to feel she truly had a grasp of making progress in setting up her business, and setting it up right, she made a list of every single thing that needed to be done and would NOT look at the next step, until the step she was on was done.
We love her mindset in constantly reminding herself: “Can I really do it? Why not!?”
Her key takeaways in building her business:
- Be willing to be self taught through hard work; if you don’t know something, figure it out!
- She would always say “Yes!” and then just figure it out!
- Keep overhead to a minimum
- Be willing to be pushed out of your comfort zone
- Listen to what people want and really respond to that!
- Talk with paying clients and ask what they want either by survey, phone, email, or social media
- Look for trends and what is missing in the market, and pay attention!
“Trust yourself – if you screw it up you just fix it.”
She would also ask herself these stimulating questions:
- Can I start a biz?
- What kind of biz can I scale?
- What’s missing in the market?
- What does the market need?
- When does the market need/want it?
- What do my customers want?
We love Rachel’s vulnerability as she explained the BIGGEST mistake she made in starting her business. She had over 6000 clients on Etsy with NO email list!
Luckily Rachel hired a coach and learned the importance of creating and growing your list so before she wrapped up her Etsy shop, she was able to send people to a list and capture those contacts. Phew!
That single lesson really helped launch her styled stock library to help her find quick success!
This really goes back to the basics in what we teach our one-on-one clients in our coaching business and what Lindsey teaches her students – your email list is your lifeblood!
As a solopreneur sitting at home it’s too easy to get stuck in your bubble and “think” you know what your customers want. But you’ll never truly know until you ASK!
The email list alone has been hugely instrumental to Rachel finding her success. It’s so easy to feel you have a pulse on things and Rachel has been very good about ASKING her clients what they want via email, survey, social media, etc.
She even takes it a step further and picks up the phone, something so many (too many!!), people are afraid to do. But you never know how impactful having a 5-minute conversation with a past customer will not only be in your business, but how much that would mean to your customer…because no one does that!
This is just another example of the true CLASS Rachel exudes in her branding and in her business. It’s that “and then some” attitude that Rachel really offers in everything she does, which lends a quality and chic style all her own.
And when it comes to quality, Rachel says with each business she was always trying to elevate what she was doing. As she works to elevate her own business, she understands the importance and opportunity she has to elevate other women’s businesses as well.
“Yes, it is beautiful photos but it is so much more than that.”
One of our favorite questions to ask women entrepreneurs in regarding finding success, is what is your biggest lesson/takeaway from building your business(es):
“Simplify. Don’t overcomplicate things.”
You have to ask yourself, “What can I do right now?” and then grow into it in the future.
And, going hand-in-hand with that question is, how did you get the business out there using marketing?
- Building an email was the biggest driver of sales;
- Sending free photos wowed her clients and led to loyalty;
- Tutorials and videos on YouTube set her up as the expert always offering value to her audience!
Most people are really surprised to hear that she has done very little advertising (only $300 on FB marketing); it’s really been more about creating community and capitalizing on the relationships she’s established, and showing her customers she truly values them. It’s been mainly word-of-mouth and relationship-building.
We love how genuine and true to herself Rachel is and how much humility she offers in everything she does. This easily could have been a 5-hour conversation but we really wanted to hit the high points in order to bring you as much value and as many truly home-hitting points as possible.
Rachel wrapped up the conversation by discussing:
- What are the most impactful lessons you have learned in business?
- What is something a lot of your community may not know about you?
- What are some things that really hold you back?
To hear the entire interview, you can check out our LIVE chat here:
“My life is not as styled as the pretty and pristine stock photos I create.” -Rachel Rouhana
To follow Rachel, be a part of her community and capture the wonderful art she’s creating, you can follow her here: