What I’ve learnt in my first year of business

I can’t believe it’s been one year since I re-named, re-branded and re-launched to Creative Queen Bees. Maybe it is true what they say, “time flies when you’re having fun”, and it’s been a fun, surprising, wondrous and challenging year.

One year down and it’s an opportunity to share what I’ve learnt in my first year of business, to celebrate the achievements and reflect on what worked, what didn’t, what I learnt, what mistakes I made and some successes I had.

What I have learn’t in my first year of business:

 1. “I” quickly changed to “we”

I use ‘we’ as a collective term. ‘We’ are the people I work with, collaborate with, and that contribute to what makes Creative Queen Bees.

It’s the clients as collaborators, talented designers and developers who work directly on the team and the people in my business community who have all had an impact on this first year in business.

Working as ‘we’ has taught me to trust my instincts about the people I choose to work with. It’s an unscientific and non-measured approach, but it works to me. My gut instincts have held me in good stead and taught me to recognise the signs and act upon them. It saved me plenty of times from being burned. Call it intuition, gut feeling or the gaining of experience, the important thing is I have backed myself on that instinct and that is OK.

I’ve met with and worked with a bunch of wonderful people. These people are making a difference to the lives of others, their families, friends and communities. They are facing their own business situations, life challenges and triumphs head-on and that is very inspiring. After all it’s the people in business that make a business.

2. Balance is not equal

The second thing I’ve learnt is that attempting the death-defying trick of ‘balance’ feels more like a circus trick than an act of real life. I am living and working in small business, doing what I love, so the distinction between business and life is all soft edges. Business and real life tend to merge into one holistic world. I’m still learning how to make all those parts work and so far just letting all the parts come together naturally seems the best approach. That means some days are extra messy and some days are extra special. As long as I don’t lose sight of the creative spirit that fuels the fire, then I’ll find a way to make it work!

Whoever ever came up with the idea that ultimate happiness is based on achieving balance? The only balance going on around here is when my accountant attempts to balance the books – and you can guess how that goes!

What has changed in my first year of business?

1. White Space is Design Space

I pulled out a wall, primed, painted and re-organised to create a brighter space for the Hive. My mantra for creating a design space I and my growing team could spend many hours in was ‘White Space is Design Space’ and that is exactly what I got!

The studio is still operating from my home on Bee Farm Road, and I have no plans to move anytime soon. Right now the Autumn leaves are causing a sensation out the studio window and the unseasonal warm weather means the sun streams in, and the light is gorgeous – the perfect lighting for design. I can tell you it is wonderful and inspiring.  Creating a space you want to be in and can invite clients into is really a very cool thing to do and it’s added another little bolt of confidence to the door of this business.

2. Welcome to a new designer

I welcomed an ‘in-house’ employee into the hive for the very first time. Belinda Lavers is a graphic designer, she is creative, talented, calm, and a whizz on the tools, everything you would expect from a Creative Queen Bee. It’s taken me a while to find someone like Belinda and the process of putting on a staff member as opposed to a contractor has been revolutionary for the business. I am really excited to have her on board!

I am planning to keep the creative juices flowing, so I hope you stay tuned for the next instalment!

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