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My Top 5 Most Valuable Lessons Learned In 2017

Latoya Burris

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2017 may have been the hardest year of my life. Any and every thing you could probably think of went terribly wrong.


For starters, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer in late 2016 and lost her battle in April 2017. As the eldest child, I was the one left to handle most, if not all, of her personal affairs, which I am still dealing with till this day. On top of that my business was suffering because I honestly didn’t have a plan on how to meet my goals. So what is an ambitious woman like myself to do?

Learn of course! Learn from my mistakes and as millennials like to say, “ADULTING” myself into better situations. That is the only thing we can do when we fail. So here are 5 of my most valuable lessons that I learned in 2017. May you learn too.

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No Leads = No Money

Recently, I wrote about how you can spot a flaky client. I was able to do so because I have much experience in that area. It was so comforting to know that other creatives have experienced the same thing. Now that I have a system in place for on-boarding qualified leads I am able to identify those potential clients that are not worth the headache. If you need to learn how to do this please check out the post here.


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It’s Okay To Say “No.”

Another valuable lesson I learned was to say no to things that will only harm my business. In 2016, I had a client whose business was failing and they owed me a significant amount of money. Long story short, their business did fail and I wasn’t paid. They also had the gall to ask me to work for them again, but I declined unless they made some type of payment and eventually paid their balance. Saying no allowed me to keep my integrity as a business professional and I’m happy I did because they finally did pay me towards the late end of the year.


Separate Your Social Media Accounts

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In the beginning, I used my personal Instagram to show snippets of both my life and my work. However, I learned quickly that it was confusing and not really beneficial. Creating a business profile allows you to learn more about your followers and to advertise beyond your current network. So my biggest “to do” advice for other entrepreneurs would be to create a business profile or page on social media platforms. The benefits are invaluable for getting leads, sales and showing the brand’s personality.


Curb Those Pesky and Flaky Clients

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Recently, I wrote about how you can spot a flaky client. I was able to do so because I have much experience in that area. It was so comforting to know that other creatives have experienced the same thing. Now that I have a system in place for on-boarding qualified leads I am able to identify those potential clients that are not worth the headache. If you need to learn how to do this please check out the post here.


Major Fail: No Passive Guap (Money)

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When you create passive income for your business, you’re putting another source of income in place which may help your cash flow when business is slow. I didn’t create a means for myself to generate passive income during down times, so that is definitely the biggest lesson learned. I’m super excited because I’m working on some ideas that will be available very soon to help both my clients and creatives that are trying to make it in this entrepreneur landscape.

Thus, these are my top 5 lessons but not all of them, because you know a girl has to keep some jewels for herself. Nevertheless, what are some of your takeaways from 2017? How do you plan to make the most of this New Year? I can’t wait to hear some of your thoughts.