Founder's Journal 03: automate, delegate, or eliminate

Founder's Journal 03: automate, delegate, or eliminate
A solid 3 months into being a full-time entrepreneur and I've realized running a business is kinda like being a detective. You have to constantly follow leads and suss out where the next best opportunity is. 
But instead of hunting down suspects, I'm hunting down the next best markets to attend, the perfect influencers that align with our brand's mission, and the top marketplaces to sell.
The biggest thing I've learned while conducting my detective work is that the amount of tasks continues to expand exponentially, while my level of output remains the same. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know there's only so much coffee and donuts that can hold you afloat until you fall prey to burnout.
So now I'm faced with 3 decisions with SiteSee: what to automate, what to delegate, and what to eliminate.
It's while doing this exercise I realized I have to start growing my team. Because after all, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
As a reminder, I send out a founder's journal entry once a month and follow a similar format each time. Here's how this email is structured:
  • SiteSee Spotlight: A brain dump with what I'm working on at SiteSee and big picture ideas I have for the future
  • Personal Development: A section on ideas I'm stewing over and self-growth concepts I'm testing out
  • Current Obsessions: Products, podcasts, movies, music and anything else I'd recommend

SiteSee Spotlight

(or, what's going on with SiteSee & other biz updates)

 You know that scene in Interstellar when Matthew Mcconaughey is moving at warp speed, and all the lights around him elongate before he enters the Tesseract? That's kinda how I'd describe this last month.
 
Things are changing so fast that at times, I'm trying my best to hold onto what's actually reality. And while it can be scary, it's just as new and exciting.
 
The main things I worked on this last month included:
  • Finalizing two samples for our femme set and a longsleeve made out of bamboo cotton
  • Setting up another revenue stream by adding affiliate links to our top performing blog content
  • Attending a handful of local markets
  • Facilitating influencer outreach and putting together Instagram giveaways
  • Conducting interviews for my first Social Media Intern
  • Onboarding with a new sustainable marketplace called OurCommonplace
I've also been honing my pitch for SiteSee. Markets are the best place to practice talking about the brand and our vision. 
 
It may seem trivial, but giving my elevator pitch to potential customers has been one of the hardest things for me. I've struggled with social anxiety most of my adult life and I see it manifest when I'm talking to customers. Sometimes I'll stutter or doubt what I'm saying is even coming off clearly. 
 
As a society, we tend to envision entrepreneurs as super outgoing male characters. And as an introverted female, I'm quite the opposite of that yet I'm still managing to make my way through the same path. 
 
The final thing I've really put an emphasis on this last month was continuing to be smart with my money. Up until this point, I've bootstrapped SiteSee and funded it from my own savings and a small loan. Since leaving my full-time job and saying goodbye to a 2-week paycheck, I've had to get incredibly savvy with my money. I'd be lying if I didn't say it was scary. 
 
But the main thing that keeps me going is SiteSee's mission.
 
In business school, we had a speaker come to class and talk about how it's so much easier to build a company that is rooted in purpose. Because when the going gets tough (which it inevitably will), your mission is the only thing that will get you through.
 
I launched SiteSee because I want to make the world a better place through travel. I fundamentally believe travel can heal us and make us more empathetic beings. Designing sustainable clothing is the method in which I do this. And the revenue from our clothing sales is what pays the $5 per order to our non-profit partner, FLYTE, who helps students in underserved communities through transformative travel experiences.
 
Knowing that scaling my business will help scale these programs and allow more students to travel is what has fueled me to keep going through every moment of doubt.
--

Personal Development

(or, how I'm improving myself & other “woo woo” things)
 
I had a call with a good friend from my first job out of college. He's working on building out his own website and we decided by the end of our conversation, we were going to be accountability partners and meet every 2 weeks to review the tasks we set out to complete.
 
Holding ourselves accountable can be really hard. For the majority of us, it takes an external person to help pull us out of our heads and into accomplishing what we set out to do. 
 
And when you think about it, it makes sense. Olympians have coaches. Novelists have editors. Pretty much any space with successful individuals in it has a coach of sorts holding them accountable along the way. 
 
Is there someone you can reach out to help hold you accountable?
 
Other things I'm stewing over:
  • Getting back into my meditation practice. I've been loving affirmation-based meditations from InsightTimerThis one and this one are my favorites right now.
  • Getting better at making decisions, especially for trivial things. Being clear about what we want allows us to move forward in life. Otherwise, we're metaphorically scrolling through Netflix deciding what to watch when and all of a sudden, two hours have gone by.

Current Obsessions

(or, products, books, podcasts, etc. that I'm immersed in at the moment)
  • I just started reading The Nature Fix. It dives into the science behind why being in nature makes us happier and healthier people.
  • This fall survey about the attitudes and buying habits of 10,000 US teens. This quote alone made me incredibly hopeful: “54% of teens consider their carbon footprint when making a purchase.”
  • This Mordechai Remix Album. It's like crack in our household.
  • I'm a hopeless romantic and tend to turn to poetry when I need a good cry. Yung Pueblo's collection of poetry in Inward always hits the spot.
If you found something useful or interesting in this email, mind forwarding this newsletter to a friend (or having them subscribe here?)
 
And if this is your first time reading the founder's journal, you can catch up on the first 2 entries here
 
Thanks for reading and feel free to reply here. I open and reply to everything.
 

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