10 Lessons Learned In The 1st Year Of LivSo

Written on: Feb 27, 2018
By: Shari Hicks-Graham

Becoming an entrepreneur can be an extremely liberating experience. Creating a product, marketing it, selling it, and distributing it for public consumption has forced me to learn a lot about commerce and buyer behavior. However, along with feelings of excitement and liberation is added responsibility and of course, scrutiny. In the case of launching LivSo, liberation has not resulted in a more flexible livelihood or fewer working hours for me. Quite the contrary! I work longer hours and weekends and thus, have to be even more efficient and organized with my time. Additionally, after a year, liberation has not come in the form of financial independence either. Launching a product should not be expected to come with immediate economic returns. We invested for years before launching LivSo and continue to invest today with plans of investing more and more to support our growth. It’s all a process and we are in it for the long-term. As a physician first, however, improving people’s quality of life is the ultimate goal and a worthwhile investment.

As we reflect on our first year of business, here are 10 lessons we learned through launching LivSo.

  1. Believe in yourself. Believe in your idea. If you don’t fully believe, you can’t expect anyone else will! The haircare and skincare industries are crowded, but LivSo is unique! We knew that and we had to share that. We had to really believe in our idea to come this far.
  2. Do the research, then do some more. We knew our idea was different but we had to ensure that the public understood it was a good product not just based on our hunch or anecdotal evidence. Doing your research helps build conviction internally and externally among interested parties.  
  3. Nothing worthwhile comes easily. If it was easy, it would already be done. Don’t be surprised if you are uncomfortable during the process - it’s like that sometimes.
  4. Everything costs so be prepared to invest. I mentioned how I have invested much of my time to this entrepreneurial endeavor but it often takes a lot of money to become commercially successful as well. Make a budget and try your best to stick to it. You may not have everything on your wishlist in the first round, but investigate what you need to optimize your business for success and plan accordingly.
  5. Be involved in all aspects. There is a steep learning curve during year one. Don’t miss out on the lessons!
  6. BUT, have a good team. You can’t do everything by yourself. Big shout out to my superwomen/men out there: remember that business development takes time so prepare for the marathon, not the sprint. We don’t want to burn out too early.  
  7. Leverage your network. This speaks to how you can’t do things by yourself. Tell people your goals. Tell them your dreams. Ask them for help. Ask them for help in a specific way.
  8. Mistakes happen. Period. Often painful but also part of the process.  
  9. Be ambitious. Dream big then execute. Once you believe in yourself, you can believe in your idea. Don’t half step. Think big. You can do it. Think about where you see your idea in ten years and make plans to achieve that ambitious goal.
  10. Give back. Don’t make it all about you and your business. It’s pretty self-explanatory but it takes a community to nurture a successful business. Everyone needs help so don’t only take, give as you have been given.

Again, thank you for your support of LivSo!  Without your business, feedback, reviews, input, likes, posts and shares, we would be nowhere.  Let’s keep it going for years to come.

Live Free & Clear,

Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham