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How to start your business: putting your fears aside

As you may know Scandals, our first year of business is over and so far it has been running well. But you know what they say: it takes 3 years for a business to be successful, we have done half of it so… yay to us!

It has been a year and a half full of stress – joy – tears – laughs – fears - surprises – projects  – beauty – nudity (sometimes not wanted). You got the idea; our emotion and lives were like a roller coaster: lots of ups and some downs. Having a business is the dream of most of the people we meet and every time Juliette and I hear the same things: “you guys are so brave to go through this process”, “I would love to do it but I do not have the time or/and the money”, “How did you guys do it?

Well Mesdames et Messieurs, here is the secret, you need to think super super strongly about an idea and tada!! It’s happening. Drop the mic, end of this blog…

 
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THE REALITY

I wish it was so simple. Unfortunately there are no magic tricks, you just have to bite the bullet (I know, so disappointing right?). Like anything in life actually, if you want something to be done, you have to make it happen. Were we scared? Oh hell yes. Did we ask ourselves a thousand questions? Totally. Did we think it wasn’t the good time to start Scandaleuse? Absolutely not!

It was our main goal and we were so ready to start this new adventure because we knew it can give us a financial freedom and a happy state of mind. You have to feel confident in your vision, you have to trust your guts and ask yourself the good questions:

Is it the fear of failing?

Lack of experience or knowledge?

Not enough time or money?

Lack of support from your love ones?

Not having a strong project?

Knowing what the problem is will help you to find a solution to move forward. You also have to stop finding excuses, the only barriers are the ones you are creating to stop yourself.

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT

The first steps are always the most difficult ones and they will make you feel overwhelmed. Educating yourself and being well organized will help you to feel more confident in your project.

 
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Time and Money

Before starting, make sure you will have enough time and money to invest. If you want it to be your full time job, your business will become your baby and has to be a priority. You will spend countless hours of work so be ready to change your schedule and make some sacrifices. If you decide to have a part time job while building it, it is going to take way more time to be ready for its launch. The best is to focus 100% and have a good 3 months of savings on the side.

Baby Steps

  • Develop an idea but make sure it is realistic and practical: If your dream is to sell homemade panties made of wood, you have to be sure clients will buy them because the primary purpose of every business is to maximize profits ($$$) for its owner. Do your own research, find out who your competitors are, analyze the market and start this goddamn business plan.
     
  • Talk about your project: It is very important to share your vision with your surroundings. Talk to your family, friends and even strangers about what you have in mind, they would be very happy to give their opinion and help. You can be surprised how creative, smart and resourceful people can be.
     
  • Find a badass name and a kickass logo: When you create a business, you are building a brand and you want people to be able to remember and scream your name. One more time, ask people to tell you honestly what they think about it, if it describe your project, if it is catchy or too common, if it would make them buy your service or product…
     
  • Build your social media and content: You need to be everywhere, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, you name it. Your customers will be mostly online and are craving for interesting and creative contents. You will have to take pictures and make videos about your product/service several times per week if you want people to buy it.
     
  • Make it legal: Just in case you had the idea of screwing with the government… well don’t. Learn what category correspond the best with your business (Corporate, Partnership or Sole Proprietorship…), register your business and potentially for HST, apply for trademark name if needed. You can also get free advice from the City Hall and Canada Revenue Agency has a program who helps new entrepreneurs with taxes. 

Being entrepreneurs is not easy but we would not go back, we love the freedom of working for ourselves and making Scandaleuse Photography an empire.

Put your fears on the side and most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!

 
 

Luck should not be an excuse

A lot of people around us seem to be amazed by the life and experiences Juliette and I are living. The traveling, the photoshoots and happiness seem to be impressive and people truly enjoy it. We have never received so many compliments and love from friends, family, clients and strangers since we have left France. “You guys are lucky” they say…

Luck has nothing to do with it

When I was living in London, during a cold winter evening, I was talking to a friend from photography school online. He was asking questions about my life in London and was telling me his dream was to go to Australia but felt a bit lost and scared about this idea. I remember him telling me: “you are so lucky for leaving Paris, I wish I could do the same but you know my english is pretty bad and living in another country is expensive”. So I told him we weren’t lucky, we just kicked our own butts and took the decision to leave. Don't imagine everything was perfect, when we arrived in London: our English was pretty bad, we didn’t have a job and only a few savings.

 
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We could have found every excuses to not go to England because yes it was scary but we decided not to listen to our negative thoughts and booked our ride.

In 6 years, we have achieved a lot in our lives, both professionally and personally, we have met a lot of wonderful people who helped us make our dreams come true and build our businesses. But this has nothing to do with luck! We work hard, we take risks, we get out of our comfort zone, we stress, we cry but most of the time we have fun. You know what the most important of all is? We love what we do and it is so worth it!

Stop stopping yourself

We all have excuses and fears, obstacles we put in front of ourselves but there is something easy to understand: if you want, you can.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying every dream is easy to realize, most of them require knowledge, money, strength, time and surrounding yourself with the right people. I know we are all born with different spoons in our mouth, we don't have the same financial situation and definitely we don't have all the same life benefits but living the life you dream of IS POSSIBLE

We have wonderful tools such as internet and libraries that are full of information to help us take the first step towards our projects, learn and discover by ourselves. And if you don’t know or if you can’t do, ask people around you for help; you will be surprised to see you are not alone. People will be happy to help you!

 
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There is a famous quote I have heard once which has helped me a lot to understand the power of “I Can” (I wonder how long it would have taken me to quit my waitress job and open my own boudoir photography business if I had not heard it):

"if you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs."

the "GYST": Get Your Stuff Done

The first step is the most difficult to take but once you start working on your project, it will get easier, especially if you got a proper organization:

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  • Find your goal
  • Plan step by step how to make it successful.
  • Make the steps to do so accessible and specific. It will sounds unreachable otherwise.
  • Invest or find investors to help you financially
  • Educate yourself on the knowledge you are missing to achieve your goal. (PS: Libraries in Toronto are free. Just saying.)
  • Or build a team of people who know how to do what you don't
  • Spend time on your project. Kiss the procrastination goodbye.
  • And most important: DON'T GIVE UP!

What's the most important here is to remember that no one is going to do anything for you. You are the only one who can move things up for your own happiness and future. The good news is that it's a lot more accessible than you would think. Now roll-up your sleeves and build your mini-empire!

With Love,

 
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