Hi all! For those of you who haven't met me yet, I'm Summer. I'm the founder of Local, busy mama, blogger, writer, recipe developer, female entrepreneur. Doing my best to bring health, education and wellnes to lives of others and my own... busy, busy, busy!

I absolutely love what I do. Even when that means I'm at my little shop at 5:00am in the morning pressing juice because our juicer is sick or when every employee is out of town and I'm slinging smoothies like a mad woman... or when we run out of almond butter and I have to go to every health food store to find the right kind with little two year old needing me. I think you're getting the picture. I really am happy with the crazy life of being a business owner. There is nothing I would rather be doing. So thank you for the opportunity to live my passion. 

What I wanted to write about today is the top 3 things that I've learned as a business owner that I want to pass to other woman/men wanting to start their own business. I hope these tips serve you well. 

1. Don't let perfection stop you from starting. There will always be something you could wait on to make just a little more perfect. There will always be a spreadsheet that could be put into alphabetical order, you could have had a perfect logo or a menu that was tighter. You could have had a better website... What you have is enough. If you have passion, a good community to support you and most of all faith in what you are doing, you got it. Do your best and get it out there. You will have time to come back and perfect things. Often you don't know what you really want until you get things going and share. I had to get going and put myself out there to find out what I really wanted our brand to be. Long story short, don't let perfectionism keep you from starting. 

2. Get it in writing. One of the oldest but hardest business rules. Many times we work with friends, we love the people we are working with and we don't want to offend or send people running in the opposite direction. We think that if we come on too business like we'll drive our team away. Especially woman, we tend to not want to hurt anyones feelings or come off as "bitchy". You know what, please take care of yourself and your long term well-being as a person and business. This is just self respect. It is not rude to ask for clarification, set things in writing and have absolute transparency in what you are all working on and toward. This is something that will save you a lot of heartache and help you keep your friends and employees, not send them alway... and in the off chance that it does send someone away, that's okay. Bless them and move forward trusting that they will find what's right for them.

3. Be clear with your mission and your values and come back to them often when making important decisions. We for example have had a lot of opportunities for growth and franchising at Local. We've had offers for partnering and for investors. Our hearts were full of appreciation. We felt very happy that people were resonating with what we are doing... but our values and mission statement both state, grow because you have to... We still feel like there is so much we can do in our one shop to optimize and give our current customers an even better experience. If we didn't have your values and mission statement very clear, we could have likely been easily swayed to do something that might not have been the best for our business and employees right now. 

Over all, make sure your keep your heart, your love and your passion for what you're doing. The key to success in business is not how much money you can get from investors, not how many social media follower you have, not even how much money you're bringing in (although this does matter), the key is true love. I mean it. When you absolutely 100% love what you're doing and why, you radiate that and people feel it. You go the extra mile, you treat everyone like gold and you value each and every costumer that supports you. 

Blessings on your path! 

Summer Sanders