How many of us actually know what we’re going to do with our degree after college? If you’ve thought about creating a career path of your own, you’re not alone. We sat down to interview Kaila Piepkow, Founder of Dox Design and she shared a few starting tips for new entrepreneurs.
After graduating from design school, Kaila started working as a designer for corporate agencies. When her job took too much time away from her home life and her three dachshunds, she changed her career path. She began her freelancing business and started working with mostly pet companies and dog parents.
Fast-forward to now, Kaila’s grown her one-person operation to a team of creative and inspiration-driven designers. Sometimes, when you don’t like the career you’ve chosen or you feel stuck, you just have to create a lane of your own.
Here are 3 tips for new entrepreneurs.
Invest in Your Professional Development
When Kaila started her freelancing business, she took her first paycheck and invested it in a business coach. It felt uncomfortable but she knew that if she wanted to create a sense of security in her new venture, it had to be done.
Investing in a business coach, growth course, or learning resource, can feel scary for new entrepreneurs but it’s a way to unlock new opportunities. Kaila trusted her coach’s expertise in areas like creating an LLC or filing taxes. While Kaila could’ve spent hours learning about all of the ways to set up her business, she valued the time she’d save.
“My time was more valuable than money and I knew I was going to get my money back so I invested early-on, in things I was not the expert in.”Kaila Piepkow
At Dox Design, Kaila’s had to put this philosophy into practice by investing in team members to help her serve more clients. Kaila says “as soon as I was able to bring more people onto my team and outsource, is when my business grew.”
Focus on Your Path and NOT on Your Competition
In any growing industry, it’s easy to get lost in the noise of all of your competitors. If you focus on what your competition is doing, you’ll find yourself in a never-ending spiral of self-doubt. One way new entrepreneurs can thrive in their business is by silencing the noise.
“For my own mental health and running my business, I had to unfollow all of my competition because I would quickly spiral into thinking I wasn’t doing enough.”Kaila Piepkow
Kaila recommends shifting the attention away from energy-drainers and instead, focusing on sources of inspiration. “Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. You’re meant to stay on your path. Cancel out the noise. Be you and your people will come.”
Create Your Legacy
Because Kaila is the branding expert, she helps businesses create brand visuals that align with their mission. When she helps businesses develop their brand, she focuses on her clients’ individual stories and their uniqueness.
The Dox Design philosophy is to start the branding process by identifying the brand’s story and then creating the visuals. One mistake that Kaila sees happening with new entrepreneurs is that they’ll focus on trends instead of creating a new and authentic brand.
To emphasize your brand story and avoid chasing trends, Kaila shares a few starting questions to ask yourself; “What’s the one phrase you want people to say when you leave the room. Think of your brand as a person at a party. What is that one impact you want to get across?”
What makes branding so important is your unique story. When you brand your freelancing business, you’re creating a legacy.
The Sky’s the Limit for New Entrepreneurs
Whether you’re starting your freelancing business today or you’ve been in business for a while, know that you’re not alone in your struggles! When you find yourself challenged with comparison, self-doubt, or fear, take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come and seek out inspiration.
From Kaila’s story, we’ve learned that possibilities are endless when it comes to creating your own career. Don’t like your corporate job? Find something else! Want more time to spend doing the things you love and with your dachshunds? Make it happen.
Dox Design is a remote design and creative studio dedicated to helping business owners grow through design that connects with their customers. To learn more about Kaila Piepkow and Dox Design, visit their website.