Welcome to Episode 89 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Indie Story introduces you to Lakisha McMillian of Simply Unique, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Not only is Lakisha leading her business, but she also works full-time and is earning her master's degree. You'll enjoy learning about how Lakisha organizes her time for maximum efficiency using a basic notebook and pen and paper.
You'll also be inspired (and maybe even a little bit convicted personally) by Lakisha's superbly proactive attitude, which is so important for all Makers and entrepreneurs from all walks of life to embrace. Lakisha's get-up-and-go mindset will motivate you to leave it all on the field when it comes to pursuing your goals. As Lakisha says, “If you don't know how to do it, figure out how to do it, and then go out and do it!” Enjoy my interview with Lakisha NOW!
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Episode Show Notes
Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that interests you most:
- Lakisha's journey to calling North Carolina home. (starting at 2:45)
- How Simply Unique got started, its growth and purpose. (starting at 3:45)
- How Lakisha juggles full-time work, grad school, and Simply Unique. (starting at 5:50)
- How Lakisha turned a forgotten craft project into a thriving business, and important steps. (starting at 8:04)
- Lakisha shares her process for keeping her scents fresh and interesting, and her line expansion. (starting at 12:37)
- About Simply Unique's product development and research. (starting at 14:30)
- How Lakisha handles powering through meltdowns. (starting at 17:16)
- Lakisha's tips on doing shows and markets (starting at 19:57)
- How Simply Unique focuses on the unique. (starting at 21:44)
- Lakisha's talks about her vision for the future of Simply Unique. (starting at 29:22)
- Words of advice for entrepreneurs getting started. (starting at 33:52)
- The brilliance of Lakisha's live, sphere-expanding Scentful Sundays events on Instagram. (starting at 35:50)
Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode
In this episode, Lakisha and I mentioned the following resources.
- Simply Unique website
- Simply Unique on Instagram
- A plethora of planners at Michael's
- Candle supply at Lone Star Candle Co.
- Timber Ridge Gifts on Youtube
- Standley Handcrafted on Youtube
- Indie Business Insurance
Important entrepreneurial insights from Lakisha
Let's unpack some of the most significant business insights Lakisha and I discussed in this episode.
1. Write it down
As a busy entrepreneur, full-time employee, and student, Lakisha has to be extra careful about how she manages her time. She says that writing things down is one of the keys to her progress. While she uses a formal planner to schedule events and shows, she loves using a basic notebook, pen and paper to keep a running list of the things she has to do. This helps her to break things down, and she really enjoys the sense of accomplishment she experiences when she gets to check things off her list.
2. Research, research and research
Lakisha was very intentional about starting her business. She wanted to make sure everything was just the way she wanted it before she launched. She did a lot of advance research and made a bunch of prototypes to test on friends and acquaintances before actually selling her first products. She relied heavily on YouTube and Facebook groups where she was able to learn everything she needed to get started, and also found suppliers for the waxes and containers she needed to produce quality candles.
3. Lakisha's “I can learn anything” attitude.
I love Lakisha's mindset on learning. It bears repeating word-for-word, so here is the quote from her.
“Nobody goes into anything knowing everything. And that was the mindset that I had. I may not know what to do and how to do it now, but I can learn it and I can figure it out. And there's tons of information available to help you get there.”
Mic drop! It is this mindset that paved the way for Lakisha's Scentfully Sunday platform which she talked about in the podcast. This attitude is the key to entrepreneurial success. Actually, it's the key to life success. Learn what you need to know, and then go out and just do it.
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