Wednesday was Jessica in the Kitchen’s 4th Blog anniversary!! Usually, I’ll write a post for the actual day. Or, I’ll forget it all together then feel bad. This year, I really wanted to enjoy the day, reflect on it, and then write a post afterwards. Truthfully, I didn’t know what the day would turn out to be, and I also had no idea what to write so for the first time in a while I just went with the flow.
Spoiler alert: the day ended up being beautiful, calming and truly creative. It was a beautiful reminder of how I want my business to be most of the time. We spent the day shooting several photos of me holding a giant gold foil 4, then I practically ran home to edit it into a stop motion video to share (below). The day also held numerous surprises. Turns out that my family had planned an amazing surprise anniversary party for me too complete with a vegan cheesecake!!
In the middle of the day I felt compelled to share my top 4 business lessons over the last four years. After a spontaneous mini speech on instagram, I then felt further compelled to share it here on the blog. Whether this is all new to you, or is serving as a timely reminder, I hope you find hope and guidance in this simple but truly powerful lessons.
Know your Worth
Oh, there is so much I could say on this topic. Long story short – you are very aware of your excellent skills, talents and values – do not undercharge for your services. In Jamaica we say know your worth and add tax (well, I’m not sure if we invented that but still) and this couldn’t be more true. Recognising my worth was such a valuable lesson to me because I truly set a standard bar for myself.
A bar of quality that I promised myself I wouldn’t dip below in my business, and a bar price that I wouldn’t charge lower than. Setting that bar was scary and powerful but so, so worth it. For me it also meant that since I had a high price, I would also deliver an exceptional product, and that rang true across my business. Be that a deliverable for a client or a recipe for you guys, knowing my worth helped me to always produce high quality work. Never lowball yourself in hopes that that price will be accepted.
Here’s the thing – sometimes you have no idea what to charge for your services. This is where friends and colleagues in your industry come in. If you need help setting a price on your services, reach out to colleagues and friends in your industry who will be honest and open to you. Be honest and open to them too – and watch magic happen.
Here’s something funny – when I left law school I said I would NEVER return to school. Never! Fast forward to me seriously considering school to be a health coach, setting time each day to learn something new, and voluntarily reading a 50-page long PDF on SEO. In time I’ve come to learn that I crave learning. Learning keeps my brain active, creative and swimming with new ideas always. It keeps me open minded and aware of my surroundings. It keeps me in a constant state of wanting to know better, do better and keep going. It’s been a long list of positives for me. This doesn’t mean you need to watch the news everyday. It can be something as simple as subscribing to a YouTube channel like Great Big Story that shares something new daily, or watching the documentary Explained on Netflix. This has been so impactful in JITK because it’s taught me to never settle and that I can always keep climbing because there is so much more to learn.
Believe in Yourself
I could say “believe in yourself” a million times but if you don’t truly feel it in your gut then it wouldn’t make a difference. Like I said on my IG stories, this one feels like a life lesson. There are days that I simply do not believe in myself, and these days can follow directly after days where I did believe in myself. It’s a daily practice. Be your own main cheerleader. I find that proving that you can finish things help. Set a task and do it – be able to rely on yourself. Starting also helps – proving you can start a project. When that doesn’t work and fear kicks in – this video by Will Smith always cools me down and then I do a little Jessica positivity dance. You need to believe in yourself for your dreams to come true.
Grit has become one of my favourite words over the last two years in particular. To me, grit is achieving your plans and goals via long term goals that translate into a bit by bit every single day to realise and achieve them. This Includes setting a plan that will work when you do not want to do this work. It’s having a long and wise plan, as opposed to a quick and fallible plan. Having that resilience and that stick to it attitude has proven so helpful for me. Every year there is some challenge that affects my ability to post consistently – be that burnout, depression, anxiety or sickness. It always seems to strike around this time of year. Honestly, my first year of JITK I didn’t blog for like 6 months. But, during that time I kept it in mind that I would come back to this. That drive has kept JITK up and running. On days where I do not want to write, I write, knowing it is all about the long term goal. That determination in me is like a fire that truly keeps me going. If you want to learn more about GRIT check out GRIT by Angela Duckworth.
I truly hope that these tips are helpful, hopeful and enlightening to you friends. Here’s to several more years of love, hard work and so much life.