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Picture this: You’ve finally taken the big step of starting the business you’ve always dreamed of. Maybe it’s a local bakery where you sell those goodies your friends have always raved about. Maybe it’s a blog where you share your best interior design tips. Or maybe, like Anne Read Lattimore and Cassandra Cannon, you’re starting your own clothing line. This week on the Everygirl Podcast, we chat with these two badass co-founders to get all the details on how they navigate their busy lives.
Lattimore and Cannon founded LAKE Pajamas in 2014 and found instant success with their laid-back pajama designs and baby-soft Pima cotton. However, entrepreneurship has not always been a piece of cake. When they first launched LAKE, they were both balancing different career paths and new babies. They had to work to scale their business, establish boundaries between their work and personal lives, and consistently grow their brand after such a successful start. Read on for three tips Anne Read Lattimore and Cassandra Cannon have for preventing burnout as an entrepreneur. Also, listen to this week’s episode of The Everygirl Podcast to find out how they’ve grown their business and get more career advice from the power duo.
1. Hire nice people
When Lattimore and Cannon first launched LAKE, they were slow to phase out. They spent the early days of their business working together at home, babies and all. When it came time to expand the LAKE Pajamas team, the couple decided to hire jack-of-all-trades to help them with their business. “The quality of our internal team here has really helped us grow,” said Lattimore. “We both made a conscious choice to hire friendly people all along the way.” Looking for a team player mentality in potential employees when hiring has always been part of the business model of the LAKE founders. As Cannon advised, a great attitude is far more important than a long resume.
When it comes to starting your own business, keep in mind that you probably won’t be the only one doing all the work for long. Think about what values and skills you want your employees to bring with them when you bring them into the team: What attitude will best shape your work environment? As Lattimore and Cannon pointed out, building a great team of people can make all the difference when it comes to maintaining a healthy work-life balance as an entrepreneur.
2. Set boundaries between work and home
As Lattimore and Cannon learned when they launched LAKE, working from home can throw off your work-life balance. “We were a bit too ambitious at first when we thought we could work with babies around us,” Lattimore said. Today, the two co-founders are much more aware of completely separating work and private life in order to prevent burnout. They maintain flexible schedules, but prioritize setting aside blocks of time for work and family. “Having worked at home with kids, I appreciate having time apart now so much,” Cannon said. “It means I can get everything done at work so I can focus on her when I get home to my kids.”
In order to avoid unproductive days and long nights as an entrepreneur, it is important to set clear boundaries between work and private life. As Lattimore and Cannon pointed out in the interview, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on big moments in either area. It does mean, however, that you will feel the benefits of drawing those boundaries and blocking your time. Additionally, your business will likely benefit from your ability to turn off work mode from time to time.
3. Trust your product
As an entrepreneur, impostor syndrome can be intense. Lattimore and Cannon attribute much of their success as a brand to their ability to maintain confidence in their designs, even with little prior apparel industry experience. They knew they were filling a market need, which helped them stay on track with their vision for their business. “Our first sets had a certain recognition value. They were different from other pajamas that were on the market and they made a good gift item,” Lattimore said. The couple knew the quality of their pajamas would be a huge draw for consumers. Cannon credits her confidence in the product as a key factor in her stress-free attitude to LAKE.
Entrepreneurship can be intimidating at times, but as Anne Read Lattimore and Cassandra Cannon point out, having faith in your business can go a long way. Knowing how great your brand can become can help you avoid the imposter syndrome that often leads to initial burnout. Treat any new business venture like it will sell like 2014 LAKE pajamas, and maybe it will.