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What Is It Like To Run A Business?

E’s Element launched in 2021 and has continued to grow in so many ways since then. We sat down with the founder and CEO, Emmanuela Okon, to reflect on how far the brand has come and the realities of being an entrepreneur. Community support and connection to other entrepreneurs has always been an important source of learning that contributes to E’s Element’s success. We’re sharing this to offer up honest insight to you! If you’re thinking about starting a business, or are currently running one this is a great read to prompt your thoughts around your relationship to your work.

How are you? 

We started with checking in about where Emmanuela is currently at and what is taking up most of her mindspace. Checking in with yourself is a great practice to regularly incorporate on a daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly basis! When answering honestly this can help you evaluate your needs and give you clarity about next steps. For Emmanuela, she is currently undergoing a shift towards an even healthier and generative balance between all her forms of expression. Starting out as a fashion enthusiast and blogger, she revists her personal brand Creating time for this has been an important calling that allows her to stay in touch with why she started E’s Element and incorporate everything she’s learned since then. Another big theme has been redefining a healthy work life balance. As she gets busier with the growth of the business and opportunities in other areas of her life, she has been thinking alot about how to be intentional with her time. As a business owner no one prepares you for the reality that the hours and tasks can be endless. It’s important to pace yourself through your work and allocate time for other areas of your life just like Emmanuela!


What is the most rewarding part of running a business?

We asked Emmanuela what the most rewarding part of running E’s Element is. Surprisingly, her answer was all the behind the scenes work that goes on. She points out that all of the little things are really the heart of the business. This is an important takeaway - it’s all about consistency. Being in operation for almost 3 years reveals that the magic doesn’t lie in a single grand moment where everything pays off, it exists in the flowstate that is only achieved by working at it no matter what. Emmanuela points out that completing every task consistently with care is what leads to so much organic growth, and genuine support from customers and our community. Being able to step back and feel proud of what you’ve built is the real reward and it is abundant!

What is one new thing you're doing to improve?

In asking Emmanuela what is one new thing you're doing or trying in the hopes of improving E's Element she gave us a few gems! Emmanuela has recently been making an effort to dedicate the weekends to slow down, evaluate the past week and prepare for the next one. While it works for Emmanuela to use the weekends to do this it may look different for you. But regardless of your schedule, it can be helpful to take one or two days to catch up and plan. Doing this can reduce feelings of being overwhelmed by tasks. Another thing Emmanuela has been doing is pursuing collaboration. This entails outreach to aligned brands, seeking a sweet spot of mutual benefit from sharing space. Emmanuela says “I believe in putting yourself out there”. Reaching out never hurts. You don’t know what you can achieve if you don’t try!

Is there anything surprising about running a business?

Out of curiosity of Emmanuela’s journey, we asked if anything surprised her in her experience with the business thus far. She pointed out that it’s shocking how much social media has changed. As a blogger entering the space in 2016, she recognizes social media as an ever-evolving space. Beyond that she wasn’t expecting content creation to be so important and how it contributed to her success. Emmanuela shares an important reminder - if you’re passionate about something, as she is, sharing that can allow you to thrive. In focusing on things you love and leaning into your natural tendencies, for her it was giving fashion advice, doing work around it doesn’t even feel like work. These platforms can really support you being yourself. Another great reality Emmanuela shared is that everything happens in the time that it is supposed to. Blowing up online doesn’t usually happen overnight, and if it did she wouldn’t have been prepared to handle it. Trust the process of how your journey unfolds. All you can do is try your best in every moment. 

Do you make time for rest?

We ended off with seeking Emmanuela’s thoughts and practices around rest. In an increasingly normalized hustle culture that champions productivity, especially online, it can be difficult to normalize rest. Rest can look different for everyone, whether it’s doing nothing all day, indulging in the hobbies you love, spending time with family, being alone, the list goes on! For Emmanuela, this means travel. She’s been making an effort to incorporate more time for traveling and vacationing! Emmanuela says “your business should support the things you like, not take away from it. The business is never running away, as long as you are there the business will be there”. What a great reminder! She points out that it’s important to create boundaries for yourself and not to overextend yourself. How can you return to the things you loved to do before you started your business? How can you keep these things in tact? These are imperative to consider while you make time to rest! Rest is essential!

We hope you consider all the insight Emmanuela shared and feel guided toward embracing the realities of running a business!

Looking to connect with Emmanuela? Follow her on Instagram - @ellahh or Tiktok - @emmanuelaokon to keep up with her outside E’s Element.

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