The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team. First things first, I'm dreaming of moving to Lapland and building a cozy house near the arctic circle. Jasmine Wilder is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jasmine Wilder and I run a brand strategy and design studio, Moose Anchors. I have been all over the place. Quite literally. I live in Finland but I've also lived in the States, in Arkansas, of all places. What had happened is I got lost on my way to work one day and found myself in Arkansas.
In all honesty, it's one of those classical "girl meets a boy" stories. Went to visit a good friend, I was supposed to stay for 3 months. That turned into 4 years and a marriage. Which I ain't mad about. We moved to Finland due to both of us wanting to live here and I wanted to be closer to my family.
Back in the day, I had big dreams of being a graphics designer, loving all things drawing and design. I wanted to go to a school to become a graphics designer. But hey, people said it was too competitive, so I ended up in business school. Talk about going off the beaten path! But every twist and turn taught me something valuable.
After hopping across the pond to the States, I dove into arts, game art, and even ran a flea market with my partner for couple of years. Did I ever imagine living in the States running a flea market with my husband? When I tell you, life's full of surprises... We ended up moving to Finland and I was still in school.
I started hanging out with people in the gaming field and going to different events with them. The more I did that, but something felt off. So, I switched gears to marketing. I quit my job as a cashier and started my business. Ironically, Moose Anchors was not a branding studio at first. I was creating graphics and posting them on Instagram. At first, I thought I'd be discovered like all those LA wait staffers, posting my graphics on Instagram. But nope, that didn't happen.
To my surprise, shocking, I know. So, I started thinking and pivoting to different direction. I started reading business books. Say whaaat? Never in a million years would I have imagined me doing such thing. But I as I did this, I ran into branding and fell in love with it. Sure, I sucked at it initially, and those old graphics? Ouch, major cringe alert!
But I pushed through, fell harder for branding, and kept improving. It's like my love for it grew tenfold. Then one day, I realized strategy was the missing piece of the puzzle. So I incorporated it into my brand game, and it was like adding and extra spicy pepper into the mix. Now, I eat strategy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – it's become my life.
As I started helping more clients, my passion ignited like wildfire. There's nothing more fulfilling than providing people with the clarity and fire they need to scale up their businesses. It's like spreading magic all around.
What did it take/how did you get started?
You won't believe it, but back in business school, I had this tiny version of myself whispering, "You can never run a business." Can you imagine that nonsense? But things took a turn when my hubby and I ran that flea market. No boss to answer to? It gave me the freedom vibes I never knew I needed.
I believe that doing this planted the seed of the idea that, hey, maybe I could do something myself in the future. Fast forward to Finland, cashier days were not my jam. Nope, not at all. I was following a woman online who was at the time was an influencer for a tiny athletic business that I liked. She actually started a business online and she kept shouting, "You can do it too!" And I felt this to my core.
So I followed her like a hawk, taking notes like there's no tomorrow, trying to feel confident before taking the plunge. Ha! Big mistake! Months passed, and I was still tiptoeing around. But then one day, my husband, gave me the gentle nudge I needed.
I started an Instagram where I was creating these moose graphics with fun facts on them, thinking I'd be an overnight success. It was so small-minded of me. I reached out to that lady who started an online business for help, and she said arts accounts ain't her thing. Which legit activated a panic mode for me. That's when I grabbed my first-ever business book and life-changer, "Choose" by Ryan Levesque.
I started looking into what I could do with all my artistic skills and I run into branding. And the more I looked into it and did it, the more I loved it. I ditched the moose graphics, made a kickass logo, and started preaching the branding gospel. No selling, just sharing the wisdom.
But a whole year passed, and I was just preaching about branding but never even trying to sell a thing. So, clients were nowhere to be found. Turned out I had some limiting beliefs about selling, so I went on a self-improvement book spree, and boy, did it do wonders.
Finally, I got brave, did a giveaway, snagged a few clients, and it snowballed from there! Can you believe it took me years to get that first client? It's all good, though – I grew like crazy, thanks to countless hours of reading and soul-searching. Now I'm a brand-new me, living my dream, and helping others soar to new heights.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
First things first, I'm dreaming of moving to Lapland and building a cozy house near the arctic circle. Chilling in the cool Lapland vibes, living our best lives. My hubby's a finance whiz and a day trader, so we plan on owning multiple businesses and having different income streams. We plan on purchasing properties and just invest money in general.
I see myself starting other businesses as well because I love the "hustle," though I do not like the word hustle. And I have couple of businesses in my mind already. As far as Moose Anchors goes, I plan on growing it to a point where it's a legit studio where I hire employees and then once it's up and going, I would like to expand it.
Expand to doing more than branding, I want it to be a one stop hub for a business. Marketing, copywriting, I want to be able to do it all. Working with personal brands and bigger corporations. Helping B2B and B2C businesses. My whole thing with Moose Anchors is wholesome branding. I want to make this world and business world a little more kind. Drifting a way from unethical things like FOMO. And use delight instead.
What drives / motivates you on a daily basis?
Getting better. I see it as a game between myself and I. Whenever I hit a wall or fail, it drives me because I know that on the other side of this, is where I want to be. Improving myself is very important for me and the more I can grow as a person and challenge old/bad beliefs I have, the better I will become.
My ambitions and goals? They're the fuel that gets me up in the morning, along with the sheer love for what I do. Helping people make an impact with their businesses? That's the real deal. I love being part of their epic journey. It fills my heart with joy. My big why? Making the business world a kinder, happier place. Building communities that make customers feel good and positive in this not-so-nice world. Seeing people light up from the work that I do.
Often when people come to me, they lack clarity and that fire that was once there when they started. Nothing seems exciting to them anymore, it's all just a burden. But then when we start going through the strategy, I can see people light up again, they get that fire, that drive they once had, back. They gain clarity in where they want to be and how to get there. It's a magical thing to witness.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
Buckle up! It's about to be a wild ride. Start reading books on design and what makes a good design. Read books about marketing and selling as well because when you're the only one running your business, those are vital for your survival. It's like the water and food for your business. Vital. Start taking action.
Most ideas and businesses die because you didn't take action. Harsh truth. It took me couple of years and I can't even imagine where I'd be now if I just took action that first day. I would advice for you to follow someone like The Futur on YouTube. Binge watch his videos. He has a bigger design studio and is very well known in the industry. He is a superstar for anyone who is starting out. He helps you with content, pricing, finding clients, etc.
Do work for free. Yes. When you first start out, find couple of people to do work for free and then make sure you overdeliver. This way you get raving testimonials from them and it will be easier to acquire and actual client when it comes time. Niche down. I know you want to work for everyone and not put yourself in a box - but the thing is - people are going to be confused about you if you don't. It sounds way better to say "I help garden businesses to make their businesses bloom" rather than "I help businesses bloom." Too wide.
When it comes to pricing your services, don't look at competition and price yourself somewhere in between. You can look at what your competition is offering, then find a way to offer more (aka, add more value), and put a bigger price tag on your services. Often when a customer looks at two businesses, trying to decide between them, and they're the same price level, they go for the cheaper one because it's being seen as more "valuable." It's how the brain works.
This is why you should have a bigger price tag and offer more value. This way you're seen as more valuable. But the main thing is, just start. Do it. It's worth it. The journey is daunting but it's fun. And nothing is more fulfilling than being able to help others.
What has been the hardest part of your business journey?
The hardest part was to just start. Take action. It took me soo long until I held myself accountable for running a business. In the beginning it was easy to waste time, thinking I was productive, but I wasn't. Watching YouTube videos, movies, tv-shows is not productive. I was always splitting my attention with different things. And I always felt like I was getting a lot of things done. but I wasn't.
I was being fake productive, doing things that didn't really matter. But as long as I was working towards my business, I thought I was doing the right thing. Also imposter syndrome. I fell in the traps of looking at what my competition was doing and trying to be like them, my offer was pretty much identical to them.
I also had a way too big of an ego back then and refused to do work for free. Which is why it took me couple of years to get my first client. When you try to be like your competition, you start to sound and look like them. Which is what happened to me. I was never happy with the way my own branding looked like. It was minimal and timeless. Like everyone else. But I thought it was the right thing to do because everyone was doing it.
I broke free from that when I found myself unhappy with my business. I dig deep into strategy and found out I want to be maximal and bold. I did not like timeless design, it wasn't speaking to me. And that's when I ditched all the expectations out of the window and decided to just do me.
How have you managed burnout thus far?
This question seems almost ironic to me. The person who was so stressed out and burned out that I had to go and get my appendix cut out. Yeah, that's me. Me couple of years ago. Well, as everything, this taught me a lot and I learned to chill the hot vanilla fudge down.
Back then I was a basket case. I had no idea how to deal with stress. I didn't exercise. I worked all the time. From the moment I woke up, to the moment I went to bed. I asked no help. I had no job, so my business was the only income stream for me and my husband.
So, needless to say, I felt the pressure. And not to mention, we had this wasp problem in our room where wasp had made a nest somewhere close to the window and were finding their way into our bedroom. There was a point when we had about 17 wasp in our room all at once, for multiple days. Yes, I got stung. That was a bit much for my stress and my appendix got infected and taken out. That's when I stopped everything.
There was also another major event that happened, my husbands cousin, who was a year younger than I, got the news that her cancer was terminal. And I felt so bad but also had immense amounts of gratitude that I only had an appendix issue. It was the most eye opening thing. After I got out of the hospital. I read a book about burnout. It explained to me what it was, what was stress, how stress affects us, and how to keep it in check. Burnout by Amelia Nagoski. This book literally changed my life.
I have never really understood stress and why it happens/how it happens. But she did a great job explaining. After this, I started exercising, doing things I love doing, like running, weights, and yoga. Breathing exercises, journaling, I also read another book about trauma and worked on the old trauma I had been carrying with me. So now I journal, I do breathing exercises, I stay grateful, and I exercise regularly. And I don't take life too seriously.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
A few! I have a library full of resources. But let me dig out the best ones... Anything from Alex and Leila Hormozi. Alex has a book called 100M Offers and it's a game changer. It makes you re-evaluate your whole business and what you offer. He has another book coming out as well, 100M Leads, which I bet is going to be just as awesome.
Like I mentioned earlier, The Futur on YouTube is amazing when it comes to helping service based businesses get up and going. He explains a lot of things and makes them seem so simple. I also recommend doing a lot of self-improving and reading those books! Journal also.
Get through your trauma because I can guarantee you, your trauma is holding you back, one way or another. Some great books I've read are The Mountain is You by Brianna Wiest, Illogical by Emmanuel Acho, Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss, Happy Money by Ken Honda, The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier.
List the founders
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
Just me, myself, and I.
When did you start?
September 2019 is when I officially registered my business.
How much did it cost to launch?
None. I already had what I needed to start, which is a laptop.
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
It was all me.
What's the #1 thing you need right now?
Beta clients for my services! I'm trying something new and am looking for people to take the plunge.