Let’s be real, when you first start a business you have no idea what you are doing.
You’ll experience tons of highs and lows. It can feel like there's not many people to talk to about the rollercoaster you’re on. (I know I’ve felt this! I don't have any friends or family that are entrepreneurs, so they didn’t quite understand).
It's hard to know what direction to go in, which steps to take, how to create streamlined processes, and how to maintain a good work/life balance.
You’re constantly learning and growing. Consuming and creating.
Google and YouTube literally become your best friends.
I’ve been in your shoes. But I've now had my business for 2.5 years and am at a place where I feel good about my processes. I work with aligned clients and everything runs smoothly.
But if I could go back in time, there are definitely a few things I wish I knew before starting a business. So let’s get into it!
This can be challenging because in the beginning you aren't bringing in any money. If this means you stay at your 9-5 to save up some money before taking your business full time, then do it. Just make sure to invest early - whether it’s in mentors, courses, templates, or upgrades to programs. When you spend money, you make money. You will learn so much quicker and you won’t waste so much time trying to figure everything out on your own, questioning each step along the way.
Embrace the Pivot
When you are running your business solo, it's hard to admit that sometimes things just aren't working out. It's almost like this internal commitment we have within ourselves to see something through to the end. The thing is, everything is always changing and evolving in business. If something isn't working, pivot. Change things up; talk to your audience. Go back to square one and figure out what you are trying to do, who you are speaking to, and redefine your why.
Expand Your Networking Circle
In all honesty, entrepreneurship can be lonely. Especially when you are first starting out! Make an extra effort to connect with other creatives. Reach out to them online, join Facebook groups, go to networking events or workshops. Surrounding yourself with other like-minded women will not only motivate you to keep going, but also give you the opportunity to learn new things from so many different types of entrepreneurs.
Pay Attention to Your Numbers
From the beginning, whether you hire an accountant or do it yourself, you should be focusing on your numbers. Keep tabs on your growth by tracking how much you are bringing in month after month. Stay on top of your taxes and note when it’s time to raise your prices. There’s nothing worse than coming into tax season and feeling overwhelmed trying to figure out what you worked on over the past year.
Niche Down, Quickly
When I first started my business, I wanted to serve everyone. I worried that if I niched down I wouldn't get any clients. That's a mindset block, plain and simple. The quicker you can get super clear on your audience and WHO exactly you want to work with, the better. Your content will improve and your strategies will be so much easier to implement. You want to think as though you’re literally creating content for a single person, not a wide variety of people.
Check in on Your Mental Health
This is a non-negotiable. As business owners, we tend to consume ourselves in our work - there’s always something to be done! This mindset is a one way ticket to burnout. Establish practices from the very beginning to protect your mental health. Try out daily meditation, journaling, or going for a morning walk. It’s also important to have boundaries set in place, such as limiting social media time, enforcing an end time for the work day, or limiting the time you take to look at your emails.