I wasted three years of my life in this wallowing and self-loathing state and there are so many things I wish I knew before I started my own business. I say this a lot but its true. I do still feel like I wasted three good years feeling sorry for myself and not really giving it my all to actually build my business. After many failed blogs and design studios I had enough, I needed to get serious if I wanted to be self sufficient and start living my dream life.
And I have, so far. I have managed to grow and stick to a schedule and do it with joy and happiness. I found my purpose and I’m thriving in life and in business. Being an entrepreneur is not what I set out to be, but here I am! If you are just starting out or are reading this because you need a little boost, know that I have been through so many ups and downs and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I promise.
Sometimes I wish I had sought out someone with experience to sit down with me over coffee and tell me exactly what happens when you embark on this solopreneur journey. I wish I had known so many things before I set out on becoming a business owner, but then again all the lessons from those three years sort of build me up to where I am today. I don’t know what would have happened if I had known what I know now back then, but if I can help you with my own lessons, I will consider those years not wasted.
Here’s the top 10 things I wish I knew before starting my business:
1. It’s About Helping and Serving Others
We can get pretty caught up in making money. I get it, we all have bills to pay, we have to make a living and our work is worth it. You just can’t forget about who you are serving, those human hearts that you are going to help. Through your products or services you are going to touch someone’s life. Make sure you do it right and offer them something that will improve the quality of their life. If you are just in it for the money it will show. Connect first, serve, serve, serve, then sell.
2. It Can Be Lonely But it Doesn’t Have to Be
The first couple of years were rough. I went from a 9-5 full of office peeps to just me in my small 1 bedroom apartment in LA. I had to adopt a dog because things got so lonely. There were no people to chat or brainstorm with. There was no buzzing energy of people mingling and at times it got hard. Embarking on this journey will get lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Join some Facebook groups, hold mastermind sessions. There are so many people like you that are just starting out, it gets better when you have others to talk to, and they are out there!
3. Failure is Not Bad as Long as You Learn From It
Do not beat yourself up to bad if you failed. J.K. Rowling was waitressing and on public assistance when she was writing the first Harry Potter book. She was rejected by a dozen publishers and look at her now! Learn from your mistakes, don’t dwell on them and don’t let them define you.
4. Start an Email List ASAP
I had no idea email lists where important. I was so focused on Instagram and Facebook that I overlooked my list. Think about it this way, if you have 10K followers or even 100K and you put your heart and soul into getting them, but one day the App goes away. It is out of your control, what do you do? Email lists are yours, and it is full of actual people that are interested in what you have to say. It is a powerful tool that leads to more engagement and more sales. Don’t overlook it!
5. Don’t Stress About the Number of Followers on Social Media
Social media followers do not have high conversion rates. Meaning, just because they follow you, doesn’t mean they will buy from you. If you have 1K followers and they are all waiting eagerly for your next launch, or 100K followers but only 10 of them actually like your products, which do you prefer? Stop focusing on the number of followers, focus on your ideal market who is interested in what you have to offer and your story, even if that is only 10K.
6. Plan Multiple Streams of Income
Did you know millionaires have around 7 income streams? I didn’t, but once I heard it it opened my mind. It just makes so much sense. Coming from a full-time job, you think that it’s good enough, you get paid what else matters? But what about setting up some passive income? Making money in your sleep sounds way better and less stressful. Out of all the things I wish I knew before starting my business, creating passive income streams is at the top of my list!
7. Don’t be a Hero, Get an Accountant
If you are not a plumber, do you fiddle with your pipes when they need fixing? If you break a pipe that causes a giant leak in the middle of your kitchen, it makes the problem worse right? Don’t be a hero, if you are not an accountant and are trying to do taxes with one of those free tools online you are going to add unneeded stress and probably f* something up. Accountants are there to help you, and hey they may help save you some money.
8. Ask For Help When You Need it
Working from home (or coffee shops) and alone day after day makes you forget that you can ask for help. I promise it is way better to ask someone for help then spend more of your precious time figuring it out yourself. If you don’t know Photoshop, ask a friend who does! If you have no idea how to set up your website, ask! Which leads me to…
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Invest in Your Biz
It took me a while to be comfortable enough to invest and spend my actual money on my business. When you first start out and are making no income, its hard to let go of your much needed moolah, but once I started investing (in the form of e-courses) all my doubts went away. Why didn’t I do it sooner! You know when they say you gotta spend money to make money? It’s true! All I did was stop buying Starbucks and instead save to invest in my biz and voilà! Plus what I invested came back to me anyway.
10. Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
If you decided to start your own business it may be because you wanted to live life on your own terms. Spend more time with your family, friends, doing things you love… don’t forget that. You are building your dream business here! The good and the bad, the tight months and the bawler months, just have fun! One day you’ll look back and see this moment in time where you are working on that dream, make sure you remember having fun.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve had while starting your business? I want to know! Shout out in the comments below 🤓