Learned: Starting a Business
Do you ever look backwards? I know, I know, as a coach I’m supposed to be talking about looking forward into the wonders of your dreams and how move forward to them. BUT looking back allows you to see a real picture of how far you've come, how you’ve grown, and help someone else that might be where you once were.
I have been a multi-passionate creative entrepreneur for as long as I can remember. I used to sell “friendship” bracelets I made at the YMCA summer camp…in elementary school.
In college, I was a freelance photographer, I once owned my own desert catering company, and for the last 12 years have been a freelance graphic designer. A little over a year ago, I start my coaching practice and I have never been more excited about anything.
So in my 30 years but mostly in the past 2, here are a few things I’ve learned that might help you about starting and growing business.
Some of these may seem trite or unnecessary but I promise you, these things will help you in EVERY area of your business.
More specifically, find YOUR people. Not everyone is you client or your audience. Those who respond negatively to what your doing, they aren’t your people. Find those like minded, who “get” you, who love what you’re doing. These are your customers, fans, and audience. Take care of them.
Also, talk about what you’re doing. Let the people around you know, you might find some unexpected cheerleaders and connections.
Get a mentor.
This can be in person or over technology. Mentors can be found through churches, jobs, podcasts, blogs…the possibilities are endless. If you don’t have mentors, this is your own doing. Learn from those ahead of you. Cheer them on, make connections with them. This is non-negotiable and necessary.
Pay attention to the money. Where are you making it, where are you spending it.
You don’t have to go into debt to start a business. You can have a side hustle, you can have another full-time or part-time job while building your business. Let me say it again…you DO NOT have to go into debt. Actually, don’t do it. You will regret it.
You don’t need all the “fancy” stuff to start a business. Let yourself start small and grow. Make financial goals for the things you want and need. Then work for them.
When do you work the best through out the day? Where do you feel most productive? How can you put yourself in more situations where you are thriving in your day-to-day work?
Ex. I work best in the morning, outside of my house, in the presence of other people. I get myself in that situation as much as possible.
It’s easy to get distracted. Make a plan and stick to it.
Know your Why. (Or you’ll quit.)
If you don’t know where you’re going and why you’re trying to get there, you might as well just quit right now. When things get messy and hard, you won’t persevere because you won’t have a reason to. If you don’t know this, you need to take time to figure it out.
You don’t need to be on every social media platform and you don’t need to blog everyday. Decide what you can manage and be consistent. Choose one platform and do it really, really well.
If you have an online business, an online platform is important. But having 1000 followers that are YOUR people is worth so much more than having 10,000 that aren’t. And you don’t need to obsessively check it. Plan check in points and learn from mentors how to grow your following that is your people.
Not everyone is going to like what you’re doing. Not everyone is going to agree with you. There will be people who straight up do not understand. That’s ok. You say, thank you and walk away. Seek wise counsel and tune out the rest.