Have you been thinking or always dreamed of starting your own business? The below is a list of personal experiences and realisations over the past few years. They are not in any particular order, other than the first point, which I believe is the upmost important.
P.S Honest and personal thoughts below, raw, real and maybe a little blunt but totally true from my experiences. There are many many more I’d like to touch on but I’m afraid I will be typing for ever. So I have broken down 20 for now. I hope you find value in each and every point xx
IT’S A MENTAL GAME
You know that saying, “It won’t be easy but it will definitely be worth it”. Ah huh you have got that right! It isn’t easy. You WILL be working harder and longer hours that in a mon - fri 9 - 5 job. This is why it is vital that you “love what you do”, because if you don’t love it, you won’t keep at it, believe me! No amounts of money will keep you at something, you need passion, determination and the drive to start something from the ground up and to preserver through the tough times because the only reason you will preserver through the tough times is because you honestly truely love it.
GET UP, GET DRESSED
This point is a lead on from it being a mental game. You know how people say, “You feel how you look”? Well, just because you are working from home to get things off of the ground, does not, and I repeat does not mean its a great idea to do business in your PJ’s, it will do your mental state, clarity and make you feel a hell of a lot more successful or better about taking on the world if you get friggin dressed and put on some make up so you can feel great because you look great. Now a days you can have video meetings and this way you won’t give the courier guy an awkward fright when he picks up your parcels (haha).
DON’T GET ATTACHED TO OUTCOMES
Things don’t work out. Don’t stay there. Don’t fester your energy on things you can’t change. Move on quickly.
BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE FIRST
Depending on what type of business you have, your business is nothing without its audience, choose your following and connect with them, show them who you are and why you are doing what you are doing.
Now, this is what I have come to learn over the past few years. Branding is the most important factor of your business. Please please please do yourself a favour and hire someone who understands branding. Your logo isn’t just a logo!
There is no point working for yourself if you do not enjoy what you are doing. Period.
STRATEGY, STRUCTURE AND DISCIPLINE
Always have a strategy, for each portion of your business. Have structure on how things are done, this is best to document from the start and adjust where necessary so when you do hire someone you have implementations already in place to pass on. Discipline, well if you don’t have discipline, strategy and structure go out the window and nothing gets done.
If you do not have money coming in from your business every day, or every week, or every month, depending on the type of payment structure your business has, then you are in seriously trouble or you need a good nest egg of savings to keep you a float until you gain cashflow. Without cashflow, you can not grow.
Firstly, you can not sell a secret. You can not build an epic website and expect the customers to follow. So, what do you do? You have to advertise, you have to be seen. Therefore, where does your audience hang out? What do they see on a regular basis? What are they interested in? The better you know your audience/target market, the better you will be able to advertise and reach them.
Now a days, there are so many people starting their own business. Leverage each other.
As you may realise, you do not build an empire over night. Keep your costs down to the bear minimum. This will take financial stress off you because you can’t really focus on your business when you are subconsciously stressing about how to pay the bills at the end of the week and this is when your business becomes more of a chore to just survive. The last thing you want to do is become desperate.
There is absolutely no way you can focus or become successful when your personal life is topsy turvy. If you aren’t in a stable happy relationship, you may need to rethink what is important to you. If you hang out with toxic people, you may need to spend less time with them or evaluate if they are really your friends. What I am getting at is, sort your personal life out before committing to a business, because you will need all the support you can get.
SAY GOODBYE TO PARTYING
Unless you are immune, partying is no good for your motivation the following few days after. It zaps your energy, makes you depressed and yeah, partying will not get you anywhere. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve partied way too much in the past. It was life. Haha. But believe me, if you want to be successful, if you want your business to thrive. Let go of partying. It will be the best thing you have ever done.
GET USED TO REJECTION
I say this blunting, because it is so true. Not everyone will like you, not everyone will support you, not everyone will like your idea, not everyone will like your product. People will complain, people will unfollow you, people will talk about you, people will say mean shit to you, people will be people. The best thing for you to do is, listen, then move on. Don’t fester in it as it will start to consume you and this is where some people give up. Be a strong women, tomorrow is another day.
IT’S A LONG GAME, NOT A SHORT GAME
Business is a commitment, it generally takes about 5-7 years to truly make it. So head down, bum up! Or go back to work. It is not for the faint hearted.
DON’T DO IT JUST FOR THE MONEY
Don’t get me wrong, making money is great, and the more you make is great, but once you have hit the threshold of making enough money, you will want more out of your business than money, so choose the right business for you. Choose a business that gives you satisfaction in other ways, a business that holds true to your why, a business that gives you fulfilment, because this feeling means so much more than money. Money comes and goes. Build a life with purpose. You will feel so much better for it in the long run.
BECOME A SPONGE
Become a sponge, learning is your new best friend. Things are always changing and so will your business. Be prepared. Learn from the best and be open minded.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL
Being afraid of failing is generally why people don’t start in the first place. Just remember you will fail and that is ok, just get up and do it again. Failing can mean different things to different people. You must learn from the failures and move on quickly. You must not stay attached to the failures. You must let go of your ego and just keep going. The only way you truely fail is if you give up.
FINDING YOURSELF AND PERSONAL GROWTH
I think business is a great way to truely finding yourself and what you are capable of. It takes a lot of personal growth, a lot of determination and a lot of courage to be in business. Kudos to you, pat yourself on the back and be proud of yourself. Just remember you as a person will change each year. You will look back to when you first started and be like, wow, look at how far I have come because I didn’t give up.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, BELIEVE YOU DESERVE IT
This is something I personally struggled with for a while. If you don’t believe in yourself, who the hell else will? Stand up, look yourself in the mirror and get serious. Getting serious with yourself is really important. How much do you want this? Because no one else is going to do it for you. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop complaining about your life, stop blaming other people for your failures. Get up, get dressed and make it happen. I turn 32 this month. 30 freaking 2. Like what? When did this happen? I wanted to start my business at 25, and I have been dabbling in business ever since. But I didn’t believe in myself, I didn’t believe I deserved it. I didn’t get serious with myself. I kept feeling sorry for myself. I kept taking the easy road. Now one day you will wake up and will have had enough and go for it. I’ll be here watching, and applauding you on girlfriend. You’ve go this.