Let me first start off by saying this is going to be a lengthy post because I believe that entrepreneurship or launching a small business has been glamorized in recent years. Heck, for all my college years I thought had to live in NYC was like Sex And The City. Carrie and the girls did make you want to move there and just live such as fabulous life. Yes, there are amazing days that are full of greatness, and then there are days you just want to lay in bed and watch Fixer Upper marathon. Hey, girl, I have been keeping it real since the womb, so let’s get started.
Eat Humble Pie Weekly
You see most people think that you’re weak if your meek as God tells us to be. However, too many people get big headed and tumble down the hills of success as fast as they rose. Have a healthy dose of humble pie weekly because everything you have built can be gone in a second. Think Ryan Lochte lost all four of his corporate sponsors after lying about being robbed at gun point in Brazil. This man is an Olympian and saw life happens fast. As a small business owner, know there will be days you’re at the top and days you’re at the bottom
Be Kind To Everyone
There has been plethora of times I have seen people treat people horribly. Then turn around to find out that the owner of the business or management. There was a time when customers would be really rude to me because an item wasn’t getting their fast enough. Regardless of how people treat you in business treat them with kindness. You always remember how someone treats you, how they spoke to you and made you feel.
All Money Isn’t Your Money
Every penny your company makes is not for you to spend. There is taxes, website cost, products, shipping, domains, hosting and more. Creating a business budget is something that you really should implement from the start. Even if you’re only bringing in $500 a month. It’s about creating healthy habits now with your company funds verses
Get In Community Now
Stop trying to go at this all by yourself. All you’re going to do is create more worry and stress. Yes, money is tight, and you can’t afford to hire lawyers, graphic designers, or photographers. Find a group of women that you vibe with and can help bring clarity. The main reason behind creating Business Bestie. Funny, never in a million years did I think the women I consult would form not only a community around me but each other.
Hiring Interns Can Be Illegal
Stop trying to unpaid interns do all the work. Please learn the laws regarding having paid or unpaid interns in your state. Several big companies have been sued in recent years. Yes, you’re mom and pop status right now, but that doesn’t stop someone from suing when they have dollar signs in their eyes.
Don’t Take Things Personal
Something I remind myself regularly of a person who can be very emotionally connected to things. You have to learn everything is not about you. A couple of months ago, someone I used to work with and referred to other people was coarse and short with me. I had to remember her response had all to do with her and her issues, but nothing regarding me.
You Will Hear No and You Will Say No
Trust me; I would probably be divorced four times and hate my career path. It’s okay if someone tells you no. That opportunity or connection was not for you. Just as you will hear no from people, you will say to people because it doesn’t work for you. Always be gracious and exampling why this project, idea or pitch is not for you. You never know when you might run back into that person.
You Don’t Start On The Mountain Top
As much as, I would love for you to come out the gates with Oprah supporting you and customers wrapped around the corner, its not going to happen. We all start in the valley, and that’s what makes our stories so beautiful. Google was founded in a garage. Facebook was founded in a dorm room where they probably ate ramen. Its okay to work your way up and find out what works for you along the way. That way past failures can propel you to success verses weighing you down.
Small Investments Matter
Investing in social media automation can help you build an online presence when you’re on the road for your 9to5. One of the best things I could do for my business was outsource the graphic design work. Only recently have I gotten back to doing it myself. However, those $5 gigs on Fiverr are life savers, but they can add up so be wise.
Be You Don’t Copy The Jones
Yes, girl I understand everyone in their momma are doing something. Trust me; there have been plenty of times I have felt I need to follow the train of what everyone else was doing. In the long run, it’s not meaningful and hinders my business. When you follow someone else path, you get lost on your journey.
Financially Literacy Is Important
Listen, I am spending a portion of my 30’s making up for the stupid stuff I did in my twenties, which was when I launched my business. Read finance blogs or newsletter. Start a relationship with a banker now. I miss that Liz is no longer at my branch, but she truly helped my business grow. One of my fave podcast is Dave Ramsey for money talk.
Save Up To Start Your Business
If you want to start a business save money or get a part time job. You can utilize freelance website such as task rabbit, olance or Fiverr to make extra money. Do not going into debt chasing your dreams. Be smart about earning and spending your money.
Stay Accountable To Yourself
Set goals and stick to them. The best thing to do is set realistic goals that you can meet. Too many times we over shoot things and then get mad at ourselves. Recently, I wanted to increase my water intake and fitness. I started with working out twice a week finally moving up to five times a week. Going from one 22 oz thing of water to drinking half my body weight. It’s about small goals that move you forward. Keep your goals where you can see them.
Thirteen things I honestly wish someone had told me before I launched my business. Would have I listen to them at the time, who knows but I want to impart this information on you say to you along your journey.