7 Things I've Learned In My Entrepreneurial Journey (So Far)
7 Things I've Learned In My Entrepreneurial Journey (So Far)
I still have a lot to learn // I will be the first to say that. But by nature I am a very, very, conscientious person and I try to take a lesson from absolutely everything that I do.
So here are seven things that I have learned thus far in my journey as an entrepreneur, let’s dive in.
I think that one of the #1 quotes that can really summarize a powerful mindset...
‘Start from where you are with what you have’
You don’t always have to do the ‘best’ of everything
For a long time I thought I had to develop something that had never been done before to be successful. While that is somewhat true, sometimes an innovation can be quite simple, small tweaks. You don’t always have to completely reinvent the wheel. You also don’t need the fanciest photos, website, 1 million subscribers or followers. Many people, including myself have made a lot of money - with a seemingly small reach, but delivering what feels right.
Think of fulfilling a basic need. Success can come from simple ideas with a twist.
Start it…. NOW
Too many times I've thought of an idea and then contemplated various scenarios and how it could play out, overanalyzed, overanalyzed -- and then ended up never starting. My issue lied it always wanting to plan out the next few YEARS of how I would execute it. All the technologies I would need, the solutions to come up with, and my ‘pipe dreams’ when I grew it to be large + in charge.
Well guess what? The one-way ticket to not growing a badass, large + incharge brand… is not starting.
Brainstorm a quick way to put together the most basic form of a product to send to potential customers, mock up the idea and blast it on social media to see the buzz you can start. Film some videos around a concept you’re preparing and just freakin DO IT!
These sorts of things are what will result in the best estimates of how the product might do in your current marketplace.
Think for the short term and adapt.
I think I create five-year plans and outlines in my sleep. That is just me as a human, I love planning. But realistically, how can you plan for five years when life can all change at the drop of a dime?
I’ve come to learn that making plans is important and powerful, but stick to the short-term. Set small goals alongside your large and lofty goals!
Also, be sure that you aren’t beating yourself up if things DO totally change, that’s O-K-A-Y! When I was first preparing to launch my new website, the intention was a complete 360 from what it is now.
I now like to plan for six months or a year ahead, with small and achievable 30 day, or even daily goals and outlines as well.
Take the day off, treat yo-self, it’s all happening!
Yes, entrepreneurship is difficult and you must put in work long hours, more than many other people do. But don't sacrifice family, social life, fun or sanity for that matter. I am not saying that there won’t be times that you have to sacrifice time to devote to your business. I’m not saying that sometimes on the weekend when your friends all want to go day-drinking, you’ll be on a discovery call, or preparing content for the upcoming month. But what I am saying, is that you don’t have to completely throw away everything that you do outside of work.
Now here is some irony in that… If you are anything like me, that might just sort of happen anyway, but that is by choice. I adore what I do, and is hard to shut my mind off of it… really ever, and that’s ok too.
As I always say, find what works for you and rock it.
Moral of the story here? If you wake up one day, completely creatively blocked up, no motivation and really frickin tired - Take a day, or even a few hours to yourself and reset!
What if you put in the long hours, neglect your personal life and the business fails? Then you've lost your business and relationships.
Even if your business skyrockets, you may feel locked into work (as I did) and obliged to devoting long hours to its continued growth.
Ultimately, this leads to burnout (yikes!). Can you effectively grow a business if you're burned out and want nothing to do with it anymore?
It's not all about you and your idea.
Take time to serve and help others. My focus on my early businesses led to just me, me, me -- as well as money, money, money. Some of the best and most powerful transformation that I went through is understanding that is is NOT the way to build a powerful or influential business.
It can be easy to get sucked in, many sales tactics floating around the internet is glamorizing the concept of entrepreneurship. Many people are falling in love with this idea of being an overnight success. You see copy that says things like ‘Learn How I Made 6-Figures my First Month as a Social Media Manager’ or whatever the next hot thing is… and that a fine, and effective way to sell (if that is the truth.) BUT not the case for 95% of people in that industry.
Start by coming from a place of value and truly wanting to solve a problem, or provide a solution for something or someone.
Look for opportunities to assist people and serve. This not only makes me feel better about myself but it helps my business. Don't go into any given conversation expecting to get anything in return. The act has to come from the heart and be completely selfless. Sometimes people you've helped will help you. Other times they will not. No matter what, keep helping and making the time to provide for your peeps!
Don't be everywhere all at once.
Knowing a little about a lot of different industries and expertise, doesn’t get you very far in the grand scheme of things.
Don’t spread yourself too thin, and I mean this in a few different instances.
First, drop the overwhelm of feeling like you HAVE to be on every social media platform, sharing 5 pieces of new, original content every single day. That is another quick-trip to burnout, and frankly you’ll start to come off as inauthentic.
This is great for managing teams but if you are consistently finding yourself being mediocre and not excelling in any given area, that is not particularly marketable.
It is important to start small and focus on one or two things and put a majority of your time and effort into developing that skill and becoming the best in it. I LOVE striving to be the best.
When it comes to business, don't try to be good at everything. Keep yourself current and up to date on other industry practices and skills, but find your ‘thing’ and get really, really good at it. Then build from there.
Celebrate little wins + big wins alike
Hey, getting your first client is badass. Something worth celebrating. So is your second client, your fifty-second client and your millionth. Celebrate the little wins and landmarks in your accomplishments.
Starting a company is hard, growing one is even harder and running a one is impossible (jk) but that is a challenge as well. And to do all of these things exceptionally well is another challenge in itself. Doing this day in and day out can be tiresome.
Sometimes I feel like I'm not winning or getting anywhere.
Many people remember to celebrate the big wins, but what about the small wins?