5 Things I Wish I Would've Known Before Starting a Business
It seems like everyone and their dog is starting a business and I personally think it’s AMAZING. With the help of the internet, it’s possible to make almost any idea come to life in one way or another. We’re essentially able to create lives that allow us to work remotely and do things that we love…pretty dang cool!
I also think owning a business can be a liiiittle bit glamorized on social media. Believe it or not, we’re not all lounging on sandy beaches watching crystal blue waves crash onto the shore peering down at our laptops from under our oversized floppy “living my best life” embroidered hats.
Owning a business is HARD. I wouldn’t trade it for any job in the world but just know that it is not for everyone. And that’s cool, too.
Here are 5 things I wish I would’ve known before starting my online business:
one. You don’t have to know everything.
Actually, I’d say I’m learning as I go more than anything. What you do need to know is your mission statement and who your target audience is. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of time going around in circles trying to create content and products that continually fall flat. And you’ll spend a lot of time comparing what you’re doing to what other people are doing.
But if you know what you are trying to accomplish in YOUR biz, then you don’t need to let not knowing everything right from the get go stop you.
I’ve spent many a nights googling how to set up a Shopify store or how to create graphics that look like they weren’t made by a 10 year old.
Don’t let your fear of not knowing everything you need to know stop you from starting! With grit and a little help from Google, you’ve got this, girl.
two. Organization and time management are your actual BFFs.
Ain’t no way I’d be able to be a successful business owner if I didn’t have my organizational ducks in a row. I spent some solid time figuring out a planning system that worked for me - one that is both cute AND functional. And to be honest, I’ve found that mixing and matching organizational tools is the key to finding the perfect system for each person. I personally use a combo of digital planning, Google Cal, OneNote, and Trello to stay organized and manage my time well.
If you need some help in the organization/time management department, I’ve got your back. I created a program that dives deep into creating a schedule that allows you to get stuff done without losing your mind. I go into detail about how I use the above platforms to create my perfect planning system and help you figure out one that works for you.
three. It’s lonely.
As an introvert, I didn’t think working at home by myself all day every day would bother me. And for the most part, it really doesn’t But If I don’t have at least 1 work date planned with another human each week, I go a little stir crazy. My dogs really are the cutest co-workers but they’re not awesome at talking back or bouncing ideas off of.
I know that a lot of cities are starting to offer co-work spaces where entrepreneurs can rent a space to work and be around other people.
Thankfully, I have a few girlfriends who live local to me who also work remotely so we get together once or twice a week and work side by side. Even if we’re not working on the same thing, it’s nice to be working with someone else in the same space and have someone to remind you to take a break to stretch and get some water.
four. It’s an emotional roller coaster.
I feel like I’m constantly on the defense when it comes to combating limiting beliefs as a business owner. When you work for yourself, you typically don’t have someone complimenting your hard work ethic or brilliant ideas. There’s not much validation happening between you and your laptop.
“You have no idea what you’re doing.”
“You’re not successful, you’re just lucky. It’s all going to disappear.”
“You’re not making a difference.”
These are thoughts that I find myself battling with on the regular. I’m very thankful that I’ve made my morning routine sacred - I start each day in the Word, journaling, and praying so that I can get my mind in a positive space before diving into work each day.
I’ve done a lot of heart work to make sure that I’m operating from a healthy headspace regularly.
And going back to the point above, having someone else with you to remind you that you ARE good at what you do is always a plus.
five. Work/life balance is TOUGH.
If you own a biz where you work from home like me, the whole work/life balance thing is a struggle. Especially if you truly love what you do. It’s so easy for me to fit work into every nook and cranny of “free time” that I have. I’m always checking and re-checking myself to make sure that I’m not spending every waking moment in my office since it’s only a few steps away from my living room.
Recently I’ve gotten better about having “work hours” that I stick to that hold me accountable to #1 getting things done in a timely manner and #2 not leaning into my workaholic tendencies.
I also don’t allow myself to work from the couch or the bedroom. I’m either at my desk in my office or if I need a change of scenery I’ll sit at the bar in our kitchen.
Setting strict rules and boundaries for my work has helped me better manage the work/life balancing act.
Like I said, I wouldn’t change my job for the world. I absolutely love creating digital products to help you get organized and coaching you in creating action plans for your dreams! But we like to keep it real around here, too. Owning a business is a rollercoaster of an adventure, but hey, I’m all for throwing my hands up and enjoying the twists, turns, and loops of experiencing it.
Love + light,