I started my first business when I was 12. I cleaned, mowed lawns, and babysat……..then college and the expected life track and then I finally figured out who I really was and what I desired …….
NOW I have been an entrepreneur for over 7 years ……
In that time I’ve built a successful ranch with my husband, a speech consulting company, and health/business coaching business that has now morphed into a lifestyle website… the one you’re reading right now. I’ve had years where I made more money than I ever imagined. I’ve had years where I lost more money than I ever imagined. I’ve hired employees, fired employees, had people quit and been blown away by the incredible leaders that many members of my businesses have grown into. I’ve worked out of my basement, an actual office, at times my car……and everything in between. I have learned so many things about starting a business and running a business and no matter what industry you’re in this is my best advice for those of you who are new to entrepreneurship or new to this whole process.
Back, in the beginning, I wish I would have known these things …….
*Put on Blinders -Figuratively stop looking at what everyone else in your niche is doing and do you. I am all for seeing what else is out there for inspiration and guidance …..almost to a fault. The only way to make the leap from wanting “to start a business” and “doing it” is the action. The biggest time suck when I was trying to get out my first blog, first video, first e-book was the overabundance of information out there. It literally stopped me in my tracks as it reinforced fears that I may not be good enough or that wow they are amazing ….”I can’t do this”. Can anyone relate? This is especially true for myself “a recovering perfectionist” ….Do you know how many years I thought about Big Sky Women until it actually came to fruition? At least five years….I had to put on the blinders and just START.
Persistence wins: As cliché as it may sound, the people that are successful have stuck out the highs and lows of business. There are going to be launches that bomb, people that end up failing you, friendships lost, friendships gained, employees will become like family, and some will become your worst nightmare. It is all part of the process…the price for success. You have to be able to persist even when it is hard. This sounds like a “duh” but so often people give up right before a big breakthrough. Keep this in mind GRIT can be defined as courage and resolve; the strength of character. Grit and persistence need to become the backbone of all you are creating.
Time block: When you’re a newbie in business you tend to give all the items, from daily necessities for doing business to big five year goals the same priority. It feels overwhelming because you’re trying to do too many things at one time. Slow down. Prioritize. Breathe. Make a daily list. Make a weekly list. Make a monthly list. Now double-check it. Is everything on those lists essential to help you start making money as soon as possible? If they’re not, let them go. Take one thing at a time. I learned a little trick from someone special: the daily tasks are as important as the emotion around them. Create non-negotiables in your life as a mom and your business and you will exemplify the best version of balance.
Find mentors: I have had mentors that I have paid handsomely and it was worth every penny. Some people you may use as mentors and they do not even know (a best friend who runs the best damn budget you know, the mom who meal plans like a madwoman, and totally guilty here of using my personal trainer as a life coach). Hire, Hire, Hire people that are better at doing certain things than you (who should you hire? That is another blog post). Mentors can come in all forms and sizes and definitely do not have to be specific to the field you aspire to cultivate.
Continue to learn: This advice seems a paradox to putting on your blinders….but trust me on this one. Every successful business professional I know is constantly learning, reading, and growing in their field. Do not kick yourself if you have all the knowledge in six months or even a year or five years. You are a student of your industry and you should be on a life-long mission to excel in your class. Read books on your industry, read books on business and management and work-life balance. Watch Ted Talks. Listen to podcasts. Join like-minded people who strive to live a wildly successful life. Get my free workbook here.
Get your Money Mindset On: Money can be a taboo topic. But let me tell you this and it will save you years of heartache. KNOW your worth. I need to say this again…KNOW your worth. Are you running a business or a non-profit? You should never work for free and never undervalue the price of your time. Your time is your most valuable product. Anything that is your true passion is marketable these days……..Do you love writing, organizing, creating beautiful art, direct sales? It does not matter what it is, the most valuable product we have is our time and how we market our product…………. Oh, man, did I learn that the hard way.
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