“Start a business, be your own boss, make your own schedule.”
It seems pretty enticing, doesn’t it? Not having to call in or answer to anyone, right? While all of these things are obtainable, they aren’t always the amenities you get to enjoy when you FIRST start your business. When I first started my business, I thought it would be pretty easy because I was doing something I loved and had been doing since I was in middle school (Designing websites). What I didn’t count on is the drag I would go through while figuring it all out. So here’s the thing. If you’re going to run a business, I can almost guarantee that your life is going to change. Now, will it be for better or worse? I can’t say. Lol I’m not trying to steer you away from starting your venture, but I want you to know things I didn’t. With that being said: Here are 5 things no one told me about becoming an entrepreneur.
1. You will have to struggle. It’s hard af.
Social is making it look realllll easy right now. But the truth is – running your own business is different from being an employee because you are responsible for EVERYTHING. In the beginning, you wear a lot of hats. You are essentially trading one job to take on at least five depending on what your business requires. Customer service, tech support, the content creator, social media manager, marketing manager, HR responsibilities, and more.
What I did: Outsource what you can. If you have the funds to pay someone, do it. If not, batch your work together and complete it piece by piece in the order of importance. If you’re lucky, you might have a friend or family member who’s willing to help you.
2. Success won’t happen overnight.
Putting in work is a requirement. You may look at some of your favorites and think, man I can’t wait to get on that level. But what you don’t see is how many times they may have failed or what they had to do in order to get there. A lot of times, they are just popping up on our radar. They have been working and building relationships for yeaaarsss!
What I did: I’m still working hard, making genuine connections, and not trying to reinvent the wheel. I get help where I need it and instead of idolizing what someone else has, I have made a path for myself with milestones to let me know I’m heading in the right direction. It also helped that a lot of the people I wanted to be like, are regular people in real life and aren’t as glamorous in person.
3. Your love life and social life will decline drastically.
With big dreams, come big sacrifices. One thing that I sacrificed was time with family. I would be up for almost 20 hours out of the day on my computer, trying to make something shake. Constant research, trying to create, and more. I would sleep for a few hours (with my laptop) then hop right back up to get back on.
My husband and son could not understand why I was on the computer so much or what I was doing. It caused me to be distant from family and friends. I didn’t have time to talk. I WAS ON THE GRIND (so I thought). My social circle changed because 1. All I wanted to talk about was business so not as many people wanted to talk to me. (That’s not everyone’s cup of tea.) 2. Because I now had an image to protect. I couldn’t keep hanging with the same people. If you want something different, you must do something different.
What I did: I created a schedule & I only got on my computer to complete specific tasks. I didn’t just sit on the computer to make myself do something. This freed up my time, so I spent it with my husband and son. As far as my friendships, I started to talk about things other than business and things felt normal, but for some people, it was just time for me to let them go. We no longer had things in common. And guess what? I felt relieved. lol
4. You will question your sanity… frequently.
I thought having a business would be fun, easy, and immediately profitable. What I didn’t know was how many moving parts there are in business. For example, I knew I had to get my “business” together but then I discovered branding. Then I started to understand that branding is a mix of things like physical assets, digital assets, and etc. I can’t tell you how many times I went down a rabbit hole searching for things. I was feeling like I would never understand everything there is to know about business. (Hint: You don’t need to know EVERYTHING)
What I did: I took the time to step back and only take what I need from the resources I had. I accessed what it would take for me to hit a goal, and only learned what I needed to – to get to the next level. I wasn’t as stressed and I learned to let professionals do what they know and love to do. If you’re struggling with graphics, get a graphic designer, don’t sit up there and try to become one if that’s not what you want to do. You could be working in your zone of genius and making money.
5. There is no set path for entrepreneurship.
Guru’s were my downfall. I would see professionals walking in their path and want to do the same. I thought I had to do exactly what they did. I would download so many freebies then try to piece together a strategy and get upset when it didn’t work. I followed a bunch of coaches and would take everyone’s advice. This held me back for a years. I kid you not. It took me a year to stop doing this.
What I did: I learned the basics & then I added my spin on it. I Stopped doing things their way and made a way for myself. As I mentioned before I created my own path and created my own milestones. You don’t have to do it like them, do it like you. Because there is no SET path. You really have to try things to see if they work for you and adjust as you go.
Bonus: The true cost of being in business legally.
I’ll just come right out and say it: people steal. Be sure to protect yourself and business’s physical and digital assets the best way you can. Not doing so can cost you. Do your research to see what’s required of you in your state before you decide to officially start your business. There are trademarks, copyrights, business formations and so many other things you need to learn about.
Did I ever tell you about the time I owed the IRS $7k? Whewwww.
But I said all of that to say: Don’t follow the trends until you’ve done your research + get professional help.
Now tell me:
What are some things you wish you would have known about business? Comment below, I’d love to hear about your experience.