October 30th, 2013
7 Things All Entrepreneurs Need To Know To Not Go Crazy
When you first start your own business there is this air of excitement. You feel free. And like you’re going to change the world. And that all your dreams being the boss lady of your life will come true.
Maybe you imagine flying on private jets, or wearing hot business suits.
Maybe you imagine working from your beautiful home in the Caribbean. And how much respect you’ll garner from people by having your very OWN business.
And then about 6 months in, you realize it’s really fucking hard.
Much harder than you expected. Clients aren’t coming in. Bills are stacking up. You have no idea what the hell a social media strategist does (but you know you need one).
And you sit there and cry and wonder if it’s EVER going to work out and how possibly you’re going to pay the bills this month.
All your visions and dreams have been replaced by stress and worry about those unread emails stacking up, and whether or not you should be an LLC or an S-Corp. The spark of what you wanted to start is replaced by the stress of trying to figure out how to change the damn heading in your WordPress site.
And it gets overwhelming.
I’ve felt this way pretty much all 4 years of being in business. The more you grow, it seems the more things there are to stress about. And while business is stressful, it’s also amazing. You get to see your creations come to life. Ultimately, if you’re smart, you create a system that allows for a ton of freedom and happiness.
And that’s what I want to help with.
Here are 7 things I wish I would have known about business when I first started (and frankly, what I need to remind myself about all the time still).
#1 Don’t Try To Do It Alone
It’s just too much to handle. When you are the one wearing all the hats, none of your tasks get done well.
When you’re doing all the scheduling, all the coaching, the billing, accounting, the creating, the social media, the marketing, the web design, the writing and the posting, you can’t actually do what you started out wanting to do.
Hire people, get support, reach out to friends. Find a community of like minded people that you can talk to.
#2 Do It Your Own Way
A lot of people who want their own businesses do so because they want to create THEIR OWN vision. They don’t want someone else telling them what to do. They want to see their creations be actualized in the real world.
But what happens is that we replace the traditional “boss” with the collective “bosses” that are in the form of caring what other people think. Society, business mentors, friends, family, colleagues. Etc.
We look to others to define how we should run our businesses. We get self conscious. We want to make sure we appear “professional” or like an “expert” so we strip away all the things about us that make us unique.
The truth is that there are so many people in business these days that the only way really to stand out is to be your UNIQUE self. People don’t really seem to hire services, they hire PEOPLE. If they like you, they’ll hire you. So make sure you show up as that unique, dynamic person you are.
#3 Get Accountability
Being is business is pretty lonely. It’s just you there by yourself trying to get everything done (at least at first). And because you’re your own boss, it’s easy to let things slip by.
“I should really write that blog post, but maybe I’ll just write it tomorrow.”
Or you’ll find yourself procrastinating for ridiculous reasons:
“I really want to put on a webinar but I don’t know what program to use so I should probably take a class to find out, and it doesn’t start til next year so I’ll just wait.”
Without having some accountability to other people, it’s easy to procrastinate the hell out of your business.
So…get help. Hire a coach. Join a program. Enlist an accountability partner to help keep you on task.
#4 Learn New Skills
It’s inevitable that you will need to learn things you don’t already know.
Aside from the technical skills you’ll need such as learning how to update your blog, or write marketing copy, you will also need how to handle your mind that is inevitably going to be going crazy most of the time.
Being in business pushes you out of your comfort zone. It will have you doubt yourself. Test your resilience.
It will make you want to give up. Feel bad about yourself. Not feel good enough.
But this is all just part of it. And you’re going to need some “life coping” tools to help you manage these feelings when they arrive.
#5 Find Something That Continues After All Your Programs Are Done
It’s likely that you’ll find yourself in some business courses to help with #1-4. And for those 8 weeks (or however long it is), you’re going to be on FIRE.
You’ll be meeting people, learning new skills, rocking things out. You’ll get hired. And you’ll find people to hire. You’ll feel like you got this life and business thing figured out.
And then, as soon as the course is over, you’re back to square one. You slip back into your old habit of procrastination. You’ll start slacking again.
And so you’ll sign up for more courses. Plonk down another $500-$2000 and then you’ll enter the cycle again. And while you’re in that cycle, you’ll feel like you’re actually moving your business forward. But you aren’t really. Because you’re completely dependent on being in the latest 8 week course in order to get anything done.
Instead, find an ongoing option. Something that deals with all aspects of running a business. Your business skills, plus your mindset, plus your self-care, plus being around people who “get it.”
Check out the Wildheart Revolution. I created it specifically for these reasons.
#6 Be Around People That Are Like You
One of the hardest things about being in business for yourself is most of the time, no one around you is doing the same thing. Or understands.
Your family will tell you to go get a real job. Your friends won’t get it when you can’t hang out with them because you have your “About Me” content due to your web designer in the morning. And your boyfriend won’t be able to help you pick out which font you should use for your logo.
And that can be very isolating.
Community is really important. Not only to get support from when you’re freaking out (which you will…but it’s cool…we got your back), but to bounce ideas off of. To be around people that understand what you’re going through. To give you a fresh perspective and fresh eyes.
#7 Take Care Of You
The truth is that you are your business. Plain and simple. So you must make sure you get your needs taken care of. This includes health, exercise, fun, and play.
It’s so easy to get inside our heads or sit in front of the computer ALL day. You’re going to feel like work is never done. You’ll sit up all night long answering emails. Or you’ll check business accounts while you’re waiting to pick your kid up from school.
You’ll get so obsessed with your business, that you’ll completely forget to take care of yourself.
And you’ll say…”well I CAN’T take this day off…I have a launch coming up,” or “I CAN’T take that lunch break because I have a blog post to write.”
And the more of these that you do, the more depleted you’ll get. Until you are completely exhausted and can’t write one more email. Or help one more client. And if you aren’t helping clients, you aren’t in business.
So take care of it before it happens. Add self-care into your daily regimen. Take time to make sure your own cup is full so that you can be present with your business.
The Answer to the crazy-making problem…
Business can be both the most challenging and the most rewarding endeavor. It’ll grow you. Change you. Make you a stronger person.
I think it’s pretty f-in sweet, regardless of all this stuff. But I didn’t always feel that way.
Honestly, when I was first starting out, I didn’t have 1-7 handled. I didn’t know they existed and that I needed to pay attention to them. And through a series of chance happenings, I learned all of this stuff.
And this is exactly why I’ve created the Wildheart Revolution. To help with every single aspect of this, at a price that won’t break the bank.
It’s a carefully curated, ongoing, online community. You learn new skills every week from me, plus my resident tarot reader and resident business coach. You are a part of a group that is loving, supportive, helpful and who LOVES to hire each other. You’ll have the opportunity to become a “tested and approved” Wildheart Team member. And you’ll have the chance to showcase your talents and skills.
Wildheart is currently closed but I will be opening it up for 25 of the most dynamic, interesting and smart people who want to make a difference in the world.
If you’re ready to not be a crazy person in your business and your life, pencil your sweet name on this list right here. I’ll be sending out big announcements verrrrrrrry soon.
And if you want more info…check out the goodies here.
You nailed it! Such great advice, as usual!
Thank you lady! Do you have a particular one that resonates with you?
I really REALLY wish this post had been written seven months ago. I nearly sprained my neck from all the nodding “yes” that I was doing.
I know what to do better next time. Great post, Sally :)
Hey Janine! So glad you like it. And I hear you!!! I wish I wuld have known all these things when I was first starting out. It would have saved me TONS of pain and tears!
Amen to that!