No one told me that you can love your children to the ends of the earth, and at the same time want to send them there. No one told me that back labor exists. In life, there are many opportunities for an instruction manual, where no such manual exists. Oh sure there’s parenting books, birthing books, and business books galore. But do they really give you true insight? Are you any more prepared for what you’re getting into? I went into my business, thinking that all the blogs, books & webinars I’d soaked up had prepared me for my new endeavor. Boy was I mistaken! Here’s just a sampling of the dozens of things webinars did not teach me!
1. Your first business might not be your last business.
I wasn’t always a creativity coach. I wasn’t always a coach. It’s a journey.
2. Always (no matter how small you think you are) have a contract.
I made the big, big mistake of thinking my policies were clear enough without needing a contract. The second part of this rule? USE the contract. Later on after I’d added the contract, I took on a client & neglected to send them the contract. Things got a bit hairy, and I’ve never made that mistake again.
3. Make sure your kids know they are top priority.
Look up from your screen, even if it’s the one hundredth time they’ve interrupted, and make eye contact. Always. After all, we want them to look us in the eye don’t we?
4. If your husband is on board, he will be your biggest enabler.
Once I fully explained my business to my husband, he has defended me to family who don’t always get it. He’s bragged about me to co-workers. He’s kept an eye on the kids and told me to go work & shut my office door so they can’t ask me questions. He’s encouraged me to invest in myself, even when I was having second thoughts. He is my cheerleader, my helper, and my support.
5. If your friends aren’t visionary, don’t share your dreams.
Cause your friends don’t dance, and if they don’t dance, well they’re no friends of mine. Okay okay, sorry. It’s out of my system now (maybe). I’ve told friends about my future goals & plans, only to have them shut me down. I’m trying to do too much. I want to make too much. How will I deal with….blah, blah, blah. If they’re not visionaries, keep it to yourself. (Just let them be impressed by how awesome you get 😉 )
6. Don’t discount yourself, because you’re newer than other entrepreneurs.
Someone will always have been in business longer than you. Just get over it. If you know your stuff, be confident and rock it!
7. Don’t sit on an idea for a service or product. Just do it!
I’m working on a creativity refresher. If I had started working on it, when I first thought of it, I’d have been helping people for almost a year now. (See, I’m still learning!)
8. Take time for you.
In the beginning, I was putting oodles of pressure on myself. I felt like I needed to be working non-stop. Get up? Check email. Doing lunch? Message a client. The kids are in bed? Back to work. It’s the weekend? Work, work, work. One day I woke up & realized that if I continued, I’d be burnt out on my business before I even got to the 1 year anniversary. Not cool!
9. Don’t be scared of being different.
I’ve thrown ideas out there, and had people who have been in business for years, tell me why it’s not a good idea. And to a degree, I want to listen. They’re experts. They know what they’re doing. That having been said, someone has to the innovator. Someone had to invent the light bulb. Someone had to create Apple. Someone had to figure out how to roast beans & brew them into coffee (thank you Jesus for that person!). HG Wells wasn’t considered a “real” writer. Elvis was told “stick to driving a truck”. Get my point?
10. Don’t give up, just because it didn’t work out.
If I had given up when I first hit struggles with VA work, I’d never have gotten this far. I’m insanely happy with coaching creatives. I love the work. I love the clients. I love the community. Just because your first business doesn’t suit you, doesn’t mean that you’re not cut out for business at all.
Now it’s your turn! What do you wish you’d been told before you started a business? Or became a parent? Leave me a comment, and then create your own post & link up with us at Many Little Blessings.