Some of you may have noticed I quit my job recently and started my FIRST business. Wow, has it been a crazy ride so far, and I know I’m just now hitting the tip of the iceberg.
I’ve heard the first 6 months to 1 year in business is the “honeymoon” stage. Well, I’m still madly in love, so I guess that must be accurate?!
Today I wanted to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned so far in this journey. If you are anything like me and have an “entrepreneurial” spirit, this post is definitely for you!
I’m an open book, and I want to share the progress of my journey with you because I believe in paying it forward. I did not go to business school, I do not have an MBA, but I am blessed with some AMAZING mentors in my life who have helped me start this thing.
If you don’t have a mentor, consider me yours because I’m going to start sharing SO many business tips/tricks/hacks/lessons/how to’s, etc.. as I learn them myself.
Now that it’s been 6 months, I wanted to take a moment to reflect and share some of the BIGGEST lessons I’ve learned so far:
1. GO WITH YOUR GUT
Listen to your intuition. This applies to who you hire, who you partner with, who you take on as a client, you name it. The mistake I made was in one of the hires I made. The resume, references, and communication went well. But I had a “gut” feeling about it. I moved forward anyways, and quickly found out it was NOT a good decision on my part and in less than a month we decided to part ways.
As a woman and as a people pleaser, sometimes I get caught wanting to say YES to everyone and everything, and I really believe in giving people a chance. But something I learned and want to really emphasize in today’s post is that you must NOT ignore your gut feelings. Don’t question them. Just listen, make your decision, and move on. The quicker you learn this in business, the better off you’ll be.
2. RELATIONSHIPS ARE KEY
Especially being new. I immediately contacted everyone I knew and told them about my new business. The relationships I’ve built over the past 7 years in my career are very important to me, and word of mouth is the # 1 way I’ve acquired new clients up to this point.
If you are new in your career, start networking and meeting other people in your industry or in your target customer audience. Get to know them, ask them how you can help them, and don’t lose touch. Who you know is so important if you want to scale a business.
3. FIND PEOPLE YOU CAN TALK TO
As in “vent” to or problem-solve with. Co-workers no longer exist as a business owner. Connect with other business owners and go to coffee or lunch to talk about business and life. There are many people I’ve connected with on both a business and personal level. If you’re a female in Dallas looking to build a tribe, one group I LOVE and can’t speak enough about is Dallas Girl GangI Check them out!
As a new business owner, YOUR time is THE most expensive asset. Spend it WISELY. That means finding someone or something to take the work off your plate so you can focus on the two biggies: sales and operations.
Some examples of outsourcing: I use a marketing intern to manage our social media profiles, I use Square for payroll (it takes me 10-15 minutes a month – that’s how easy it is!) and I also use Square for automatic payment processing. Since I don’t have an accounting person (yet), Square takes the hassle out of remembering to send an invoice each month.
I also use Bench bookkeeping so I know what the status of my finances are. It syncs up to my bank account, credit card account, and Square. They deliver a monthly P&L and income statement. At the end of the year, I’ll hand their documentation off to my CPA. It’s SO simple!
Those are the big things I’ve learned so far. I have a few more lessons I’m in the middle of learning -_- ha! But I’ll be sure to update ya’ll once I have a full story to share.
Anyways, I plan to share more business-y stuff on here, but promise to keep it fun and will still share outfits since I LOVE clothes. Let me know where you’re at in your entrepreneurial journey by leaving a comment below!