If you quit your full time job to pursue your passion with the expectation that you would have way more time on your hands, or that you would all of a sudden become #lifegoals, there might be the chance that some of those expectations didn't become your reality. Sure, those expectations could eventually become your reality....but you started to realize that that wasn't going to happen unless you worked your butt off and visited a few bumps along the road. Let's be honest, entrepreneurship is HARD. But it doesn't have to be. Here's the most simple tips I have for brand new business owners:
1. Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of emotions, don't let certain small failures get the best of you.
It's so easy (especially as a "creative-preneur" to let the obstacles get you down while running a business. If that client was unhappy with their images, experience with you, or didn't like the final product you delivered, that really only should become an opportunity to grow and learn. No one ever got better by staying put. Growing is so uncomfortable, and there will be small failures along the way...but that's not always a bad thing. You will have good days and bad days, just remember that. When the good days come, celebrate them and revel in them. But when the bad days come, learn from them, and continue to improve.
2. It can be lonely...get a dog and get out of the house
I tell every new small business owner that having a dog truly helps keep you sane. It's really easy to get so focused on the work that you are doing right in front of you that if you don't have something to remind you to get out, or take a break, you will spend all day stuck behind whatever it is you're doing...and sometimes even forget to feed yourself. (I'm so guilty of this!). Once a dog came into my life, my whole entrepreneur world was changed. I suddenly had to shop for bathroom breaks, and walks at the dog park, and when she eats, I am reminded that, oh, I should probably eat too. Not only that, but the house just seems a little less lonely.
3. Stay in your lane
This is probably one of the most crucial things to keep in mind while running your business. It's really easy to start comparing yourself to other business owners on the internet and wonder why they've been "so successful" so quick, or think that you should do what they're doing. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW! The speed at which you grow doesn't matter. Forward is forward, regardless. Here's a simple tip I started practicing to stop comparing: Create before you consume. I no longer hop on Instagram or Facebook first thing. In fact, I hop on email, or blog, and complete all the tasks I have for the day before I'm even allowed to get on social media. This has helped me SO much to stay focused on what I need to be doing, without falling into the comparison game and getting so down. Here's the thing: When you consume before you create, by the time you're ready to get to work, you're likely already feeling so drained, and what you consume will impact your work.
4. 1 in 3 entrepreneurs struggle with depression, make sure you take time to take care of yourself and your mental health
This goes back to point number 3. Comparison. Ugh, it's the thief of all joy. Not only that but being alone all day can really get into your head. Take care of yourself, always. Go to a coffee shop and work where there's other people around, make yourself an actual meal, join Facebook groups and meet other people in your industry, which brings me to my 5th point...
5. be vulnerable with other small business owners and create genuine relationships with them.
When I first started my business, others in the industry who were ahead of me could be really rude to me, so I didn't really start focusing on relationship in my industry until I was a few years into my business, and this is one of my biggest regrets. Oh how refreshing it is to speak to a wedding planner about things I'm struggling with, or to talk to a venue owner about other things besides work. Or another photographer who just dealt with the same thing you're dealing with! I encourage you to not think of others in your industry as competition, but rather people you can help encourage and visa versa. There's enough work to go around for everyone...I promise.
Happy friday 5! Have a question you'd like me to answer for you? Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you!