Welcome! In this blog post you’ll discover 10 pieces of advice that I have created for new entrepreneurs. After just one year of doing business, you learn SO much, and you’ll make mistakes that you’ll be sure not to make again!
I have compiled this list of advice so new entrepreneurs (or even current ones!) can improve their business, their motivation, their personal selves, and continue heading in the direction they desire with their business. These tips are what I have learned on my own and can say with full conviction are totally and 100% true!
1. Hire a Mentor/Hire Help
I hired a mentor after a couple months of starting my business and it was a true game-changer. I believe there is no smarter thing you can do as a business owner than to hire a mentor. Mentors are experts, teachers, and are oftentimes in a positions that you badly want to be in for the future. For myself, my mentor was able to tell me and show me things that would have taken me months or years to discover on my own. I truly value my time, and my mentor saved me TONS of it.
You can’t expect to start a business right out of the gate and know everything. that’s impossible. Half the journey and the fun of owning a business is learning, improving, repeating. A mentor will be able to educate you and help you create the foundation for your business (branding, social media, values, goals, etc.) and you can build on top of that foundation. You can tell your mentor what you want your future business to look like, and they can tell you right away how to get there, what to do now so you can reach your goals in the future, and again, save you tons of time. In the beginning, it was really helpful for me to have someone to bounce ideas off of and to receive feedback on how to look professional and presentable to the world.
I understand that hiring a mentor can be a huge start-up cost. Believe me, it is so worth it. So worth it!! Time is money. Since my photographer saved me so much time, she saved me money as well. And if you take a step back and look at it from a higher perspective, if your mentor helps propel your business, you’ll be making the money back it look to hire them in no time.
Side note: Hiring any kind of help with any aspect of your business is incredibly beneficial. Example: figuring out taxes on my own was a nightmare, but I hired someone to help me with it. This was SO helpful and, again, saved me a lot of time, confusion and frustrations. You can also hire people to help with marketing, social media posts, etc..
2. Take Risks
We like predictability. We like our comfort zones. A lot of times when we are unable to predict an outcome, we refrain from making the perceived ‘risky’ decision and we default back to our comfort zones. This is especially true when there is money involved. Quite honestly, this does not work in business. Every successful business owner and entrepreneur who has made a huge impact in the world has taken risk after risk. It’s the name of the game. Were you able to see the outcome of starting a business the moment you decided to start one? Absolutely not. If you were brave enough to take that ‘risk’ and dive into starting a business, you certainly have it in you to take more risks. Taking a risk is what will separate you from being good vs. great, from not making money vs. making a lot of money, from being happy vs. completely fulfilled.
3. Be Patient with Yourself
I can not tell you how frustrated I have been, and still get, when I can’t figure something out. I sometimes feel totally incompetent and silly when I am learning a new software, a new camera, a new computer program, a website builder, etc. and I just can’t figure it out. I have learned, and encourage you as well, to be patient with yourself. I have learned to let it go and move on. If I try hard at something for an extended time period, my head begins to spin and I need a break. More times than not, when I return to the task, I am able to figure out what I was trying to do very quickly. Sometimes your brain will need a reset – and that’s ok! But in the process, be gracious with yourself, show yourself some love, and remind yourself that you are still learning!
4. Don’t Rush It
A lot of times in my business, my mind was 10 steps ahead of where my business actually was. While this can definitely work in my favor, I have had to remind myself that if I race to the finish line, I will miss out on creating a strong and impactful business foundation. Remember, everything comes at the perfect time in the perfect way. You need to trust this.
5. Identify Personal Blocks
This is HUGE one. Do not skip this. I have learned more about myself in business than I have at any other time in my life. Being in business forced me to look deep within myself and see what kind of underlying beliefs I had about: my identity, money, value, self-worth, ability, talent, intelligence, habits and much more. Once we are able to do the self reflection and inner work, we can identify which beliefs within ourselves are holding us back. Any time we have a setback or a failure in our business, it is because we caused it in some way. Our mind is 100% responsible for our business. Our beliefs rule our lives, our actions, and our outcomes. If you are looking for a place to start, I recommend this podcast.
6. Follow Other Entrepreneurs You Want to be Like
As a photographer, I followed other photographers who created images that I wanted to create. I followed people who were selling wizards, who created online content for other entrepreneurs, and who I wanted to emulate as a business owner. Seeing their success gave me hope every single day. “If they can do it, why can’t I?” It gave me that push to get moving and make choices that would get me one step closer to where I wanted to be. I followed them on social media, listened to their podcasts (and still do!) and see how they are creating and expanding their business in ways that I am capable of doing as well.
The same goes for people you hang out with in your immediate circle. Are your friends and family supportive of your entrepreneurship? Do they make positive comments or negative ones? Do they truly believe you can do it? It sure helps to have positive energy around you at all times. You will realize this more with self-work. Do these people support your ‘risk-taking’? Do they make fun of you in a passive aggressive way? Do they value what you bring to the world with your services? If you need to, start a meet-up group with other entrepreneurs and like-minded, successful people to discuss goals and bounce off each other’s positive energy.
The only genre I enjoy reading is self-help, or books that will help me become a better business owner and human. Coincidentally, the books that will help me become a better business owner are self-help books (again, more evidence that #5 is truly true!). There are a TON of books out there about business, money, and self transformation. Since I am a huge believer in the Law of Attraction (LOA), most of the books I have read that have truly helped me are based on the LOA. Here are a few recommendations:
Meditation is a great way to silence your mind and thoughts, and to reconnect with your inner self. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and to feel unfocused or confused with information overload. Mediation will be a difficult task at first, but the more you practice, the better you’ll get and the more effective it will become. You only need 5 minutes per day, and it’s best to do in the morning after you wake up! Close your eyes and silence your mind, stare at a flame, or simply visualize pleasant scenes in your mind. Be patient with yourself. Your mind will wander, but you’ll get better and better at controlling where your thoughts go!
Whatever your business is, practice giving or doing that service. Practice photography, knitting, making DIY vinyl apparel, cooking, baking, etc. Whatever your skill is, practice it as much as possible. You will become a true master with more practice, and you’ll feel feel more confident in delivering that skill to other people and value yourself at a higher price.
Practice your sales pitch, as well. Practice by talking to yourself in the mirror how you would speak to a client or a prospective client. How can you say you charge $1,500 when you actually never SAY you charge $1,500? The more you say those words in the way you want to say them, it will become so comfortable and second nature to you. Another way to practice this is to record yourself in a video speaking about your business, pricing, product, etc (or whatever you are passionate about) and watch it, re-record, and re-watch until your are comfortable with it. This will be VERY weird to do at first, and maybe a little embarrassing, but how committed are you?
10. Perfection Doesn’t Exist
One of the most important things to remember is that perfection does NOT exist! There is no such thing as perfection. It’s totally arbitrary and really means nothing. What can be perfect to you might be horrible to someone else, and vice versa. What I have heard, read, and learned all throughout entrepreneurship is that 75% is ‘perfect.’ If something looks 75% good enough to you, publish it. If you’re only 75% ready to launch something, just launch it. Remember when we talked about ‘risks’? This plays into letting go of the idea of perfection.
When we obsess over being perfect, we procrastinate to get things done, and our business suffers. Take responsibility, finish the task and move on!