5 Powerful Lessons from 14 Years in Business
Lessons I learned the hard way, so you don't have to
This past April marked 14 years since launching Event In Site. Before venturing out on my own, I sought insight from trusted friends, family, and colleagues who run their own companies to learn as much as possible.
That's because going out on your own is exciting and terrifying.
The gig economy is in full effect and it's more acceptable than ever to work from home and/or become your own boss!
Thinking about starting your own business?
Save time and stress with the lessons I learned the hard way, so you don't have to. Now, let's get you on your way.
- Find a reliable attorney, accountant, and mentor. These 3 professionals will help set you up for long-term success. Guidance around taxes and your state's unique legal requirements is especially important to your launch and beyond. Find experts you respect. People who can count on. Do the research or go with a trusted referral. These pros can keep you from making costly mistakes. The best ones allow you to invest in their time, bouncing ideas and questions off them on a regular basis.
- When you are ready to quit—keep going. Just when things seem too hard, or too challenging, THAT’S when you’re about to hit a major milestone or learn an important lesson that changes everything. For me, that point was being able to let go of a client who'd been making me miserable for far too long.
- Keep personal and business finances separate. This seems like a no-brainer but can easily get muddled. Get a business checking, savings, and credit card. Use them ONLY for your business. Your accountant (and future self!) will thank you.
- Make time for yourself. In the early days (and years) the work will ALWAYS be there. No one else is there to do it, right? So be sure to put down your phone, turn off your computer, and spend time doing the things you love with the people you love. Burnout is legit and hard to recover from.
- Self-discipline and routine are must-haves. When I first started my business and was working from home, every little thing around the house was a distraction. “How did that junk drawer get so messy? I must clean it out now!” Setting a daily schedule and learning to put blinders on to the distractions around you are the keys to unlocking more consistent productivity. Now that you’re on your own, there’s no one else to pick up the slack if you fall short. It’s more important than ever to be focused on the daily tasks that will take you where you want to go.
I always joke that I’m the CEO and janitor of my business. I’ve added people to my team—trusted friends and colleagues I can count on to help me succeed. But in the end, every decision and project is ultimately my responsibility.
Being your own boss is HARD WORK.
But it is also incredibly rewarding.
Setting my own schedule allows me to help care for family members, raise 2 amazing kids, and show up for the people I care about through all other peaks and valleys.
Prior to launching my business, my father-in-law (an attorney with his own practice) told me, “Now you get to work part-time! You can choose which 12 hours of the day you want to work.” He was kidding, (sort of) but in reality, I do choose which hours I want to work vs. be present for my family. That's priceless.
Fellow biz owners, what's the #1 advice you think new entrepreneurs need to know?
Comment below and share your wisdom!
Cheering for YOU and your success!