Starting and running your own business is an incredible journey filled with highs, lows, and countless learning opportunities. As someone who has walked this path, I've picked up some invaluable insights along the way that have not only helped me grow my business but also made it a fulfilling and meaningful venture.
So, grab your coffee, get comfy, and let me share the top five lessons I've learned since embarking on this exciting entrepreneurial journey.
1. Don't try to do everything yourself
One of the most common traps entrepreneurs fall into is the belief that they must wear every hat in their business. The truth is, you can't be an expert in everything, nor should you try to be. For me, finances were a daunting challenge. I realised early on that having a trusted accountant on board was a game-changer. Delegating tasks to experts in their respective fields not only lightened the load but also ensured that my business ran more smoothly. Today, I have a solid network of trusted professionals and a dedicated core team, and delegation remains a key factor in my business's success.
2. Manage people's expectations
As a 'yes' person, I initially took on every opportunity that came my way, and it quickly led to burnout. Learning to manage people's expectations by setting realistic timelines and boundaries was a pivotal moment. Saying, "Yes, I can do that, and I can schedule it for..." helped me maintain control over my work-life balance while still delivering top-notch results. And when something falls outside my expertise or network, being transparent and saying 'no' has actually built trust with clients.
3. Don't lose sight of your goals
Sometimes, we get caught up in the pursuit of growth without considering whether it aligns with our values and aspirations. I once joined forces with another agency, thinking it would make me bigger and better. But I soon realised our values didn't align, and I was happier on my own. This taught me the importance of staying true to my vision and constantly reassessing my goals. Now, I'm determined to make my business even more successful while providing the service I initially set out to deliver.
4. Create a dedicated workspace
Maintaining a work-life balance is crucial for your mental health and productivity. I began my journey with a laptop on my dining room table, and it felt like work was consuming every part of my life. Later, I had an office in my home, which was better but not perfect. Ultimately, I found my balance in a separate garden office. It's the perfect middle ground, allowing me to be at home yet have a designated space that I can lock up at night.
5. Give back to your community
Business isn't just about profit; it's also an opportunity to make a positive impact. I've found immense fulfillment in giving back to my local community by supporting charities and local groups with discounted or free resources. This not only warms my heart but also aligns with my ethics and values. It's a reminder that what goes around comes around, and giving back has opened doors to more paid work while creating a positive ripple effect.
In the world of entrepreneurship, learning never stops. I'm here to remind you that it's okay to ask for help, set boundaries, stay true to your goals, create a conducive work environment, and give back to the community. Each of these lessons has been instrumental in shaping my business journey, and I hope they inspire and guide you on yours. Keep growing, learning, and pursuing your passion—it's the essence of entrepreneurship.