There is never a right time to start, but before I took a stab at this full-time entrepreneur thing there are a few things I wish someone had given me a heads up about first! I’m not going to leave you hanging like that, here are a few things I wish I had known or maybe taken seriously before starting this full-time business.
Get serious about your relationship with money
Boy! Where do I even begin?! You can never have enough money saved for this journey. If you think you have enough saved, SAVE SOME MO! Before I went full time, I remember sitting down with a friend of mine who owns his own successful business and spends his time traveling the world. He said something in conversation that stuck out to me, “I’ve always had a different relationship with money.” It made me think and ask myself is my relationship with money conducive to the entrepreneur lifestyle. Am I good at saving? Do I know when and where to invest? If not, was I prepared to change how I saw money and how I used it? Hire a financial advisor, get an accountant, and if you can’t afford one right now, get serious about your books and take free classes that can help with money management!
You Will Fail a lot
The road to growth is bumpy af, and sometimes you don’t always get it right. This may cost you money, customers, or even opportunities, and that is okay, as long as you take every failure and learn from it. Learn what not to do again and how you can make things better. I look at my first event ever and the simple mistakes I made. I remember being so hard on myself, however, my last event was beautiful, a hit and sold out. Why? Because I learned from the failures from the previous 7 events that allowed me to perfect that last one.
Grow tough skin
I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit. I’d present what I thought was a perfect logo to someone, and they wouldn’t like it. Instantly my feelings would be hurt, and entrepreneurship isn’t the place and doesn’t allow you to even have the time to be sensitive or have hurt feelings. You’d think after years of doing things where you are constantly being told no, like pitching ideas, asking for sponsorships, or even applying for jobs, that I would’ve grown tough skin. I wasn’t mentally prepared to be told no or having my feelings hurt while being broke. The cushion of a paycheck makes accepting the No's a lot easier; at least I can buy a new outfit and look cute while being turned down. I’m still growing tough skin cause this entire thing is a learning process. I try to remind myself that it takes time but also take note of what is and isn’t working. Being turned down and receiving criticism are both opportunities to learn and grow.
Get off the Social Media
I swear social media is the upside-down, and if you don’t use it correctly to research your target audience and market, then you will end up in a hole comparing your growth and self to others. I had to learn quickly and I’m still learning to use social media wisely. I thought “ok now you can post all day about your business and clients will come in” ... SIKE!” I spend less time on social media now than I did before and if I am on social media it’s to do two things: 1. to research and learn 2. to reach my audience and give more than I consume. When it comes to social media, offer more knowledge to your followers than you are consuming.
Networking really is key
Social media networking and real-life networking is so important. I have joined so many groups that provide various job and learning opportunities. They provide a safe space for honest feedback as well. I’m in several such as Freelancing Females, the Design Collective and various photographer groups. Socializing with followers and creating content that increases genuine conversation on Social media is the type of networking I can do, but real-life networking is where things get awkward. I’m still learning and getting that together.
There is nothing more annoying than not knowing exactly what you're getting yourself into. I hope that this post gives you a little insight before starting your journey.