4 Months, 4 Key Lessons For All Entrepreneurs
For the first time ever, I don't have a boss directing me what to do. This means I'm directing myself and navigating my way through running a business.
Let's be honest, there aren't too many overnight success stories out there. It's been four months since I quit my full-time job to run my own show and to be honest, when I say that, it feels like a joke in many ways. People spend years building their businesses into what they eventually become and if there's one thing the last four months has taught me, it's that this is a tough gig.
I've often said to people (and written) it's been four months of lessons to date and if I had to choose the most important so far, it'd be these points right here.
1. My time is just as valuable as anyone else's.
I've spent months travelling all over Melbourne (I'm based in Australia) meeting potential clients only to find they don't answer follow-up emails and avoid my calls.
In the beginning, most of us are everything in our business: the talent, the salesperson, the admin assistant... Time is something that is incredibly valuable.
And my time is just as valuable as someone else's time despite what they may try to lead me to believe. I've now assigned myself with a fair hourly rate and am very careful as to how I spend my hours in the day.
2. Be very clear with people.
There's no room for ambiguity in business. When communicating with people -- clients, suppliers, anyone you're looking to work with as part of a joint venture -- ensure both parties are clear in regards to what's expected and required.
Unfortunately, most of us learn this the hard way but situations that aren't handled properly to begin with, have the tendency to become awkward and strained later on.
3. There's no room for guilt in business.
I'm guilty of feeling guilty for making tough calls. One of the best pieces of advice I've received from a good friend recently was not to feel guilty about doing what's best for the business.
And that's completely true. At the end of the day, as a business owner, every decision we make revolves around what's best for the business. Not what won't offend people, upset people, serve as a way of avoiding confrontation and so on.
Sometimes, you just have to grit your teeth and make that tough call.
4. Set goals and check-in on them at set times.
Time flies when you're rushing around to meetings, working crazy hours and trying to implement strategies. Before you know it, months and even years have whizzed by.
Make sure you set goals that are achievable and check in on how you're progressing at set periods (weekly, monthly... you know what's best for your business).
Without tracking how things are going, it's very easy to continue doing things that aren't working and to unknowingly ignore the gems that are.
This is just a snapshot of the key lessons I've learned so far and trust me, I know plenty more are heading my way.
Over to you: what are some of the lessons you've learnt as an entrepreneur?
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