My Early Stages of Entrepreneurship – What I’ve Learned
When you dive in deep and start a new venture, it is, and will continue to be, a risk. Every time you try something new or make a stance, you’re entering into the world of risk — this is entrepreneurship. I’ve always been a little bit (okay, a lot a bit) of a day dreamer; I act before completely weighing out the pros and cons, jump before I walk and often think with my heart more than my brain. Once I launched my two passions, mollymy.com, and My Magazine, I had to start thinking a bit differently in order to create more of a balance. Through the processes, I’ve learned a few things that I remind myself of daily to help me manage my lifestyle.
Things happen that you just can’t control – I’ve lost count of the many mistakes I’ve already made, the amount of times I’ve embarrassed myself, questioned myself, overthought the little things that drive you nuts, and the many all-nighters I’ve pulled (including right now, it’s 3am and I still haven’t shut my computer down). You learn a lot in the process, and sometimes you just need a little insight into what to expect to get you started (let’s face it, the unknown can be pretty worrisome) – here are a few necessary points I’ve learned thus far:
1. Get comfortable with risk – learn to weigh and analyze risk; understand that in order to make strides, you have to roll the dice. There will be many instances that will challenge you to wonder if it’s worth it – you’ll have to be very clear on your goals, objectives, and passions to keep you afloat when you’re presented with a potential risk of any sort (some risks will be more risky than others).
2. Be flexible – ups and downs will come, and change will be your new BFF, so get used to it. You have to be prepared to have setbacks (often) and become comfortable with new information (the good, and the bad). Being able to adapt easily will be your lifesaver more than a few times.
3. Learn to communicate, and collaborate – simply put: learn to share. Think about all the instances in which you’ve done extremely well at something – when you’re good at something (aka passionate) you can communicate much clearer, and might even be more eager to include others! You’ll learn a lot from those around you, so don’t be afraid to share; input from others will drive progress.
4. Make mistakes – they’re healthy. Whether it’s a typo, or a mishap in budget, you will make mistakes and that’s a good thing; mistakes help us learn and grow in our crafts, they should be embraced. Take responsibility for your mistakes, do what you can to make up for them, and move on.
Example: I’ve (numerous times) caught typos, mixed matched copy (if you haven’t noticed), and so on, in My Magazine AFTER launching an issue (and on here, the site sometimes too!). Our team is small, and guess what? We’re people and people make mistakes. Try not to overthink those mistakes or beat yourself up – that is my very biggest advice.
Which leads me to my next point…
5. Don’t try to be perfect – perfection can hinder progress (this is difficult for me because I’m a perfectionist). It’s easy to get caught up in, but it’s important to remember you don’t have to be perfect to build a successful business. Think big picture and don’t let yourself get too caught up in the little things or you’ll waste a lot of valuable time, and maybe even money.
Speaking of time…
6. Manage your time very, very well – set daily goals, and keep moving forward. If you’re still working a full-time job while you’re pursuing a new venture, this is even more important to consider time. Though, being your own boss can also make for a challenge – it’s much easier to get off track when you don’t have structure, therefore you have to create it.
7. Make it a lifestyle – entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, everything becomes your businesses, and life. You have to be prepared to put in extra hours, keep going when the going gets tough, and find happiness in your work. This is exactly why passion is so important, if you don’t have passion you’ll run out of steam very quickly – so, whatever you do, believe in it and believe you can make an impact.
Master these points above, and you’re off to a great start.
Do you have something you’re currently working on? I’d love to hear about it! Share in the comments section below.