I come from a long line of business owners in my family. So being surrounded by other successful business owners was never a challenge for me. But when I decided in 2011 to actually start my own business, I ran into some hurdles that I never expected and no one ever really talks about. These are the 10 things I wish I knew before starting a business
- Mindset Matters
This was a big doozy for me when I first started. I was racked with fear and anxiety and self doubt about if I was good enough and if I knew enough to help other people. We don’t talk about the work we have to do on our mindset enough in order to be successful. I came to a screeching halt during the first 6 months of my launch and had to take some time off to work on my own limiting beliefs. Now that I do daily affirmations and journaling, I feel more empowered to conquer each day and manifest exactly what I want in my life and my business.
2. I had to have a goal in mind
We always think about goals in this big broad way like 5 to 10 years down the road. But I had to learn to make my goals shorter so they were more manageable. Having those long term goals also made me lazy because I felt I had time. And then it sneaked up on me and I was out of time.
Creating my 90 days goals guarantees that everything gets done. I am no longer overwhelmed. I can visualize the end result. And I get into action much quicker because I have a very specific and short deadline. SUCCESS LIKES ACTION!
3. Money is not evil
When I was growing up, some family members use to call me MONICA!!! Lol, because I loved money and I still do. But as I started my own business, I realized there was a fear in receiving and asking for money. We have been trained even as kids to have such a negative perception of money. Money is the root of all evil!!! That is our normal. But it did not have to be.
We all deserve to have millions of dollars and the only way for us to receive that blessing is to change how we speak and think about the money we have. I do daily money affirmations so that my money can manifest in my life daily. Money is now my best friend. And I deserve to receive money daily.
Now I pay myself weekly…which was another hurdle I had to overcome and I have different accounts set up to receive and pay for different things in my life. I had to learn that you have to respect your money and have a plan for the money that you are asking for
4. Taxes? What taxes
Who said anything about taxes? As a sole trader, the conversation about taxes was never had but as a Limited Liability those taxes hit my door step. I had never heard anyone talk about taxes and why it was important in a business. Just that it had to be paid when it was due.
I had to educate myself about how each tax applies to my business AND set up a system to ensure that my taxes are paid on time (still getting the hang of it!!!). But every business owner needs to know and understand how taxes affect their business.
5. You are your brand. People are buying you
I am introvert by nature, unless I am around my family. Then I am loud and rambunctious. But around other people I prefer to stay in the back ground. I did this for a number of years and my business grew but not quickly. My coach challenged me to start doing videos. To start doing workshops. To start doing podcasts. To do photo shoot. To start showing my face and behind the scenes of my brand; the good, the bad and the ugly. And my business sky rocketed!
Because people could relate to me. They could put a face to all the messages. They knew my voice and my tone. They even know my loud rambunctious laugh now. And now potential clients walk up to me in the grocery and give me hugs
6. It is okay to ask for help. Team work makes the dream work
You cannot do it alone. When I first started, I was wonder woman. Doing all my artwork for myself. Trying to do my website. Doing all my accounting. Planning all my events. The allure of trying to do it all alone because you are trying to save money, wears thin fast when you suffer with anxiety and continuous burn out.
By 2016, I realized that if I was serious about reaching to the next level, I needed to hire people who were better than me at certain things. I had to allow people to sell me their zone of genius while I focused on mine. I got a web developer and I hired a virtual assistant and I had more time on my hands to be of better use to my audience. I was happier and lighter.
Now I have 2 virtual assistants, an accountant and a personal assistant. And I have developed a relationship with a team of professionals who I bring in for specific jobs. My peace of mind made me a greater coach. And I always ensure that the work they are hired to do is a great return on my investment so they are literally paying themselves!
7. Family and Friends are not your ideal clients
Even though I have a ton of family and friends who own their own businesses, not one of them are my clients. We usually have this misconception that the people who love us the most should be our first clients and when they just pat us on our back or just like a post without buying we feel offended. The truth is, they may not be your ideal client and we should never depend on them to grow our business. Not because they know you means they are obligated to buy from you.
This was a huge thing that even I had to get over when I first started and thank God I got over that quickly or else I would be flat broke. Your ideal clients most times are complete strangers who turn into raving fans
8. Build it and they will come is a myth
This old saying is such a big myth. I build a Facebook page in 2011 (Marketing Dynamics Business Solutions) and put up some cute posts and sat back…and heard crickets!!! They don’t come if they don’t you exist. They don’t come if you are not engaging and building a relationship.
What I ended up doing was joining some groups and started to talk in there. I started to reach out to potential clients and businesses. I started to do videos and share my stories every chance I got. I started to collaborate with others. And then they came!
9. Get a coach or mentor
And this is not just to plug my own services (check out how you can work with me) but to really say that without my own coach, I do not think I would be as far ahead as I am in my business. For years I did it alone and I struggles a bit because I was educating myself off of Google and YouTube. But once I decided to hire my first coach in 2015, the flood gates opened. My mindset shifted. I got clearer about my goals. My plans became more specific. And my business blossomed because I got into intentional action.
Ever since then I have worked with several coaches who are 10 steps ahead of me. And that is one of the biggest things that has led to my success today
10. Having haters is normal
People are going to hate. My inbox is full of people who tell me I am too greedy or all I want is money….duh…I have bills to pay!! I know people who have said mean and nasty things about me and my brand behind my back. Some are past clients and some are fellow business persons. Does it hurt? Not anymore because I know I am not made to please everybody and that is okay.
Having haters is one of the pitfalls of business. But it should never deter you from your goal and being of service to those you absolutely love you. Focus on them!
I could add so much to this list but I think these 10 things will give you a good idea of where I was and where I am presently. What are some things you wish you knew before you start?
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