5 things I wish I knew before starting my business

16 Apr 2018 | Inspiration, Marketing By Kady O Connell
5 things I wish I knew before starting my business

Kady Creative has been a journey and one without a set ‘start’ date. As many of you that have started with a ‘side hustle’ will know, it is an evolution and you don’t just wake up one day, drop everything and go start a business. (at least that’s not how I did it!)

I freelanced for years on the side and that grew and grew and grew until I jumped into my business full-time, head-first. It has been a year and six months since I officially started the business and there has been a whole world of learning. I don’t think that will ever change! But looking back to those early days, when I knew as much about business as you could fit on one side of a post-it note, I can see I have had some big lessons along the way. So hopefully these will give you the insight and encouragement to pave your own way, without losing so much sleep and/or hair!

 

#1 You don’t have to do it all by yourself

You always hear people say ‘Start lean, do as much as you can by yourself’. While I essentially agree with this and realise it is important to keep your costs down, I think if you go too far, it can totally backfire. At the end of the day, you probably started this business to do something your passionate about and make a difference in the world. How the hell are you gonna do that if you are knee deep in invoicing or trying to code your own website?! This just takes you away from what you are best at and that is what you should be focusing on. You main focus in the early days should be creating an amazing brand and reputation by doing your best work. If you do this, before long, you will have enough clients and cash to hire people to help you with the things you suck at (and everyone has something).

Trust me, this will save you a whole lot of tears and heartache! Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the experts, shop around and find someone that can help you in your price bracket. You could also do service swaps and help another business owners in your area of expertise. I do this all the time and it is amazing.

 

#2 Business in Beta

Repeat after me: Perfection is the enemy! Get it out of your head right now that everything needs to be perfect and you will have saved yourself from greying by the time you hit 25. The way I now run my business is by constantly testing and measuring, keeping it in ‘Beta’ mode. If you have an idea, amazing, try it out and see what sticks. Once you find a good system, you can continually refine it. One big mistake I see is that some business owners come up with their idea/product/service, get really excited and then spend so much time perfecting it, creating a website around it, packaging it etc. I would never recommend spending too much time or energy packaging something that you havn’t tested and know works. If you are creating an online course for example – get the content together, try it out on people, get feedback, tweak it, and then you might create a membership website for it. If you try to train your mind to look for opportunities to improve, rather than the black and white thinking of ‘Perfect vs Failure’, then you are going to achieve much better results (and you will feel better about it too – bonus!)

 

#3 Find your tribe

I don’t care how you find them, but make it your mission to hunt down and find your business besties! There are plenty of mastermind groups, networking clubs and coaching groups out there and by surrounding yourself with like-minded people on the same path as you, you are going to increase your growth 10x fold. Learn from each others’ mistakes aswell as your own and you are learning on fast-track. Plus, it is amazing the juicy ideas and inspiration you get from being around an inspiring group of like-minded people! Brainstorm, problem-solve and tap into more networks beyond your own.

 

 #4 Make your own rules

One of the best parts of having your own business is that you can make your own rules – and they can be whatever you like! That’s not exactly what I am referring to here though. What I do now, is I reflect on every experience I have in business. I take some time at the end of each month to think about what went well, and what could have gone better. From this reflection, I make my own personal ‘rulebook’ full of realisations I get from each and every experience (eg I will never do X again until Y and Z are in place). If you do not learn from your mistakes, they will keep coming back around to you again and again until you finally learn them!

 

#5 Embrace the journey

It’s so easy to place all your hopes and dreams in the future. I’ll just finish my course and THEN I will be happy. I just need 10 more clients and THEN I will be successful. But what about right now? Try to really embrace every part of the journey and be present for each step. The journey will never end. Once you achieve all of your goals, it’s onto the next goals and it’s like a dog chasing it’s own tail. If you can really enjoy what you do and be present in this very moment, that is where true success and happiness lies. There is no future, when ‘the future’ comes, it will also be now. {Yes, I have been reading Eckhart Tolles’ The Power of Now, how could you tell?!)

 

 

When I first started I was like an over-eager puppy in full-time reactive mode. But it’s when you become present, work strategically and reflect on your decisions that you have the freedom to make a big impact. I would love to hear the lessons that you have learned along the way or if any of these resonate with you!

 

Love, Kady x


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