Wondering if you should take the leap into starting your own business? I was at the same crossroads not too long ago. When gut check time came for me, I had to think long and hard about whether I was finally going to go out on my own. As luck would have it, there were quite a few entrepreneurs in my circle that I could turn to. Here is some of the best advice that I received when contemplating whether to start my own business.
“Live within your means” – Marisa @carerightthere
This one may seem obvious, but the process of scaling back, living more frugally and making a plan for any rough patches can put your mind at so much ease. Once I was able to really attack my budget and be honest about what would have to be cut out, I felt much more prepared. It was actually a relief to realize that we could live with less. I’d give this same advice to anyone thinking about going out on their own. You need to understand all the numbers – not just for your business, but also for your personal life.
“Nobody else is your brand” – Manda @thewnailbar
I literally hear Manda saying this as I type. There will be countless times when the competition will scare you unless you focus on solving the problem like nobody else. Once you validate that there is enough “pie” to share, it is about knowing your brand, remaining authentic and delivering as only you can. This is what has kept the fire in my belly and what can help keep your passion alive enough to take the chance.
“Do it, or don’t” – Jessica @sknprnt
It can be difficult to get energized and easy to doubt yourself. If you do things halfway or part time, there will always be something that comes along and distracts you, discourages you, or makes you de-prioritize your dream. Momentum is important. The key for me was setting aside scheduled time to build and plan with the goal of getting to full time when I knew that plan was solid.
“If it fails, just go get another job” – Becca @balancedfamily
Perhaps this is the best truth bomb of them all. While it may seem counter-productive to plan for failure, having a backup is just plain smart. Remembering that you always have options and believing in your talents can create a much calmer and confident mindset. If you’re crazy enough to start your own business, chances are that you have enough hustle in you to do what it takes to pay the bills (even if that means working for someone else again).
“Make sure you take time for yourself and your family” – Matt @greenking
As one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met, these are the last words I expected. When it is all on your shoulders, it is hard to shut off work mode. While long hours and obsession are pretty much in an entrepreneur’s job description, it’s important to remember why you’re doing it all. Missing out on family time and failing to be present is perhaps the biggest risk of all. I’d encourage anyone to give this some thought and come up with ways to find that balance. For me, it was as simple as deciding to turn off my phone from 6-8pm each weeknight to focus on my family. I feel it’s the very least I can do to make sure they know they’re more important than any of this. Having a strategy may not only save your sanity, but also keep you from missing out on the best parts of life.
I’ll close with some advice from me. No matter how novel your field or unique your situation, thousands of people have made a similar leap and are generally willing to help first time business owners. Use your network when you can, thank those who have helped you along the way and, when you succeed, make sure to pay it forward.
About the Author: Melissa is the Co-Creator of Haven Collective, a coworking space in Columbus, OH. She is a passionate entrepreneur with a background in Operations and Sales Management who is dedicated to helping small businesses thrive. Melissa finds great joy in uplifting others and has a gift for helping people recognize their strengths. She is the proud mother of two, a believer in the power of positivity and a Jersey girl for life.