Things nobody tells you about running a business
After 8+ years in business, every day I’m learning something new and encourage new, often unexpected roadblocks. This post will become on ongoing list that I can update in hopes that others can feel less alone in their endeavors.
Without further ado, here are some things to make you think.
“Urgent” for someone else tends to be slower when you need something from them, than they need something from you.
Waiting for responses can be agonizing and derailing. (It almost never has anything to do with you.)
Clients tend to have a radar of when is most inconvenient for you and reach out to you then (particularly right before a trip).
You kind of live in a bubble and you don’t always get a lot of feedback on your work.
You may not get a lot of “thank yous.” That doesn’t mean you’re not doing great work. (A Mastermind group can help be that support.)
You can land the biggest contract of your life yet have the least amount of money in your bank account.
Cash flow issues can creep in even when you’re established.
Never assume you'll be paid on time. The bigger the company the slower they are to pay.
You don't have a steady paycheck, so it can be hard to relax in the times when you don't know when your next paid job is coming.
When you work from home you go through WAY more toilet paper. And your hair ends up everywhere.
When you’re the boss you may need to build in your own habits and structure to get things done.
It can get easy to get sucked into work you’re good at, but you don’t really want to be doing.
You need to get comfortable with talking about your work, marketing, and sales.
When you rely only on income from one client, that work could disappear. (Hence I’ve embraced a portfolio career.)
You don’t always know the questions you should be asking. (Particularly if you live in France.)
Insurance (liability, health) and retirement, aren’t really sexy subjects, but they shouldn’t be ignored.
Taxes are no joke. Hiring a professional can let you focus your energies on your business instead of banging your head against the wall. (Hiring an accountant was the best thing I ever did for my biz.)
In order for your business to be successful you also need to work on yourself. (No one talks about this.)
Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
If you don’t know how to do something, learn it. Everyone else is faking it too.
Feeling like an imposter is actually an asset. It means you’re thinking critically and challenging yourself. It’s the best way to grow.
Business is a big mental game. Work on building your mental toughness too.
You don’t learn this stuff in school.
Build your support system. Start a Mastermind group (Find your people!!)
Find communities (on Facebook, or IRL meet-ups)
Listen to podcasts and read books (aka learn anything you don’t know)
Step away from your computer, talk to people
Work with a coach. They’ll keep you accountable and it’s nice to have someone who has your back.
Keep learning! Everything and anything. Even if it seems unrelated.
I want to know! What else do you wish you would have known when getting started?!
For more biz resources, check out the complete collection on the Biz Blog. I also offer 1:1 services if you’re looking for a guide, cheerleader, and accountability partner on your own journey.