When I started my business almost a year ago, I never would have guessed that it would be one of the best and most fun experiences of my life.
But along with the thrill of being independent and steering the course of my future there have also been frustration and self-doubt.
Luckily, I now have a clear vision of where I want to go. And I attribute that to the lessons I’ve learned as an entrepreneur.
First, clarity proceeds clients. You must be absolutely clear about what you offer. If you have a lot of ideas, but no clarity about the value you add, then nobody will hire you.
Second, “if you build it, they will come” is absolute garbage and not a business plan. You can build a great product, but if nobody knows about it, you won’t make any money. You must network with others.
Third, having fun is contagious. I love crunching numbers and putting a budget together. If you dread the work, so will your clients. Be a dork, it’s okay!
Fourth, be present. Life is busy. The task list is never ending. It is easy to daydream and let your mind wander. But when you do, you might miss a key to understanding your client’s problem or need and you won’t be able to serve them.
Fifth, character matters. Define your core values and then make decisions based upon your values. If integrity matters to you, don’t lie, steal, or cheat. Not even a little. If family is important, give them priority in your schedule.
The biggest lesson is to be kind and genuine – and provide an incredible amount of value to the people you serve.
What have you learned from running your own business?