As the holidays are upon us, we often see friends we haven’t gotten a chance to connect with over the year. Inevitably, we get the question, how’s the book and Shift & Spark? And every once in a while, we get the question: “do you have any advice? I’m thinking of starting my own gig.” And while we love to hear of anyone flexing their entrepreneurial spirit it’s important they go in with their eyes wide open. There are so many misconceptions about what ‘it’ really is. Usually with the assumption that there is only success on the other side without really understanding what’s behind the scenes. So for any of you thinking about that next thing being your own thing, here’s a little advice:
- Be prepared for the hard work. The truth is, it’s long hours, its sacrifice and you constantly need to be working ‘it’. When you don’t, any momentum you’ve had stops. Consistency is key – set goals and make an annual plan, a monthly plan and a weekly plan to keep that momentum moving forward.
- Embrace all your successes, no matter how small. For us, it’s an email from a friend saying our book is exactly what she needed or partnering with other woman-owned business to highlight what we do and further the conversation. We may not have a big bank account but our business pays us in other ways.
- Be courageous enough to take the first step even if you can’t see the path ahead. It’s okay if you keep your day job to give you income, health insurance, etc. If you’re serious about starting a business, do your research on what it is you think you want to do, make a business plan (including the financials) then if it still seems feasible, go for it. In ten years, you can look back and realized all you’ve learned instead of regretting the fact you never started.
For a little more inspiration, you can check out some success really great stories (including ours) at My Founders Story.