Eight months ago today, I drove quite the jam-packed car across the region. Mixed emotions, obviously: excitement, sadness, curiosity, anxiety, enthusiasm. New chapters tend to do that to you.
My business started as a little freelancing on the side, just some editing and reporting projects when they came my way. The business grew into a part-time pursuit. And when I rolled into Kansas City on September 14, 2013, I took Inspiration-Driven Communication full-time.
My sweet grandpa and I chatted about what I’ve been up to on the phone the other day. “So I guess it’s kind of like you have your own business,” he said.
Yep, Grandpa. Kinda like it.
Eight lessons I’ve learned in my first eight full-time months of entrepreneurship
1. Feeling over it, passion-less or totally underwhelmed does not mean you’re destined for failure. Every entrepreneur feels that way sometimes. It’s okay.
2. Business ownership is a steep, uphill battle. But those leg muscles are going to be worth worth worth it. It’s fierce in the best way, challenging in the best way.
3. New people and opportunities will knock on the door, but not as often as you will knock on theirs. So get good at being both a host or hostess-with-the-mostess and an equally good guest.
4. You will feel really stupid some days. Failure, mistakes and missteps are unavoidable. Just don’t call the whole thing off when they happen.
5. Good business relationships are good friendships. Credit to Mike, who taught me the value of the “beer test.” If you wouldn’t have fun grabbing a beer with them, they may not be the best fit for a long-haul business relationship. Sub in coffee, lunch, whatever; point is, it should feel more like a friendship than, say, getting your teeth cleaned.
6. Boundaries should be like a rubber band. Flexible and stretchy, yes . . . but only to a point, because otherwise things will snap.
7. Get your email under control and keep it under control. (Learning this one the hard way.)
8. Adapt, adapt, adapt. Sitting still and staying static won’t grow a business.