5 Things People Never Tell New Entrepreneurs 🤫
When I was just starting out, it clearly wasn’t easy. I guess I don’t have to tell you this. Being homeless, beyond broke and hungry almost all the time, it wasn’t easy running a business.
I started binge-watching Schitt’s Creek and I can totally relate to the life lessons that you see on the show. There were many-a-times when I started tearing because of how similar their experiences was to me. Albeit it being a comedy (and rather slapstick one at that), I couldn’t help recalling my yesteryears of starting a business when I was homeless.
I had “mentors” — people who appear in my life once to “help” me and then disappear the next moment… Yes, those type of mentors. They would tell me things to look out for when starting a business.
I hear the usual “Oh, you need a business plan”, “be careful who you trust” and “everything and everyone has a price”.
But NONE of them ever told me these 5 things I’m about to tell you, so listen up and listen close!
1. You can start a business with no money - I did it, twice!
It's possible to start a business solely with what ever resources you have. I shared in my e-book, The Art of Firing Your Boss, on how I managed to start multiple businesses with literally no money. I would spend my time searching for something valuable, and sell it on Carousell, thrift stores and to friends who see it as a treasure.
You can do the same too when you’re starting a business. Honestly, this lesson was the most important one yet when it comes to staying frugal, being mindful of how you spend your money and appreciating the effort that goes into getting the money in the first place.
Take a look around your home - what do you have that is either of value, or that you can use for your business?
2. You work around the clock
😂 Many people think that starting a business means you can have your own hours. A part of it is true, but for most part of the early stages, you are working around the clock.
Whenever you receive a new inquiry on your service, you’re bound to want to respond. Why? In the beginning you’re likely a one-woman show. You’re running around everything in the business and you don’t have an assistant to respond to inquiries for you. As such, you tend to respond around the clock. Unless you have a husband who reminds you constantly that you don’t have to reply timely ALL THE TIME, this is bound to happen in the early stages of your business.
Once you have a team, that’s when you can start practicing the working hours you desire!
3. You need to constantly learn
Remember that subject you hate in school? It was accounting for me. But now that I've run a business, I need it more than ever. So, off I was to learn what accounting was all over again.
Your learning journey doesn't stop when you start a business. It's ever evolving and growing.
Spend time picking up skills you didn't thought you need for your business. My simple rule of thumb for entrepreneurs is to pick a course for knowledge. So, in the future when you start hiring, the candidate you're about your interview won't make up facts or stories that are incorrect. I can edit a video, shoot a video, produce a video, be a soundperson, manage light, be a photographer, edit photos, design content for social media, run ads on social media, manage operations… and the list goes on. But should I do all that? Heck, no! You just need to know enough to not be fooled by the next vendor you pick, or a new hire who claims to be an expert but totally isn't.
Keep learning. You'll value it.
4. You will cry, sometimes
Yes, I wanted this to be here. NO ONE told me that there will be days where I will cry. There were moments where I encountered just a bitter customer, or a terrible vendor, and sometimes - racist encounters.
There are also those days when you're just too effin tired and you want to sleep… but you can't because there's a workshop you're conducting in about an hour.
Once, I was super tired after travelling to Bosnia for 2 weeks for a video shoot. I was jet lagged, confused by how hot Singapore was, missing the food and had to still edit the videos for the project. To top that off, I had to unpack, do chores and prepare meals for the day. Sis cried herself to sleep 😂
You will cry, and that's okay. It will only keep you stronger ❤️
5. Overnight success is total BS
If you think that someone seems like overnight success, know that it's not. It's probably YEARS (like decades) of trial and error, gaining experience, building network and amassing personal wealth. Your journey is yours - don't compare with others.
When you look at Marie Forleo, Oprah and Sophia Amoruso, you think “Girl, she's the boss! I wanna be like her!” But she's at least 100 steps ahead of you because she's been in the game longer.
If you ask them, they'll all tell you that you'll get there. Have faith and trust the process. Start by not comparing your journey to others, and definitely not to theirs. They are multi-millionaire. You are just staring to see your first 4, 5 or 6-figure year. And that is totally okay.
At least you started! You're already one step ahead those who hasn't, right?
Now that you know these 5 things people don't tell new entrepreneurs, do a quick reality check on your entrepreneurial life.
Which of these do you relate most with? Join the conversation in our community.
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