When I started my own business as an event- and social media manager, I never thought it would be the greatest and most fun experiences of my life! The opportunity to travel and do what I love seemed more like a dream than a job. But of course, like everything else in life, there are two sides to a coin. Doubts were just as much present as joyful moments. Today, I want to look back and share a few things I’ve learned from running my own business.
The difference between being busy and being productive
I never thought this would be so hard! I’ve always spend hours doing things that could have gotten done in at least half of the time. It was quite hard for me to differentiate which tasks deserve my time and which don’t. Everything seemed to be super important and sometimes I got really overwhelmed with all the work. I was working 10 to 12 hours a day but I felt like I didn’t get things done and there was still so much to do. At some point I realized, that I was just busy but not really productive. For example, I invested so much time in building my website than actually finding clients! Of course, the website is fundamental but you have to come to an end at some point, right? So I started to distinguish the very important, important and less important task and scheduled them. I also determined how much time I wanted to spend with each task and tried to stick to the plan as much as possible.
Preparation is everything
It really took me a while until I’ve realized how crucial preparation is when running your own business. I’ve always tended to be a ‘last-minute’-kind-of-person but this is a habit you definitely gotta let go of if you’re thinking about self-employment! It started with little things like preparing an outfit the evening before because seriously, that was such a huge time-waster in the morning! But I also learned to plan a week in advance to reduce the stress level. When I have a client that I’m doing an event for, I always have my notebook where I write down the tasks that need to be done. Then in the evening, I divide them into different days, like this needs to be done tomorrow, this the day after, this has to be done by friday etc. That way I can make sure I don’t have to many tasks on one day and get them actually done.
Get your butt up and do things that need to be done
Keyword: procrastination. I don’t even want to know how much time I spent with planning everything over and over again just to avoid the tasks I was actually a bit afraid of. For example, it has always been difficult for me to call potential clients and convince them of a project I had in mind, so I always found excuses not to call them like, the website was not perfect yet or whatever excuse crossed my mind. Of course you need to have a professional basis, but you also have to make a cut at some point. I realized, if I keep procrastinating those important things, I will never succeed. Once I’ve understood this, things have changed a lot!
Never lose sight of your goals
Sometimes, things can get a bit tough and you don’t always make the progress you wish you’d be making. I had many, many downs and a lot of ‘why-am-I-doing-this-moments’ but I’ve learned to always keep my goals in mind! Hence, it is essential to know your goals. Once I’ve figured them out, I created a secret board on Pinterest where I pinned photos of those goals and also added some inspirational quotes that kept me going. Whenever I have a downer, I take a look at this board which leads me to my next point:
Because no one else will. If you’re lucky, you might have a partner or friends that keep you motivated but what is even more important is that you motivate yourself. Setting myself goals is definitely something that keeps me motivated. But if the goals are big, it can be very challenging to keep believing in them continuously. Hence, I set some smaller goals that I was able to achieve in a shorter time period.
Also, whenever I finish a bigger project, I spoil myself 😀 You know, just a little bit to boost my energy.. 😀 For real though, I think celebrating your achievements is just as important as working for them.
Empowered women empower women
I always thought I have to do everything by myself and that it’s kind of a sign of weakness if other people help me. How stupid I was.. It makes many things so much easier if you have people with the same motives who got your back! Empowerment is so important! You grow with them and you can learn so much from one another. What is it that many women think it’s better to compete than to cooperate? Are they afraid that someone else will steal their clients? Well, nobody you cooperate with would ‘steal’ your clients (if they do, you should cut them off in the first place). But I’m sure great things could happen if we’d worked more together instead of against one another..
I think many entrepreneurs have similar struggles at the beginning, maybe you’re one of them? If you’re a biz owner or blogger, I’d love to read about your struggles of running a business!