Starting a New Business – If I Knew What I Know Now

Posted December 7, 2016 by Thirty-Something Angie in Business & Productivity / 8 Comments

Starting a new business is scary. There's a lot of wondering whether things will work, and worrying about how much time you should be devoting.

Starting a new business is scary.

There’s a lot of wondering whether things will work, and worrying about how much time you should be devoting.  I’ve now been in business for myself for 7 years.  First, I ran a children’s accessory boutique on Etsy. Then I moved to selling newborn photography props through my own website and Facebook. And now, here I am on a new blog.  I have a lot of the same concerns for this blog that I did before.  It got me thinking that maybe everyone has similar worries when starting a new business.

Knowing that I’ve had these concerns before has helped me push past them. I’m hoping that by sharing my experience, I can help you, too!  I want you to be able to push past your fears and succeed in your business as well.  There are a few things I wish I’d known back then.  If I had, maybe I would have found success a little earlier.  Maybe I would have spent less time worrying and more time working.

I will Succeed

Obviously, none of us start a new business knowing we will succeed.  We all hope for that, of course, but it’s impossible to know.  That’s what makes it so scary!  There’s a lot I may have done differently right from the start if I’d known I was going to succeed.  I might have put more effort into the business end of things.  Maybe I would have set a system in place for handling business growth. I definitely would have managed my time better.

As it stood, I treated my first business like a hobby for years. I was hesitant to really push myself to do great things, because I didn’t think I could succeed.  And you know what the result of that insecurity was?  It stayed a hobby for years.  I was not able to succeed until I really wanted it and decided to push for it.

The day I decided to really push it, I didn’t know how to handle it.  I didn’t have a system in place for the growth I experienced, and my sales model wasn’t set up for me to make what I needed to make. Eventually, I worked it out, and was able to support my family on my own for a year. However, I had to make a lot of changes to my business model to do that. I don’t want to get off topic here, so I’ll share more on that topic later.

I know now that it is so important to act like you’re going to succeed from day one.  Create big goals, and work as hard as you can to reach them. Set up the proper systems and do your research.  Even if you don’t quite reach your lofty goals, you’ll still be way ahead!

This is a Real Job

This one kind of goes hand-in-hand with setting yourself up for success.  It’s hard to treat your new business like a “real job” if you’re not making any money, yet.  Like I said, I treated my first business like a hobby for a long time.  There was no plan and no real commitment.

  • I made what I wanted, when I wanted.
  • I didn’t create a plan or a schedule.
  • I didn’t research marketing or work on my photography.

It’s important to have a plan in business, though. You need to have systems in place. It’s also important to make your new business a commitment.  If you say you’re going to do something, do it.  When you plan to release new products or content on a certain day, be sure it happens, no matter what.

Treating this like a real job means that you have to work. Even when your favorite show has a new premiere. Even when you really want to sleep in and have a lazy day.  Treat this as the same kind of commitment as a “real job.”

If I’m being totally honest, I’m a much tougher boss to myself than any I had at my old jobs. But, do you know what?  I had to do that to reach success.

Less is More

One of the biggest lessons I had to learn in the very beginning is that less really is more. It’s easy to get wrapped up in everyone else’s successes when you first start out. You see them being successful and try to do what they do.  Just remember that you can’t do everything all the time.  You certainly can’t do it all well.  You’ll be much more successful (and less overwhelmed) if you focus on one or two tasks at a time.

Chances are, you have other commitments in your day, just like I do.  Pick your two top priorities, and focus your energy on them.  Only after you’ve mastered those two things, should you consider adding more commitments.

[bctt tweet=”One thing I wish I knew when I started my business: You don’t have to do ALL the things. #creativeentrepreneur” username=”cruiseangie”]

If you need help figuring out where to start, you can check out my top advice for starting a new business right here.

You Can do This!

Looking back, I realize I was so lost when I started my first new business.  I had no plan, no end game in mind, and no idea how to actually make steady money.  Basically, I found something I enjoyed doing and I ran with it, without really thinking!

I was only able to see real change when I stopped and focused on what I really wanted.

When you start a new business, you will be scared.  Don’t let that stop you from treating it like you’ll succeed and giving it a real effort.  After all, it’s that effort that will determine how well you do!  I know you can do this.  Do you??

 

Do you have a business? What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew then?

 

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8 responses to “Starting a New Business – If I Knew What I Know Now

  1. I keep reinventing my little home business. I am fired up with a new product right now but my fire usually fizzles at some point. I am more determined than ever, but I am a terrible boss to myself who can’t enfor e a deadline!

    • Thirty-Something Angie

      Hey Crystal! I’ve definitely been there! Make yourself a plan so you don’t get burnt out with too many ideas and too little time! 🙂 Good luck with your new product!

    • Thirty-Something Angie

      Hi Callie! So glad you found it helpful! If it helps, I feel this way about this blog (which is also new) even though I’ve already been through this roller coaster with a previous business!

  2. It’s so true, I absolutely treat it like a hobby right now. I know I have to work on setting a schedule, so that’s what I’m preparing for now. I can relate to all of this. I’ll be focusing on 1 or 2 tasks, like you said, until I feel comfortable enough to move on! Thanks for sharing!

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