You’re starting a creative business and your emotions range from fear, stress, anxiety to joy, eagerness and excitement? This is totally normal! You are not alone in this. You will never be. You know what they say… every big business starts small. So take the leap and begin now!
If you feel like you don’t know where to begin, keep reading. I am sure these business tips will alleviate your anxiety and give you the amount of motivation you need to stop worrying about what might go wrong and start focusing on what will go right.
I’m sure you already have a brief idea of how starting a business will be. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here, right? You’ve heard stories about the hardships and the day-to-day struggles, are aware of the perks and are ready to tackle these challenges.
Just like with any other beginnings, there are always going to be things you won’t know until you get your feet wet. But what if you could get an inside glimpse of what starting a business will look like?
Here’s what I wish I knew before it all started:
1. Running a Creative Business Is Like Riding a Roller Coaster that doesn’t stop
Nothing can describe the life of a solopreneur better than this! Before starting your small creative business, you should know that there will be incredible highs and lows for you. Entrepreneurship is not something easy to master but once you get there, it will be worth all the hassle.
As a business owner, you will experience some of the highest highs and the happiest moments while running your business. But – here comes the less funny part – entrepreneurship also comes with some of the lowest lows and many sleepless nights.
You will rarely experience something in between, but I think it’s important to celebrate even the smallest of your victories and appreciate yourself for all your hard work and dedication. You absolutely deserve it!
2. Networks and Connections Are Essential to Any Business Owner
After starting off as an entrepreneur, you should expect things to move slowly and, sometimes, things might not even move at all. But if you work on strengthening your connections with other solo entrepreneurs, you will realize that seeing others succeed in today’s competitive market means that you can do it too.
Surrounding yourself with the right people from the start (ideal clients, business mentors) will help you tremendously both when you’re starting up and down the road. By “stealing” some business advice from other solo and creative entrepreneurs, you can kickstart your business the right way.
3. Having Someone By Your Side Is Important
I honestly wish that someone had warned me to be prepared for the feeling of isolation as an entrepreneur. Creatives are faced with new challenges they must tackle alone on a daily basis. Sometimes, all these challenges can pile up and lead to you feeling alone and overwhelmed.
Even though you are continuously building your business on your own, having someone by your side will help through the process and make it more bearable at times. Knowing that you are going down this path and having someone who truly believes in you will definitely boost your confidence and enhance your motivation.
4. Mentors Are Necessary
Being guided by someone who has already walked the path of entrepreneurship can be really helpful for you. You can gain wisdom from their experiences and challenges and come across meaningful business advice from a person who has once fought towards the same goal as you – starting a business from scratch and being successful. Learning from other entrepreneurs is invaluable.
You can simply miss out on so many opportunities to build new ideas if you don’t have someone to shine a light for you in the right direction. Having a mentor is of huge importance for solopreneurs who are at the beginning of their business journey. Learning from others’ successes and failures will accelerate your growth process.
5. There is No Preset Path
When starting your own business, please keep in mind that you should always strive for progress, not perfection. Every small success adds up to a big win.
Just imagine… you have a big dream, clear goals and strong rules and you know exactly how you are going to achieve everything you set your mind to – until it all changes someday due to unexpected circumstances. What do you then?
Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to have a strong business plan and a solid strategy, but I wish I had known that it is totally fine if, sometimes, you have to change directions. In fact, that’s great for your business!
A business owner should always be ready to overcome new obstacles and quickly adapt to change. After all, changes are just new opportunities to grow and evolve, you’re starting a creative business so believe me when I say, you can adapt and even pivot if needed.
Remember, successful businesses are built on innovation!
6. You Can Kiss the 9 to 5 Goodbye And Welcome 24/7!
Having a schedule is great for your sanity and for your business development but, especially at the beginning, this idea might come crashing down. No one ever told me that I would be trading my 40-hour workweek for a countless-hour work week when I first started my business.
If you’re starting a creative business because you want more freedom, just knot that in the early building stages that’s just not possible.
7. Everyone Is Always Ready to Give You Unsolicited Advice
You will be surprised to find out just how opinionated others will be about your business. People will have the tendency to come up with what they believe to be sage advice even though they have never been in your shoes.
People who have had corporate jobs all their lives are exactly the ones that will tell you exactly what you should be doing to run a successful business. How ironic is that? When you encounter this situation, just nod and smile and continue doing what you do best – growing a business from scratch.
8. Early Success Does Not Mean That You Can Relax
Owning a business is always going to be a work in progress (even when you can finally reap the seeds of success).
When you start a new business and achieve some early success, you need to be highly disciplined and keep your ego in check so that you can keep your starting vision in mind. You can either learn this the hard way or avoid this mistake from the start by staying focused on your initial vision. Even the best entrepreneurs are paranoid and have a hard time believing in their own strengths.
9. Starting a Creative Business is Very Unpredictable
If you are ready to start your business, you should also be ready to take big risks and accept that failure is also a part of success.
More often than not, entrepreneurs tend to compare their expected entrepreneurial journey to what they heard or read about from others who’ve succeeded, and assume their experience will be similar. Well, success comes in many different forms and you have to make your own path to business success. And the path will be a meandering one and definitely not a straight one.
10. Partnerships Can Be Good
Business partnerships can be indeed challenging, but they can also be very rewarding and fun. If you are really going after a game-changing concept or something big, chances are a business partner comes in handy.
A business partner can help you manage the workload and keep the vision or dream going when things get tough. Having a dedicated partner that roots for the success of the business is crucial for your progress.
Lastly, always keep in mind that great business leaders create a vision, articulate that vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.
In order to establish a strong brand image and a memorable online presence for your business, please make sure to also check (and avoid) these 3 mistakes businesses make when creating content.
Being a solopreneur is no easy feat, I know, but remember that we can always work together and ensure the success of your business!
And here’s a cool resource, if you need some creative business ideas.