I have now been an entrepreneur for 4 years. Something that I never really thought I would be growing up. I had these grand visions of sitting in a boardroom, in a business suit, being in charge of a room full of people. Never really knowing what I wanted to do didn’t bring that vision to life. Plus dropping out of University after a sexual assault didn’t help the matter either.
I will admit that when we lived in Ontario, I tried to be an entrepreneur. By trying I mean that I had ideas and I wanted to implement them but I couldn’t. It wasn’t the fact that I wasn’t smart enough but more of the fact that I wasn’t in the right mindset to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t know who I was. I was lost and confused and had been for many years. It wasn’t until I was ready to discover who I was that it led me to being a true entrepreneur.
9 LIFE LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED FROM BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR
You can’t force anything. Just like a child who won’t do something when forced to, being an entrepreneur is the same. We can’t force ourselves to come up with ideas. We can’t force ourselves to write that blog post. We can’t force ourselves to move forward in our business. We need to allow the creative process to work. The creativity to flow or we become stuck in our own thoughts.
This blog post is a combination of trying to write other blog posts. I am on a coworking hour with another entrepreneur and it has been about an hour into this working hour. I only have these 282 words to show for it but countless blog post titles. I still got work done but I am allowing my creative juices to flow or I will drive myself crazy.
You need an entrepreneur friend. You thought making friends as a mom were hard? Try making friends as an entrepreneur. That seems to be an impossible task sometimes. I am lucky enough that 4 years into my ride as an entrepreneur, I have multiple entrepreneur friends. BUT I only have (maybe) a handful of entrepreneur friends that I can go to when I am feeling stuck, unworthy, and completely overwhelmed as a business owner.
The normal person isn’t going to understand the overwhelm that an entrepreneur will feel. Finding those people will help you to continue to move forward with your passion when it feels like the world is against you. Find your people and keep them close. They will be your biggest fighters, your biggest supporters, and your biggest allies.
Your family won’t always support you. And that is OKAY!! Not everyone can see your vision. And that is OKAY!! It will be hard to move past sometimes but that is why you have your entrepreneur friends. I think at some point, every entrepreneur has had a family member that didn’t support them. Remember that this is your vision and not theirs.
The idea of working short hours seems impossible. We all have this dream that as an entrepreneur we will work these magical hours. Yes I do have the option to work when and where I want but that comes at a cost. It means that I may have to work while my kids play at the park. It means that during the day, I shut my door and let my kids run rampant just so I can try and get some work done. It means late hours and early mornings. It means lack of sleep because if I don’t do the work in my business, no one else will.
I wouldn’t change being an entrepreneur and being able to stay home with my children but we have to be realistic. We have to put the work in or our business won’t grow.
Passion isn’t the only thing you need to have. Passion is a great place to start. We need to love what we are doing in order for it to work but there is so much more to being an entrepreneur than that. We need to be dedicated. We need to be able to say no. We need to be able to say yes. We need to be able to learn and conform to the changes that come up.
We need to be willing to put in the time and effort it needs to build a business. We need to learn how to be consistent, learn how to motivate ourselves, and learn how to handle rejection. Being an entrepreneur is an emotional rollercoaster on a good day.
Yoga pants are a totally appropriate dress code. Now I have been a yoga pants woman for many years. Even before I was my own boss. Working at home means that I can look like anything I want. I mean even right now I am still sitting in my bed, eating dry cheerios out of a bowl while I type this blog post up. I will admit that I have been here working for about 2 hours.
My girls are in their room playing nicely together. My son is outside with my husband trying to start the lawn mower. I am sitting in my bed, wearing my comfortable yoga pants, no bra, and getting my work done. That may be the best feeling in the world.
Organization is the key. I have always been a very organized person. I hate chaos. It throws me off. The older I get, the more I notice that chaos takes over very quickly. Organization has 2 different parts. Planning and order.
In order to succeed, you need to have a plan. You need to know what you need to do daily, weekly and monthly to reach your goals. You need to have an outlined plan so you don’t work every day with no specific intention. That will get you nowhere. Creating a content plan and knowing what you are doing each day will help you to achieve success.
Now what do I mean by order? I mean that you have to organize your work in a way that you will understand. For me that means having multiple planners on my desk. A monthly planner that lists my blog posts for that month. A weekly planner where I break down my content ideas for the different social media platforms that I use. I even have a daily planner that I can use to keep track of my appointments, my calls with clients and my work hours.
Having order means that you know where everything is. I have multiple “offices” in my home. I work from my bed. I work from my desk. I work from my kitchen island. It all comes down to where my kids are in the house at the moment I am trying to get work done. Having my planners on my desk means that I can quickly grab them when I am ready to work, wherever I am going to be working.
Learn how to do the things you don’t love to do. We need to fill multiple roles as an entrepreneur. I truly believe, as a blogging coach, that women should know how to work on their website. In the beginning it is great to be able to learn it so that you can do it on your own. If it isn’t something you love to do, hire outside help but first learn how to do it. That way if an issue ever arises, you don’t need to wait for someone to fix it for you. You can try to fix it yourself so that your business isn’t affected as much.
You won’t love everything about your business. And that is OKAY! Someone out there does love that part of your business that you struggle with. Hiring help is always an option and I believe that when you are ready, you should do just that. In order for your business to thrive, you need to focus on the parts that fill you up.
What is a life lesson that you have learned through your journey as a small business owner? I would love to hear them in the comments.
Samantha Laycock is a blogging coach for women and a freelance blogger for female entrepreneurs in the self-care industry. She is a HUGE self-care and self-love advocate, sexual assault survivor, mother of 3, a wife of 14 years, and a believer in the power of sharing your story. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook as @samanthalaycockblogging and on Pinterest as @samanthalaycockblogger