We all think we have a pretty good idea of what it means to start a small business. But once you actually get your idea out into the world, you’ll probably find that launching and running a small business is very different from the way it’s portrayed in the media.
Want a sneak peek? These are some of the lessons social media, business courses, and formal education didn’t teach me about starting a small business.
My Small Business Story
Before I started my business, I worked as an accountant for a Shark Tank start-up. Every day, I watched courageous entrepreneurs come up with new ideas, collaborate with other businesses, and make money on their own terms. It planted a crazy idea in my mind, the idea that I could run my own business someday. Within days, I’d registered for my own LLC.
Between my formal education and my experience in the start-up world, I really thought I knew how to run a business. And on the financial end, I did! (I am an accountant, after all.) But there was still plenty that school and work hadn’t taught me.
As you launch and grow your business, you’ll learn tons of lessons–about business, about money, and about yourself. But if you’re curious what business ownership might have in store, start here!
5 Things I Didn’t Know About Running My Own Business
1. Being a business owner does not necessarily mean working less...
… at least, not at the beginning. So many people launch their own businesses with big dreams of sipping piña coladas on the beach while they make money on autopilot. And while that is totally possible, it’s not common in the beginning.
When you’re first starting your small business, expect to work harder than you ever have. You might have to work evenings after your 9-5, spend Saturdays answering emails, or answer Instagram DMs on your lunch break. After you’ve created your foundation, though, there are plenty of ways to work less while making more.
2. There’s no limit to how much money you can make.
Because you’ll work harder, your work will be worth more. In a corporate position, there’s usually a limit to how high you can climb in your position. When you own your own business, however, you can really go as big as you want.
That being said, you can also stay as small as you want. I know plenty of business owners who are more than happy making less than six figures. It’s all about finding a balance between how much you want to make and how much you want to work.
3. The sooner you ask for help, the better.
I’ve met so many business owners who want to do everything on their own. The online business world sometimes frames the “solopreneur” lifestyle as a point of pride.
In my experience, though, it can severely limit your business.
4. Your community is everything.
When I started my small business, I truly thought I’d be lonely, especially since I run my business almost entirely online.
In reality, though, I’ve made more connections and created more genuine friendships in the online business world than I ever did in a corporate setting. Whether I’m chatting casually with a long-time client or comparing strategies with a fellow online accountant, having a community I can turn to has made owning my own business so enjoyable.
No matter your industry, there are tons of opportunities to make friends online. Join Facebook groups, reach out to people on Instagram, or try a group coaching problem. (And if you want to chat about money mindset and DIY bookkeeping, come check out The CASH Club!)
5. Success is all about mindset.
You can take all the courses, read all the books, and invest in all the education you want. But when it comes down to it, your mindset will make or break your business. Work to cultivate an abundant money mindset, practice intentional decision making, and create systems that work for you. Of all the work you do in your business, I guarantee the mindset work will be the most beneficial in the long run.
Money mindset starts with money clarity.
The better you understand your business, the better you can manage it. Download my free Financial Clarity Guide to gain insight into your business’s financial health and start making intentional decisions about your future.
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