If I could go back and tell my newbie business owner self one thing, it would be this: Spend as much effort working on your mindset as you do on the rest of your business.
While there are plenty of factors that go into whether a business is successful or not, your mindset can really make or break the whole endeavor. If you're thinking of starting an online business (or you just started one!), read on! These are the mindset tips I wish I'd have known starting out.
6 Mindset Tips to Know Before You Start an Online Business
1. Define your why.
No matter how good you get at running your business, there will be hard times. When those hard times come around, you'll want to be really sure about your why.
Your why is the reason you started your business, the reason you accepted the challenge of leaving the corporate world for the thrilling (and sometimes terrifying) world of small business. No matter your why - creative fulfillment, time freedom, more money, helping others - keep it at the center of everything you do. Make decisions that bring you closer to accomplishing that goal. On hard days, your why will keep you going.
2. Keep your business legal.
"But I'm not making much money yet. Do I really need to register my business?"
I know it's tempting to wait until your business is up and running to file all the boring paperwork. But trust me, it's much easier to do it now than in a few months when you're covered up in work and totally disorganized.
And from a mindset perspective, investing a little time, energy, and money into getting your business legal means you've got skin in the game. You'll be more motivated to do right by your business (and less anxious about the IRS knocking down your door).
So before anything else, make sure you...
Choose an entity type and register your business
Open a business banking account
Invest in an accounting software
Just imagine how much more serious your business will feel once everything's official!
3. Cultivate an abundance mindset.
If you're thinking of starting an online business, chances are you have dreams of making more money than you do now. Let me tell you, it's totally possible! But here's the catch:
You have to work on your money mindset.
One of the most powerful things you can do is to work on shifting from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance. While a scarcity mindset might have you thinking...
"I never have enough money."
"There's a limit to how much I can make."
"My money leaves as soon as I get it."
An abundant money mindset will get you thinking...
"I am in control of how much money I make."
"I am worthy of the money I attract."
"I have everything I need to achieve my dreams."
The more positively you can think about money, the better you'll attract it. (More on how to do that here!)
4. Schedule regular check-ins with yourself.
It might be hard to imagine right now, but someday you're going to be so busy in your business that you'll hardly have time to dream about the bigger and better things you want to do someday.
When I first started my business, I got so covered up in client work that I totally forgot my eventual goal (creating finance courses and resources for small business owners). Then, one day, I realized I'd totally lost sight of my vision. I had to do a total reset.
Get in the habit of scheduling regular self check-ins early on in your small business journey. During these check-ins, ask yourself...
"Am I working towards my why?" Like I mentioned, I made the mistake of losing sight of my major goals. Make sure every move you make is getting you closer to your goals, especially when you're building the foundation of your business.
"Are my boundaries still solid?" Have you been working late into the night? Answering emails from bed? Skipping lunch to finish projects? I understand that running a business means you have to hustle sometimes, but make sure you're taking care of your most valuable asset: you! Practice self-care, nurture your non-work relationships, and set strong boundaries between your work and home lives.
"Am I working in my zone of genius?" It took a long time before I was comfortable outsourcing tasks in my business. But when I finally did, it made all the difference - in my productivity, my income, and my mental health. These days, I work in my "zone of genius" - the parts of my business that really fire me up - and outsource a lot of the rest. That way, I get to conserve my energy for the tasks I'm best at and get expert help with everything else.
Schedule these regular check-ins in your calendar, and make them something you'll look forward to. Order lunch from your favorite take-out place, light a candle, and settle in for some good ol' fashioned reflection. Your business (and your brain) will thank you.
5. Trust the process (even the hard parts).
Making mistakes sucks. Making mistakes when someone else is counting on you sucks even more. But making mistakes when that someone else who's counting on you also pays your bills? Brutal.
Truth is, you're going to mess up. None of us are born knowing how to run a business. (In fact, plenty of us are still winging it!) Making mistakes is part of the learning process, and every challenge you face will only make you a more confident business owner in the long run.
6. Just get started!
When you're starting your own online business, it's easy to get stuck in a state of analysis paralysis. You read all the blog posts, watch all the Youtube tutorials, sign up for all the courses... but you don't actually start.
Here's your sign. Start now!
You don't need fancy branding, expensive equipment, or years of research under your belt to launch our online business. Once you've got the financial and legal essentials, just start. Everything else can be learned along the way.
The key to a business that lasts (and makes money)? A solid foundation!
Set yourself up for success before you even make your first sale. Check out my Business Foundations mini course, your step-by-step guide to starting an organized, legitimate online business.
Want more tips like these? Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter! (and don't forget to follow along on IG @prettypennyaccounting)
Feeling unsure or worried about the accounting side of your business? Download this free guide with 3 steps to financial confidence in your business.
Ready to hand over your accounting? Download my services guide and let's work together!