So you want to start an online business, huh? I probably don’t have to tell you that some hard work is in store. But is that hard work really worth it? Can it really set you on the path to financial freedom?
Maybe! I can’t tell you that because I don’t know what your business (or your business idea) is. Soz.
But what I can tell you is that it worked for me. I also know there’s a lot of advice, a lot of how-to’s, and a lot of opinions out there, telling you how to make your business a raving, overnight success (advice that’s probably stressing you out because you aren’t sure how to connect the dots…).
So I thought I’d just start with the small stuff instead. Because we’ve gotta tackle one thing at a time, right (I tell myself as I look in the mirror)?
Like…how tf do you know what to do from the go? How do you not have the urge to run away every time you look at that to-do list? In my almost eight years of running TWO online businesses, here are a few things I learned that can help you manage getting your online business off the ground!
Starting a business is overwhelming. Running a business is overwhelming. It’s just overwhelming — period!
And a lot of times, that overwhelm can lend itself to giving up or self-doubt. It’s very easy to question yourself when you don’t know what to do. And it can definitely have you procrastinating and putting off the big stuff.
As someone who’s had my fair share of mental health struggles, I can tell you that it’s really easy to let that overwhelm get to you, especially when you’re in the middle of doing life. But one thing that has always helped me is to set one goal for myself each day.
I find that when I’m just not feeling it, or have too many things to do has left me frozen in place, having one focus for the day keeps me going.
Sometimes I’ll even feel more productive after, and want to keep going. Other times, I won’t. But even then, I don’t have to feel “guilty” for not showing up because I got that one thing knocked out.
Eventually, you’ll be able to look back and say, “hey! I made some progress!”
I say this a plural word loosely. I firmly stick by my rule of following no more than two to three mentors at a time. And I don’t mean just anybody. It’s also about finding the right mentor for you.
Sure, that TikTok business coach is saying all the right things, but trendy advice may not apply to your business.
Following a small handful of the right people can help you stay focused too because you won’t be overloaded with advice. You can’t follow everyone’s method to success to a T, which is why it’s crucial you find someone who is in your industry, is currently where you want to be, and is a good personality fit.
They don’t have to be paid mentors either. While I do think paying for direct access to a mentor (if you can) is a great thing, my rule also applies to the free shit too. That means podcasts, books, videos, etc.
You probably weren’t expecting this today, huh? But I think it should be addressed! As someone who’s spent over 7+ years in business, and has run two businesses at the same time, I’ve experienced some highs and I’ve experienced some lows.
But one thing I do know is that your personal life is important. It’s what you’ve got at the end of the day. So make sure you don’t go too far into hustle mode that you forget to actually live the life your small business can afford you.
While we’re on the topic of personal life, you should also be mindful of who you surround yourself with. Sadly, not everyone is going to be in your corner, cheering you on as you do all the things.
When I started The Contract Shop® (not my first business, but the first one to hit it big and what actually got me to where I am today), I was in a toxic relationship (toxic for many reasons). I remember hitting my first big sales weekend and still feeling put down by my significant other because he didn’t support me and wrote off my success.
It was defeating, to say the least, and I wish that were the only time it happened, but it wasn’t. It was hard to grow a business while I had someone constantly doubting and criticizing me.
But now, I’m married and my husband is the biggest supporter. Having him in my corner helps me stay motivated and keeps me excited about all the things I want to do next…because I know I have support.
My point? Sometimes boundaries are necessary for growth. If you have someone in your life that you feel is pulling you down or away from your business for not-so-good reasons, it may be time to reevaluate that relationship — whether it’s a friend, partner, or someone else.
Don’t underestimate the value (or lack thereof) your personal life can have to your business.
This post is by no means an exhaustive list of what you need to know before you start a business, but it’s a start! Lucky for you, though, I have some other great tips waiting for you over on my blog — in the post below specifically!
I’m giving you a rundown of (what I think) are the four smartest investments you can make from day one. In my time as a business owner, I’ve found that these are well worth the money and will see a return in the long run, no matter what kind of business you’ve got.