Today, I celebrate 9 years in business for myself. I could actually say that I’m celebrating a lifetime of it considering I started my first venture at about 8 or 9 selling pet rocks, but I don’t want you to think I’m lame so pretend you didn’t just read that.
Five years ago today, I made the decision to leave my full time job (pictured above, or to the right, or left, whatever, in the god damn picture) and pursue my dream of owning my own business after 4 years of working on it on evenings, weekends, and every chance I got. It started off as a video production company and evolved into writing, editing, strategizing, marketing, producing, PRing, coding, geeking, designing,…
I’ve had many businesses, partnerships, ventures, and projects over the years and from that experience I’ve made a list of 15 (or so) things I’ve learned to share with you. Here they are (in order that they appeared in my head at 4am):
1. Listen to your instinct ALWAYS.
2. Choose your business partners carefully.
3. Don’t be a dick.
4. Unless you have to be.
5. If someone seems shady, they probably are. Don’t do business with them.
6. Sometimes they’re not though, so give everyone a fair chance.
7. Don’t contradict yourself.
5. Don’t waste your time making a business plan until you need one and you know who it’s for.
5. Don’t take business advice from someone who doesn’t own a business.
7. Don’t ever follow my numbering system, (I feel like we’ve had this talk before).
8. Without marketing you don’t have a business.
9. If you fall on your face, have a glass (or bottle I ain’t judging) of wine, cry if you have to, then get over it and start again tomorrow.
10. Be loyal but not to a fault.
11. If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t pretend like you do. You just look like a dummy.
11. Celebrate. Enjoy the ride. Laugh at yourself. Have fun with it.
12. Take care of yourself – exercise, eat good food, drink lots of water, sleep when you can.
13. There will be times when #12 won’t happen, have lots of coffee and sugar free Rockstars on hand, especially if I’m with you.
14. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re crazy. You’re in business for yourself, so you are, but don’t let anyone tell you that.
15. Dreams don’t work unless you do. You will work long hours, every day, with no break, sometimes with little or no reward, and nobody will understand why you’re doing it. Do it anyway.
**To my amazing clients who stick by me even when I mess up from time to time, all my business partners over the years, my friends who cheer me on when I’m winning and feed and vodka me when I’m losing, my family who (strangely) haven’t disowned me (yet), and everyone who has been a part of my entrepreneurial journey so far – THANK YOU!!!**#onwardandupward #ipitythefool heart emoticon A.