As 2019 comes to a close, it’s natural to dive into some reflection about how the year went. I honestly can’t believe that it’s already been a whole year since I started my business & I have to say, 2019 did not end up being quite like I had expected it to be, but… does it ever?
Towards the end of 2018, I was full of excitement and eagerness to get my business going and to see all of the opportunities that were about to be right in front of me. I was excited and had no idea what to expect. It was a leap that I had no idea where it was going to take me or what the experience was going to be. But, I was so freaking excited for it. I took the leap with little-to-no expectations, just letting the universe guide me to my next adventure. I went into the experience with very little expectations because I had no idea what I did and didn’t know about starting and running a business.
I was full of excitement and eagerness to get started and see what could come from working from home and being my own boss. Honestly, I wasn’t even nervous or hesitant to get started. After years of trying to get my career figured out & months of not knowing what my next steps were going to be, I was just excited.
Looking back, I can’t even begin to explain the amount that I’ve learned & the growth that happened over this year. At times, I felt like I was just crawling to the finish line, on the brink of exhaustion and mental break down(s). But, I’ve made it to the end of the year & it’s time to stop and really take the time to appreciate everything that happened this past year.
Related: Preparing for the new year
I spent 2 months (November & December 2018) preparing for the launch of my new business on January 1, 2019. I was so excited and on January 2, 2019, I started learning what I did not know. For those of you contemplating starting your own business, I am talking about what I’ve learned in my first year starting my own business.
However, while I wish I knew some of these things before starting, I’m happy I experienced & went through everything that I did because I have learned SO MUCH! I’m happy to share my experiences with you so you have an idea of what to expect if you are thinking about starting your own business as well!
Within this post are 8 really important things I learned in my first year owning my own business! <3
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Here’s what I learned:
1.I DIDN’T HAVE A PLAN
This might seem like a no brainer, but when you are the one trying to put this together, it doesn’t come as easily as it may seem. During my 2 months of preparing for my launch, that’s all that I was preparing for.. Just the launch. I put together my website, packages, announcement video. But when I woke up on January 2, I thought “OK…what’s next”… I didn’t have a PLAN. I had no idea what I was going to post on my social media accounts or how I was going to sell my services. So, I immediately started feeling like I needed to frantically come up with a plan. I started signing up for webinars, downloading guides, joining facebook groups, trying to do research and try to start pulling together a plan. I was trying to work all day long, just doing as much research as possible. Some days I would work for like 12-14 hours. It’s probably no surprise that I quickly started getting burnt out and exhausted.
Related: Getting Over Extreme Burnout, A step-by-step guide to getting your motivation back, How to Handle Stress & Overwhelm
I very quickly realized how much I did not know. I also very quickly realized that I needed a plan moving forward if I wanted to get anywhere in this business. So, a year of trying to figure out my schedule and a plan that works for me and my business began coming together.
2. YOU CAN’T DO THIS ALONE
The entrepreneurial journey can be a very lonely journey. At home, by yourself, trying to put the pieces together by yourself. I’m in charge of all the job functions because I’m not making enough money to pay someone to help me with various tasks yet. I didn’t have anyone to turn to for entrepreneurial advice because no one I know is also an entrepreneur.
I started joining Facebook groups to see if I could start gaining connections there & eventually started investing in coaches.
We all want to be that one person who figures it all out on their own, without investing in a coach or spending any money at all. We try to google answers, pulling answers from a million different directions. We don’t want to ask for help, because we want to do it all ourselves. I so badly wanted to do be that person.
BUT IT IS SO FRUSTRATING.
I would get some answers and think I started figuring something out then I would hit a wall and get confused. It’s freaking frustrating. At times I just wanted to throw in the towel and say, “Forget it. I have no idea what the heck is going on.”
That’s why we invest in coaches. Nobody wants to do it at first. I know I didn’t. It took me 7 months of floundering until I finally decided that I was done floundering in the abyss of my own confusion, trying to figure it out on my own. It’s seriously impossible.
Plus, being on this journey completely on your own is very lonely and boring. When you connect with people that are in the same journey as you, understanding your frustrations and helping you work through your situation is so.much.better. As someone with a psychology background, I very much value talk therapy. Not that I think it should be seen as talk therapy, but just simply talking and working through the issues on the surface and figuring out how to work through them is VERY important! Whenever I get off a call with any of the coaches I’ve had, I always feel 10x better than before I got on the call.
Trust me, don’t put the pressure on yourself to try to figure this out on your own.
3. I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO PLAN MY OWN SCHEDULE
Lol.. what? But, seriously. I didn’t. I had no idea how to plan my own day.
The hardest part has been figuring out how to adequately schedule my day. I was so pumped to be completely in charge of my own schedule and create a daily plan that works for ME. Being in complete control of my schedule is wonderful and I love it, but figuring out how to actually use my time to my advantage has been a learning experience. For the first time, I had no structure and I didn’t know what to do with all the time in the day.
I remember thinking: “Do I just work all day?” It seems like most entrepreneurs are always working. So, I should be working all day, right? Hint hint: Not true..I quickly worked myself into burnout and exhaustion. I had to learn that I don’t have to sit at my desk, typing away on my laptop to be productive.
Whenever someone would say “what does your ideal day look like”. If I knew, I start trying to implement those things!!!
Coming out of 2019, I have a MUCH better understanding of a schedule for myself. It’s actually shocking the difference that was made over this year to get to where I am now. It has taken so many mental breakdowns, burn outs, endless amount of frustration, business courses, trial & error and never giving up to get here. A whole year later and I think I am starting to scratch the surface of what I am doing.
But, it’s all trial & error. Unfortunately, you learn what doesn’t work before you figure out what does work. It’s very frustrating & discouraging at times, but the experience is very rewarding. It’s actually pretty cool to see everything that I had to go through to finally get to a point of understanding.
4. THE POWER OF MANIFESTATION
I’ve heard of the term manifestation many times but never really gave it much thought. In connecting with other online entrepreneurs and in my research, everyone was talking about the power of manifestation. The thought that you can really achieve anything you put your mind to just by shifting your mindset seemed just about impossible to me. It can’t be that easy, right?
While I am still learning about this concept and experimenting with the power of manifestation, I have turned into a believer. I think it’s interesting that we are conditioned to think negatively about things and think that a level of success just isn’t in our reach.
It comes down to mindset, as I’m learning. If you believe that you are capable of success, you are more likely to be successful. If you stay stuck in your own pity party, constantly thinking and talking about your sad situation, then staying stuck you will be. From what I understand, manifestation is an energy shift. It’s a shift that happens within you & it takes work to actually believe.
Why not give it a try? The resources I have listed in the next section have helped me in understanding & believing in the power of manifestation.
5. THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTINUING EDUCATION
By continuing education, I don’t mean going back to school necessarily. But, continuing to read, stay up to date on what’s going on in the industry, reading blog posts, watching helpful business YouTube videos, etc.
When you think about it, at a job, you’re usually continuing to learn something. It’s important for entrepreneurs to continue their own education and keep learning. I didn’t start realizing this until very recently. So, I’ve been trying to at least read a helpful book, blog posts or watch a YouTube video.
Here are some of my favorite books right now:
You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
I absolutely love this book! When I started reading this book, I had such a hard time putting it down. Jen Sincero is such a breath of fresh air and knows how to relate to her readers. She breaks down & explains how you are holding yourself back from getting the most out of life. Using her own experiences, she talks about where she was mentally in her own life, constantly feeling sorry for herself and her situation. She talks about the importance of changing your mindset & shifting your energy to allow yourself to reach your fullest potential.
If you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to get your hands on this book. If you want to be able to reach your fullest potential and start shifting your energy to realizing that you have what it takes to reach that potential and believe in yourself, this book is a great place to start! Go ahead and grab this book & get ready to get massively motivated to start changing your entire outlook on life. >> CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS BOOK NOW!
You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero
Raise your hand if you have ever wished you made more money! 🙋🏻♀️ UM, YES! OK, now raise your hand if you don’t believe being rich is possible for you, however you wish you were rolling in the dough… 🙋🏻♀️
If you answered YES to those questions, you also want to get your hands on this book. I am on my second round of reading this book & I have never truly believed that I have what it takes to live my dream life. The thought of making enough money to live your dream life seems completely out of reach and those who are rich, are just lucky.
You see, we get so caught up in lack of money that we don’t even see all of the possibilities in front of us to make that money. Jen Sincero does it again, making me see that I am the one holding me back from reaching my full potential & understanding that I am in control of my financial situation. Yes, it’s hard to figure out, but Jen Sincero really makes you think hard about if you are just holding yourself back. What if the money opportunities are truly right in front of you, but you’re just too busy focusing on your lack of money to see them? The time is now to change that mindset! >> CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS BOOK NOW!
Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
THIS.BOOK.IS.AMAZING. In addition to Jen Sincero, Marie Forleo is really helping me see my true potential as well. This book revolves around the phrase, “Everything Is Figureoutable”. Meaning, no matter where you are in life, what situation you are currently in, no matter how sucky or sad, it is figureoutable.
Like Jen Sincero, Marie Forleo helps you get out of your mental BS to start living your life. To help you get out of that mental funk that you’ve found yourself in and start taking actionable steps to changing your mindset.
In my opinion, Jen Sincero + Marie Forleo = life changing authors. Seriously. I have read these books and really felt the energy shift happening. There were so many “aha!” moments when reading these books making me realize that opportunities are right in front me. Where I choose to place my energy is what’s holding me back.
The time is now to start taking action to change your life. >> CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS BOOK NOW!
6. THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKING WITH YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
This one is hard because when you are just starting out in business, you don’t really have much direction. You are pretty much willing to work with anyone that is willing to work with you. Plus, you need to learn who your ideal client really is.
Working with the wrong client can be extremely frustrating. You learn this all the time in business and I definitely learned first hand the importance of this. I appreciate all of the clients that I worked with and I definitely learned a lot about who I do and don’t want to work with in the future. Both parties have to be on the same page and work well together for the relationship to work. If it doesn’t, that’s OK. It’s OK to not be able to work with everyone. The more you hone in on your niche, the better!
7. EVEN THOUGH I LIKE HAVING A PLAN, I CAN’T FORCE MYSELF TO BE CREATIVE.
I started writing out a content plan for each month. Typically about what I was going to post on my Facebook business page, as well as an idea for a blog post I was going to publish. I quickly started to learn that I can’t force myself to be creative about a topic. I have to let the ideas flow and work from there.
While I’ve learned more about being organized and more prepared, there are just certain things that are hard to plan for. Sometimes I’ve even come up with a blog post idea and put it all together in one sitting. I just have to let myself go with the flow and write as the content and creativity flow to me naturally. Forcing doesn’t help anything.
Lastly and certainly the most boring…
8. KEEP A SPENDING & INCOME LOG FOR TAXES.
When you work from home and work for yourself, it’s important to keep a log of all that you’ve spent & your income. When you work for an employer, they keep all of that organized so that you don’t have to. They pay for computers, office supplies, rent, electric bill, and anything else needed to run the business. Same goes for you if you are working from home. These are things that are important to keep track of to file for taxes when the time comes.
I just made an excel spread sheet and I tried my best to log everything and keep receipts for anything that I spent money on that would help me run my business. Keeping a running list as the year goes will be so much easier by the time tax season rolls around. Super boring, but also super important!
This has been a long post, but it only covers just a small portion of all that I’ve learned this year. I’m going into 2020 with something very important that I didn’t have in 2019: A PLAN. Not just a launch plan, an actual business plan. I have a better idea of how to schedule my time. What times of the day work best for me & understanding that taking breaks is very crucial. I have a business plan and a plan for myself.
As I am writing this, I am truly baffled by the amount that I learned this year. I might not be as energized like I was last year, but I am feeling much more prepared. I am taking every single thing that I learned this year, every tear shed, every mental break down, every hour spent researching and pouring it into my new business and my new approach.
Overall, 2019 was a great year! Even though I didn’t reach some of my own goals and I’m ending on a different foot than I started, it was a great year. There’s so much more to learn and I just know that I am going to come out of this next year even more knowledgeable than I am now. I’m just so excited to have the experience of 2019 in my back pocket. Just thinking about how much I have learned & how much more equipped I am going into 2020, makes everything worth it.
It’s time to say goodbye to 2019 & hello to all the possibilities coming in 2020! Let’s do this.
At this point, I am a couple years into business & would LOVE to help you in your business journey if you are feeling lost & stuck! I do offer 1:1 coaching and invite you to check out my opportunities if that is something that you would be interested in. Click here for more information on my 1:1 coaching opportunities! <3
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