This November marks the 2 year anniversary of my business, and also 3 months of being on my own full time. I left my day job at a marketing agency on August 15th of this year and prior to that, I had always been running my business on the side.
I didn’t think too much would change when I went full time with it other than being stressed about making sure I find clients. Thankfully, I haven’t had any issues with getting enough work, but I have learned some new things that I wasn’t expecting.
Below are the 3 main things I’ve learned in 3 months of running my business full time:
The typical entrepreneur mentality is that we can do everything ourselves and don’t like to seek help from others. I think this is mainly due to the fact that the money invested in our business is our own and so we are careful about every penny spent. It’s cheaper to just do everything ourselves right?
However now that I am on my own and need to start taking my business a lot more seriously, I really see the value in hiring help for different aspects of my business. This allows me to focus on my job while allowing other professionals to help me with the aspects that aren’t my specialty.
Additionally, I have sought help from my business partners and mentors, friends and family, and any other support systems I could find.
I really love what I do, and I really love helping people. This makes it hard for me to charge for my work. However, if I am not charging enough, then soon enough it won’t be sustainable for me to do what I love and I won’t be able to help people.
Whereas I might have previously offered deals or discounts to try to make a sale, I won’t do that anymore. I’ve learned that most people don’t actually mind paying for quality services (and in fact, they want to). I make sales instead through referrals from happy clients or people who have found my blog and like what I have to say.
Also, charging too low will make people question your value and can make you look unprofessional.
I unfortunately had to fire a client in October. This was the hardest business decision I ever had to make but in the end it was the right one. This client always wanted me to “donate” my time in exchange for the promise of future work and expected me to put her above all my other clients when she wanted something done. She would regularly call me and talk for hours when I had other work I needed to get done.
In the end, all of this was my fault for not putting my foot down in the first place and setting clear boundaries. If someone is not going to respect and value me and my time, then the business relationship is just not going to work out.
Lastly, one more thing I am learning but still have yet to master is making time for “life”.
It’s hard to have a good work/life balance when you run your own business. I am passionate about my business and working on it is my favourite “hobby”.
However, working all the time is not healthy and even decreases the quality of my work. Taking regular breaks and planning time for other activities and people is crucial to the success of my business and also my own well-being and sanity.
I’d love to hear from you if any of these lessons are things that resonate with you and your business and what things you’ve learned from running yours. Comment below or send me a tweet @Leah_Maz