Being your own boss sounds great to most people, but it’s not for everyone. It comes with its own set of challenges and you often have only yourself to rely on when things get complicated. If you do it the right way, though, it is totally worth it!
1. Get ready to be your own boss and someone else’s too
What's in this post:
- 1. Get ready to be your own boss and someone else’s too
- 2. Show me the money
- 3. Attracting clients, get your systems down
- 4. Check your tech
- 5. Find a supportive environment
- 6. Take time for you
- 7. Manage your time wisely
- 8. Beat back the shiny object
- 9. Create your own model
- 10. Don’t copy the current buzz
- So what’s next??
You need to have a leadership mindset in order to be successful as a creative entrepreneur. Any small business requires you to be self-sufficient, but you also have to be prepared to take charge with others and not only yourself. That can mean having employees to manage or contractors to hire and oversee, but it can also mean dealing with vendors and managing difficult clients. You need to know when you need to be tough and when you need to be flexible with all of these parties without losing any of these crucial relationships.
2. Show me the money
The biggest problem that many creative entrepreneurs face is managing the finances of their business. Many creative people think that they are not the “numbers person” and they psyche themselves out before they even get out of the gate. There are a ton of tools out there like QuickBooks and Wave that help you manage the accounting, payroll, payment of vendors and more. It’s worth the investment!
3. Attracting clients, get your systems down
Every small business needs solid systems in place to ensure consistent growth and minimal hiccups as you grow. You need to have a clear process for how you bring a new client on board, how you bring a new employee on board and how you process sales and other important transactions. Without this, you will find that each task becomes more chaotic and frustrating as you go so have this down before you get started.
4. Check your tech
This is the most crucial part of any business venture, because we no longer live in a world where business is sustainable solely on paper receipts. You need to make sure that your technology is functioning well and that can mean a variety of tools. You need to ensure that your website is functioning at all times both for the usability of your current and potential clients, but also for search engine optimization. Make sure that all sales forms and email links are working well and that your social media accounts are secure from hackers.
5. Find a supportive environment
When you take the leap of faith to go into business for yourself, it can feel like you are drowning at times. You may come across situations where you would like to ask questions but there is nobody to turn to but yourself. There are blogs and other resources online that can give you some guidance but nothing is as effective as conversing with someone who has been there before. Try finding Facebook groups or networking opportunities in your city to create an environment of support in your life. If you are a parent, ask for help in your personal life because things with kids get busy enough without adding the stress of being an entrepreneur. Don’t take it all on yourself!
6. Take time for you
Business growth is exciting and energizing and it is easy to get caught up in your own success. It is also easy for creative entrepreneurs to feel that they are not able to risk taking time off because it will result in a slow-down of their business. Taking time to decompress, have fun with family or friends, go on vacation or simply read a book for pleasure and not for work are not going to tank your business. You need to take the extra time out for your own mental and physical health or you run the risk of high blood pressure, lack of sleep and many other ailments down the road.
7. Manage your time wisely
Being your own boss requires you to organize your own schedule. There are no ifs, ands or buts about who is responsible for your time when you run your own business. You have to be diligent about keeping a schedule, and that goes for your personal life as well. Plan as far in advance as you possibly can and schedule a little bit of “you-time” or you may never get it!
8. Beat back the shiny object
Distractions show up all of the time, but when you start working as a creative entrepreneur it can be particularly challenging to navigate them. Creative people love to create and brainstorm about new directions and that is a wonderful gift. In business, however, you need to reel yourself back in from time to time because the foundation for your growth must be built before you can start adding the fancy windows and chandeliers to the house.
9. Create your own model
You are an individual person with your own style of working and processing and communicating, and your business needs to operate at your direction. You need to create your own business model that is conducive to how you work and your goals. You cannot build a model based on what other small business owners are doing because they may have a completely different set of priorities from your own. Instead, try and focus on where you want to be in five years and base your business goals on that.
10. Don’t copy the current buzz
It is easy to join a webinar or some educational workshop for creative entrepreneurs and hear about some new tool or resource that sounds like you want to upend everything that you’ve been working on. Resist that urge! You cannot be swayed by anyone else or what the new trend is of the day. Sometimes you’ll be able to work these things into your business model and sometimes you will learn things that you actually are doing wrong and need to change. Overall, you need to trust your own judgment and analysis of where your business is and how it needs to evolve to be able to discern between what is and is not necessary.
So what’s next??
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