5 things you need to know before starting your own business.
It's easier (and arguably more inspiring) than ever to start your own 'something' nowadays. Whether that's a full-time business, a side-hustle or a passion project, the world really is your online-oyster.
And excitingly, in my own online-oyster-world, my flagship online course The Imperfect Life® Designer is about to have its beta launch 🙌🏻 (which lemme tell ye, is a MASSIVE milestone in my business. She legit feels like a third child – after the birth of my actual human child and The Imperfect Life® Planner that is. Ha!) 😁 Anyways, it got me feeling all reflective and sentimental about my last five years of self-employment. So I thought, what better post to write than share the 5 most valuable things I've learnt since starting up Kerry Lyons Co. 5 years ago! 😍
Now I wanna share these five things with you, because I feel they would've been super-useful to me back then – so the hope is if you're teetering on the brink of starting your own 'something' sometime soon, this post'll help you go into it a little more open-eyed than I did!
So let's kick this off shall we?
#1. The road is looooong honey.
And that's not a pessimistic view (I'm actually an eternal optimist!), but you need to go into this realising, this is probably going to be one of the hardest things you're ever gonna do (but bear in mind, it's also going to be one of the most rewarding things you're ever gonna do too). It really is like parenting a child tbh! Some days you're in-love and obsessed and just can't get enough, other days you're so depleted and exhausted – you genuinely question your decision-making abilities! 😂
But the road is long. If you're determined to make a success of your business, there's no plan B. Which means, whatever gets flung at you, you've no choice but to navigate a way over it, through it, under it, whatever. Even if that detour takes you off-course, backwards or upside-down. There's no smooth, straight-route journey to 'making it'. And that's mainly because you'll never feel like you've 'arrived' either!
This also means you've gotta love what you're doing/creating/building too. Doing something for the sake of solely making money isn't gonna help you stay motivated and focused when the going gets tough Billy Ocean-style. Because the going will get tough. That's a guarantee.
#2. Not everyone's gonna 'get it'.
'It' being = what you're selling. And you also don't want everyone to either. Sounds a bit bonkers I know but hear me out 👉🏻When I started, I had ambitions of appealing to the broadest audience possible; not offending anyone, not being too stylised, not being too 'anything' – because that must give you the broadest scope for opportunity, right? Well no. It doesn't actually. Y'see if you try to create a business that appeals to anyone and everyone, it'll attract no-one...and erm, no-one. What you do create however, is an unsexy beige sea of beigeyness.
The big wide world of business is a super-saturated place more than ever y'see, so you've gotta find your way of standing out (notice I didn't just say a way of standing out?). You've gotta be known for your niche, maybe even a super-niche, and then maybe niche down again! Which seemingly feels like you're narrowing your audience down and down to near-on zero, but in a crowded, noisy online world, what you're doing is becoming louder and louder to a specific set of people – your audience.
Oh and while we're here, your audience is everything too btw. I spent my first couple of years just creating stuff I wanted to create; making assumptions on what my audience would like; never once reaching out to my customers/followers to ask their opinion or thoughts on something. Biiiiig mistake. From the moment you get one customer, one follower, one subscriber – you wanna make it your mission to know them inside-out, almost to the extent that you could share a brain. And then use that intelligence to inform and tailor your offering. Continuously.
#3. You don't need a business plan.
This is a fecker for pro-procrastinators (you know who you are) 😇 – thinking they have to have some formulaic, approved plan laid out before they can start something. In honesty, I thought that was the case for a while and I let it hold me back, but it's legit nonsense. Sure you need to work out if what you're doing is profitable, even if you don't make profit initially – your business needs to ultimately bring in the moola or else it's just a hobbie. BUT! ☝🏻 You don't need a business plan to give you permission to start. Just, start.
#4. You've no choice but to adapt and keep learning.
I'm actually a bit obsessed with learning stuff so this personally suits my personality, but I admittedly didn't realise how much you have to learn (and keep learning) to ensure your business survives. Every resting moment is an opportunity to learn something new to help you hone your craft. There literally is no time or room for resting on your laurels and getting complacent about anything. Like ever. And the moment you do, your business suffers.
#5. You've gotta put yourself 'out there'.
And I mean the real you. It's as hard as hell, I'm not gonna lie. You'll never feel more exposed or more vulnerable. The fear cogs that control your mind and body will be yelling at you to run a mile and hide. The idea of being judged by people who know you (and don't know you) can be crippling too. But as terrifying as it may feel, you really are what makes your business unique.
You are a one-time-only event my friend so capitalise on that! Trying to hide/minimise/sugar-coat the one thing [you] that makes your business truly individual, is always gonna limit your potential. And the moment you honestly and openly step out from the shadows, is when your potential becomes limitless. True story.
While I've obviously given you the warts and all version and given a glimpse into how freaking challenging/exhausting/sanity-testing running your own business is, I know there's literally nothing else I'd ever do. I can't see me ever feeling challenged, stimulated and fulfilled by an employed job as much as I do by my business. The sense of pride and ownership that comes with creating something from nothing is like nothing else I tell ye. And while I know, if you're meant to start your own 'something', no 💩 storm I could've described here would ever deter you anyway, but that phase of ambivalence [read fear] where you can't quite decide can be crazy-debilitating.
And this is where The Imperfect Life® Designer can really help you – if you've been pontificating for weeks, months, or more likely years (!) about starting a business or side-hustle, but you've never quite had the belief, conviction or ladyballs to push ahead – this online course will help you find out if it's actually what you really want, or not. Like a deal-sealer. It'll give you the clarity and direction you need, and not just around your professional life, but your life as a whole too. So if this sounds up your street and you wanna be the first to know when enrolment opens, tap the button below to join the waitlist lovely!
Hope you enjoyed the read 😊 until next weekend beauts 💋