Today I was inspired by an article entitled “10 Lessons Learned from my First Year as an Entrepreneur."
As I approach the one-year mark with Strella Social Media, it got me thinking about this crazy year! This business is still “walking me,” but I would never go back! I often have people ask me, “How did you grow a business so quickly?” I usually respond sarcastically by saying something like “I got lucky.” Truthfully, I know that I picked a business that was in high demand but I also worked my tail off. If you’ve ever considered starting your own business or if you are spinning your wheels, I thought I would share some tips that helped me build my business over the past 12 months. Keep in mind, I am only a year into it, so it will be interesting to see where I am in another year or even five or ten years. Hopefully, it won’t be the exact opposite of this post!
- Take action. There are those who do and those who talk about doing. Those who do usually outrun those who simply talk. Nothing is perfect, especially the first time around, so throw yourself out there and get started. This is something I that I believe separates those who make it and those who don't. I wrote another piece about taking action. You can read it here.
- Do what you say you’re going to do. It sounds so simple, yet I still encounter many people in the business world who make false promises. I believe we have good intentions, but we just overpromise and overstretch ourselves. If you tell your customers that you're hosting a giveaway of customized pins with your business logo, then you better keep your promise and find the best place for custom enamel pins. If I tell someone that I plan to call them on Sunday, I do everything in my power to call them on Sunday. I don’t overlook even the smallest promise. Throughout the day, I write down everything I tell someone I am going to do then I read over it each evening to make sure I remember. You want to be remembered as someone who honors your word. It’s a great reputation to have.
- Follow up. Have a great meeting with someone? Send them a nice email – or better yet, a hand-written card – and thank them for their time. Offer to meet again or invite them to something you are attending. This goes for potential customers, current customers, or someone you simply had coffee with. You want be remembered as the person who went above and beyond and others will talk kindly of you.
- Schedule everything – especially “you time.” If you think you run out of time now, just wait until you are building a business. There are so many things that come up that will take more time than you envisioned, causing you to put yourself on the backburner. I suggest building time into your schedule for workouts, follow-up, setbacks, and down time. Give yourself that wiggle room and make yourself a priority just as you would anything else. Life is all about balance, so remember that your inbox will never be ‘empty.’
- Be positive, even if you’re having a bad day. I will be the first to admit that this is something I am still working toward. This is part of emotional intelligence and it’s something that doesn’t come easy. Luckily, the more you practice it, the better it gets. It’s human nature for us to remember the negative things, but don’t be the ‘negative nelly’ or ‘emotional tyrant’ no matter how bad your day is going.
Whether you are a business owner or someone working for another person, how have you been successful?