January 8, 2012

Building a Business is Time Well-Spent

A year ago, I remember someone asking me, “What do you do all day?”  The question caught me by surprise. It was not easy to define.  Currently, my business is 18 months old and I admit to putting in over 60 hours a week, if not more.

So what is an entrepreneur doing when we’re working all of those hours?

  1. Launching. Getting off the ground with a new business venture is not as easy as pushing a button. Once you have an idea, you’ll need to incorporate the business, decide on price, hire or subcontract and maybe even take out a loan. There’s a lot of time spent thinking in this stage.
  2. Marketing. Unless you operate a franchise or you’re well-known already, you’re likely starting from scratch. You need to determine how and where you’ll market. You’ll need to spend time networking both online and face-to-face, monitoring your action plan, reviewing the marketing results, and adjusting your plan.
  3. Learning. Having the courage to make mistakes and learn from them is a necessary step for any start-up business. And with that experience comes wisdom that can’t be bought.  Personally, I’ve never run a business before or even taken a business class, so I’m learning lessons from the school of hard knocks.
  4. Solving. This is an extension of learning. It often seems like obstacles arise just when you’ve rounded the corner and start heading in the right direction. Maybe a client has to cancel due to lack of funds or you have a personal situation arise. Ultimately, it’s your ability to overcome these obstacles that builds confidence and empowers a successful entrepreneur.
  5. Refining. It’s important not to get complacent and to continually refine and adjust your approach when circumstances change.  In order to do that, you may have to worker harder in the interim. For example, if the end goal is to hire an employee who will do your day-to-day operations, you have to take the time to establish procedures and train this person effectively. It’s short-term work for a long-term gain. I just changed my company name. It was a lot of work, but a change I felt was necessary to move the business forward.

I’m fortunate to have a promising business after 18 months, but sometimes people ask me, “Why are you still working so much?”

First, I don’t think I’m alone in this. To achieve the best results, we must continually repeat steps two through five. I also think that many entrepreneurs have a natural drive to achieve.  Moreover, we love what we do. Some days it is ‘work,’ but most days, we’re content doing what we do all day.

There are a lot of hours put into building a business. But if you’re inspired, you’re happy to do it.

How much time do you spend on work? Do you find yourself working fewer hours than you did when you started the business? What lessons have you learned?

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12 comments on “Building a Business is Time Well-Spent”

  1. Hi Rachel,

    Agree totally! When you love what you do it doesn't feel like work.

    We have been working away in the online field for about three years now and we are still putting in some long days. When interacting on social, writing content and educating yourself are part of your work day the hours really slip away... but in an exciting way!

    Outsourcing some of the repetitive SEO work is important but you can't outsource relationship building.

    Love the new business name.

    All the best
    Mike

    1. Hi Mike,

      Sorry for the delay in responding! You accidentally landed in my spam box.

      Three years and still long days? Guess it never ends, does it?

      I'm glad to hear I'm not alone and glad that others are loving what they do.

      Thanks for stopping by, Mike!

      Rachel

  2. [...] It takes time to build a business! Rachel Strella can attest to that. Over the last 18 months, she admits to spending many 60 hour days building her social media marketing firm based in Camp Hill, PA, but she often finds that people still ask her, What do you do all day? Strella Social Media [...]

  3. Hi Rachel

    Thanks for your article. No you are not alone. I'm 5 years into my bricks & mortar specailty store & still doing 7 days a week. Sometimes I wonder it I will ever get there, other times I think it will...it's smiling customer faces faces that keep me going:)

    1. Hi Amanda,

      Wow! It's funny - some days I feel exhausted and long for a shorter day. Other days, I love what I do and couldn't imagine doing anything else. Realistically, I think I wouldn't have it any other way - exhausted or not! It's my business -- my baby!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's nice to hear from others who have the entrepreneurial spirit! Please stay in touch!

      Rachel

  4. An entrepreneur's work is never done! But when your vision is clear and focus is intent, your eyes are seldom on the clock...because you are doing what you were born to do. Thanks for helping to blaze the trail for those behind you, Rachel!

    1. More like my eyes are on the clock because time is flying!! Thanks for all of your support, Kathy! You rock!

  5. Great tips, I am in a internet business and working without any holidays for 2 years now, waiting to get some freedom. The work is continuing to flow in, bills to pay, salaries and taxes but still won't ever go back to a regular work. The fact that it is all build by me makes me feel proud and master of my universe.

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