There are many things we wish we knew before we began this journey, from the challenges being in a partnership would bring to the expectations of being entrepreneurs and owning our own business. It’s been incredible, but a struggle at the same time! Here are five things we really wish we knew a year and a half ago!
It will never be easy
From coming up with a name and creating a website, to registering your business number and putting together a marketing plan, nothing is ever easy when you begin a business. There are always decisions to be made (and not clear and easy ones) and research to be done. You’ll also struggle as partners – this is something that we know well. It isn’t easy to take on this challenge by yourself, but it’s also not easy when you have to run all of your ideas by someone else. A key to ensuring that your partnership remains strong is good communication. Talk to each other about the business. Talk to each other about other things going on in your life. Keep each other constantly in the loop about things that will impact your work. This entrepreneurship thing is not easy (and won’t ever be), but we promise you that it’s totally worth it!
Your friends and family may not understand
Your friends and family may not understand the work that you’re doing, why you’ve decided to start a business, or the amount of work that has to go into your business every single day. We have missed some family outings and we may have spent a little (okay maybe it’s been a lot) more time on our phones, tablets, and computers in the past couple of years, but it’s all necessary for us to help grow the business that we love. Down the road, we know that we’ll be able to bring on more support, which will reduce this day-to-day work, but, for now, we are so thankful that everyone has understood our need to be (almost) constantly working!
Our personal time is gone
This sort of fits into the last category, but we think it deserved a spot all on its own! We used to know what personal time was. Maybe it involved watching a movie, maybe we were at the gym, maybe we were just lounging and reading – regardless, this time is now gone. No, we don’t mean that we don’t watch movies, read books, or go to the gym anymore; instead, we mean that while we’re doing these things, we still have an eye on our business. Even if we aren’t posting, we’re thinking about the business – from considering the next potential client to approach, a new topic to write about in our blog, or some thoughts on how to problem solve that website issue we’ve been dealing with for a few days. Maybe we send out a tweet while we’re doing these activities, maybe it means that we have to take an extra 30 minutes before we begin these activities in order to set our posts and get ourselves set up for the day, but either way, the old version of personal time is gone.
Stress – All the stress
From stressing each other out to just being stressed about the work, stress has become an essential part of our daily lives! There is so much work on our plates every day that it’s impossible not to feel stressed out. On top of that, we want to balance a personal life, finish our education, keep ahead on the work for our other jobs, and still remain sane – it’s an impossibly hard task. Of course, we are learning how to handle and manage this stress, but it hasn’t been easy and it’s something we still struggle with daily!
You need to always keep creativity front of mind
Whether you’re looking for the next topic to write about in your blog or you’re trying to find a new way to market and promote your client’s new product, you need to be creative. The same old ideas and concepts won’t work for various clients. You can’t recycle your ideas or your marketing strategies/plans. Everything you do (both for your business and for your clients) needs to be different and unique. This is going to become a challenge because sometimes creativity is not easy to come by. The best way to keep the creative juices flowing is to research. Look for other suggestions or new ways to market; talk to your partner and see if they have any additional ideas; research other similar companies (or different successful companies) and see if you can adapt anything they do to your work. Creativity will come to you when you need it, it always does!
Building a business from the ground up is a struggle, and you’ll face hardships every day, but we promise you that it will be worth it in the end! These are just a few of the things that we wish we had known when we started this journey, so maybe you’ll be able to adjust your plans as you get started today! And, trust us, if you’re struggling with these things already, they won’t go away – you just have to make a plan to work through them and keep it going day in and day out!