Running your own business takes a lot of things. A lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of coffee. ;)
But in exchange, my business has taught me some great lessons and skills. There are things I would have never known about taxes, bookkeeping, business structure, and project management if I had not chosen this path.
Equally important? The life lessons I’ve learned. Even if I switched gears and did something else, I would still carry these important lessons learned with me.
Here’s the 5 top things that I’ve learned from running my business:
Grit will take you where talent will not. There have been moments where I knew the only way I was going to figure out a solution or hone my skills was just to keep working at it. Talent is nice but smart + hard work is even better.
As I scrolled my initial design experiments this past week, I had a good laugh. I was not very good back then, but time and effort has made a huge difference! Don’t give up before you’ve given yourself a chance to prove that you can be better. Keep going.
See everything as a learning experience (& don’t live in the past.) Everything doesn’t always work out perfectly, even with good intent and communication. If you’ve done all you can do, it’s life and you should move on to the next thing.
A mentor recently reminded me of this as I was walking through a sticky situation. Don’t let yourself to hang onto what went wrong. Pick up the pieces as best you can and build something new.
It’s up to you. There is no one to whom you can pass the responsibility. It’s your job! Until you can afford to outsource portions of your business or take on employees, there are going to be moments when you just need to push through. On the flip side, you are capable of more than you think you are.
Don’t make emotional decisions. Nothing good comes from worry and fear. These feelings can create false narratives about what’s actually going on. Worry can seem like a motivator, but taking work from a place of desperation often results in strained working relationships and tension. It also means you’ll take a job that you might not be suited for, ruling out future opportunities because you are already busy with something you shouldn’t have done in the first place.
The tortoise wins the race. I loved this fable as a child. It makes a world of difference in just about everything. Effort multiplies by the time you put in. You don’t have to be the speediest, or have the most talent. Just consistently move in the right direction.
What have you learned/are learning from running your business or pursuing your creative passion? Leave a comment!