You may have a budget that you have created for the first few months of your life as an entrepreneur – chances are that budget will be pushed and pulled, as there are so many things that you didn’t think about, and everything always costs more money than you originally thought – I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you deserve the truth.
You will encounter many tempting offers and some you’ll want to jump on right away, but in order to keep your budget somewhat in tact, you will want to adapt a system for which to measure opportunities. The system I have found most helpful consists of 2 things, well questions really:
First – Will this “insert thing” get me more business?
Second – Is this going to help me get ahead / get more organized in my area of business?
If the answer is YES to both then it is worth the stretch to find the money somewhere. You may have to be creative in how you rearrange your accounting – but you will be happy you did.
I’ve been told a number of times you have to wait 2 years to be able to know if you will make it as an entrepreneur. I’m only 8 months in, so I guess the jury is still out, but these are the things I have found have been VERY helpful in my business and worth spending my increasingly precious money on.
Have a comprehensive website that allows clients to get in touch with you. It is important to showcase your experience, your passion and some professional photos of yourself. As you are meeting perspective clients you will want to send them to your site. Having an up to date, AND interesting site, is important. Spend the money to have it built, or invest in the software to build it yourself if you have the know how.
Join networking groups BUT be selective in what you join. In the beginning it is helpful to go to as many networking events as possible – the problem is they can add up. Each event will generally run between $40 and up to $1000 so you want to be selective in what you do. All groups will let you attend 1 or 2 meetings before you commit. This is extremely helpful as it will give you the chance to see if the people at the meeting can help spread the word about your business, or can use your services themselves. When you get to the event, or meeting, take advantage of the time you have together and talk to as many people as you can to see if there is a connection. Take those connections and set up 1:1 meetings shortly after the group meeting. If there are several members that you connect with, either for support or for business, invest your time and money into the group. Really jump in with both feet. You won’t regret it!
This is an expensive one BUT I would recommend working with a business coach. Work with a coach that is experienced and passionate about your area of business. Working with a coach will provide you with a way of thinking that is outside of your day to day. It will challenge your mind and also help focus you as you will be all over the map (at least I am!) trying to figure out every part of your business from A to Z. I’m currently in a coaching program and it is helping me to focus my efforts to find my ideal client and my business WHY and objectives – this is invaluable! I would never be able to get as deep into my WHY on my own. You have also taken the HUGE step in becoming an entrepreneur (AMAZING!) so you want to build the proper foundation for your business. You want to grow and thrive in the direction you intended. It is worth the money to form the proper foundation to ensure your future success.
Find something you love to do outside your work and invest time in that activity. It could be a sport, a hobby, a yoga class, weekend get-a-ways, wine tastings, camping or, or or…… Whatever the activity is that gets you away from your business and lets your brain relax – you need to hang onto that in your life. You will be tempted to cut out anything that costs money but is it so important to hold onto something that makes you feel good and keeps you motivate to move forward. For me, I love to run. I took 7 months off running when I first started my business and I missed it terribly. I recently started running again – and I am falling in love all over again. The freedom it allows me to challenge my body and to let my brain relax is so vital to my clarity and my motivation to continue to fight everyday to keep my business alive. I had to go out and buy some new running gear as I had donated all of my summer running gear the previous year. My head said – don’t do it but my heart said DO IT and my heart won. I got some gear – not the most expensive gear – but good enough to allow me to continue to do what I love. I am so happy to experience that freedom again, and when I am out running, I am not being judged or networking, or fighting for clients. I am just me. Find where you can be just you – and make sure you stay active in that part of your life.
Until next time – dream, experience and love your life.
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