How has it already been almost six months since I shared my career update?! As a little refresher for those who don’t know, I lost my job of five years this past May due to COVID budget cuts. However, this became the biggest blessing in disguise as it lead me to finally start my own influencer marketing business! I now have an amazing roster of clients, both businesses and then managing some incredible influencers, that I am working with along with having my blog here.
While I grew up with parents who were small business owners and having my blog for almost five years now, it has been a huge learning experience these past six months getting my business in order and a true system of how I work and operate. So that’s why today I wanted to share 5 lessons I’ve learned from starting a business that hopefully can help any of you looking to do the same!
5 Lessons From Starting A Business:
1. Hire Experts To Help You
One of the first things I did after setting up my LLC was hire an accountant and a lawyer. These were areas that I knew no matter what, I was not an expert in and needed them to help guide me and keep me on track when it came to my finances and legal safety. From my invoices to contracts to expenses, relying on these two to help me has been a huge weight off my chest when it comes to the stress of being a one person show!
2. Set Goals To Plan Against
One of the biggest worries for me when going off on my own was not having a consistent paycheck to plan against. I am very much a planner so it was super scary not knowing the exact amount I would be bringing in each month. So as I started locking in clients and projects, I made sure I was charging enough to keep me consistent with my previous paycheck. I have felt very fortunate to be now making much more than I was at my previous job. I also feel much more at ease knowing I have monthly retainers and additional fees that keep me at a consistent number to plan against each month now.
For me, all of my rent, food, daily expenses and additional savings, I use my full time income to pay for those. My blog has always been my “fun money” and what I make from sponsored posts and affiliate links is what I put towards shopping, dining out and then any additional into my savings. I didn’t want to change this mindset/system when starting my own business as I like to keep them separated (even if they do cross over in so many ways!) and so far, it’s been continuing to work out!
3. Reevaluate Every Month
When I first started taking meetings with possible clients, I was in the mindset to say yes to almost everyone. And truthfully I said yes to a few projects and clients I wasn’t so sure about in the beginning. Whether it wasn’t exactly the right fit of a project or a person I could easily work with, these were all huge learnings for me and I took time each month to really evaluate if these partners made sense anymore and if not, ways to end the partnership. Now six months in, I feel really good about who I’m working with and most importantly, they’re kind and hardworking people. I don’t have the time or energy for people who aren’t these things anymore and it feels really good to know I’m surrounding myself with the best energy these days.
4. Know Each Day Will Be Different
If you are looking for a consistent schedule each day, this may not be the route for you! However, I love it. I’m someone who loves a to-do list and to have something new to look forward to each day and I would say being my own boss and an one woman show definitely does that! My days vary from an email heavy day of pitching, putting together programs and pulling analytics to more business heavy days and looking over my numbers, sending invoices, etc. Being home during this time as well as been a really interesting way to start a new business so I’m looking forward to when I can take more lunch meetings and work from coffee shops in the future!
5. Give Yourself A Break
The biggest lesson so far? Giving myself a break. I could work until 2 am every night if I wanted but I am working really hard to give myself as much of a life/work balance as I can. I am trying not to work on the weekends and leave evenings for myself so that I can have a few hours to decompress. The hardest challenge has been doing this during a time when we aren’t able to leave our homes as much so even if it’s just a quick walk around my neighborhood, it helps separate my work day. Overall, I’m feeling really happy and feel very lucky to be sharing more about my business that came about in such a weird and hard year. Thank you for all of your support and more to come!
SHOP MY LOOK
Location: Financial District, New York
Photos: Carter Fish