The Unglamorous Truth About My First Year of Business

Do you ever think about quit from job?

From your comfort zone?

It’s not an easy decision.

Some of us fails and return to office again.

But, some of us success, even in mature age.

Running a new business is a hard decision.

I am thinking of this options since few years ago, but I don’t have a courage to do that.

Especially thinking about others perceptions, loss on fix income, creative thinking.

But, life must go on.

Take it or leave it.

A good idea with great funding are not enough.

There are so many underground problems that still bury on the ground.

Yes, you have a flexible time, free from morning hectic, free to express your self, freedom forever.

But, when you do it in your first 6 months, it’s like a hell.

You need to do it by your own.

No fix income and the worst is the initial 6 months income could 10-30% of your last office income.

How stress I am.

As a start, you must have a good spirit, courage, and long term vision.

Okay, I share you some of my experiences.

1. Do all activities by your own.

As a independent consulting, I need to run  the business by my own.

The greater time consume are administrative and create a business foundation.

You need to introducing your a new product, publishing your work, finding clients, sharing your ideas, promoting your work, asking for help.

It including writing or rewriting an article.

I am lucky that I like to read and speak.

That’s help me on giving you the great article and combine with another author.

2. Spent the time as same as your office work.

That’s the real situation.

You are free to choose your time, not limit with 9 AM – 5 PM again, plus traffic.

You can choose morning for 2 hours, afternoon for 6 hours, and night for 2 hours. The total similar with 10 hours, isn’t t?

Of course, you need to manage it by your own.

Free is not stay relax, but free to choose your best time.

3. Consistent.

Be consistent for what ever your activities, the plan, and other long term business path.

You need to set up business goals, vision, and mission.

Then, stick with that.

Just focus on what you believe.

The common problem of first business owner, like me, is change the idea.

You have an ideas, then within a month, have another ideas.

That’s a wrong path.

4. Creative

The plus point of be business owner is creative thinking.

Noways, we are in digital and internet way.

You must combine traditional with digital.

Or, just focus on digital internet way.

It’s up to you, just creative with your value added.

Running a first year business is not an easy way.

Even you could not have a break even or loss.

I remember that some of new insurance company in Indonesia, still have a loss for their first 2 years operating business.

Or, as individual, you have a thousand or million rejection from peoples, including the one you know and love.

Bad or not, it’s your decision.

You can read the other article from another author, as follow.


The Unglamorous Truth About My First Year of Business

1. There was waaaaay more administrative crap than I expected.

In my first year of business I tried to keep things lean. I did a lot of stuff myself that I’ll outsource in future years. For example: I spent a 10-hour day learning how to embed tweetable links into 40 blog posts (now I can do it in my sleep); I rewrote my “About” page 10 effing times; I gathered and posted a bazillion testimonials from clients; I figured out how to run the back-end of an online course. All of it took an insane amount of time.

2. I often ate lunch hunched over my computer.

On most days I ate lunch hunched over my MacBook. Either that or I scarfed something carby in between client sessions. Not exactly glamorous. Or healthy. Sometimes I did it because I was crunched for time, but often it was because I was psyched about publishing something or building a new program –- I was in the zone with my work. Still, self care matters. My health was not very high up on my list. Which brings me to my next point…

3. I gained 10 pounds.

I wasn’t exactly petite to begin with, but boy-oh-boy did I pick up some bad habits that sabotaged my health. Eating hunched over my computer. Skipping breakfast. Not moving enough. Not eating dinner until I was hungrier than a rabid wolverine. The list goes on. Sadly, this is SO common among new entrepreneurs. We throw ourselves headfirst into our work and put everything else on the back burner, including health. Why do we do this to ourselves?! It’s not okay. I’ve lost half of the weight I gained, and I’m starting to embrace healthier habits, but it’s hard.

4. I made some bad decisions.

I struggled to establish my personal brand. For a while I was hung up on trying to be something I thought people wanted. That wasn’t really me and, frankly, it felt crappy. But here’s the thing about making bad decisions: as Maya Aneglou said, “when you know better, do better.” Noticing your mistakes helps you do better next time. That’s been true for me, and I’m still learning.

5. I had to ask for a lot of help.

In my first year of business I created my first videos and released my first online course. I knew ZERO about the technology required to do those things, so I asked for help, which is not easy for me. Video is not my zone of expertise. Neither was online course delivery. But admitting how little I knew about those things helped me learn. Totally worth it.

6. I was constantly reworking things.

I sounded like a corporate robot in my first bio. I’ve rewritten that sucker at least five times now. I’ve also rewritten articles and blog posts, reworked sales pages and experimented with social media. I’ve revamped programs, scrapped programs, created new ones. Lots of experimentation. Lots of tweaking. Building a business is a process, not a checkbox to tick. It’s like a living, breathing thing that will always be evolving. The reality of never being done can be frustrating sometimes.

7. I was terrified most of the time.

Putting your stuff out there before you know if it will work is TERRIFYING. Introducing a new product, publishing your work, finding clients, sharing your ideas, promoting your work, asking for help – you’re always so vulnerable. Running your own business, especially in the beginning, is like wearing your heart on your sleeve ON STEROIDS. When Tolkien sent The Lord of the Rings to publishers he said, “I have exposed my heart to be shot at.”

It’s like that for us entrepreneurs, too. But no guts, no glory.


Author by Sarah Vermunt, 25 July2015

Access on 27 July 2015


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