Even though I’ve had my current business for about a year now, I feel like I’ve transitioned out of the “newbie” stage into the “professional” stage. I know there are a lot of us still in the new stage, so I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned during the past year. I have a much longer post coming soon about what I learned in my first year of business, but for now, here are my top five tips for new entrepreneurs.
1. Get Help and Help Others
Let’s get one thing straight – even though you may be a solopreneur, you are not alone. There’s a huge network of us fellow entrepreneurs who are 100% ready to help you if we can. Get in at least on Facebook group or mastermind so you can ask for help when you need it. That doesn’t mean not bothering to figure out the answer to your question beforehand; rather, use people’s expertise to help you solve genuine problems you’re having trouble with.
And karma? It comes back to you if you help other people with their problems in a genuine way. That doesn’t mean shoving your website inside of a Facebook group and leaving the conversation. That’s only okay if the person is specifically looking for a service provider. Even then, still insert a little text so you don’t seem like a spammy robot.
2. Be Professional
You don’t have to wear a suit and tie every day to be a certified professional. Just focus on customer service, replying to professional emails within 3 days (24 hours is best, but that just isn’t realistic sometimes), and sticking to the promises you make and deadlines you set. And if you mess up, as we all do, be quick to rectify your mistake. You could turn your wrongdoing into a raving fan (or at least not an angry customer).
3. Learn About Your Industry, Business, and Life
Education is so, so important. But do you know what’s even better than learning? Implementing what you know! So instead of hungrily reading every single Pinterest article you come across, set aside 30-60 minutes a day to thoroughly read, think about what the author’s saying, and create action steps for yourself based on the article. Other great ways to learn are through SkillShare (hint: they offer 1 year premium scholarships!), CreativeLive (1-3 day full day workshops about a specific creative topic. They’re streamed online, but you can also apply to be a studio audience member.), Coursera (free college classes about finance, including swiftmoney), ecourses by fellow entrepreneurs, and more.
If you don’t get your productivity systems straight, how will your organize your client projects? How will you remember to-do lists? How will you find your emails? (Okay, I don’t have a great email organization system – searching Gmail does the trick for me.) Create systems and figure out a productivity system that works for you.
5. Get Something Done
Oftentimes, entrepreneurs fall into the OMGINEEDTOKNOWEVERYTHINGLIKERI
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