Be Humble. Sit Down.
I'm literally sitting here with a cup of coffee typing then deleting. Then typing. Then deleting.
I'm really launching a coaching business. Wow! My life was so different six months ago — I was just promoted at my job in fashion. I was drinking champagne and buying outerwear. A lot.
Now, I'm working part time for the same brand, but also about to embark on a new journey. The journey of an entrepreneur.
Everyone who thinks leaving my well-paying, well-respected career with an amazing fashion brand is crazy, raise your hand.
(Tiffany raises hand.)
I kid, I kid. I'm so incredibly energized by this entire experience. I have to admit, I didn't realize how hard this transition would be. I honestly thought I'd get a website together and people would just begin banging on my door.
There's so much more that goes into starting a business. To kick things off, I'm here to share a few lessons I've already learned throughout this process with ya'll:
You have to spend money to make money. Yes, this old adage is absolutely true. I went into this process not thinking about the big picture; I figured I'd pay a web designer, get some jazzy collateral made, and call it a day. No, ma'am. You need to find an accountant, brand strategist, photographer, lawyer, etc. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, so I didn't want to half ass this thing. Full disclosure, money doesn't grow on trees.
"I didn't say I wanted a lawyer, I said I needed a lawyer." Children of the 90s: Who remembers this infamous line from The Client? (If you don't, please just go. Seriously, get out of here). For some ridiculous reason, I didn't realize that I would need to get a lawyer to do things such as draw up contracts for my coaching clients, register me as a legitimate business... you know, minor things like that. It seems daunting at first, but if you get yourself a good lawyer, then you'll really understand each part of your business.
Pricing your services sucks. Let me tell y'all about pricing your services — it sucks. Good news though: it's completely your call. I wish there was some amazing formula for pricing your services competitively when starting out, but guess what? There isn't. You kind of have to play around with it for a bit and learn about what works for you and your clients. I read several articles and spoke to many people, and I got a lot of "whatever works for you is best." There you have it.
The name game is HARD. As much as I think I have a really awesome name, I wasn't so sure I wanted it to be my business name. I spoke to a really smart Brand Strategist who shed some light on the whole topic. The bottom line? Trademarking is a bitch. So, if you want to name your business something other than your name, first make sure the name isn't taken. Many people have built fantastic brands on their name. (Hello, Oprah?) My advice: Do what works for you. (See what I did there?)
Get organized. Dude. I thought I was the queen of organization until I started my own business. Turns out, you need a spreadsheet for everything! I'm literally scheduling time on my calendar to get myself organized. Needless to say, I thought purchasing a few fancy notebooks from Rifle Paper Company would cover it... until my career coach started preaching Quickbooks. I thought Quickbooks was reserved for smelly tax preparer's offices dated in the late 80s. Turns out, Quickbooks is kind of killing it for me. Lesson learned.
You are your own boss. OK, obviously I knew that when I got into this thing. However, you don't really realize what this means until you're off on your own doing things for yourself. If you need to work on a proposal, there is no one standing over to ask when it'll be done. Self motivation is key.
Now, the point of this was not to talk you out of starting your own business or changing up your career. I've actually found this to be the most rewarding experience thus far, and I haven't even been doing this for five minutes. The planning process has allowed me to use the creative muscle I'd been stifling so much over the years.
There's something so empowering about taking risks, and learning tough lessons along the way.
I can't wait to hear about about all of the risks you're taking in your personal life, professional life, or both!