HAPPY BIRTHDAY INTRINSIC EVENTS
Next month, my business partner and I will be celebrating a huge milestone in our business. In February of last year, we both left our corporate jobs to pursue our passion to build an event management company full time as entrepreneurs.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost an entire year already. Lately, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about how I felt this time last year. Feelings of excitement, anxiousness, and enthusiasm were constantly running through me. Although most of my emotions were positive, I remember being a little scared of the unknown – which I laugh about now because that never really stops.
PLAN TO HAVE A CHANGE IN PLANS
As an Event Planner I’m constantly told that I’m extremely Type A. I always have a plan A, B, and C for everything and rarely do I fly by the seat of my pants without thoroughly thinking things through. When you’re an entrepreneur you absolutely should have a plan, but it’s important to know that things are going to change…a lot.
Taking the leap from corporate employee to entrepreneur is no easy feat. It takes a lot of self-awareness, dedication and hustle to succeed.
Over this past year I have learned many, many lessons as a businesswoman and as a person that I wish I would have known as I was starting out. Here are some of them from me to you:
1. FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
Entrepreneurs are very passionate people. We love what we do and it shows in every aspect of our lives. It’s important to always have “why you started” at the forefront of your mind.
There are going to be times when you are scared, or you are unsure of what to do, or you’re insanely frustrated…that’s OK! No one said it was going to be easy. And if it was, everyone would work for themselves.
2. USE YOUR CORPORATE EXPERIENCE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
I didn’t start out as an entrepreneur right away. I worked in Corporate America straight out of college for several years and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I learned SO much working for a large company. I gained insight on what it was like to run a successful company. I learned what to do and what not to do, which I’m very thankful for.
When I first entered the startup community in Baltimore, I was afraid of coming off as too corporate. But now this is something I embrace. It is important to me to have a certain level of professionalism and it has ultimately helped our business grow.
3. BE PREPARED TO HUSTLE
I knew working for myself was not going to be a walk in the park. Growing up, I saw my parents busting their asses running their own businesses. This is something I always admired in them.
The fact is you need to be prepared to work harder than you ever have in your life. You are building something from fabulous; it’s going to take time and lots of elbow grease.
If you thought entrepreneurship was going to fit inside a typical “9-5” schedule, you’re wrong. The hours will be long, the work will be tough, you may miss out on some social events with friends from time to time, but it will all be worth it.
4. DON’T BE ASHAMED TO ASK FOR GUIDANCE
Even the best business leaders seek guidance. All entrepreneurs should at some point seek out a business mentor. It’s important to have someone who can provide first hand experience and knowledge and act as a true sounding board while you’re building your business.
I’m so fortunate to have many mentors in my life. I value their opinions and seek out their advice and guidance and it’s been a true eye-opening experience. You aren’t going to know everything starting out.
5. EMPOWER OTHERS ALONG THE WAY
I realized that over the past year I cannot and will not become a great leader in my company and community with out the ability to empower others. Whether it’s a peer, an employee, an industry partner, or an intern make sure you take time to help others reach their goals and grow. We will all benefit from this.