We all know there are certain actions, habits, and behaviors that we should be doing each day to be a successful entrepreneur. I’ve read countless blogs, listened to hundreds of podcasts, and observed my mentors on the subject. I know that to be a successful and productive entrepreneur, I should be and need to be reading one great business book a month, exercise daily, drink water, wake up before 6 am, check emails before 7 am, eat healthy, find a mentor, plan your day, set goals, save money….and I completely agree with every single TO DO.
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.
[foo l-kruh m, fuhl-]
noun, plural fulcrums, fulcra
1. THE POINT ON WHICH A LEVER RESTS OR IS SUPPORTED AND ON WHICH IT PIVOTS.
2. A THING THAT PLAYS A CENTRAL OR ESSENTIAL ROLE IN AN ACTIVITY, EVENT, OR SITUATION.
Turn off the Naysayer
Just edit the podcast. "I really need to show my editing chops!" Just edit the podcast. "I have to record the most Incredible voice-over stuff" Just edit the podcast. "I have to write the most compelling questions." Just edit the podcast. "The theme song has to be AMAZEBALLS!" Just edit the podcast. "The theme song has to be AMAZEBALLS!" Just …..
I know, right? Wait. Huh? Here we are again.
I'd allowed a project I was helming to become much bigger than was necessary. This lesson goes to show that sometimes our biggest natural talents; talents we know (or think we know) to be our best, can be the greatest hurdles we have to overcome.
In my pre-business life, I was a fount of musical production. Like Rachmoninoff with a stack of Stooges records. I spent all of my time filling up cassette tapes and mini-discs; later piles of hard-drives with tons of musical compositions. In short, I love making music.
For me creating music and producing audio has always come easily; a gift I don't take for granted. But sometimes you get stuck. Or you get away from your confidence. It becomes easy to forget that feeling. That natural confidence that comes from being so in-tune with your efforts that the lines of division disappear.
You with me?
What it is
So what's the deal? I don't know really. You find one thing after another that hangs you up. An excuse to delay. First it's the music. Then it's the process. Then the Intro and Exit tracks. Really it's the approval. I get nervous.
Anyway, I love making music right? And I've said so more than enough around PixilatedHQ. You know, that music is my thing. (in jaded cool guy voice) But….I've never really shared that stuff with my Pixilated family. So, you know, the jitters. Approval jitters.
I recently watched a Ted Talk with Dr. Laura Trice speaking about asking for what we need and not being scared of showing vulnerability in doing so. I thought her POV was eloquent and insightful.
It reminded me of a pact I've made with myself. To use humility as an opportunity to grow when it's easy but also when it's difficult; always. A pact to not be shy about needing to feel the support of those around me; and maybe more so, to not shy away from asking for it.
I'm not brave enough to carry myself that openly out of the gate but I'm going to try. If for nothing more than to place my faith in the taking of action, not inaction.
Salvation in Entrepreneurship
One of the things that entrepreneurship provides me is the opportunity to change direction any moment I choose; a trait I will fine tune as my businesses begin to grow and prosper.
We pride ourselves on agility, on taking things into our own hands, on persevering regardless the challenges that need be overcome. In short, Temerity. Find that hunch, now turn it up.
See you soon, now get to work.
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