Oh, I have SUCH a gift for you guys today.
I asked some of my former clients, “What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned when it comes to discovering, launching, and/or working in your dream biz?” Below are 15 of insightful, brilliant answers from those who’ve felt the dream business fear and did it anyways.
Warning/threat/promise: inspiration, a-ha moments and action steps ahead! Proceed without caution and get ready for the goodness 🙂
Molly Ann Quigley Assistant to the Director at The McNair Center for Entrepreneurship, Freelance Content Writer and Bookseller at Brazos Bookstore, instagram.com/mollyannquigley
The biggest lesson I learned was don’t go out on your own and make it your full-time job until you have either the money to build it or the work/jobs to keep it going. If you think, I’ll quit, because then I’ll have time to build it and get things going, you can end up with too much time and not enough income. I work at an entrepreneurship center at a university and I can’t tell people enough have the best footing when you start out.
Andi Fairbanks Creative Communications Consultant, andifairbanks.com
The biggest lesson I have learned is that you just have to get over yourself and do it. Starting a business or a passion project is never going to be perfect, you’re going to make some mistakes, and there are going to be things that scare the ever loving heck out of you. You might even have to start over a few times. You just have to decide which impulse wins: The “I’m scared so I’m gonna run away and forget about it” impulse, or the scary but gratifying “I’m gonna try my best” impulse.
Kate Carpenter Interior Designer, Organizer, Maker, and Creativity behind the Big Ideas for Small Spaces, thekatecarpenter.com
I’ve learned that figuring out your why and then your what is the hard part, the how is a lot easier. Also as I’ve just launched, the learning curve it still pretty steep but it rarely feels like “work”!
Laurie Blackwell Creative Journal Guide and Teacher, laurieblackwell.com
I have learned that you have to continuously show up and work, day after day. And that work needs to be something that comes from deep inside you, in order for you to be pleased with it and to keep up the pace that is necessary. In other words, you can’t just fling anything out there and hope it happens. It has to be something that you are compelled to share, no matter how much time and effort it requires.
Rachel Nusbaum Listener, Writer, Storyteller, orchidstory.com
Trusting myself to take the next step is the biggest lesson I’ve learned (and continue to learn!) while launching my creative business. It may or may not be a smashing success, but there is always something to gain from trying, testing and experimenting.
Darlene Owner of Do Bats Eat Cats?, a handmade chainmail jewelry company, dobatseatcats.com
When you’re not sure whether to say yes to an opportunity, listen to your gut. I can’t even count how many times my gut was screaming that an opportunity wasn’t right for me, but my brain tried to rationalize reasons why I should accept – usually out of panic because my sales were slow and I felt I had to do SOMETHING. My gut has never been wrong.
Dr. Vickie Lampkin Physician and modern-day medicine woman who teaches women that listening to their souls is the only way to truly heal, renegadehealing.com
The biggest lesson I had to learn about running my dream biz was that it wasn’t a sprint. It is more like a marathon and I had to change my habits so I could have the energy to run my business. My natural personality is to stay up all night doing work which then leads to a lack of sleep, being to tired to exercise and eating quick, fast junk food. I had to learn to take care of myself because I am the biggest asset in my business.
Tikoshia Davis Holistic Business Coach, tikoshiamdavis.com
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that it is possible to have a successful business WITHOUT sacrificing your well-being!
Zoha Abbas Creative Productivity Coach, multidoer.com
The biggest thing I’ve learned as I work through all of this is that you’ve got to trust yourself. We all have these little voices in our heads and some tell us to be scared, some are mean to us. But we all have that one that tells us to get back up when we fall, or to take a certain path when everyone around us is saying different. THAT little voice is the best compass, and the more you use it the stronger it gets.
Christy Tennery-Spalding, Self-care Mentor, christytending.com
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my business is learning to trust and follow my intuition. This means that I’m building a business that’s truly a reflection of me and is right for every area of my life – not just one that looks good from the outside. It also means that I’m free to do things a little differently, because I’m leading my business based on my inner knowing, not just from following what the crowd is doing.
May Flam Transformational Coach, mayflam.com
As a coach, I work with women to discover who they are at their core. Through self-knowledge, they can more easily make big decisions about their personal life and career, and bask in their inner peace and power. In launching my business, I quickly learned that it is my clients who help me re-commit to my work every day. Seeing their confidence blossom, and seeing them make bold life choices — is simply addictive. I get through the tough times because I love the work so much.
Narah Kimberly Minardi Artist, healingreikiandtarot.blogspot.com
What I’ve learned the most about launching a creative business: A little bit of structure goes a long way, so learn to make some lists and document how you’re spending your time so that you know where there are any pockets that could be spent on more worthy endeavors (which might be going to a museum or on another Artist Date to renew the creative juices). Also, stay present in the moment, even when you are planning ahead. The process, and your enjoyment of it are important not just to you, but to the world.
Rebecca Morgan Chief Awesomist, chooseawesomework.com
No one REALLY knows what they are doing. We are all figuring it out. Even those who we admire. They had to figure it out and with how fast business is changing, still are. Don’t let those voices inside your head that like to say things like, “Who do you think you are? You can’t do it. Why would anyone listen/work with/buy from me?” Silence the voices and keep moving forward even if baby steps. Keep at it and before long you will have your dream biz!
Deb Cooperman Certified Life Coach helping midlife and “midlife adjacent” women rediscover and reclaim their awesomeness, debcooperman.com
Surround yourself with fabulous people. Solopreneuring can be (as the name suggests) a very lonely endeavor. Connect to fellow solopreneurs in online groups (hello? michelle’s dream career creators FB crew …); join a mastermind (mind has saved my sanity so. many. times.), make virtual (or real) dates with like-minded creative career people, as well as friends who will talk about anything BUT launches, conversions, and content. Get out of your cozy clothes (they’re cozy, i know; it won’t be easy. do it anyway.) and get out in the world. Having your own creative business is like being in the most intense, life-expanding, challenging, and rewarding personal growth workshop ever. Make sure you’ve got colleagues and friends to keep you grounded, sane, and focused on what really matters.
Kirsten Henning Coaching, Training, Communications, kirstenhenning.com
Trust the long journey over the short one. Trust that the people who want to work with you will find you. And trust that you will find amazing projects and people that you could never have imagined. Listen to others and stick to your gut all at the same time…because frankly speaking, independence never felt so good.
Interested in working together to bring your dream business to life? My no-obligation applications are open through the end of the week – and might not open again until early 2018!