Lessons In Starting A Business

OK, so much to my diary's protest at having an hour dedicated to work that isn't for someone else, it has been too long since I have posted a blog entry and must do so now. *shushes unfinished jobs list demanding her attention*

What I expected would happen when starting my business; a solitary tumbleweed ambles through my studio while I refresh my inbox for the hundredth time. Think Bridget Jones checking her answerphone for messages; "You have absolutely no messages, not a single one, not even from your mother."


No exaggeration.

Let me tell you, it definitely came as a shock. A lot of people will tell you when starting out (as I was) how hard it would be finding that next paycheck. Knowing this in advance and not one for taking things lying down, I had a plan; hit networking hard, offer free demonstrations, build my portfolio (following a unfortunate techy mishap where majority was lost - great timing as I start my business). What I wasn't prepared for is how much interest this would generate and more importantly how to plan for that.

Is it stressing me out? Of course it is, I've never been late to anything a day in my life. Am I worried? Not at all. Because I'm starting out, and it's never going to be perfect right out the gate. These past few months have taught me more than I was expecting to learn in the first year and it's way better to learn right at the beginning rather than later.

What have I learnt?

When to say no

Not to be afraid of not being able to fit something in you're diary straight away, especially if it has potential to turn into something more in the future. You're available when you're available, and you never know when something could turn into something more.

Keep things in the order that they come in

With the above in mind, putting other jobs ahead of what you already have will either push all of your jobs forward (lots of unhappy customers) or really put out the customer that you have taken up the time of with this new job, and now where in your diary are you going to put them?

Allow time to expect the unexpected

I assumed that because it was just myself that I was responsible for that there wouldn't be any spanners that stopped me doing what I intended to get done. Spanners everywhere. Big ones that completely halt production, little ones that build up and take over (these ones are more dangerous because you don't notice them happening until they have overtaken).

Group your out of town visits

Another 'I need to make it as easy as possible for everyone else'. I lost 4 hours in one week because I said yes to when everyone else was free rather than saying 'actually I am in this location on that day, which would be better for me'.

Working from home: you are there to work, not do chores.

All the things that I never paid attention to when working in an office were suddenly right in front of me all day. Nothing changed, just the location in which I worked, yet here I was....scrubbing skirting boards??? ... that got scrubbed right out of my diary pretty quick.

What was my savior?

Keeping a diary of exactly what I have been doing when so that when I got a chance I could go back I could see exactly how much time I was spending on what and how much productivity I was losing by not planning for it in advance.

What I'm still getting my head around; striving for perfection.

Being a creative person and a perfectionist, I always think I can do better and end up wasting hours striving to do better. I'm now trying to find the balance to produce work that I am happy is my best in the time that I have.

I'm planning on there being more to learn and am allowing time in my diary for that. Lessons to learn or not, I'm still loving every second of it and am excited as caps lock and a needless amount of exclamations points about the future.

Now back to my jobs list...almost caught up with myself lol

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