I am absolutely thrilled to share this guest post with you today from one of my super awesome coaching-clients-turned-business-owner, Stephanie Hall. If you’re looking to start your own creative venture, don’t skip this post because Stephanie is sharing brilliant advice that you won’t want to miss (plus, check her bio for a sweet blog design deal)!
Starting a new business has been such an exhilarating journey. In April, I took charge of my career and created Stylings & Stories to pursue my dream of being a creative entrepreneur. I’m so glad I took this leap of faith, but it hasn’t been without its challenges.
When you’re a kid, people say you can be anything when you grow up. What they never tell you is how hard it’s going to be, how your path will be wrought with mistakes and awkwardness. You just think “Awesome, I’m gonna be a famous singer, no, a librarian, no, Batman. Yeah, Batman!”
Then you grow up and you realize Batman isn’t your first choice anymore (he can’t have any real relationships because his girlfriends always die or try to kill him,) so you opt to be a freelance writer, editor, designer, [insert your awesomeness here.] Now what? You’ve got no choice but to just do something, anything. And, it can literally be anything. Just don’t forget, like Batman, you’ve got enemies too. These include, but are not limited to, procrastination, self-doubt, extreme embarrassment, worry, naivety, and amateurishness. Have no fear; these flaws can be transformed into strengths with self-awareness and patience.
Here are some tips that really work when starting a new business.
There is an unlimited pool of genius creatives and entrepreneurs who are itching for you to contact them with your brilliant idea(s). Don’t be afraid to recruit the superstars in your industry and don’t discount the power of beginners. Even an exchange of services, like I did with Adele Lafond on our Playground Shoot, will work wonders for your business. You get to practice your service and receive something valuable in return.
2. Enlist an Creative Organizational Superstar
Do you know someone who thrives on organization? Or, someone who is able to articulate your vision that seems so disjointed when you think about it? Good! You’ve gotta get them to help you! For me, this meant hiring Ashley to help mold my Super Awesome Life. She directed my energy in the right directions and I was able to really define my vision once those important tasks were in place.
3. Write a Business Plan
Or, at least start to write one! There are many pieces of a business plan that are just there to make it official, but there are also some great sections that really help build a foundation for your company. These sections include SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), growth plan, marketing strategy, and social responsibility strategy. If you want to go even deeper you can create a communications strategy and brand strategy to define and brainstorm your company’s personality and voice. Knowing your company, its strengths and weaknesses and goals, makes a huge impact in decision-making, overall growth, and networking.
4. Set Goals
Make ‘em SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and timely.) Make a five-year plan, and then ask yourself “what do I need to do this year, this month, this week, today, to achieve this goal?” Your goals may evolve over time, but this technique sets the wheels in motion.
5. Reward Every Small Victory
It’s easy to get caught up in the big picture, but every day you are working hard to achieve your goals. Reward yourself with healthy and motivational prizes, like a new printer, a mini vacation, or a trip to the zoo. Don’t set yourself back, though. It can be tempting to take a load of time off to reward your hard work but this isn’t going to get you closer to your goals.
Stephanie Hall is writer, editor, designer, blogger, poet, photographer, playground lover, puppy person, and creative brain behind Stylings & Stories. She is passionate about helping fellow creative solopreneurs, which is why she’s offering blog designs for as low as $100 and 50% off all her services until September. All you have to do is sign up for her newsletter and follow her on a few social media. Check it out here. Stylings & Stories creates playful, conscientious, and brilliant web & print communications. Everything from websites & logos to communications plans & branding strategies to creative writing & editing. Get a head start on her sale by following her on twitter, facebook, pinteres
[photo credit: beth19]