The first year of work is never easy. Not that the following years are, but the first one I think it is the worst. You are learning how things work, what people like and still, you run a business. Some people start with full structure already, with business plans, a full office or shop and people to work for them.
I started my business small, by myself and as an experiment, I would say. It wasn’t bad, but not the most correct thing to do though. I should have had, at least, a business plan. I did know how to do it, just did not give the importance it needed at that time.
Oh Lili… bad Lili. You know the first thing for a business is to make a business plan. Yes, I do. Although I was lucky succeeding with my business, we have to start from the beginning. I was too worried to take action, to do the creative part only, to deal with my customers. I did not want to deal with paper work.
That is the thing, we ain’t good in everything and we have to claim for help. I should had asked for someone who knew more than I did to advise me with a plan. I started small, working from home. Then I moved to my mom’s kitchen. From there to a bigger kitchen and finally to my own atelier. There were small steps all the way, but many wrong ones too.
Tracing a plan, setting up your goals, putting it into paper, makes you see where your business is and where it can get. It guides you to avoid mistakes and call to action when needed. If you do not have one, it is the same as driving a car without knowing the direction. You just drive and drive trying to figure out how to get somewhere. And I have to tell, that it hard.
I have learned somethings from my years as an entrepreneur that I wanted to share with you. They might look obvious and simple, but we tend to forget them sometimes.
1. Listen more
When I started my new blogging business months ago, I tried to make things right. I have an experience from before, so I am looking to not make a few (I say a few, because I know I still make some) mistakes that I made back then. It is a total new thing for me, just like it was before and I have to learn all of it again. So, as my granddad would say: ‘nobody learns from others experiences’. He was right. We all really learn from our own. That is why some of our failures occur. We listen to people, but we always think it won’t happen to us and we do what? We make it our way.
Not that you have to listen and do everything people tell you to. However, there are specific advices that we have to pay more attention. Especially if it is from someone that cares about you and that has experience on what you don’t have. And an extra for me, be less stubborn. When I put something in my head, I go for it. That can be great, but can be a big enemy too! Dose it out, so you do not get blind into an error.
2. Ask for help, accept help, make pre-agreements and pay back
It is ok. We don’t have to know or do everything by ourselves. We should always ask for help when needed and you’ll find out that there are two ways of doing it. It can by having a family member or a friend, or by hiring someone to do it.
I had both types with me along the way and I have to tell you, any of them are not easy. You will have to deal with different kind of issues. Moreover, if I can share something with you (and this can sound harsh), always pay back the favors. Especially with family and friends.
Some people will be easy going and will do things because they really want to help you. However, that doesn’t apply to everyone. People can throw it back on you. Not that you wouldn’t help them when they need. Of course you would, right? The thing is that they might had not learned yet to ask for help and still, they will think you had the obligation in doing it.
Yes, I know. You might be asking yourself: ‘how would I know if they didn’t tell me?’. You wouldn’t probably. Because of that, you should have pre-arrangements. Whenever you agree in accepting the help, agree in returning the favor when you ask. What I did learn with situations like this is that if you do an agreement before, nobody will get hurt afterwards.
Another situation is when family or friends don’t want to charge you for the job (even if you’re willing to pay). Don’t expect them to give the same time to you as they would for a regular customer. They will help you, they will do what you need, but you will feel trapped and won’t be able to demand anything from them.
For employees it is different, because they will be hired for the job. However, specify all the duties before and at the contract for no further problems.
3. Nobody succeeds by its own
We all need people to succeed and this is something I always knew. Having a business just confirmed it to me. You will need the people who work with you and the people who receive your service. It will always be a two-way road.
It also made me change my vision of success. I don’t only think it comes by the amount of money you make on it. Today, I measure success by the small things I accomplish and by seeing people been positively affected with what I do. While with Es Dulce, I used to make dreams come true. Today with the blog, I try to inspire people to follow theirs and share different sort of information that can be useful for that.
Are you an entrepreneur as well? Share you experience and let’s help each other!
See you next time!
Latest posts by Lili Simmelink (see all)
- Does age matter when choosing a (new) career? - January 4, 2018
- Facing your fears when starting your business – The story behind the patisserie “Es Dulce” - November 3, 2017
- 3 things I learned from my business - October 27, 2017