The Truth About Being an Entrepreneur
Opening Aceti Design Co. almost two years ago was definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made. That being said, there are a lot of truths about opening your own business and being an entrepreneur that I wasn't aware of when I started.
Today, I'm going to share with you a few honest truths I've learned throughout my journey of entrepreneurship.
It's ALWAYS a good idea to have multiple income streams.
This doesn't necessarily mean you have to run multiple businesses. You can have multiple streams of income in one business in a very simple way. For example, if you sell art prints, you can use a blog to point people to your product. By having a blog, you can make a little extra money from ad revenue and sponsored links & blog posts.
I have multiple income streams because I offer my products across multiple platforms. I currently sell on Etsy here, here, and here, and on Creativemarket here. I also have multiple income streams by having one main shop, and then having a second instant download shop that doesn't require much work, besides responding to questions and inquiries. (Create once, sell 1000 times)
You'll be sorry if you wait until tax season to log your expenses.
The first time I had to do my taxes as a sole proprietor, I was mortified. I had no idea how much to log as expenses because I had no system in place to track my spending. I had NO idea!
After that first year, I arranged a system using Excel to log EVERY expense - product inventory, stamps, envelopes, office supplies, internet, my Etsy bill, my website bill, etc. This is truly a time saver while saving you from unnecessary stress.
You're truly a one-man-band.
When I first opened Aceti Design Co, I thought it would be so simple. I'll create, fill orders, and make money. Yes, I did all of those things, but I also had to manage social media, marketing, blogging, inquiries, expenses, taxes, inventory, and SO much more. You truly don't understand all the hats entrepreneurs wear until you become one. Read more about entrepreneurial responsibilities here.
It's Lonely At The Top.
It can get pretty lonely juggling all the responsibilities of single-handedly running your business. Sometimes, I'll work from the library, a coffee shop, or a co-working space just to be around people.
Another great idea is to meet up with other creatives and work together. You can be doing two completely different things, but there's comfort in having someone around when you're working.
Accept When You Need Help.
There will be certain aspects of your business where you need some guidance. For me, this was the legal-financial aspects of operating a business. I had no idea how to make a business bank account, register your business legally, register for an HST number, etc. I reached out to a small business financial advisor and he gave me SO much practical advice and guidance.
The sooner you accept you won't be an expert at all things business, the better.
You will have lazy days.
Working from home can definitely be draining at times. You'll stay in your PJs all day, work from your bed, take the morning off to go for brunch with a friend... It happens when you work from home. At the same time, yes, you'll have lazy days, but you'll also have CRAZY productive days when you get a week's worth of work finished in a few hours. It's all about balance.
Reflect, but always look forward.
This may be the hardest truth to accept.
If business is slow, or you're not where you thought you'd be at this point in time, don't sulk and accept defeat. Take a hard look at your mistakes, reflect on them, and use what you've learned to move forward with a clear mind and a stronger plan.
Mistakes will happen, but it's all about being resilient. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off! If you're dedicated, you're going to make big things happen!
How do you learn from your mistakes?