What I Learned About Money +Business +Self Care In My First Year In Business

I’ve always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur as a kid. Yep, I was the kid pretending to have a boardroom meeting with my Barbie dolls. From am early age, I knew being a CEO of a company was my life aspiration.When I decided to break up with corporate America and focus on building my business as a creative entrepreneur last year. I was more than just nervous. I was uncomfortable and uncertain about the future. My cushy bi-weekly paycheck supported my household and contributed to my social life. Now all of that would be in jeopardy. As scared and nervous as I was of the future. I embraced the uncertainty with a leap of faith. I was tired of the corporate life. My creative freedom was calling and getting louder subconsciously. My family thought I was nuts for leaving my job. For a quick second I thought I was too. Then I remembered that change only comes when you create it.I’ve learned a few things since starting my business a creative entrepreneur a year ago. Here’s what I learned :Money Finding the money to support myself was the major concern. The biggest obstacle for me was learning how to attract clients getting paid adequately to support myself, and not learning to reinvest in my business correctly. When I started writing for other people I made just enough to pay my cell phone bill. I was frustrated and broke to often to consider myself a professional. I knew the content mills were not the place for me.I started by investing in my skills with a online course. The online course educated me on how to present my skills to an audience, identify a problem I could solve, and develop solutions for the problems.I created simple and easy to understand price packages that my target audience would feel comfortable paying. I also consistently shared my knowledge and expertise in private FB groups. Before long I was beginning to see my bank account grow.One of the most valuable things I learned early on was to save money. With my business being my primary source of income I needed to become more responsible with money. I learned to budget my finances on a monthly basis and cut back on unnecessary spending. I began to set a money goal each month increasing steadily over time.One of the most important things I learned the hard way was to not sacrifice my money on external things. For example paying hundreds of dollars for a photo shoot just to upload on social media was not a good decision. For one, the ROI is low. It doesn’t always convert to new leads, and it’s time away from the business. I learned that with a good camera you can save money and time. For me, money was a resource to help leverage my business into being functional without me.BusinessAs a mom-preneur, my business is set up to run around my kids schedule. Thus, I can do a consultation with a business owner or author in my pj’s. That was my primary decision in regards to working for myself. Having a flexible schedule that will allow me to be a better mom to my kids.While most people lavish working from home. It’s not as easy as you would think. Since my business is built on networking, writing articles, creating graphics, and talking to people weekly. Some of my to do list would not be complete. Between household chores, homework, dinner, and meeting deadlines I was steadily growing tired. I was often times falling short of my own expectations. When you work for yourself, you’re everything in your business from the CEO to the social media manager. Challenges and obstacles will appear out of nowhere to throw you off your mark.I learned early on that in order to keep running full speed ahead. I need a team and a tribe. A team of people to delegate small task and manage my calendar and emails. My tribe is filled with like minded people who get the struggle of keeping up with trends and creating content. My tribe also understands my commitment to seeing my business grow without feeling abandoned. Even in working with clients I learned the importance of creating healthy and realistic boundaries. My time with my family is a priority. When I’m working on a project or following up with a client, I’ve scheduled that time in advance.Today I’m at a place in my young business where I am comfortable enough to try new strategies. I’m learning to build trust in my team and start new endeavors. I’m continuously building a reputation of professional and great customer service among my clients. I thought early on that I had to do it all by myself. If I couldn’t do it today the task would jump to the top of my to do list. I was burning the candle on both ends. My creativity was blocked and I was running in circles. It took a while for me to learn a few things the hard way. But, now I am growing more and more comfortable in my business making decisions.Self careAs a mom and entrepreneur, I’m used to taking care of everyone and everything. I would often put my own needs last. When I thought I was functioning at a high level, my productivity suffered. My energy would bounce off the wall. While my brain would shut down after a long day. I was tired. I had adopted the mindset of grinding nonstop. I was in competition with everyone especially the old version of me.No one was checking me on my poor routines, lack of exercise, and reminding me to rest. I was doing everything I thought was right. Well, eventually my body grew tired and I crashed hard. I fell into a slump for days. My ideas were not coming to the forefront and my ambitious attitude was gone. I was a deflated balloon on the inside.It wasn’t until I took a step back. I realized I needed to create balance between work and family. I was addicted to responding to social media posts, promoting my business, juggling clients, and rushing to the next gig. I was a hot mess without a straight jacket.Everything changed for me when I started listening to spiritual podcasts about inspiration. I could identify with some of the unhealthy habits a lot of my peers were doing. They too were spiraling. I had identified the problem. I needed solutions. So, I started logging off of social media on Saturday evening and focusing on time with family. I started getting back to doing the things that I loved like reading and watching movies. I started resting at night without my computer or phone. I was stripping myself bare to get back to the basics.Self care is so important for us mentally and spiritually. Sometimes we take for granted the little moments life gives us to laugh and be free. We’re too focused on trying to keep up. You’re your own competition. No one is waking up and saying how can I outdo such and such. Instead people are looking for real people with real dreams that know the importance of a balanced and rich life. Taking time for you gives you clarity and peace. Two things you will need to push your business forward. Don’t sacrifice yourself for your image of a perfect tomorrow.Listen, I don’t have all the answers. No one does. But I am a mom and entrepreneur that stepped out on faith to create a life I love. To me, that’s a win win. Owning your business is a dream for many entrepreneurs. But, not many are willing to talk about the downside of it all. If you can’t be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with instead? Always live and grow in your truth.Follow. Share. Comment.M. C. WALKER is a copy writer and author from Atlanta. Learn more about her services http://www.themcwalker.com

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