I started my marketing agency with an investment of $10 to buy my domain name, $10 for web hosting, $80 for a WordPress template – and nothing else, other than time. I wrote my web copy myself, did my web design myself and officially “launched” in October 2010. I would work my full time day job, and then do client work at night and on weekends.
That hard work quickly paid off, however, and 4 months later, I was able to quit my full time job. I hit over six figures in my first year in business – and the company revenue has increased annually ever since. Less than a year after launching, I had a small team of people in place. Presently, I have 19 people who are regularly working with me.
I would say that the single most important thing I did was not listen to others. People told me I was crazy to work a full time job during the day, and give up my nights and weekends to focus on my marketing business. They told me I wouldn’t be successful with my efforts. They told me that it was dumb to go out on my own since I would be giving up a stable paycheck for uncertainty. Pretty much everyone I know told me NOT to do what I did.
And now here I am, 8 years later, with a successful business, working from home most of the time with my dog laying at my feet, and doing something I love.
I have the following 3 tips to share with women who are looking to take the entrepreneurial plunge:
- Plan – but don’t overplan. There are inevitably going to be things that come up along the way that you just can’t plan for. Staying up late trying to predict them will cost you valuable ZZZ’s – and your sanity. When I first went “full-time” on my own, I planned. And planned. And planned. But all that planning didn’t prepare me for clients disappearing, companies declaring bankruptcy, etc.
- Make sure you have your legal bases covered. We live in a lawsuit friendly society and one in which people will sometimes do whatever they can to get out of a contract that they entered into. To prevent these types of headaches from turning into migraines, make sure you’ve got an attorney you can reach out to for legal advice and who can help make sure that your contracts are tight. Same thing goes for an accountant (after all, who wants to land in hot water with the IRS?). I didn’t have all my legal bases covered when I first started out, and it cost me a lot of money since a client was able to weasel out of honoring their financial obligations to pay my company for services rendered. Lesson learned, albeit an expensive one.
- Avoid burnout. When you first start out, you’re passionate about what you do. This passion likely involves putting in long hours to get your venture off the ground. Just be careful not to overdo it. Make time for the other important things in your life. It’s not fun to finally “make it,” only to realize that you are celebrating your success by yourself because you’ve dropped everyone else in your life like a bad habit.