It’s crazy to think that a year has gone by since I joined the world of entrepreneurship. Bloomm Agency is officially one year old! This year has been my favourite year yet in my career-life, it’s taught me SO much and I am so excited to see what the next year brings. I thought I would celebrate my one year of being in business by sharing 12 things I’ve learned over the past 12 months of being an entrepreneur.
So, here it goes!
1. Quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter how many hours you put into your day, it matters how effectively you work. For years I’ve had the traditional 9-5 work life – and as I began working for myself, I thought I had to follow that same schedule. If there were days I worked less, or days I didn’t start right at 9 a.m. – I’d make up for the hours I lost (by working more) or I’d just feel guilty. I came to realize that as long as I’m doing great work, it doesn’t matter what time I start, finish or how long it takes to do something, as long as I get it done well and on time.
2. No more sick days! Working for yourself, there is no such thing as a sick day. Gone are the days where I can do nothing all day if I’m not feeling well. If I’m sick, I’m on the couch with my computer. Everything is on me now!
3. Get up and get dressed. Because I work from home, I could easily stay in my pjs all day. But on the days that I do, I feel like a lazy butt. I make a point to put on my jeans, a nice sweater and a touch of makeup before I sit down at my desk.
4. Close the door after work. Since I work from home, my work is always right in front of me. I walk by my office and see my to-do list and the stack of papers on my desk that I need to organize. In the early months, I had a very hard time de-stressing after my work day. In my previous jobs, I used to take the time to unwind and remove myself from work during my commute home. I was also one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to bring work home. But now, I don’t have a commute and work is always at home. I really have had to make an effort to learn how to chill out after the work day is done. I’ve become better at it, but there are still days where it takes me a couple of hours to disconnect from work once Rob gets home. Sorry, Rob!
5. Meal prep is key. You know those days where you don’t bring your lunch to work and then end up spending $20 on a gourmet salad and kombucha? I thought those days were over because the kitchen and fridge full of food would be steps away. I was wrong. If I haven’t packed my lunch the night before (whether it’s leftovers from dinner or just an idea of what I’m going to have for lunch the next day), I end up either buying something when I’m out or eating like crap. I don’t always pack my lunch up the next day, but I’m starting to do so more and more!
6. Having a dog under my desk is the best thing ever. Spending my workday with Maya is awesome. She gets me going in the morning by getting me outside for a walk and then a couple times mid-day she gets me away from my desk for another couple walks. I make sure to stay off my phone when we’re walking – it’s a great way to de-stress and unplug for 25-30 minutes at a time. It’s also a great way to get some additional exercise – I usually average around 8,000 steps with that little pup!
7. Socialize every day! If I don’t get out of the house during the day, I’m a crazy, hyper lady when Rob gets home – so it’s important I try to socialize at least once on the days I don’t have client meetings or have any reason to leave the house. I’m sure you know what it’s like not talking to anyone all day…you go nuts!
8. Tracking expenses is such a pain. The admin work that doesn’t pay you anything is the worst part of working for yourself. It’s time consuming and doesn’t make you any money. But, it’s SO important. As an entrepreneur, you really wear all of the hats…that is, unless you can afford to hire people (which I’m not there quite yet!).
9. Having a good desk chair will make Mom happy. When I was buying office furniture, I wanted the pretty, velvet chair without wheels. But Mom knows best and told me it would be awful to sit in all day. She was right! I opted for a normal desk chair – still pretty – but I’m able to sit in it all day (something my chiropractor doesn’t like hearing) without feeling sore. Although…my shoulders are still tense as ever from slouching at my desk…! I need to work on my shoulder exercises!
10. Don’t get excited over new business until the paperwork is officially signed. This one speaks for itself. Sometimes you might have a lead on something great and you can totally feel yourself getting excited over it…but I make sure to keep in that excitement until everything is official, because there have definitely been times where the lead takes a different turn.
11. Don’t sweat the small things. I learned at an early age to not sweat the small things. I’ve taken that philosophy into my business as well. It’s just my first year, so I try to go easy on myself. Everything, at this point, is a learning curve for me.
12. Connect with other entrepreneurs. Since I’m a very small team of one, it’s been so important to connect with other entrepreneurs. I’ve loved connecting and meeting other like-minded people who run their own business. I’ve been able to connect on Facebook groups, through conferences (like The Atelier Collective) and just reaching out online. If you’re an entrepreneur…I would highly suggest connecting with other like-minded business owners!
It’s been 12 months of hard work, learning experiences and exciting times. I’ve loved every step of the journey so far and can’t wait to see what year two brings!