Start-up costs — even for a solopreneur — will be twice as much as you think
“I’m working from my laptop, how expensive can starting a business really be?” This was my naive thought upon quitting Google to pursue my writing and speaking career full-time. Take whatever cost you budgeted for your first two months and double it. There are all kinds of expenses that you may or may not have planned for: buying a new laptop, talking with your accountant, purchasing software (Microsoft Office, Quickbooks, etc) and filing paperwork, not to mention moving or travel costs if those are also in your plans.
Your time-management challenges will follow you after you leave corporate…and might even get worse
When I was juggling two full-time jobs between Google and my blog & book, time-management was definitely a challenge; however, my email and scheduling overwhelm only got worse after I quit. Suddenly, I saw anything that wasn’t revenue-generating as taking me away from being able to pay my bills. I became lost deciding whether to answer emails or focus on building my business — and on some days the overwhelm became paralyzing. I’m now even busier than I was before, which is a good thing, but now all I have is my bank balance to hold me accountable. I’ve really had to experiment to find systems and processes that keep me sane.
Saying YES to your business means learning to say NO
I’m guilty of lapsing into people-pleaser mode, and when I was starting out I wanted to accomodate every email, tweet, and request for my time. However, once I left the safety of my corporate gig, I realised that I had to start saying no. My survival as a solopreneur depends on it! One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that you can’t make everyone happy all the time. You have to focus each day on what your business priorities are and figure out which activities would have the biggest impact. Start there and get to everything else only if you have the time. You might also consider setting aside 1-2 hours each day (or week) dedicated to email — or only answer after 3pm — anything that ensures you don’t spend all your time reacting.
Jenny Blake is an author, blogger, life coach and sought-after speaker who helps others “Wake up, live big! and love the journey.” She has been featured on Forbes.com, US News & World Report, CNN.com and was recognised by Suze Orman as a leader among Gen Y.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (Y.E.C.)is an invite-only nonprofit organisation comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The Y.E.C promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business’s development and growth.
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