July 20, 2021

Ten Things Entrepreneurship Has Taught Me in One Year

Morrow Management is O N E ! 

Can you believe it? Me either! 

But here's the proof! 

People always ask,

"How's business going?" or "How much do you love working for yourself?"

And it's so easy to say,

"It's wonderful!"
"It's great!"
"I love it so much!"

In reality ... sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it is awful. It's often mentally, physically, emotionally and financially draining. It's truly not always "sunshine and rainbows."

But it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.

I took two, very much needed, weeks off prior to my "one-year in business" anniversary and had the chance to really think about all the things I've learned so far and what's next for my business.

Here are ten things entrepreneurship has taught in one year:

  1. Start before you're ready.

    It took me six months to publicly launch my business! Six months because I was SO scared of what people were going to think. Six months because I didn't have a backup plan. Because I didn't have enough money saved, because my logo was trash, my website was mediocre, I didn't have any photos to post, etc. Six months because I just wasn't ready. I came up with a million and one excuses and, not one of them was truly valid because I was never actually going to be ready.

    Now ... I wish I had those six months and constantly wonder about the difference they could have made today if I would have just started before I was ready.
  2. Say no more often.

    Truthfully, I'm still learning this. So far, I've known you don't have to say yes to every client, every advertising opportunity, every "be the best you" online course. You can say no, and most of the time, if you're questioning it, you probably should.

    Don't say yes to a client that seems like a good fit but wants to pay you way less than you deserve. Don't say yes to advertising if you're not ready to spend that kind of money yet. Don't say yes to that online coach that's promising you 10k months. SAY NO.
  3. Write off everything. Keep every single receipt.

    My Mom (thank you, Mom!) is retired from the tax world so thankfully, this one came pretty easy but what I didn't know is that the list of things you can write off for your business is endless. From your cell phone bill and your wifi to a portion of your hydro and rent/mortgage. From client gifts and meetings to anything that can be used in photo as a prop for marketing. The trick is keeping all receipts, both paper and digital, tracking them in an Excel or Google Sheet and hiring a really great bookkeeper if you're not a math person like myself.

    (Maybe I'll write another blog on this subject!) 
  4. Track all of your kms - use Mile IQ.

    In relation to #3, if you're using your vehicle to drive to meetings or driving to a store to pick up supplies or delivering your products/services, you can write it OFF! All you have to do is track your kilometres and note you're using your vehicle for business purposes.

    I use an app called Mile IQ for this, and it automatically tracks when you're driving and estimates your to-and-from locations; you'll have to go in at the end of the week or month and manually check which trips were for business or not but, this makes things a lot easier (for me) then writing down the kilometres every time I get in and out of my vehicle.

    Then calculate the percentage of "business kms" based on your total kilometres used at the end of the year and, you can write off that percentage of your lease or payments, your interest, your car maintenance, your gas, etc.

    (Again, consult a bookkeeper on this one!)
  5. If you think you're organized ... you're not.

    I've never claimed to be a super-organized person but, I've always been organized in my own way but wow, being an entrepreneur is the messiest thing ever! 

    There are receipts everywhere, three different agendas and online calendars and notebooks and pens that never work, there's photo props and supplies and books, and they are just everywhere.

    I attempt to organize my office every other week, and it lasts at least thirty minutes on a good day.


  6. Determine your core principles.

    When developing my website, Cliff Skelliter, owner and operator of Launchpad Creative, told me one of the things I should focus on was developing my core principles and relating all decisions based on those. I politely agreed and changed the subject then instantly started Googling what the heck core principles were and then it all started to make sense! 

    It took me a solid 48 hours to figure out what my principles were and what I want them to be for myself and my business.

    Regardless of how you define them, your principles are what you believe in; they're what drives you and what guides you in life and in business.

    They can certainly be hard to determine but they can always be changed because they're yours.

    When making a pressing or influencing decision within my business, I always refer back to my ten principles.

  7. It's lonely.

    Back to the whole "it's not all sunshine and rainbows" reference ... entrepreneurship can be lonely. Not always, but certainly sometimes, and at this point, I would say more often than not.

    If you don't come from a bloodline of entrepreneurs, your family may not understand how difficult it can be or how one tiny decision could collapse your whole business. They might question or be disappointed that you're always on your phone or have to miss a family event because you're working. Your friends and acquaintances may not understand that you have to wake up early or stay up late and work on weekends and holidays to run your business, and that's why you're too exhausted to get together right now.

    They might not appreciate your small wins and successes or understand the pain of failing yourself, and that can be lonely.
  8. Community over competition.

    To avoid #7, I've discovered that surrounding yourself with like-minded people is vital! 

    I'm embarrassed to admit this, but when I first started my business, my mindset was, "I'm not going to follow this social media manager because I don't want them to see what I'm doing." 

    And I'll tell you that it lasted about a week before I stumbled across an online community filled with some of the most supportive people that I've never met. I started connecting with people doing the same thing as me who were more supportive than my closest friends because they got it. They understood how much those "comments" and "shares" meant and how hard it was to put myself out there into the world because they did it too.
  9. This is not a 9-5 job. This is a 24/7 career.

    THIS IS NOT MEANT TO SCARE YOU OFF FROM STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

    Trust me, I don't "work" 24/7; I take plenty of time off and give myself more than enough downtime so I can enjoy the freedom I'm working so hard far.

    What I mean by this is that since starting my own business, I've realized my brain is thinking about my business 24/7; it truly does not stop.
  10. Fail forward.

    Last but certainly not least, I've learned to fail forward.

    I know it sounds so cheesy, but I've learned that with every mistake made, I've learned from it. So it's not a matter of if I fail, it's when ... because it definitely happens, I'm failing forward, I'm learning from it.

Please take the above with a grain of salt, don't let these lessons deter you from starting a business! If you have any questions about my experience or want to learn more- don't hesitate to reach out! 

Starting and launching Morrow Management has been one of the best decisions I've ever made and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.