What no one tells you about having your own online business
I’ve officially been in business for almost two months and although I’m grateful for the position I’m in to be able to create my own schedule there is some things I have learned in the process. Running your own business is extremely hard and you must have discipline if you want to see success. Of course, there has been many benefits from starting my own online business, but there’s also some things I wish I knew beforehand to better prepare but then again, it’s all part of the process.
So here they are:
1. You signed up for a 24/7 sales job
Let me tell you something, I quit my previous job because it involved sales. I hated selling advertising spots to strangers for a website I was not passionate about. That’s the main reason why I quit! But then here I am signing up for a 24/7 sales job. Yup, if you have your own business you better believe you’re going to have to sell yourself 24/7. You have to differentiate yourself apart from your competitors and show your clients why they should work with you and what value you can provide to them. Would I have started my own online business if I knew this beforehand? I’ll be honest with you I would have probably ran the other way, but I’m so glad I’ve launched my business. The difference here is that I’m actually excited and happy about what I’m “selling” because I believe in what I do, I love bringing my clients’ visions to life. If you’re in sales, you know that you either have to be extremely money motivated or you have to be passionate about what you’re selling otherwise it’s not going to work. Where do I stand? I am extremely passionate about what I do now, that it doesn’t even really seem like a sales job. I know my value and what I can offer to my clients, so I stand tall and confident behind my business. I know saying you’re signing up for a 24/7 sales job might be daunting at first, but I am not trying to discourage you. Just know that if you believe in what you’re doing, you’re honest and hard-working it won’t seem like the typical sales job.
2. You have to get good at managing your time
This here is so so soooo important. Coming from working that 9 to 5 life I was so used to having to clock in and out of work. You know that schedule you were forced to have? Yeah, I was so used to having a set schedule that when I started my own business I was so lost on how I should manage my time. At first it was amazing, I didn’t have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to be work by 6:00am? That sounded wonderful! I could wake up at any hours of the day without getting fired. Sounds amazing right? It was and is amazing, don’t get me wrong but one of the biggest mistakes I did is not creating a schedule for myself to keep myself accountable and to make sure that I was getting things done. I’ve since then created a schedule for myself during the week to keep myself working towards my goals. It’s extremely easy to get off track and get distracted because there isn’t anyone looking over your shoulder to tell you you’re not working. But if you want to have a successful business and be taken seriously you need to create a schedule that you will be able to call your “business hours”. This has helped me in so many ways although I will admit that sometimes I stray from my hours but that’s the beauty of having your own business, right? You can go to an early doctor’s appointment without having to use your sick hours! I personally just make sure that I take that into account and make up those hours by working a little longer another day.
3. It’s not as easy to shut the door behind you and not think about work
I’ll be the first to say that after I got off from work at my 9 to 5 my mind would not be thinking about work whatsoever. I was glad to be able to close the door behind me and not have to think about unfinished business. That doesn’t hold true to having your own business though. Sometimes I find it hard for my mind to stop thinking about work. I find myself distracted thinking about what I’m going to do next in my business or client work I haven’t finished. You need to find a balance between work and life, after all this is one of the main reasons why I started my online business. Sometimes you’ll be working late hours into the night and even weekends which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you want to be careful because you don’t want to burn yourself out. Although it may not be easy, this is where having a set schedule can come in handy. That way when you’re off from working you can sit back and relax if not force yourself to stop thinking about work.
4. Self-doubt can still creep in
I know what you’re thinking, “Erika, you’ve managed to create your own online business how could you still doubt yourself one bit?!” Although I’ve successfully launched my business self-doubt still manages to make its way into my head. What if I don’t get clients next month? What if I’m not a good enough web designer? I’m telling you, the what-ifs are endless that is if you allow them to take over your life. Self-doubt can also make its way into your head if you believe you’ve failed at something. You shouldn’t be afraid of failure, if you’re not failing, you’re not growing. Learn from your mistakes or failures whichever you want to call them and embrace them. I’ve learned to embrace failure and live by what someone once told me, “failure is your best teacher.” Self-doubt naturally comes with having your own business but don’t let it consume you. Learn ways to deal with the self-doubt and gather your thoughts to get your mind aligned with your goals. Something I’ve done to control negative thoughts or any self-doubt I might have is journaling, meditating, daily affirmations and reading self-improvement books. I also literally replace those negative thoughts in my head with good ones. Negative thoughts are so easy to creep in our minds more than we know it and learning to control your own thoughts is something everyone should practice.
5. You’re spending lots of quality time with yourself
You’ve decided that creating an online business is what you want to do? Perhaps because it gives you the freedom to work from anywhere in the world? Yes, one of the top reasons why I chose this career path for myself! It sounds amazing to have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, right? But what most of you might not think of is how much time you spend working by yourself. With all the jobs I held in the past I met so many amazing people along the way but now that I have my online business it’s just me and my laptop. Yup, it gets pretty lonely at times so some of the things I like to do to get out of my house is going to coffee shops. My friend and I (who also happens to have an online business) have weekly coffee work dates. I also switch it up and go to the library once in a while just to be around other people. I can’t attest to meeting people abroad as I have yet to travel with my laptop but I’m sure with all the co-working spaces available it’s easy to meet other amazing digital nomads. So, if you’re like me and you’re still building your online business from home try working from local coffee shops, or your local library once in a while.
Starting your own business is no easy task. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and a whole lot of patience but if you’re passionate about what you’re doing it will all be worth it. There might be times where you question whether what you’re doing is worth it but if you’re patient enough you will reap the benefits of all of your hard work. For being in business for almost two months I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs, but I find it to be worth fighting for.