So, you want to start a business...
You’ve dreamed. You’ve planned. The once foggy picture of being an entrepreneur has formed into an almost crystal clear vision of jumping in. Or maybe you’ve already jumped into business ownership and took the “I’ll figure it out as I go” approach. As able-minded an amazing as you are, you just can’t escape the fact that you can’t do it all or know it all. You need people in your corner. You need people as experts just as much as you need an official business email address. If there is one thing we wish we would have known at an earlier point in business ownership, it’s that surrounding yourself with the right people makes the journey of entrepreneurship a little less lonely and harrowing.
Taxes are no joke. Suddenly you don’t have a single W-2 to file and you wonder if you can really write off those Starbucks lattes a year ago when you met with a semi-client/semi-friend. And let’s not forget the debate of sole proprietor versus LLC versus an S or C Corp. Are you lost yet? Don’t worry, so were we! Find a good accountant, and stick with them like your life (and money) depends on it! Yep, it’s an expense, and a tax write off, but the money spent is well worth skipping a tax-induced headache. Your older self will profusely thank your younger self for finding a good accountant early on in business ownership.
Think of a mentor like your business therapist. It’s someone who you are comfortable sharing all your worries and stresses with. You can be imperfect and messy in front of them. You’re not lying to them to save face. They are there to counsel you and guide you through the mishaps and celebrations of your first few years of running a business. It’s nerve wracking as hell to ask someone to be your mentor, but chances are they are flattered and excited to see someone succeed. Just like therapists, mentors don’t come in a one size fits all capacity. It might take some time and a few coffee meetings to find a person that you truly click with and can be in a mentor-mentee relationship long term.
Other Business Owners
Find some in other industries. Find some in your own industry. It’s all about the abundance mindset ladies. Find business owners that are in a similar stage of their journey. Perhaps find a mastermind group, or form one yourself. Lend knowledge, experiment, be authentic with each other, and hold each other accountable as you navigate the business world together. It’s empowering and comforting to see others struggle with the same things, or to push one another to stretch and grow. You all play a piece in each other’s success!
A girl needs her tribe. And while it’s easy to not make time in your calendar for those OG friends, they are as crucial as your accountant or mentor. They are some of your best cheerleaders and supporters. They have known you at your best and worst. And they encourage that ever-illusive balance of work and life.