Updated: Aug 8
New to being an entrepreneur? Your focus is not solely on setting up the business.
Moving out of your parent's house into your own space was probably one of the best days of your life. Woo hoo! You could choose to go where you wanted, do what you wanted, and spend money on things you wanted. Oh, the freedom!
Then reality set in - bills to pay, cleaning, washing, shopping, cooking (yeah when your paycheck didn't afford you enough for takeout anymore). Life got real and more complex.
Some people figured it out and for the most part, got the balance right and succeeded and took on more responsibility - finished secondary education, took on mortgages, had kids, found higher-paying jobs, extra car for family, etc. Some people didn't figure things out as well and struggled with life.
That is very similar to changing from being an employee to a business owner.
When you are an employee the company sets you up with work to complete, goals to meet, and all your tools are provided.
Now as a small business, you want to be outstanding and get your branding, tagline, mission statement, and logo right...right?
Wrong, big businesses have the money, resources, and time to finesse that stuff because well... they have the clients and the money. You, small business owner, if new to the small business world, need to keep it basic, just like when you moved out of your parent's home. That was shelter, food, clothing, and a job to pay for things. Now it is a website, a product or service, and your contacts (umm they are your gold by the way.)
As a small business, keep things simple at first. You can certainly get your logo, brand colors, website, and tagline but don't spend an exorbitant amount of time or money on them. Make a decision and move on. For the most part, your clients will not care or remember your logo or tagline anyway.
The main focus is on making the money. Your business is not going to survive otherwise even if you have the best product or service.
Both big business and your parents provided for you. Of course in the corporate world, the work you were given was a problem to be solved. Wash, rinse, repeat. Maybe at your parent's home, it would have been chores to complete. Either way, you were tasked to complete something and get paid.
As Michael Katz noted in his article Different Rules, Different Tools, "... I can’t begin to tell you how many first-time professionals (myself among them) walk away from a job, start a business, and are shocked to discover that their ability to provide a high value, high-quality service is totally irrelevant if they don’t have any clients.
All of which means that even though you may not have started your business “for the money,” if you don’t find a way to earn enough of it, consistently and over the long term, it’s game over.
The money matters: we need to prioritize our activity based on which things are most likely to bring clients and work – something most employees never even think about.
Among those things is not…. perfecting your website, organizing your office, setting up your CRM, or asking one more friend what they think about the name of your planned email newsletter."
The tricky part is how to find clients and convince them that you can solve whatever problem(s) are keeping them up at night. Figure that out and all the other non-revenue-generating things will work out. Well, until you need an extra set of hands in taking care of your admin work... wink, wink nudge, nudge.)
The bottom line.
When you leave the corporate world and lose "employee" status to become an entrepreneur it is a whole new beautiful and challenging world. Just as moving out of the safety of your parent's home to live on your own, you are now the one providing for and taking care of yourself. Time to get focused on money-generating activities so you can thrive and flourish.