8 Lessons I’ve Learned So Far Starting a Business

Over the last 2 years, I’ve been slowly building my website agency SG Web Partners. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way.

This title feels like a Elite Daily article but don’t worry hopefully this isn’t one of those large lists your BFF’s post on your Facebook wall. Over the last 2 years, I’ve been slowly building my website agency MG Web Partners. There have been many ups and downs, but standing here today I’m proud of the work I’ve put in. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way.

1. Work. Work. Work.

Many millennials struggle with identifying what their passion is or what they actually want to do. I believe in finding your passion but what I’ve learned is that finding that passion won’t come from thinking about it. What works?  Working, taking action, and trying. Fail. Fail. Fail. and Work. Work. Work. Listen to Bad Girl Riri and never stop working.

rihanna

In all seriousness, I used to get caught up in trying to find myself and my vision and would become severely frustrated. Hello people; meditating for 3 hours isn’t going to layout a crystal clear vision for your life. I think people, especially in their 20s, become severely frustrated when they don’t find themselves. So, when in doubt, work and act. Act and work. Rinse and repeat. Eventually, you’ll discover your passion.

2. Nothing happens as quickly as you want it to.

I’m the most impatient person, and I know I’m not alone. I want everything to happen so fast whether it’s sales, development, or other things like the Timberwolves finally breaking that playoff drought.

However, don’t be TOO patient and get complacent. Rather, learn to not be so impatient and as Joel Embdid says “Trust the Process”.

trust the process

Many of the sites we do are in the $6,000-12,000 range and I find myself becoming frustrated when they don’t sign the proposal the minute I send it over. Learn that the sales cycle is never a few hours or a few days. Building trust and establishing a relationship with your clients is important but will payoff in the long run.

3. Don’t worry about being great, focus on being solid

Don’t try to be perfect. Shoot for 90% perfect. Perfection is going to drive you nuts because no one is perfect, and there’s always room for improvement. Make sure you’re doing your best, and when things go wrong, LEARN from them, don’t have it ruin your day.

In the words of August Noble Inbound Marketing Manager at SnackNation, “Take more action and shoot for a B+.” You have an infinite number of tasks to get done each day. Trying to make everyone perfect will bog you down.  

Remember that taking action is better than over thinking and not taking action. Also here is a rule of thumb I’ve adopted: if something takes less than 2 minutes do it now.

For example:

  • Do you find yourself distracting yourself before a big task? 
  • Do you really need to color code your Excel spreadsheet to make each column a different color?
  • Is this task really that important?

If something takes less than 2 minutes DO IT NOW.

4. There is no such thing as “making it”

I think people love to put the tagline ‘he or she made it’, but in reality that is never the case. The best ones never think they made made it and work hard like they are barely skimming by. Do you make it when you have your own business? No. Do you make it when you do over $200k in annual revenue? No. Do you make it when you can finally buy that sports car? No but maybe for some. The reality is to always be hungry and humble.

Success is different to every person, but continuing to work hard and acknowledge where you aren’t strong and could use improvement will allow your success to grow continually.

5. How to now handle bad news

If you have bad news deliver it right away. We all have been in a situation where we’ve put off delivering bad news. Stop! It’s human nature to turn away from the things that you’re afraid of. Realize NOW is the best time to deliver bad news. Not 2 hours from now, not 4 days from now. Not next week. NOW!

6. Time box your tasks

Right now I have a timer on my iPhone to write this blog post in 20 minutes. No matter what this blog post will be finished and sent to my editor (a.k.a Katie Hoesley) in 20 minutes. Time boxing is something I hate doing but is really beneficial when I do. I’m working on doing this more often but I’d like to share my experience. Let’s say you have 4 tasks this morning:

  • Write blog post – 20 minutes
  • Draft proposal for Company X – 30 minutes
  • Add new feature for Client X – 1.5 hours
  • Develop home page for Client Z – 2 hours

Put a timer on your iPhone, stopwatch, or computer and GO!

Realize that once the timer runs out you have to be done with your task. This allows you to skip all the BS and get straight to the point. Keep in mind that this is just a mentality and not a end all be all lol. If you have left something super important out take the extra 5 minutes and finish your task. I guarantee it was a lot shorter than if you didn’t time box your time.

7. Surround yourself with people that make you better

Don’t let others insert negative energy into your life. Surround yourself with people that can make you a better version of yourself, that are positive and keep you accountable for your actions. Having people around who are honest with you and who you trust. If everyone around you is a yes man, you’re risking missing major problems in your own operation. This might not be what you always want to hear but what you need to hear!

 

8. Working Out Is Part of Your Job

The days I workout I’m so much more productive. Still, I’m only getting to the studio 4X a week. Realistically, I want to get some type of workout in everyday because I have never ever regretted getting a workout in. Endorphins are chill.