Guest Post by Michele Golden ::: “Do as I say, not as I do.” We’ve all heard the phrase, and we try to avoid it when it comes to parenting. But it does have its uses. Take, for example, my journey to entrepreneurship. There’s a lot of stuff I did that you really shouldn’t do. But my goof-ups won’t have been in vain if they save you some missteps:
What I did: Had a water-tight business plan.
What I say: Have a general plan. If you’re starting a low-investment service business like I did, you don’t need to spend months on a detailed business plan. Once you get started, you’re going to adjust course (trust me). Now, those of you starting a coal mine or private space program might want to be more buttoned up. I’m just saying you should assess your own situation and decide how much time you really need in planning mode.
What I did: Didn’t hang out my shingle until every last detail was ready.
What I say: Go for the soft launch. Don’t wait until your business cards are printed, your website is fully operational, and your childcare arrangements are set to get your startup started. Just get out there. No one bats an eye when you say, “I’m launching my business.” Heck, you can say that for a year or two.
What I did: Stayed in my comfort zone.
What I say: Try something new. For me, launching a business was as outlandish as I could get at the time, so I chose to stay in my marketing services wheelhouse. But now I’m wondering if I should have pushed myself into a new field, just to shake things up. Maybe I can run a second business, too…
What I did: Ventured out alone.
What I say: Consider a business partner. As a mom, I crave time alone. And the thought of being a solopreneur felt downright luxurious: no drama, no accountability, just me, myself and I. Turns out, working alone is a little lonely. I miss bouncing ideas off colleagues, and it’s hard to stay motivated when you report to yourself. So, if you know someone who would add value to your startup, consider a dynamic duo.
What I did: Took my business very, very seriously.
What I say: Have some fun already! There are no extra points for gravitas unless you’re a funeral director. Working for The Man can be a drag. Working for yourself should be a blast.
Michele Golden runs BrandNew Consulting and helps overwhelmed startups simplify their marketing into manageable — yet awesome — activities. She also started The Reinvention Network, a meetup for SAHMs who have crazy-cool career dreams, and she blogs about information overload on Data Sort. While she’s spent most of her career in the glamorous (ha!) field of marketing, Michele (curiously) has a Masters in Social Work, which comes in handier than you’d think. She lives in Oak Park, IL with her husband, two kids, and a willful puppy, all of whom can probably give her elevator pitch.