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If I Was Starting My Business From Scratch, Here’s What I Would Do Differently

June 25, 2024

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Starting your own business isn’t for the faint of heart. Although it can be incredibly rewarding, it’s also one of the hardest things that I believe anyone can do. 

In today’s world where social media is so prevalent in our lives, I so often see people making entrepreneurship seem like the only way you can experience freedom in various capacities. 

We live in a world where so many people want to make their own hours and desire to make as much money as they want and I really do get it. Time and money freedom is very desirable and it IS true that owning your own business can give you those things and it IS amazing.

But on the flipside of that, there’s a lot of other things that owning a business brings that aren’t so desirable and those are the things that aren’t portrayed on social media as often. 

The late nights. The weekend work. The daily challenges. The risks. The stress. The overwhelm. The endless decision making. The wearing of manyyyyy hats. 

On social media, you might see a business owner getting to work from home and ending their day at 2pm to take their kids to the pool on a weekday. But what you don’t see? The amount of work she puts in after her kids go to bed so that she can end her days early. 

Like anything in life, owning a business has its trade offs and if I was starting mine from scratch, there’s a few things that I would go back and do differently. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love what I’ve created and I’m so thankful for the businesses that I’m blessed to own. But as I’ve built them, I’ve learned a lot of things the hard way. 

So, in this blog post I’m not going to tell you the legal things to do first when starting a business, like creating your LLC or getting your contracts in check right away (even though I DO advise both of those things)…

Instead, I’m going to share a few less businessy things that I wish I would’ve done when I was first starting out in hopes that it reaches a new entrepreneur or someone that’s thinking about starting an online business of their own.

5 Things I Would Do Differently If I Were Starting My Business From Scratch

1. Slow Down

First things first, I would slowwwww the heck down! And trust me when I say, I really do understand that this is easier said than done. 

When you’re in the beginning stages of starting a business, you often have a deep desire to just get started and have something work. So that often means that you jump at any opportunity that comes your way and while sometimes seizing opportunities is a good move, it can also cause more harm than good if the opportunities aren’t aligned with what you really want. 

For example, let’s say you really want the ability to stay home with your kids and solely work during their nap time. That’s awesome and can totally be done! But then let’s say a potential client comes your way that requires work that’s wayyyy more time consuming than just nap time hours.

Even though you know that the workload is too much, the money feels worth it so you take on the client… and the next thing you know, you’re trying to multitask client work during your kids’ wake hours and you end up resenting the very thing that you created.

If I would’ve simply slowed down when I first jumped into entrepreneurship and stayed true to what I really wanted, I would’ve experienced a LOT less heartache and headache. 

Slowing down is truly the KEY for sustainable growth and is like the anti-venom to imposter syndrome and comparison. Success in business isn’t about who makes it to the finish line first – so let it be slow. 

Slow and steady really does win the race. 🐢

2. Have a Clear Vision For My Life

Notice how I didn’t say have a clear vision for my business…

It’s almost impossible to predict what exactly your business will become and while you can absolutely have a vision for it in the beginning, in my experience the vision for your business will likely change as you grow. 

But the thing that’s less likely to change as much? The vision you have for your LIFE!

When you decide to start a business, you’re integrating your professional and personal life like never before and while everyone is quick to preach having a work/life balance, it’s extremely hard to separate the two when you’re your own boss.

This is why it’s crucial to be so clear on what you ultimately want your life to look like. 

If I could go back, I would get SO clear on my 5, 10, and maybe even 15 year plan and truly vision board things out. Again, while you can’t predict everything, you can develop a deep understanding of your values, which will ultimately help guide your decision making in all that you do.

When you’re not clear on what you want for your LIFE, you’ll easily start to fall for anything in the business world, especially when things start to look shiny. ✨ And then the next thing you know you’re living a life that’s nowhere near what you imagined for yourself.

Don’t compromise your values for things that are here today, gone tomorrow. Have a vision and only make decisions that are fully aligned with it or lead you closer to achieving just that.

3. Understand My Why

These days, way too many people are starting businesses simply because they believe they can make a lot of money that way. And while it’s true that there CAN be a great financial benefit with owning your own business, it also takes a LOT of work to really get to that point. 

Simply starting a business doesn’t equal financial freedom even though social media does a really good job of making it look that way. My best advice is to have a deep understanding of your WHY, beyond the potential financial gain, and lead with that from the very beginning.

While yes starting a business can grant you many things that a typical 9-5 corporate job can’t, it’s also not all of the glitz and glam that it’s often cracked up to be and if you jump into it for the wrong reasons, you’ll likely find yourself on a path to burnout and questioning it all.

4. Research

I know that the word “research” sounds like the MOST boring thing ever, but seriously hear me out… when I first started my business I rushed into a lot of things.

Creating products, jumping into partnerships, hiring people, etc.

And almost none of those decisions were based on real research. Instead they were just based on what I thought I wanted at the time.

If I could go back, I would take more time in the beginning to truly research what my audience needed to ensure that I was creating a business that truly served them from the very beginning. 

Without actual research, you’re just taking shots in the dark and that’s how you end up creating products or promoting services that 1) no one actually needs and 2) aren’t aligned with your ultimate mission. 

And same goes for jumping into partnerships and hiring people – I’ve unfortunately learned the hard way that not everyone is a good fit for you and that is OKAY! That’s why knowing your values, knowing your why, and actually researching what you need before jumping into something is major key.

5. Make Sure EVERY Decision Is Aligned 

Lastly, to sum up everything I mentioned above, probably the most important thing I would do differently if I was starting my business from scratch is to make sure every single decision is aligned.

Aligned with my values. Aligned with my beliefs. Aligned with my why.

The moment you start compromising any of those things is the moment you start heading down a path that you’ll most likely regret. 

Few things, if any, in business are worth going against what you truly believe in. While it might feel good in the moment because it feels like you’re achieving goals or making progress, chances are you’ll look up one day and wish you would’ve stayed true to yourself.

So go against the grain and do that from the beginning. Lead with who you really are and what you really believe in and let the rest follow. THAT is when you can experience real business success, not the other way around.

Overall, if you’re starting a business, currently own a business, or think you might want to one day, my hope is that this blog post encourages you to slow down and build something that’s rooted in who you are and how you can serve – not just how you can earn a buck.

Building a business can be a great thing and I’ll be the first to cheer on any entrepreneur, but I won’t pretend that it’s easy or glamorous all the time. Because as the saying goes, entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.

So, here’s to the business owners. 🥂

The ones slowing down, the ones with a clear vision for their life (NOT just their business), the ones who understand their why, the ones who research first and act second, and the ones who make decisions that are fully aligned. 

Here’s to YOU. 

____________________________________________________________________________

If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hey I’m Amber – not a regular lawyer, but a cool lawyer that helps online business owners sell without getting sued. 

If you like what you just read and want more cool lawyer things in your life, here’s a few ways to stay connected:

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Need something else? Send me a DM! Always happy to lend a legal hand when I can.

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