Most Important Thing I’ve learned From Starting a Business
It’s been over a year since I started my business and I’ve learned a lot. A lot about entrepreneurship, marketing, client relationships but most importantly, I’ve learned a lot about myself – in particular what I truly value and what motivates me to continue.
When I started SocialChow, I focused on the basics – how to get it off the ground, generate revenue and scale. I placed much of my attention on getting new clients while fine-tuning my process and within six months I had a full plate of work, solid case studies and was projected to earn more than I ever did in the corporate world. It all grew so quickly. I couldn’t keep up so I expanded and hired some help. After a year of being “in it”, I’ve realized a thing or two and most shockingly to me – the ever-eager entrepreneur – that growing a business doesn’t actually mean more clients or more revenue. It can actually mean scaling back.
I have this tendency to over-do everything (ahem, have you seen my birthday parties?!). I don’t know why but I have always embraced projects or goals with 100% of me without sometimes thinking through the *why*. My approach to my business is no different. I think I put everything into it at the beginning because I wanted to prove that I could do it. I was determined. I wanted to show myself that it was possible to “do it all” – have a family, run a business and still having a fun social life. But “doing it all” has taken its toll and I’m quite honestly tired. I’m stressed. I’ve bitten off more than I chew. And for what? More money? Prestige?
I’ve realized that what I care about most in my business isn’t the amount of cash I bring in…
It’s the people that I work with
It’s the challenges I get to solve
It’s the brands that I get to help build
It’s that I can choose how to spend my time every day and who I spend it with
It’s the level of stress I feel and how I feel approaching the day
I am fortunate enough to say that I’m not motivated by money. Sure, I want to be compensated for my work but it’s not what guides me. Yet I’ve had it in my head that I needed to keep pushing… to add more clients, to take on more work, to make more because that meant I was succeeding. But the truth is…
I value myself – my health and state of mind.
I value others – the relationships I have with clients and my family and friends who I want to make time to be with.
I value the brands I work with – I am inspired to help brands reach their potential.
And the truth is not every brand or company is the right fit for me or my business. And that’s okay too.
So as I head into my second year of this, I making some changes internally and more importantly shifting my attitude to reflect those things I value most. I also need to remind myself that growth isn’t measured by numbers alone; it’s also measured by your happiness and state of mind.