8 Things I’ve Learned in my First Month as a New Biz Owner
Happy March, the month of spring! This week also signifies a huge step in my journey as a new biz owner. Yep, it’s been 1 month since the official official launch announcement of Manejah PR. Although it’s only been a month, I’ve learned quite a bit. I thought I'd share some of my learnings here on LinkedIn as it may inspire you to get out there on your own. Previously shared on my Instagram page over this last weekend, here are the “8 Things I’ve Learned in my First Month as a New Biz Owner.”
#1: Networking: Ok, it’s not that I learned how to network or the value of networking but more importantly I learned to find the right place to network for my business and for myself as a “living outside of Boston, middle-aged” professional (with a young professional mindset!!)
Networking has been a part of my career for as long as I can remember. I’ve had successes (the “life of the convo Manejah”) and I’ve had lots of failures (the “self-conscious but pretending to be too busy to actually network Manejah”). But I reluctantly kept going back for more. A couple months ago someone recommended that I join the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce. I was skeptical but once my website was up and my Moo biz cards were in hand, I decided to take the plunge. And you know what, so far, it has been the best decision I ever made. The events, which are endless in quantity, are so helpful and fun and everyone there is ready to meet you. (ME!! ☺️) The best part is that we are joined by the commonality of community and a willingness to make it and ourselves better. The support system for new biz owners like myself is incredible and I’ve only just scratched the surface. I highly recommend looking into a local chamber or group where you have shared interest in addition to also being a business owner.
#2: Creating a damn website isn’t that hard! But seriously, it’s SO easy to get overwhelmed by the idea of a website.
I don’t know how to pull the pieces together!I don’t have good pictures or a logo!I don’t know what to say! Who am I?Hosting? Code? WTF. I’m so confused.
I took a deep breath. And told myself (first) let's put things into perspective, I am not a Fortune 500 company and (second) that I didn’t need to have everything exactly perfect. This first iteration only needed to represent me now and not the me 5 years (or even 1 year) from now. This realization was key. There are tons of web development tools out there so you don’t have to hire a developer right out of the gates. I love Wix and for a very reasonable cost they will help you with hosting and get you set you up with a company email. They will even help with designing a logo! (Luckily I had a good, very creative friend help me with that piece.)
I love using sites like Unsplash and Kaboompics for free photography. Both very helpful if you haven’t made the time (or money) for a photoshoot. And as far as copy...keep it simple. Determine your key messages and use only that. Don’t try to say too much at first. And then...BOOM! You got yourself a website. I was pretty proud and amazed at how easy it was to pull together once I finally got focused.
#3: If you’re going to get biz cards, make them impactful. When I meet a potential new client, I’d like to be remembered! As I previously mentioned, I had my biz cards made using Moo. Again, skeptical at first, but once I set my hands on them, I knew there was no turning back. I was hooked. Not only is the quality superb but the square shape with the rounded corners...worth. every. penny. Your card should make a statement, right?
#4: “Don’t sweat the small stuff” 😫 A familiar saying (and even a book) that reminds us to not get too caught up in the details that don’t really matter in the big picture of what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s SO EASY to get tripped up on this stuff.
While it’s important to find the right words and visuals to reflect your business, what you pick doesn’t have to be etched in stone. Think of yourself and your business as an iPhone, with multiple updates within multiple versions, always changing, always evolving. When I look back at my very first iPhone, I can’t believe it ever fulfilled its purpose in my life but at the time, it was seriously the bomb. So just focus on being incredible today and fulfilling your short term goals and remember to keep upgrading as soon as things start to feel stale.
#5: Take advantage of free advice! And there’s so much of it out there. 😍
The amount of helpful tips, insights and info available through free podcasts and introductory webinars are endless. Not to mention the content being share through social (Insta stories, FB, Youtube.)
Self help coaches and industry influencers are out there ready to help you with your business and typically offer free intro courses with discounts to continue. A few of my favs right now include: Hilary Rushford, Marie Forleo and RISE Queen, Rachel Hollis. Free resources can be both helpful and uplifting!
#6: Self-motivation (every. single. day.) #6 is a tough one. Some days you just want to watch the Today Show until 11am, then Netflix binge and hit Home Goods for some retail therapy. But you know that’s not going to help you achieve your goals, not to mention that it would be a complete waste of a precious day! I found that if I start my day with a little rise meditation or with making a good actionable and realistic list (ok and maybe a little Savannah and Hoda), I’m fired up. 🔥
Every day has not been a success but I’m happy for the “most days” where I’m feeling solid about my decision to start up on my own.
#7: Share the Struggle. Because it’s real.
I’ve learned that every week has its ups and downs. And in some weeks...it’s every day. But it is vital to your mental health and overall positive growth to have an outlet - or as some call, “A Tribe.” People who understand and share the same or similar journey as you do. This is when the networking piece can be so helpful along with some good friends or past colleagues to talk through ideas, struggles, disappointments, whatever you need to release the stress and anxiety swirling around in your head. So you can get back to business.
#8: Keep a list of opportunities. If you don’t have one, make one. These are things that don’t fit on your daily to-dos list. These are the things that you keep marching towards. Exciting but also scary and a little unclear but so cool once they happen. Whether its guest speaking or getting published in a major outlet, keep striving for bigger things for your business and yourself. You've got this!