5 Things No One Told Me About Running A Business
If you think it’s going to be like Wolf of Wall Street, you should probably stop right now.
When I first started my business, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I’d be working longer hours to get it going, and I’d be 100% responsible for the success or failure of my company while it was just me. It was pretty daunting.
That being said, there’s a few things I wasn’t expecting that arose during the first year. If you’re already running a business, you’ve probably encountered at least most of these. If you’re just starting out, they’ll come eventually.
#1. Some Days Are Pretty Boring
For some reason, there’s this idea that running a business is exciting and glamorous. Movies have heavily romanticized the idea of being an entrepreneur, and left many feeling like this will somehow be their day-to-day:
In fact, it’s more like this:
You’re going to be spending a lot of time doing things that are pretty boring. Automation helps some, as does building your team, but at first you’ve just got to grind it out. Things like handling your own bookkeeping, and writing proposals can wear you out if you let it.
#2. It Can Get Lonely
My first job was at Wendy’s, flipping burgers. It sucked. You’d have to clean behind this giant fryer, and the smell of the grease that gets trapped behind there is enough to make you gag.
I didn’t completely hate it though. Many of the people I worked with grew to become close personal friends, and even though the job itself was terrible — the sense of community and relationships with my coworkers somehow made it bearable.
While running your business probably isn’t as bad as wiping away fry grease from the walls, there are parts that are pretty hard — and you’re going to have to be completely on your own to solve them. There’ll be days where you sit in your office working, and if you don’t have a team at this point you might not see anybody all day.
Join a coworking space, or a mastermind as soon as possible. The people you meet may just save your sanity.
#3. Hard Work Does Not Equal Growth
There’s this idea that as long as you’re “hustling 24/7”, you must be doing something right. You’ve just go to put in the hours, and it’ll all work out.
This is a lie.
You can’t just be the hardest working, you also have the be the smartest working. That means that if you can automate something, you automate it. If you can outsource something, you outsource it. You only work on things that are central to the survival of the business, and keep yourself from getting distracted by doing meaningless work.
#4. Build Processes, and Test Them
Fun fact: People cannot read minds.
Mind-blowing, I know. But, there’s an extremely large amount of companies that don’t build processes around anything they do. The way things are done are stored in someones head, and not on paper or some other easily accessible way.
When you go to hire your first employee, you’re going to be stuck explaining every little thing because you don’t have a method of it written down somewhere. If you’re a service based business, this is even more important.
You should have processes built out for everything you do more than once. Some examples are: client onboarding, sales, bookkeeping, customer support, etc…
#5. Track Your Time
I cannot tell you how much money I’ve lost due to not tracking my time. If I could, then I wouldn’t have lost it. Duh.
Install a time tracking tool like Toggl, and use it religiously. Don’t just track time put towards client work either, you need to use it internally.
That 15 minute email catch-up in the morning really taking 30? At 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year (you gotta take a break sometimes), you’re spending an extra 62.5 hours just on email. Apply that to everything else you do, and you’ve got a sizable time hog.
Keep track of your time like your life depends on it. Well, your livelihood does at least.
So, what tips do you wish you would’ve known when you started? Anything I left out? Leave a response below!