In July, I started freelancing under my LLC, Media Maven. Today, I do a little freelancing, but most of my work is as a business owner. Lots of people tell me I was brave to start my own business and just go for it, but it’s not really what it looks like. It’s something that was in the making for about a year, and honestly, something I felt like I was forced to do – but long blog short – “family friendly” doesn’t exist in the corporate world, and I needed family friendly. No one would give it to me, so I had to create it. Professionally, people do different things for different reasons at different times in their lives. We all have a variety of situations, goals, jobs, and careers… and those things are always changing. With that said, this is how I built a business while working a full-time job.
- I was motivated. When you work for yourself, you must be motivated. I have encountered, and still do, many challenges I didn’t foresee. It’s my motivation and my “why” that keeps me working in this corner desk in my family room for 12+ hours a day. I’m not working less. I’m working more, but I’m working flexible. That was and is my why. If your why isn’t motivating, you will never work hard to achieve it.
- I had a plan. At first, it was seeing what others were doing and thinking, “I wish I could do that.” I didn’t think I could because in many cases, the person I saw starting their own business either had time or money. He or she didn’t have kids, didn’t have a full-time job, had a spouse who was the breadwinner, or was still on their parents payroll. I had none of these things. Because of that, I had no choice but to work 40+ hours a week at my full-time job while starting my business. I saved for months, while working what was the equivalent of two full-time jobs to get to the point where I could leave to build Media Maven. I never forgot my plan… no matter how tired I was.
- I educated myself. This was the fun part for me, because I’m a nerd who loves learning. At anytime, I’d have 15-20 articles pulled up on my phone with articles from Entrepreneur, Inc., PR Daily News, Mediabistro, etc. Those were great, but you know what was even better? Facebook groups. I’m part of a few groups with people just like me, at all different stages of building their own business. They are great places to learn and get support. From talking about logo design and branding to brainstorming how to price certain services and even offering business referrals, I have found Facebook groups to be one of those most valuable assets to me growing my business.
- I did it. I didn’t actually plan on leaving my job when I did to jump into Media Maven full-time. I left when I did because I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was answering emails from my boss at 7:30am. I was in the office from 9:30am-6:00pm. Then, I was back to responding to emails from my boss at 11:00pm. Still, I’d get an attitude for walking in the door at 9:45am instead of 9:30am. (Note to bosses: This is dumb and will make your employees jump ship because you suck.) Needless to say, I had a bit of a freak out and quit, so then, I had no choice but to just do it. It was scary, but like I said, I had no other choice. Then, I set goals. I made weekly to do lists. I broke those down to daily to do lists. I worked seven days a week, and still do. I just did it… and still am doing it. (See #2. You gotta have a plan first!)
- I was patient. I spent about a year growing my business before I quit working. It started with being a Younique presenter. This taught me I could make money on the side. At first, it was a little extra cash, then it was more. I saw possibility. After that, it was my blog, Mascara Maven. Again, more income and I had all the control. Then, it was Media Maven. As you can see, things evolved in a year. Experiences changed. Goals changed. It took a year to finally pull the trigger on me being able to call the shots for myself.
If starting your own business was easy, everyone would do it. There is a reason most new businesses fail within the first year and a half. I have days when I think, “It would be so much easier to go to work and just have someone tell me what to do. I could spend eight hours a day getting it done and I’d be guaranteed a paycheck every two weeks.” That is easy, guaranteed money. It’s safe. It’s convenient. For me, it worked for a while. In the future, it may work again. Who knows?! Right now, it’s my worst nightmare. (It would mean no more swimming lessons at 4:30pm on a Friday!) When the going gets tough, I just remind myself of my “why” and then I remember my How to build a business while working a full-time job blog post and my #1-#5, and I keep on keeping on.
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