On May 17, 2011 I accidentally became an entrepreneur. Oops.
But this wasn’t a mistake like forgetting to turn in the rough draft of my English paper or leaving the milk on the counter.
No. This was a big deal.
I was sitting on a plane to Paris, one-way ticket in hand when it hit me: “I am incapable of working for someone else. What the hell am I going to do?”
When I arrived in France, I scrambled to figure it out. I did everything in my power to avoid the world of vacation days and 401ks. And though it was rough, I did manage to collect enough money to afford the occasional bottle of champagne and as much goat cheese as my heart desired.
Fast forward a few months to October 2012. In the past year and a half, I’ve established both an online tutoring and copywriting business and a successful lifestyle blog. I’m no longer in France, but am now capable of working for myself and only myself. I’ve even put my entrepreneurial plans into something I call Project Moolah: My plan to earn $2,000 a month by August 2013.
But it’s been a bumpy ride. So, I thought I’d help you out by giving you a list of the 21 lessons I’ve learned on the road of accidental entrepreneurship:
- Give yourself a pep talk in the morning. Every morning. In the mirror.
- Optimize your best hours. Often, this is in the morning. (See above tip for motivation).
- Take care of yourself! Eat your veggies :)
- Work smart, not hard.
- Friends are either lifting you up or bringing you down. Nurture the former and stop worrying about the latter.
- You do not have to do everything. Identify your strengths and find other people to do the rest.
- Stick to a routine. Eliminate decisions. I hear this is what Obama does, too :)
- Track your time.
- Invest in learning. Invest in anything that will help you to develop your skills or teach you how to turn them into a business.
- The world is not your competition. We’re all in this life thing together.
- People are busy. Respect their time. Don’t expect them to remember anything if you don’t take time to remind them.
- NEVER use marriage or children as an excuse for not going after your dreams.
- Look outside of your industry for inspiration.
- Start before you’re ready.
- Don’t wait until your parents die to start living your truth. (May sound shocking, but an alarming number of people do this).
- People will judge, critique, and advise you. You don’t have to listen.
- On that note – only take advice from people whom you admire. Don’t take nutrition advice from your obese uncle or happiness advice from your drama-ridden best friend.
- Be. Confident.
- People only really care about what’s in it for them. Make someone else feel like gold and you can’t go wrong.
- Jump! The parachute might not appear, but you aren’t going to die. In fact, you’re going to learn more than you ever could have by reading about it.
- Don’t forget why you’re doing what you’re doing. Always start with why.
In the comments: What lessons would you add to the list?
Featured photo credit: business person holding a briefcase via Shutterstock and inline photo by Debs via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)