What I learned in my first year in business…

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Well, it’s been a year today since Exalt PR began and it has been a journey, that’s for sure.

I’ve learned a lot about business and about myself – things I probably wouldn’t know if I hadn’t made this decision to go into business.

I wanted to take a moment today to extend a massive THANK YOU to each and every person who has been part of the Exalt Public Relations journey over the past 12 months. I would not have reached this milestone without you all.

So, thank you.

Thank you for trusting in me and allowing me to come into your business and share my knowledge with you and help you grow your business.

I’m lucky to have clients for all walks of business; some very established, while others are in the early stages of business just like me.

Today, over on the Exalt PR blog I’m sharing my experiences from my first year in business. I’ve included a copy below for you too.

If you have stories, anecdotes or tips from your first year in business, jump onto the blog and share your comment.

10 things I learned in my first year in business

1)  It’s hard work. If you’re looking to go out on your own thinking that it will open you up to a lifestyle akin to something from Sex and the City, don’t. Trust me, it’s not like that at all. You have no money (initially), it takes up all of your time (initially) and you don’t have the luxury of swanning around between social engagements.

2)  It’s nerve racking. But, that’s ok, as majority of the time it is good nervous energy. I would be lying if I didn’t say that for the first few months I wasn’t questioning everything and wondering if I was doing the right thing.

3)  People will question you (and sometimes think you’ve lost it). I’m lucky, I have a supportive network of family and friends but still, I did get a few questions from people close to me about what the hell I was doing. My business came off the back of a redundancy so perhaps they were thinking I was in some kind of life crisis. Often, the negative voices can be the loudest so you have to try and block them out or at least put them in perspective. Often, it’s misplaced negativity—it’s not that they don’t believe in you, it’s they don’t want to see you hurt or fail etc. so trying to talk you out of it is their way of keeping you safe.

4)  You will learn SO much about yourself. I have learned more about myself, what makes me happy, what I want in life and what I’m capable of than I ever thought that I would.

5)  You get to meet some amazing people. The small business community is a diverse and interesting bunch of people. There are some very powerful, successful and well-connected people running in those circles and you never know whom you’re going to meet. What I’ve loved about meeting other business owners is the keenness of people to help you out. People are inherently nice (that’s good to know, isn’t it?) and are willing to share their insight and experience to help make your journey that little bit easier. Embrace their offers of support and learn from there. No doubt, you’ll soon be the person dishing out the advice.

6)  Money isn’t everything. I wasn’t particularly focussed on cash to begin with (but I did like earning a good wage and the flexibility it afforded me) but to be honest, during this first year, I’ve been on the tightest budget I’ve been on in a long time (and let’s face it, the poorest I’ve been in a long time) BUT I’ve been exponentially happier and have had the best work satisfaction in years! If you’re in a position to take a sizable pay cut and stumble through the awkward cash flow stage, I can guarantee you that you will find out a few things about yourself.

7)  Having a Plan B and Plan C is important. I’m being realistic and honest here. Back up plans are important. We all have financial obligations that we must meet so you have to be honest with yourself and know if and when you need to switch plans. This might mean going back to work for someone else, taking on a part time job, changing your business structure or reaching out for advice or support. Don’t do it alone; go and talk to someone.

8)  It’s better to try (and know and learn) than always wonder. I am so glad that I went down this road because I know that if hadn’t I would have regretted it (massively!). Things have evolved considerable since I started back in October and will keep changing, but I’d much rather that than be sitting behind a desk in someone else’s office dreaming of what my business might look like one day.

9)  Celebrate your achievements and milestones. Acknowledge your successes and growth along the way – it motivates you and reminds you that you’re doing something great. You can invent your own things to celebrate, don’t wait for the big ones. If parents celebrate when their baby smiles or rolls over for the first time, you can celebrate when you issue your first invoice or secure a project over a certain dollar value.

10) Have fun. Don’t forget to have some fun along the way and enjoy the journey you’re on.

Until next time…

Bridget.

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This article was written by ExaltPR

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