Guest blog by Joanna Booth (@JaegerBooth), a Manchester born & bred girl with a hunger for entrepreneurship and a thirst to make things change for the better!
Launching a new business can be one of the most exciting things you can do, but it can also be one of the hardest and loneliest!
Anyone who has ever gone into business on their own will tell you that their business is run, managed, owned and driven by their one-man band. It’s very difficult to imagine, unless you are doing it, how many roles you will suddenly take on as an entrepreneur; from finance director to office cleaner you will do it all. I describe this start-up phase as ‘In the beginning there as me, myself and I’.
The good news is it won’t last forever, or shouldn’t unless you love the isolation and intense responsibility! Once your business is up & running you should have the finances and space for employees (and their companionship).
But how do you survive the start-up seclusion and get to this stage? Well I advise you to make entrepreneurial friends, aka go networking! Networking is a great way to meet like-minded people who will share your frustrations, joys and type of work load. Networking for some businesses is, quite frankly, useless! It won’t make one bit of difference to their sales or profits. However, networking is always good for the entrepreneur behind the business; it allows them to forge friendships, connections and is a damn good excuse to get out of the office.
I personally also enjoy having the radio on quietly in the background; the music and voices are strangely comforting and hardly ever distracting! However, the key for me in preventing loneliness is involving others in my business. Not just employees but asking friends and family for support and involvement. Most people, if they have the spare time, love to help, get involved and share ideas. Let them help you, they’ll lighten the load and provide companionship.
And what do we do to lighten the workload and responsibility other than ask friends to take pity? Hire a professional! Either outsource, contract or hire employees but find someone else to do the jobs you hate, struggle with or don’t have the time for. I guarantee there is a person out there who loves those tasks you hate or thrives where you struggle. Of course, in the beginning you might not be able to afford to do this but, as soon as you can, hire the professional! Free up your time and energy to make your business bigger, better, stronger and more PROFITABLE!
I think it’s really important that entrepreneurs go through the ‘me, myself and I’ stage. It’s a huge learning curve and makes you appreciate the value of what others do within your company. It also gives you a greater understanding of how your company works in every area – all the ins and outs. But it is a phase and every entrepreneur should strive for the days when their business provides them with comradeship and experts!
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