7 Lessons I’ve Learned in my Frist Three Years as an Entrepreneur
When I started my online business offering Pinterest management services, I was looking for a means to finally quit my 9-5 and work for myself. While it didn’t look AT ALL as I had planned it, nearly a year to the day after I filed my business paperwork, I was able to do just that!
As I hit my 3rd year in business, I took some time to reflect on some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my first 3 years as a business owner and entrepreneur.
If you are looking to start an online business or if you’re still in the early stages of entrepreneurship, I’m hoping that a few of these lessons and tips will help you push through and keep going!
Invest in your Growth
We’ve all heard the term, “you have to spend money to make money” and it’s true. You do need to invest in your business in order to move it forward.
When I got serious about making my once Pinterest side hustle into a full time gig, I knew that in order to get to where I wanted to be, I needed to learn from someone who was already there. Someone who had been in my shoes but was a few steps ahead of me and could guide me in the right direction.
In June of 2020, I began working with Pinterest Queen, Kathryn Moorhouse, in her mentorship program and with her help and guidance, I was able to build a solid foundation for my business, learn even more about Pinterest plus, systems and process for everything from client acquisition to client onboarding. I can honestly say that had I not made this investment, my business would most likely still be a side hustle. Instead, I have replaced my 9-5 income and am booked out with client work!
There are plenty of other ways to invest in your business outside of working with a mentor or coach. Early on, I realized that to maximize my available time, I needed to focus on my zone of genius (Pinterest and systems:) and outsource everything else.
In the early days, I spent hours and hours trying to design my website. Google search after Google search. Three months passed and I still had no website to launch. Now, I’m the first to say that you do not need a website in order to launch your online business, but I knew I would need one eventually. So, after 3 months on the struggle bus, I outsourced it. And in just a few weeks, I had officially launched my new site.
Outsourcing is one of the best ways you can help your business grow. Time is our most precious commodity and when you stop wasting it on arduous tasks, you’re freed up to focus on money making tasks that add to your bottom line.
Network, Network, Network
I come from a corporate sales background, so networking wasn’t necessarily new to me. But Online networking was!
One of the best things I’ve done for my business is find a few Facebook groups that promote relationship building and networking and then schedule regular coffee chats with other business owners to learn about them and their business.
Coffee chats alone have provided numerous client referrals, speaking opportunities and overall, brand visibility.
To get started, create an online calendar (I love Calendly), find a few groups that allow this, post that link and get some calls set up! You’ll be amazing at how your network grows.
Work on your Mindset
Before I started my business, I was not a journal-er. I didn’t read a lot of self help books. But when Kathryn and I began working together, she taught me the importance of having a solid mindset as an entrepreneur.
I began journaling with provided prompts and uncovered mindset blocks that I’d been holding on to since SECOND GRADE! What?! It was mind blowing how identifying things that were holding me back ultimately allowed me to move forward.
So, I highly suggest you grab a notebook and find some journal prompts on Pinterest and see what you can uncover.
Along the same lines as networking is collaboration. By collaborating with other business owners, whether it be in their Facebook group, on their podcast or a live on their Instagram, you open yourself up to a brand new audience. Their audience!
When you open yourself up to a new audience, you’re also opening yourself up to new potential clients. Through collaboration, I’ve received several referrals OR the people who saw my presentation/talk, have then referred me out to others.
Networking and collaborating has lead to a trickle down effect in my business that has helped me gain both visibility and new customers!
Build the Funnel
This one takes a little longer, but it is worth it in the end. Setting up your sales funnel, and using a source like Pinterest as a traffic generator for that funnel, can lead to new leads, more exposure, email list growth and incremental sales if you have a digital product.
My best tip for building your funnel is to start with the end in mind. What do you want them to buy? What steps would they need to take to get there? And what freebie would relate to the end offer?
Starting with the end in mind will help you understand your customers journey which in turn will help you build a successful funnel.
If you’re in the beginning phases of funnel creation, check out my Pinterest Sales Funnel Roadmap! In this roadmap, I show you what the process of creating a funnel looks like, what you need to do on Pinterest to get traffic into your funnel, plus tips for your landing page, email sequence and how to pitch your offer so that it converts!
This is the process I followed as I created the funnel for my mini-course, Pinterest Plan on a Page! This course will help you get all of your Pinterest systems in place, plus it’s literally a plan on a page that tells you what to do each month to implement your Pinterest marketing plan!
Honor your Pace
I don’t know about you, but I’m impatient. I always have been and it will always be a work in progress.
And it’s no different when it comes to my business. Instead of going through the processes and steps, I wanted to be fully booked with a full income overnight:) Plus, we are bombarded with images on social media of people hitting $10k days and $50k months. It’s hard to avoid imposter syndrome when we see these things over and over.
But, we all know that it doesn’t work like that. Someone else’s middle or end cannot be compared to your beginning.
Once of the best pieces of advice I was given early on was: “Honor your pace.”
Honor your pace. Don’t rush through it just to get to someone else’s end. Honor where your at and take pride in how far you’ve come.
Building a solid and successful business takes time. Don’t rush it!
Keep moving forward
As an online business owner and entrepreneur, you will undoubtedly experience obstacles. You may have a full client load one day and then 2 clients end their contract the next.
But don’t let it destroy the mindset you’ve worked so hard to build!
When I experience a difficult obstacle, I like to journal about it, identify the truth and the lie in the scenario, and decide to let it go and MOVE ON.
Keep moving forward. Keep taking the next best step, and I promise your business will continue to grow.
No matter what stage of online business you’re in, I hope this has provided you with some tips and tricks that you can apply as you build and grow as an entrepreneur. Drop me a line and let me know what your favorite tip is!