Local Business

Starting a Business: 4 Things I Learned

Starting a business just got easier! I’m a proud ringing endorsement for the Women’s Business Center in Cleveland, OH. Because the staff (especially Jan Conrad!) are so good at connecting start-ups and existing small businesses with the resources they need.

Member join to grow their businesses and engage with their community. I’ve meet a number of really unique female and male entrepreneurs. Join them for one of their weekly morning lectures called Thinktank Thursday.

In a few months I’ve learned:

1. You are not alone.

It’s not easy to admit, but starting a business is really hard. I went from driving to an office every morning at 9am to setting my own schedule, which made me feel lonely. It was a life altering shift that not only effected my career and routine but also my personal life. I wasted a lot of time struggling with how to structure my time on a daily and weekly basis while learning the difference between my “work environment” and my “home environment.” The WBC provides me someplace I can meet weekly to work on my business and learn from others. We talk about really difficult but important topics like how to balance work/family life and support each other through difficult business decisions.

2. “We don’t know what we don’t know.”

It doesn’t have to sound like an admission of guilt. I stole this line directly from the brilliant speaker I met at the last Thinktank Thursday. When you decide you want to turn your idea into a business, you only know your area of expertise. I know a lot about multimedia but I don’t know much about numbers. It feels good to admit that. And businesses are honestly just a matter of making decisions based off numbers. I need coaching as we move froward with Sugarbowl and the Women’s Business Center has been a valuable resource in helping me find answers.

3. Reverse engineer your goals.

Start with what you want to achieve as the end result. Something quantitative. Start doing some basic math (shudders) to track how much you would have to accomplish weekly to get to that end figure. I’ve learned how to look at my goals from different angles and have found the right people to ask for advice.

4. There are many ways we can give back.

We like the WBC so much that we offered to do discount shoots for members to update their profile pictures. It was great exposure and was something practical for everyone. Participation and giving back helps us build relationships with members of our community. A gift basket can also go a long way. 🙂

Even if you’re not starting your business tomorrow, its good to familiarize yourself with what you’re really getting yourself into. Look up some of the resources in your community and especially if you live in Cleveland, check out the WBC!

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