6 Months into Entrepreneurship: Part II

I mentioned in my original “What I’m Learning 6 Months into Full-Time Entrepreneurship” blog post for readers to let me know if you wanted deeper explanations to any of my 10 lessons shared. I received messages from quite a few folks asking me to elaborate on a few points. Your wish is my command! Welcome to “Part II,” where I’m specifically going into details about the main four lessons I got the most comments and feedback on. Here we go.

Time is money and I have more to learn about productivity.

I’ve learned from dozens of finance podcasts, and now from personal experience, that as an entrepreneur I need to utilize and maximize time solely on “money-making activities.” Direct money-making activities for me include completing event consulting projects, emailing current and potential clients, and putting my brain power towards the creation of client and Art of the Journey events. These are actions that cannot be delegated and have a direct correlation to my income! Of course, some indirect money-making activities are also crucial to business, but I’ll touch on that a few paragraphs down.

The better I manage my time fulfilling money-making activities, the better business is. To be transparent, I’m still working through productivity hacks and styles to see what works best for me, but I’m starting to get into a rhythm. I’ve learned I need to change my work environment every few hours to keep my energy up - a few hours working in an “office” (favorite spots include Soapstone Market and the Den at P&P), a few at home, and a few from my phone instead of my laptop. It’s all about figuring out what works!

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I am a sensitive person, which has its pros and cons in business.

It’s no secret that I’m a total softie just below the surface, so I’ll quickly admit that I’m still learning that business is business. Whether a potential client isn’t ready to sign a contract or an Instagram post doesn’t get as many likes as I would want, it’s a bummer and admittedly momentarily knocks the wind out of me. This is the con of my sensitivity.

However, I believe the pros outweigh any cons! I’m grateful I’m incredibly empathetic, as it allows relationship-building to come rather naturally for me. When working in a client-dependent field, my interactions with people are important and tend to “make me” rather than “break me.” I've heard I tend to make people feel comfortable, welcome, and seen - I'm sure that counts for something!

I must be careful with my energy.

Being that time is money as an entrepreneur, I do not have time to be distracted from what matters. Distractions can include (but are not limited to): consuming negative media, surrounding myself with people who don’t inspire me, feeling blah for no good reason, and mindless scrolling. Whatever it may be, I’m rather self-aware and know how to snap myself out of it and get back to a more productive state of mind. My first step is usually to physically stand up. I find my most distracting habits happen while I’m lounging on a couch!

Balancing day-to-day duties, business development, and personal development is essential for overall business growth.

I’m learning these three aspects create the golden trinity of entrepreneurship. Focusing on one facet without the others is like running a poorly-strategized three-legged race. Imagine one person stepping, then dragging the other person to meet them, rather than the two taking alternating steps to swiftly cross the finish line. Might be an odd analogy, but it’s the best way I can describe it!

There were a few months where I only focused on the day-to-day duties such  as sending invoices, coordinating an upcoming event, and knocking out only what I owed for the next day. I was not carving out time to be strategic about scaling my events business over the next few years. I was consumed in minutia, which is not sustainable for business. The big picture and continual growth is important. I also have to work on myself constantly to be able to mentally handle this stressful lifestyle. That’s where the personal development comes in. I ask myself every morning, “What do I need to learn today?” Whether it’s how to better lead my interns or how to communicate more effectively, there’s no shortage of work to be done.

Phew, I know that was a lot, but I wanted to make sure to respond to all the great feedback on Part I of this blog post. I hope this cleared up any questions and gave you insight that will help you on your journey!

Did anything I say above surprise you? Relate to anything? Let me know in the comments below.