4 Things you need to know before starting your own business
So you’ve decided to finally take the leap and start your own business, congratulations!
I know how much courage it takes to make this decision; I have been there and I’m still here almost five years later.
Being an entrepreneur is extremely rewarding, but it’s also very hard, that’s why so many people fail or quit.
I think the main reason why so many don’t succeed is because they approach entrepreneurship without preparation.
I say this because that’s exactly what I did and even though I can now say “I made it” I literally had no idea what I was getting into when I first started out.
At the time I didn’t know anyone who owned a small business, like the one I wanted to create as a life coach, so I had nobody to go to for support or to ask for advice.
I was alone, without a clear strategy and with a million questions that used to keep me up at night.
Nevertheless, I started my journey.
In these past 5 years I have made a lot of mistakes, I have taken a few wrong turns, wasted time, money, energy, lost friends and thought of quitting more times than I can remember.
But I also built a successful business (and by successful, I mean that it makes me happy and pays the bills at the same time), turned my passion into a profession, learnt a lot of things, made some new friends, helped many people (not only my clients), pushed myself miles out of my comfort zone and achieved results I never thought I would be able to.
One of the biggest lessons I learnt is that you can’t do it all on your own and that if you’re lucky enough to know someone who’s been there before, you should listen to what they have to say.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, most entrepreneurs are so passionate about what they do that they’re usually happy to share their wisdom.
After creating my own coaching business and helping many other women going from 9 to 5 to become their own boss I’ve come to realize that there are some things you really should know before you start your own business:
Here they are!
1 – You’ll be busier than before
A lot of people dream of quitting their job to start a business, so that they can finally be free and enjoy life. Becoming an entrepreneur will certainly give you the freedom to decide about most aspects of your job, from choosing projects, to clients, collaborations and even your daily routine.
This said, don’t expect to have more free time, because you won’t! You will be working many hours every day, weekends and holidays included. Yes, you will be way busier than you were in your corporate or any other 9 to 5 job. Why?
Because before you can actually do your job with your clients and be paid for it (whatever it is that you do for them), you must find some prospects! And that takes a lot of time and effort, especially in the beginning, when you still have to build up your reputation and your portfolio.
So forget about working a few hours a day unless you want to starve! Being your own boss means you’ll be making all the calls and that sounds really appealing after years of working under someone else, but this kind of freedom comes with a huge responsibility: the success of your venture depends solely on you, there will be no one else to blame anymore.
This means you’ll have to be disciplined, so enjoying life will probably not be very easy while you have all this on your plate.
2 – You’ll have to be patient and flexible
There is no such thing as an “overnight success” and usually those who use this expression aren’t in business at all or use it to diminish other people’s achievements.
Success, whatever that means to you, takes time, patience and hard work. If you expect your business to take off in a month, you’re in for a disappointment.
The first year is the hardest, and the majority of people who quit do so in the very first months, because they’re not prepared for all the challenges they encounter and because they underestimate how long it takes to build a profitable business from scratch.
You’ll also have to learn to be flexible and be willing to change your plans often. Sometimes ideas don’t work out, no matter how good you thought they were or how hard you work.
When this happens you need to be ready to change strategy or experiment with something new, sometimes more than once in the course of your career as an entrepreneur.
3 – There’s no such thing as the “perfect idea”
This is a common misconception and also the reason why so many people never really start their business. They waste a lot of time trying to find the perfect idea, always going after the next new thing, but they never really take any action.
Some of my clients come to me because they want me to help them find the “perfect idea”, luckily, when we start working together, they understand that’s not the issue. Once they figure out where they need to put their efforts into, their business starts to take shape.
The point is that there is no such thing as a perfect idea, everything has already been done, there is nothing new under the sun and being innovative or eccentric doesn’t guarantee that you’ll also be successful.
You could have the best idea in the world and still not be able to make money, just like you could be selling T- shirts and become a millionaire.
You know what really makes the difference? Working hard, investing in professional help and learning from your mistakes rather than striving for perfection. To have a successful business you don’t need a fancy idea, you need good strategy and great execution.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, you’ll be constantly tested, there will be days that you’ll curse yourself for having made that choice, but there will also be joy, fulfillment, personal growth and expansion.
It’s been a hell of a ride so far, but I’m happy and most of all, I’m proud of myself for not giving up when nobody believed in me, when things were tough, when I was broke and exhausted.
I wish you busy days, but restful nights; enough business to achieve wealth, but not so much to lose health. I wish you clients and collaborators that make you forget you’re actually working and friends that are happy to celebrate your success with you.
I wish you the best.
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This is what some of my clients say about me. Thank you!
Going on a coaching path with Chiara was incredibly stimulating and regenerating in a delicate phase of my professional life in which I had to question my work and redefine my future career goals. Chiara’s uniqueness as a coach, in addition to being extremely professional, lies in her extraordinary empathy and her ability to establish a relationship of trust with her clients. Chiara is a coach and an authentic professional and was able to transmit passion, courage and motivation to me thanks to a pragmatic approach, focused on practical steps that are never an end in themselves. Thanks to her, I had the opportunity to focus on my future professional goals and create a plan for their effective realization. Chiara has always been genuinely interested in my growth and has really helped me understand how to be a resource for myself and not an obstacle. His questions opened me to new ideas and perspectives and charged me with a new creative energy.
I would recommend Chiara as a coach to acquaintances and not just for the uniqueness of her approach, empathic and authentic, and her genuine interest in the personal fulfillment of her clients, qualities that are difficult to find in such fast professional contexts in which the human aspect is relational often takes a back seat. Heartfelt thanks Chiara for this journey and for opening my eyes.
“Working with Chiara has been a revealing experience. I had the chance to uncover sides of myself I had never considered before and I also worked on my own potential, which I had been unable to recognize, because I was clouded by negative thoughts.
I never felt judged, and I could talk freely about what was making feel confused. Chiara was also very patient and available even in between sessions if I wanted to reach out to her. Something worth noting is her flexible approach, meaning that she was able to understand what I needed in each moment and therefore to adapt to it.
When I started the sessions, I was deeply confused about various aspects of my life. The first goal was getting some clarity, then we started working towards the goals that emerged during the sessions. I’m glad I manage to unravel those intricated thoughts that had been with me for a while and I also feel full of energy, because I have goals to achieve.
I definitely recommend Chiara, simply because I got so many benefits, some of which become evident even at the end of the program. “
“Working with Chiara has been a stimulating and enriching experience. Chiara has been a valuable ally during a transition, fully present even in between sessions.
I really appreciated being able to work on what was coming up in the moment, without forcing things, yet remaining goal oriented.
As a result of working with Chiara I gained a clearer perspective over what I was going through and what I had to let go; I took a break, processed the end of a phase in my life and started over with renewed awareness.
Chiara is open and transparent, she helped me see things from a distance and explore what needed to be healed. Anyone would benefit from working with her and I highly recommend her to all those who tend to challenge themselves. Coaching is for you if you want to take your own personal development to a new level.”
“Chiara is a truly exceptional coach!
Working with her feels like sitting with a good friend and having a heart- felt conversation.
She helped me prepare for my TEDx talk and better understand my “why”.
After each session, I not only got valuable takeaways, but also felt uplifted and motivated to take concrete actions.
Her questions opened my eyes to new possibilities and ideas and her guidance and feedbacks helped me structure my TEDx talk into an informative, inspiring and entertaining narrative.
I’ve already recommended Chiara to my friends, because even in this global economy world, it’s hard to find a good coach, who genuinely cares about you and seeks to provide values before
“Chiara holds a warm, welcoming presence. She has a lovely smile and clean energy.
I appreciated how she was responsive to what came up for me in each session.
She always held up a supportive space for me to process my emotions and find my own answers, without pressuring me with an agenda or goals. This made feel safe and helped me open up.
Definitely recommend Chiara, she’s a lovely coach!”
“When I worked with Chiara I felt relaxed, open to talk, it felt as if we had known each other for
a long time!
I liked her energy, so friendly, so calm, so supportive and her voice and smile too!
Thanks to her coaching I solved some personal and professional issues, I gained a lot of insights
and above all, I feel like I gained a friend and coach I can go back to anytime in my life.
Of course I recommend her! Always and to everybody!”
“Working with Chiara was very pleasant, she’s very kind and helpful.
I liked her professional style, the way she related to me, how she truly helps with your personal growth without being intrusive, the way she’s able to take you to your final goal by asking you the right questions.
Thanks to her coaching, I learnt to organize my workday more efficiently, optimizing the way I use the available time.
I’ve become more aware of my own professional skills and abilities, which led me to be more self-reliant and independent and I learnt to work in a goal-oriented way. Being coached by Chiara was really helpful to me, so I definitely recommend her because I know she can help anyone else reaching their goals.”
“My experience with Chiara was great!
She’s able to create a very nice atmosphere where you feel so well and at ease!
She’s a very good listener and she asks you these very powerful questions that help you get unstuck and move on in a positive way.
Working with Chiara made me feel much better, I gained more clarity on what I had to do next and how I could do it, which led me to “feel” and then reach my goals.
I definitely recommend her!”