Note: I'm still writing my 2017 goals post (I think it'll be good to share them so you all can see what I will be focusing on for Nomadic Citizen this year) but in the meantime, I wanted to share this post I began writing ages ago. The start of a new year, when everyone is setting goals and resolutions for what they hope to achieve over the next 365 days, seems like a good time to share this - because maybe what you want to do this year is go after your dream of starting your own small business. If so, I really hope this helps.
Back in 2014 when I decided I was going to pursue what has become Nomadic Citizen, I was literally a girl with an idea. I did not have a background in business or design or anything else related to what I wanted to create. I didn't have a huge social media following giving me an automatic audience. I still don't have any of those things if I'm honest. But what I did and do have was/is passion, a desire to learn, and drive.
In the two years since I sat down at my laptop and decided I was going to do this, I've learned a thing or two. And while I still have much more to learn, I wanted to share some tips and lessons I've gathered over the past two years. Hopefully, if you're thinking of pursing your own startup dream or are in the very early stages as I was two years ago - this will help.
+ google will become your best friend. you can learn about and find anything.
+ don't underestimate hashtag searches on instagram. also a wealth of information.
+ most likely your original idea will shift and turn into something different. go with it.
+ not everyone will get what you're trying to do/create. that's okay. (but if no one gets it...maybe re-evaluate?)
+ share your idea with a few people who will hold you accountable. this will/can make all the difference when you start to doubt yourself.
+ don't be afraid to reach out to others doing what you want to do to ask for advice. but be respectful of their time - don't ask a million questions (remember, there's google) limit it to one or two at most.
+ if you're sending an email to someone you don't know - don't expect to get a response right away. you don't know what people's schedules are like.
+ always thank people for their time.
+ don't rush out and spend all your money on a huge branding package. yes, i know - it's very tempting. take your time. your vision for what your brand looks like could change before you're ready to launch and then it'll be money wasted. if anything, you can do it in stages.
+ decide what's most important at the time and put your money there.
+ don't underestimate the power of social media. start building your audience as soon as you can. but not too soon. imagine two years of updates on, well, nothing?
+ if you're on social media, be consistent.
+ everything takes longer than you think.
+ everything costs more than you think. spend your dollars wisely.
+ once you have a business name grab the .com and all the social media accounts.
+ there are some really great podcasts out there for creative entrepreneurs and those starting their own small business - listen to some.
+ if someone offers, in some way, to help - accept the help.
+ it'll be hard, but don't be discouraged by those you see on social media doing what you want to do (and doing it well). everyone has their own journey - own yours.
+ don't try to be like everyone else. don't do something just because it's popular or trendy. do you.
+ stop following 75% of the social media accounts that are doing something similar to what you want to do.
+ write down a list of: what sets you apart from the competition, what your business priorities and goals are, what your definition of success is. refer to it when you're stuck on a decision.
+ there will be days when you doubt yourself. if it's something you really want, these days will pass.
+ there will be long days while you work on bringing your idea to life. especially if you work a full-time day job. get used to it.
+ it's okay to start small.
+ if you can't stop thinking about it, do it. the worse thing that can happen is you fail. (but, my dear, what if you succeed?)
[image via: instagram.com/asiyami_gold]