Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Ups and Downs of being an Entrepreneur...

It has been an insanely busy month here at Cinnamon, and it always brings forth new challenges, exciting new clients, and bumps in the road.

If you're a business owner, you know how amazing it feels to wake up every morning knowing you are doing what you love the most. You are your own boss. You make the calls- and at the end of the day it's your decision whether or not you want take a day off or two.

If you're a business owner, you also know all too well, that days off come far and few between and that when you DO in fact take a day off, you will regret it for the next week in efforts to catch up. So the cycle continues. Freedom with chains. Can be pretty daunting.

So, how can we make sure we don't get swallowed up by the craziness that is owning your own business? I am no expert- but I have come a long a few tricks from either past experiences or others in my boat:

1. For every awful or discouraging email you receive (you know the ones I am talking about!)- I bet you have far more positive feedback. Just the other day, I received a harsh email that set me back a good hour and what did I do? I focused on that message all day. I didn't seem to notice that I also received three emails from clients that were light hearted, happy and full of compliments. These messages are easy to forget... and although every nasty email holds a lesson... the good ones are there for a reason.

2. Learn to say no. I am sure you have a list of services you offer your clients... a list of " yes rules"you apply to make sure your business the best it can be. Make sure you have a list of " no rules" too.

3. Get a Lawyer. When your heart tells you the verbal agreement isn't quite good enough- have it written down on paper... legally.

4. Love your accountant. A good accountant is like a cheerleader and a coach. They feel like celebrating when you have had a successful month, year etc. but they also remind you to keep things in check.

5. Leverage Social Media. Yup- get to know your competition, talk to your clients, and learn from others.

6. Avoid Social Media cliques. Expand your horizons. Talk to people you don't know... and if someone's tweets makes you feel icky.( too many, too personal, too direct, too fake etc.) Stop following them. They won't notice.

7. Don't click send. Yet. You know the emails that make you want to say things that maybe aren't the BEST reaction. Breathe. Take a moment to relax. Step away from the computer. Count to ten. Whatever. Some things need to be said. People need to know when they are out of line... but just like any message think before sending it. Are you saying it directly and professionally? Or are you jumping the gun and going to regret it later?

8. Personable... NOT personal. One of my go to girls for all things business coined this term and she is so right. A good service provider is warm and inviting. A good service provider also knows when to keep her mouth shut when it comes to anything personal. We all have stories... and some of them will bite you in the ass. Trust.

9. Inspire yourself. Some days my head is down so far into my computer screen I haven't taken a moment to look up and take in the good stuff. Every business owner needs to feel inspired. Inspired to do better, inspired to become more skilled, inspired to make more money, inspired to set yourself apart. Whatever your inspiration is... don't loose sight of it.

10. Turn your blackberry off. Same goes for your computer. Every once and awhile.

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