The life of an entrepreneur is different every day, but the one thing that remains the same is that we are always learning. These are my lessons in how to be an entrepreneur that I have learned in the last five months of my entrepreneur life. I share these top five lessons on how to be an entrepreneur today, to help fledgling and veteran entrepreneurs, and everyone who works with them as clients, partners of colleagues.
Building a Website is VERY Different from Publishing a Blog
Before I incorporated, I had written a blog for a year and a half. I also had built the web pages of the blog site, with the help of WordPress online chat support (they are very good by the way).
With all of this experience, I felt confident that I knew what I was doing. So, I assumed it would be easy and fast to build a new website from scratch. As I understood it, all I needed to do was to copy the old content and structure to the new environment and my site would be done.
That was the biggest mistake I made.
Entrepreneurs Need to Commit Real Time and Resources to Social Media and SEO
You either need to do social media well or not at all. It still amazes me how much time and energy is necessary to maintain meaningful presence online.
Maintaining consistent online presence is a daily job. And it is a real job. You cannot hand it off to someone who does not understand your field or your brand. And the people who understand both are expensive (and worth it!).
So get ready to learn all the supporting websites to do this well. We use Canva, SEMRush, and a few tags/title optimizer sites. It really does not matter what platforms you choose, as long as you do it well and consistently.
Network, Network, Network
Just when I thought I had networked enough in Grad School and as an executive at an airline, I discovered a new frontier. I literally try to meet ten new people a week. It may sound like a lot. And it is.
I run around the city all the time. I joined the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Chief, and NY City Building Congress. And I may join more organizations to meet even more people in 2020. I also tell everyone, everything. Even if conversations are only on the surface, or an event, forum, or a meeting is not perfect match on paper, I go. I collect people, business cards (they are still necessary), and listen to stories. On top of this, I also keep in touch and reignite old connections and friendships from school, previous jobs, and neighborhoods. I. Am. Everywhere.
Quickbooks is an Important Part-Time Job
Do not underestimate the importance of keeping your financials in check. Nobody says you need to reconcile to zero. But you must know roughly how much money you are spending, what your burn rate is, and how you are paying your rent for the next three months. Don’t go to four. It gets stressful! 🙂
As long as you have three months, you are good.
It took us three months to build our brand. At the time it felt like forever. But it gave us clarity and confidence to present ourselves to the world.
Do not try to save money on this. Find a good individual or company and do it right. It is your foundation and identity. Good branding gives you ROI many times over. It also saves you time in the future when you are busier and have less quiet time to be introspective. This is the luxury of the early stages. Take advantage of it.