This is hard. Seriously. And that’s the PC version of the real phrase running through my head but I’ll just let you use your imagination to fill in the blanks. As I sat and thought about the first Create with Intent blog post and all of the things I want to say about starting your own business, I finally decided that the best place to start is with the Truth: This is hard.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way – Let’s talk about why many of us, including myself, chose to set off on this path of entrepreneurship in spite of the fact that this is hard.
The Odds Have Improved
When I first thought about having my own business – It seemed like a lofty dream. This was when I was fresh out of college and had not found the job of my dreams in the classified ads. Yes, there were still daily printed newspapers and classified ads then. I knew deep down inside that the job I wanted to do would never be a heading in the newspaper columns. I thought about starting my own business but I also thought about the lack of knowledge I had about running a business and let’s be real the lack of capital I had to get started. Add to that a heavily stated statistic that most businesses never make it past their first year and the idea of starting my own businesses was just that – an idea in my head. It stayed there dormant for a long time. It never died, it never faded away, it just stayed on the shelf waiting for its turn to come out of the box to become a reality. Well the rapid growth of technology and in particular the internet took away many of the obstacles a start-up business owner might face. As I revisited the idea of a business over the years it seemed like the odds of successes were gradually improving.
It Looks Different
Owning a business looks very different now than it did in the past. A brick and mortar location is no longer a necessity. If you read the creation story of many globally successful and billion dollar revenue businesses – you will find a garage, home office, or coffee shop somewhere in that story. Thanks to mobile computers, mobile phones, the internet and various apps a person can quickly establish a business once the idea to do so is there. For me, these advancements in technology made me take the dusty box off the shelf that held my dream of starting a business. I cracked the box open just a bit and sat and thought about the possibilities. Since I am a bit of a type A personality – I did not just take a leap and do it. Much contemplation and planning was involved. But ultimately I decided to give this a try. If you are here reading this post then you are probably also giving it a try or strongly considering to do so. I decided to add a blog to my business website because ultimately I am an educator. As I have worked with emerging business owners as a graphic designer – I have witnessed the gaps in their knowledge about how to proceed. My goal is to share my experiences as well as my knowledge. Some of that knowledge is empirical research based information and some is just from the school of hard knocks. The message of this first post though – is one of encouragement. I began by saying – It’s hard, but that was not the complete statement, this is:
“Being a solo entrepreneur is hard but it’s worth it.” Tweet this!
It’s your baby
This business is your creation.
“The opportunity to create the work you want to do the way you want to do it exists now like it never did before.” Tweet this!
Every day you have the opportunity to shape it and mold it. You have a chance to impact the world or at the very least a small section of it. You can share your message, product, service, knowledge etc. with others. To be in control of that process is very liberating. You are not restricted by the rules and regulations that others have set forth because you are the rule maker. You are also the problem solver. That may sound like a negative – not having someone to call when the computer breaks, or a client does not pay the bill. In a traditional work setting – you would call IT or accounting. In this setting you are most likely IT as well as accounting – but there is something oddly rewarding about that as well. When there is no one to call you began to stretch the limits of what you thought you were capable of. You suddenly realize you don’t need to call anyone, because you can solve the problem. That is very empowering and I think it’s the addictive part of this process that makes us stay t.he course when the challenges arise.
Create with Intent
The name of my business is Designer Rule. What some might call the tag line but I prefer to call the motto is Create with Intent. It is also the name of the blog. It is my message to the soloproneur. Yes I know that’s not how it’s spelled. I made a bit of a change to the word. This change reflects my belief about being a business of one. When you step out on your own to make your dream a reality – just because you are the only employee at your company does not mean you can’t be professional. You are solo, you are an entrepreneur, you are a professional. You are the SoloPROneur. You maintain a professional appearance by creating with intent. Everything you do, every move you make, every piece of content, product, service you make is done so with a clear intent. Unprofessional-ism appears when the intent is lost. Through the blog I hope to help you stay focused on your intent by sharing my story, my resources, and the tools I use in my SoloPROneur journey.