Entrepreneurship is a path and a journey that lots of people are starting to take, especially since the pandemic. I’ve been blessed that I have been in business now for six years full-time. It was not easy starting out and I can’t say that it doesn’t still have challenges. I’ve learned the valuable lesson of reframing “challenges” into “learning opportunities.” Starting out, I felt like I had very limited business know-how and understanding of what being a business owner really meant. My mindset had to shift in order to become the entrepreneur that I am today. I am thankful to see that the company has grown from one woman, “doing the most” LOL, to a team of 10 working every day to make magic happen for our clients. Here are six tips that marked a turning point at That’s So Creative.

1. Cancel Doubt

The number one thing that I had to tackle in order to be successful in business was to cancel doubt. You really have to let go of any doubt that you can actually do this. You have to have an intrinsic belief in yourself. Confidence and belief in yourself and your purpose is a business owner’s greatest asset.

2. Coral your Fears

The next thing that I had to learn was how to coral my fears, and all the what-ifs. Doubt and fear work hand-in-hand. However, fear is something that will stop you in your tracks and immobilize you. As an introverted homebody, the scariest part of entrepreneurship for me is the constant NEWness of everything. Entrepreneurship is full of new risks, new tests, new initiatives, new trends, new opportunities, new frustrations, and new wins — it can be daunting at times. Sometimes you won’t know which opportunities to go for or which threats need immediate action.

3. Get Business Advising

Here’s the thing — you don’t know what you don’t know. A business advisor is essential, whether you go through a community development program, like here with our friends at The Source, or you get a coach or some form of advising to learn from someone who’s been where you’re trying to go. Or, they’ve worked with enough businesses that they understand the problems you’re facing. You want to go to someone who has enough understanding of what you’re facing so that you don’t have to make unnecessary mistakes.

4. Get your Financials in Order

Your financials are going to be the lifeblood of your business — whether it’s understanding your cash flow, making sure that you’re net positive, or making sure that you have proper financial reporting like bank statements and profit and loss statements. These things are going to be necessary for you to apply for different types of funding and programs that can help your business.

5. Delegate, delegate, delegate!

Delegating tasks is one of the kindest things that you can do not just for your business, but for yourself. The truth is, burnout is real. There will be times when there are millions of tasks on your to-do list and you will feel overwhelmed. In order to help prevent overwhelm, you need to delegate tasks so that you can be focused on the things that only you can do and delegate the rest. This is something that I still struggle with. Rid yourself of the mentality that if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. The key to delegation is training and trust. Start removing tasks and training your team on how to do them step by step. Next, trust yourself and trust the people that you’ve put in place so that they can get the job done.

6. Set up Systems

And last but certainly not least, you need to set up systems. You need to have systems and processes in place because this is also going to help with burnout, delegation, and operations. A system of operations will help you more easily train new hires and keeps your company running like a well-oiled machine. You will need to have systems in place for every service that you offer and there needs to be a particular way how you do everything. Personally, as a creative, this was one of the most challenging things for me. My creative brain is always thinking of new ideas and ways of doing things. However, I had to become disciplined in my approach. I had to tell myself that there is a time for new ideas, but not now. Right now this is the way this works, and it has to work this way every single time in order for us to execute and be effective.

Here’s a bonus tip as we head into year seven. Relax. Get some rest and don’t take everything so seriously. It will all get done, eventually. Your business won’t burn to the ground if you take a personal day or delegate a task. We want to inspire you to continue on your journey of entrepreneurship as well as learn from each other and build a better world together. Sign up for our newsletter to get more exclusive tips, motivation, and updates.