What I learned in my first year of business
Time flies when you’re…really busy? It’s hard to believe that I started KB Communications a little over a year ago. There have been sleepless nights, endless Google searches, and lots of questions along the way. But a year later, I’m happy to report that I’m still alive to tell about it.
In just a year, I’ve worked with 14 different clients, across nine different industries. I built my website, and helped others revamp theirs. I’ve worked on countless media relations projects and secured placements that have helped clients support their business goals and share their expertise (see: Senior living communities highlight success after Hurricane Irma). My husband and I also moved (twice) and bought our first home.
It’s been crazy at times, but so worth it. Along the way, I also learned a few things.
1. You don’t have to be good at everything
For a recovering perfectionist, it was hard to accept that I couldn’t do everything well on my own. I spent hours googling accounting questions and still didn’t understand what I was doing most of the time. The good news is that tasks like accounting, web design, graphic design and legal (contracts) can easily be outsourced to someone who is an expert in the field.
Yes, these things cost money. But when you work for yourself, time is money. And if it saves you time to outsource these things, you can spend more time doing the things that make you money (which will cover the cost of outsourcing).
2. You can make your own rules
When I first started out, I struggled with (1) whether to position myself as an individual or an agency (I went with individual), (2) how to include my personality on my website and branding (see: headshots and writing in the first person), and (3) how to balance personality with professionalism.
It was incredibly freeing to realize that there weren’t any rules when it came to my branding. Even if everyone else in the industry was going one way, it was perfectly fine for me to go the other way. When you work for yourself, there aren’t any rules. There are best practices, yes. And a few laws to keep in mind… But when it comes to your brand, being authentic is always the right decision.
3. Some things are worth the risk
Despite coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, I never saw myself as a business owner. Taking the leap from a full-time employee to a business owner was a huge risk and I knew that I had a lot to learn. But it was a risk that was worth taking. In my mind, if things didn’t go well I could find another agency job.
For me, success isn’t measured in job titles or dollar signs. It’s about living life well, and going out on my own has allowed me to live that life. So, for now, I won’t be looking for another agency job.
Here’s to one year down, and many more to go.