If I was to tell you that starting your own business wasn’t a nail biting, hair pulling, brain wrenching process, you would call me a liar, and rightfully so. On those rare days, sometimes it feels like that is just the beginning. I have seen my fair share of ups and downs since my company’s creation three years ago. As an entrepreneur, you have those bad days that will affect you more than anyone. Those days belong to you; they do not define you, but in the long run will make you stronger (…note to self). Although you may get caught up in the turns and bumps, just remember part of the learning experience is being able to understand, appreciate, and learn along the way. This is what composes a great entrepreneur. As human beings, the more we get, the more we want, and while we start out thinking about the end goal, the journey never really stops.
I have learned the most valuable lessons from the struggles and obstacles that I have faced with my own company. Registering the company, branding it, and dealing with tax issues and forms with the District of Columbia, was one of the easier tasks, and trust me, that was no small endeavor. Even with everything in place, working on the upkeep of it all, a business cannot run without clients. When I founded SilverStrategy we didn’t have any clients on retainer, but we did have the contacts and confidence to push through. And we did, day after day. I continued to make connections through various networking opportunities and tapped into old contacts, which played a crucial role as one contact lead to another. Since then, SilverStrategy has grown primarily through this structure.
While it seems as though business never flows fast enough in the beginning, due to the numerous complexities of being self employed, I had faith that in time, my business would grow. Starting your own business is a time consuming and often exhausting experience with endless issues to think about. People often told us that a recession is not the right time to start a new business, and the comments-while many valid- went on and on. Despite the unfortunate timing and my worries, I knew it was now or never. I wanted this more than anything and no one could stop me from pursuing my dream. I often tell aspiring entrepreneurs that no time is ever going to be perfect to start your company, but if you feel the fire in your gut and nothing else is as motivating as that passion, then it’s time.
Raw passion takes ideas and turns them into actions fueling business owners to keep pushing through the hard and continuously frustrating moments. As an owner, this journey feels like a rollercoaster, (it can even make you nauseous) as you reach different highs and lows. You will slowly learn that you take ownership of the good days. Recognize what you have accomplished along the way, no matter how small, and do not forget to reward yourself. It may seem as if you have only made the smallest of steps forward, but always remember to take a breath and a step back, and look at the big picture. Take great pride in the days you feel like you are closer to realizing that what was once your vision is becoming more of a reality. These efforts are a direct result of your actions. Most people only sit and dream about starting their own business, but take pride in the fact that you had the confidence needed to take that first step and let that fire fuel you and keep re-energizing you along the way.