I’ve always loved the idea of owning my own business, but it always felt just out of reach. Throughout my career, I have been lucky to work at outstanding organizations with fantastic coworkers. Why would I leave a stable job with great benefits to start my own business?
Almost three years ago, while working my 8 to 5, I was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy. (Read more about my diagnosis here and here.) People with narcolepsy have a disrupted sleep cycle, meaning they have no control over when they are sleepy. Since my diagnosis, I spend everyday constantly feeling tired and battling constant brain fog. Although I am medicated, there is currently no cure for narcolepsy.
After my diagnosis, I continued to work my day job over two years, but it was often a struggle. I couldn’t safely drive the half hour to the office, so I had to depend on the kindness of others to get me to and from work. When I arrived home from work in the evenings, I was exhausted. My quality of life took a big hit and I didn’t feel like I was truly living.
In May 2015, I had a discovery call with Reina Pomeroy. I shared my story and my dream of being a business owner. Reina gave me the clarity and confidence to map out a plan and launch Katie Williamsen Web and Social Media Consulting, LLC.
When you are you own boss, you learn something new every single day. Here are my key takeaways from my first year in biz.
You Don’t Have to Have It All Figured Out
If I had to have it all figured out, I never would have started my business. There are so many moving pieces and it takes time to get them all in place, but if you don’t start, you won’t know what’s missing. If you are thinking about starting a business, just start and figure it out as you go.
Keep It Simple
You don’t need to do all the things. It’s easy to get caught up in little things, but if you actually want to move forward, decide what will make an impact and start there. If you aren’t sure where to start, brain dump all of your ideas and see what comes out on top.
Workflows Are important
I always felt like I was an organized person. I’ve had a paper planner and a love of office supplies since first grade, so, how much more organized do I need to be as a business owner?
I’ve found that I need to be much more organized if I want my business to run efficiently. Everyone in the business community talks about workflows, but talking isn’t enough. You need to actually get your workflows in place. Start with a document that outlines every step of the various business processes you preform. To keep it all organized, transfer it to a project management tool that works best for your biz. Having workflows in place will allow you to grow your business.
Find Your Tribe
The creative entrepreneur space can feel overwhelming and lonely, but developing connections with fellow boss ladies is key. I’ve connected with others by scheduling virtual coffee dates. From these these relationships, I have found my tribe. I have an amazing group of women I trust and depend. They have supported me on bad days and celebrated with me on good days. I am able to bounce ideas off of them, brainstorm, vent and so much more. I couldn’t do it with out my biz besties.
I’ve always loved the concept of goal setting, but I’ve never been good with the follow through. (I have a mostly unused set of PowerSheets from 2015.) As I start my second year in business, my prospective on goal setting has shifted. I believe goal setting is a must. There is no right or wrong way to set goals. You just need to do it – write you goals down and have accountability. Once you put your goals out there, they are so much more achievable.
Since starting my own business in January 2016, I have felt more energized and excited about life and what the future holds. I’m so grateful to everyone who has been on this journey with me. I couldn’t do it without all of you!