Becoming an entrepreneur was not something I planned. Ever since I was a little girl, my dream was to write and to reach the largest amount of people with my stories and articles.
After creating two media companies, one centered around parenting and a very small one focusing on Latinas and women, I’m proudly owning the entrepreneur and small business owner labels. Not only have I created content and products, I have created opportunities and jobs for others. This fills me with pride and motivates me to keep building and creating, even when unexpected challenges seem to come out of nowhere.
Since I speak at (and attend) many conferences, over and over again people ask me about my top tips when starting your own business. Quite often those conversations happen around a cup of coffee. In many ways, you could say my path has been powered by coffee.
My personal favorite is the nutty 1850 TrailblazerMedium-Dark Roast that tastes so good with almond milk because it has traces of nuts and chocolate. For me, that morning cup of coffee helps me kick off the day, no matter how many meetings, tapings or events I have in my schedule.
3 lessons every entrepreneur should know
- Failure is a part of success. Many don´t even start their own business because they fear failure. Well, you have to embrace all the setbacks, mistakes and challenges you face to be able to learn and finally succeed. Yes, you can read about other entrepreneurs’ failures, but your experience is unique. There are certain paths that need to take you to a dead end until you figure the right way out. I´m not minimizing how painful or frustrating it can be, but I do think that knowing what does not working can be even more important than making things work.
- Healthy boundaries are a must. When you own your own business and have a vision, it´s only natural to want to allocate every single second to your endeavors. Lack of sleep is a given during a new venture (and yes, coffee is truly a great friend!) and it´s tempting to be connected 24/7. However, that isn’t sustainable. Think like professional athletes: they train hard, yet also make sure to eat what their bodies require to thrive and get much-needed rest to repair their muscles. Burn out is real and it can be an entrepreneur’s biggest enemy. Allow time to recharge, nurture healthy relationships with friends and family, and learn to say no.
- Even if you can do everything, you shouldn’t.You probably know your idea and your business better than anybody else, and it can be tempting to micromanage every little task and project. Don´t. To grow, you need to delegate. If this is as hard for you as it is for me, start by delegating minor chores. If you feel that your business cannot afford to pay others, calculate what your hourly rate is or how much money you could bring in if you spent that time pitching a new client instead of reconciling the books or creating quotes for your company´s social media channels. You need to free not only your time but also your head from tasks that others can do for you, so you can grow your business.
Photos: Kike Flores