“Time flies when you’re having fun” – a phrase we’ve all said, heard and felt many times and a phrase that rings very true when looking back on the past year of my life. HA! Okay, let’s be serious, starting and running a business is not all fun and games. It’s not about sleeping in late and cutting out early, in fact, it’s far from that. This past year has been a roller coaster of happiness, vulnerability, pride, fear and hard work.
In March 2016, I sat in front of my computer in my spare bedroom, which had just been coined ‘my new home office’. I had a fresh set of business cards, a newly developed website (thanks to @Studio123) and a dream to create a career path that inspired and excited me. I had no idea what to expect but I knew I would figure it out.
When starting my business, there were a few things I knew for sure; I knew what I was offering, I knew my strengths and I knew how to execute my services. What I didn’t know much about was the science behind ‘running a business’. I quickly went from a Public Relations and Communications Specialist to an accountant, office manager, receptionist, and everything in between – none of which were second nature to me.
Before officially launching, I knew I had to get everything in line on the business front. I enrolled in the Regional Business Centre’s Starter Company Program, where I developed a business plan, financial plan and had the opportunity to speak with people who had been through the process before. This experience was what kick-started my new career path, it provided me with the tools and knowledge to proceed with confidence. I also received a five thousand dollar grant to assist with start up costs, which was a nice cherry on top!
As many new business owners would tell you, some of the challenges when starting out include learning to overcome obstacles such as time management, increasing efficiency while minimizing waste and distractions, or creating an appropriate work-life balance; I’ve heard the latter could take a lifetime of figuring out! Overcoming these challenges and discovering a new sense of discipline and motivation has been what I have found most fulfilling throughout this journey.
The most profound lesson I’ve learned throughout this experience has been to surround myself with people who have the same desire to grow, achieve and chase their dreams. My clients, friends, family and husband-to-be are the most intelligent, hard working and dynamic people and without their ongoing support, none of this would be possible.
Being in control of my path, my life and my future, in every single way, has been an incredibly liberating feeling and one that I hold very close to my heart. I have a new found respect for business owners and entrepreneurs who have made a choice to walk down a path that is far from simple, but in the end, absolutely worth it.