[How To] Successfully Start Your Own Business
10 Tips and Inspiring Quotes to Get You Started
Guest Author: Brittney Murray
Turning a dream of starting your own business into reality is really exciting – and nerve wracking, too.
A good friend and fellow Raleigh-based business owner, Keith Langbo, shared an insightful, albeit brutally honest, perspective on self-starting a business and a common misconception about the start-up phase that widely goes unsaid (or undocumented, at least):
I don’t know why people call it sleepless nights; owning your own business means sleepless years.
No truer words have been spoken – although, my business, BMUR Branding Group, is still within its first year, I know I have more years ahead of me full of sleepless nights.
The what-ifs will absolutely be weighing on you, from conception until you have your first customer – but also beyond, and that is what business starters before you will typically fail to relay. Personally, I think a healthy amount of fear is good when starting your own business, but it’s important to combine it with an equally as important dose of reality – and that means keeping your outlandish doomsday thoughts from the forefront of your mind but also not letting yourself get too full of yourself either.
No matter what stage of start-up life you’re in, here are my tried-and-true tips on how to successfully start your own business, marinated in some go-to quotes I’ve collected along the way.
10 Tips (and Quotes): On How to Successfully Start Your Own Business
1. Start! When it comes to most everything, well done is better than well said. (And I’m a writer, and a speaker! So that’s really saying something.)
2. Don’t try to be something you’re not. For tips on branding your new business, read this article on Small Business Marketing.
3. Take care of you and your business before you take care of someone else and theirs. Elise Russell, founder of Pony Friday, shared this goldmine of a thought with me early in 2017 as I was selecting my retainer clients to go to market with. For me, this means writing my own articles before I ghost write for my clients. Chances are, if you’re like me, you won’t miss a deadline for your clients, but you absolutely will put off deadlines for yourself. Don’t. And as Elise says, #BehaveBoldly.
4. Schedule your day. Oftentimes, especially when you’re first starting your own business, your workplace is your home office, a coffee shop or an otherwise less structured environment than you would be in if you were working for someone else. Plan your day and be strategic about the meetings you take.
Here’s a quote I spun up earlier this year to put this into context:
“On the other side of busy is a better way to do things. Time management means reducing chaos and increasing creativity and quality.”
5. “Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.” I think of this when I think of my client base, but it’s applicable to any company’s customers. Don’t try to be everything to everyone; be authentic and your brand will attract the right audience, and naturally so. If you find yourself fighting for someone’s business, maybe it’s not the business you want.
6. “Once you’ve done what you had to, they’ll never let you do what you want to.” Believe it or not, Ann Hathaway said this in The Dark Knight Rises and it’s one of the best quotes for small businesses. When you’re first starting out, it’s important to be flexible as you start finding your way and building your brand, but do keep Ann’s quote in mind. Getting by with work you don’t ultimately want, in my mind, is almost as bad as staying in a job you don’t like. Be deliberate.
7. Right before you think it can’t be done – that’s when you should do it. It all goes back to striking the balance between self-doubt and self-respect. A complimentary thought: Don't be deterred by the things that don't come easy – that's often where the most opportunity lies.
8. If you can’t stop thinking about it, maybe you shouldn’t. I had been toying with the idea of starting my own business for years before I started BMUR Branding Group. If it keeps you up at night, if it makes you excited, if you can’t stop thinking about it – that’s what you should be doing. Starting a business boils down to providing for yourself but also finding your calling, and it’s called a calling for a reason. Don’t try to silence it.
9. “Look for the job you would take if you didn’t need a job.” The great late Warren Buffet said this, and before starting your business, these are absolutely the words you should be living by.
10. Lastly, the secret to getting ahead is getting started. Before you turn an action item into something on a list – just do it! Whatever the scariest thing is that you’re facing in starting your business, make it the next thing you do. For me, that meant finding a good lawyer (Yeah, Felton Banks!) and an accountant.
What I loved most about Keith’s advice about sleepless years was when he compared his business to a baby. It’s the good kind of sleepless nights, if you can believe there is such a thing. It’s terrifying and inspiring, but what the heck else is there to be. #BMUR #BeMore
ABOUT BRITTNEY MURRAY
Brittney is the founder and lead consultant at BMUR Branding Group, LLC. She has her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Hampshire in English Journalism and specializes in content marketing. She helps companies tell their story through a combination of brand conceptualization, content writing and strategy, and marketing and public relations.
Prior to founding BMUR, Brittney worked for Randstad and Robert Half, two of the largest staffing and recruiting companies in the world. She has exceptional expertise in recruitment marketing, social networking and recruiting, and employer branding.
ABOUT BMUR BRANDING GROUP
BMUR Branding Group specializes in providing branded content and consultative marketing services to the staffing and recruiting industry. It's all about the right content, to the right audience, at the right time.
BMUR’s award-winning client portfolio of brands leading the way in the staffing and recruiting industry include a $10M Boston-based advisory services and staff augmentation firm, a $30+ million New England staffing & recruiting company with 4 major lines of business, a $30M international RPO company headquartered in Boston, VMS/MSP independent business consultants, HR consultants, and more!
When it comes to marketing, you need: The brand. The talent. The story.
For more information and client testimonials, go to www.bmurbrandinggroup.com.