Woah… How has it been 10 years since I started my own company? With the way things are going in the world/economy right now I am so thankful to have had a successful business, and hope to have another successful 10 years as an entrepreneur! My company has evolved over the last decade, but at the end of the day I’m still doing what I love most… Helping others through digital marketing and creating meaningful content.

10 ENTREPRENEUR TIPS I’VE LEARNED IN 10 YEARS

For those of you who are new here, I started a digital marketing company 10 years ago doing social media marketing for small businesses. Since then it evolved into a full-service digital marketing consulting company, starting this blog, and creating the Blogger Boss Workshop. Even within the last year it has still been evolving which is why I relaunched my company, Muse Media, last year.

Today, I want to share 10 entrepreneur tips I’ve learned in 10 years! Believe me, I’m still learning new things every day about how to be a successful entrepreneur.

FIND YOUR STORY

This is what makes you tick, and what drives you every single day. It’s the backbone of your company. Your story is what makes you or your company unique and gives readers or customers coming back and stay brand loyal. You’re going to have to dig deep and get personal because we all want that personal connection.

Start by doing a little mind mapping exercise! Get a blank sheet of paper and write your company name in the middle. Then start writing anything and everything you want to express/share and see what comes out.

KNOW YOUR WORTH

Just because you’re a newbie blogger or first time entrepreneur your time is worth SOMETHING. In the beginning, sure you may have to price yourself lower to be competitive. However, there is a reason someone is buying from you or wanting to work with you so don’t give your time away.

80/20 RULE

I feel like I learned this rule towards the very beginning of my career and it’s helped so much. Basically, 80% of what you are doing should be making a personal connection with the customer. The other 20% should be selling to them. The more you show interest in someone and take the time to build a relationship with them the more they’ll trust you and buy from you.

When I launched my company in 2010 I remember one of my very first clients telling me, “I decided to work with you because you were the first person to come in here and didn’t try to SELL me. You got to know me and took interest.”.

This doesn’t mean you can’t sell within that 80%… It just means you have to be a little more creative with your words.

WHEN TO HIRE

You can’t be all things at all times. Yes, in the beginning of starting a new business you’ll think you can handle it all. Some of you might be able to, but most of you will quickly learn it’s not possible. The very first moment you let something slide or don’t do it 100% that’s when you know… You need help.

Take it from me… Spend money to make money is a thing. I learned the hard way and in the end actually ended up losing clients because my work was suffering.

SET BOUNDARIES

I remember when I finally stopped taking calls and checking emails after a certain time each day. Guess what happened? Nothing. My clients respected me even more for setting boundaries and “office hours”. Believe me, I know how hard it is to turn things off as an entrepreneur. However, I also know how easy it is to get burnt out and the passion die.

STICK TO A SCHEDULE

This kind of goes with setting boundaries… Although it’s more for my own responsibility. I get up at the same time every single day. I take meetings, write blog post, take photos, and check emails at certain hours each day. On Monday’s, I don’t take any meetings because it’s my day to work with my assistant and get everything in order for the week.

IT’S OKAY TO FAIL

And I promise you will… It’ll probably be something really small too. It could be something as small as sending an email to the wrong person, or forgetting to do something to meet a deadline. What about accidentally setting a price too high or low? Announcing a sale when it isn’t on sale.

It’s not the end of the world. Remember we are human. We make mistakes. My biggest piece of advice… Own up to it before you get called out. Fix it. Learn from it. Move on.

ASK FOR HELP/GET A MENTOR

When you are a solo act there isn’t a boss to turn to because you are the boss. Even the best CEO’s in the world need help sometimes. Believe me… You may have great ideas and be pretty good at executing them, but there will come a time when your way may not be the best way.

You will be 10x more successful if you just ask for advice/help.

GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING

Seriously. Unfortunately, I’ve had to go after a few people to get money back for services that were not performed. I don’t care if it’s on a napkin or a formal contract or email. Just have proof.

Also, if you do hire someone (even just an intern) make sure you have a written work scope of their responsibilities. This helps both of you. Why? Because it keeps them on task and keeps you accountable.

BUSINESS IS BUSINESS (IT’S NOT PERSONAL)

This is probably why people advise not to do business with family or friends, ha. Seriously though… It’s hard sometimes to put your feelings aside (especially for women). Bottom line… We all need to make money. If someone isn’t holding up their end of the deal then deal with it. It’s hard and it’s uncomfortable, but in the end you don’t have time to waste and they will get over it.

It’s just like a bad relationship… Thank you, next.

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