An Un-Glamorous Side of Starting a Business

Just because we’re in a new year doesn’t mean that situations and circumstances automatically follow suite. It would be nice to think that when we change out the calendar we end all of the waiting and slow movement of the year before, but we all know that is not how it works. By the way, for those of you who had an awesome, mind-blowing year last year, THIS ARTICLE IS NOT FOR YOU. Just bookmark it for later. This is for those of us who are in a mediocre, caught-in-a-hampsterwheel, everyday-is-Groundhog’s-Day time of our life. And patience is not the virtue that I eagerly seek out because I want everything NOW. On the good side, though this is only a season which means that it won’t last for forever, but that’s about as helpful as a staring at a clock in hopes for time to go faster. PS – it doesn’t; I’ve tried.

Photo by gembi1

Photo by gembi1

Wouldn’t it be great to have some sort of notice of how long this wait is, like at an amusement park? Of course, if we knew that, then we would just lay low and wait for it to pass because  it will pass. As I’m writing this, I am in this situation. I’ve had a few breakthroughs here and there; just enough to keep my vision alive, but for the most part, the last few years have been the same story, different day. As a Christian, I am expected to be excited & love life because these days are ordained by God Himself. But to be completely honest here, I’ve had so many breakdowns during this time its a miracle I’m functioning right now.

During this time, I’ve done a LOT of God-seeking and I have been drawn to Habakkuk 3:17-19:

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.

I’ve been working on getting a business up & running for 2 years now. I’m beyond frustrated at this point. Now, I’m not telling you all of this just to whine or complain. Because even though I’m not thrilled about right now,  I’ve learned many lessons, including one valuable one during this season: how to use time wisely. When you get to this barren, dry part in your life or if you’re in it right now (because it happens to all of us), here are some things I’ve found to be helpful to make the most of this time while getting my business going. And remember that this time is not a waste, but a set up for bigger and better! What are some things you do during this time? Please let me know and comment below!

– Get your business plan established. If you’re a soon-to-be-business owner, don’t wait for the business to happen – write down your vision for it in a business plan. This is probably the one and only time where you have all control to decide on everything for the business because it’s all you. Once it’s up and running, it will have a life of its own.

– Write your contract templates. This is not the most glamorous part of entrepreneurship but a vital one. Get those contracts drawn up so that when you get the first client, you’ll be ready for them. All you will have to do is just fill them in and get to work.

– Define your culture. If you decide the culture of your business now, it will not be an issue later. Culture is going to happen, so you want to make sure that it’s on your terms. If it is clearly defined from the start, you will have the culture YOU want and not one that is a by-product of circumstance. Envision your company growing and expanding, the people that work for the company, and the atmosphere. You can take steps now to make sure your ideal culture happens later.

– Line up your vendors and professional advisors. How horrible would it be to meet your lawyer after you get sued? Or scramble to find a copy writer for a big marketing campaign you want to do? Use this time now to find the right partnerships for your business and you won’t have to hope for the best later because you waited until the last minute.

– Keep learning your trade. Whether you sell jewelry or offer IT help, there is always something to learn. Stay ahead of the competition and learn as much as you can.

Don’t lose hope,

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