The Three Things I Wish I Had Known When I Started My Business (Including the One That Damn Near Brought Me Down)
I perched on the edge of the bed, feeling the thin, cheap mattress sink beneath me onto the plywood board beneath it. Laptop on my lap, my fingers hovering over the keys in sync with the butterflies hovering in my stomach.
I was about to send in my very first paid piece of writing — and I was wildly, disproportionately nervous about sending this $3.25 assignment in.
As I hit send, watching the page cycle for what felt like ages because my Internet was barely hitting 1990s standards in 2009, I had no idea that this would be the moment that set me on a course that would see me running a business, traveling the world, and sitting here right now writing this to you from a fancy-pants roof garden.
I wouldn’t trade what I do for the world — but there were definitely some parts of the journey I could have done without.
So let me share with you the three things I wish I had known when I was sitting back there on that mattress:
#1. This is consuming
I can’t state this enough — because it’s one of those things that you read and you’re like “Oh yeah, I get it, it’s consuming.”
But no, it’s seriously, life-alteringly, wake you up in the middle of the night consuming. Starting a business requires so much more of you than I ever expected mentally, emotionally, and physically.
And as romantic as that can sound when you’re starting out, there always comes a time when you look up from the middle of a laptop with 65 tabs open on it, scribbled notebooks strewn around you and day four hair and think, “How did this become my life?”
If you stick with it, you figure out the systems and support you need to make sure that your life doesn’t stay like that — but I have yet to meet anyone who hasn’t had at least one moment where if they weren’t already sunk so deep into the process of starting and running their business, they probably would have walked away.
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