Have you ever wanted to start your own business? Be your own boss, brand, and the ultimate decision-maker. Perhaps open your own restaurant, start a jewelry line, website, clothing brand or some sort of online marketplace for your idea or service?
I always did and now that I’m technically a full time ‘entrepreneur’ after quitting my day job focussing on my blog and Savvy Sleepers satin pillow cases; I wanted to share the journey in a short instagram diary how you can do it too. Beware: It’s 10% fun and games. The rest is stress, late nights and lots of work. But if you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t matter.
1. Why Education Matters? ~ I majored in journalism and PR at California State University, Chico and lived in this 6-bedroom party house with pink shutters on the corner of 3rd & Ivy. It was during my senior year in my upstairs bedroom, I decided I wanted to start my own business one day. Use your education, college degree or expertise to handle those aspects of your business. Then reach out to friends & family for what you don’t know. For example ~ My biz partner, The City Supply Co. designs all my graphics and my younger brother, Drew, a business major handles Excel and shipping. If you try to do everything, it can be very overwhelming.
2 . The Not-So-Sunny Side of Starting a Business ~ The pic above is last fall when I received my first samples of Savvy Sleepers. After sifting through hundreds of satin blends and choosing the most luxurious for hair & skin; I was so excited it was all coming together. BUT the hardest part of starting a business when you have a day job is balancing both.
The reality: Without my office job I’d had since fresh out of college, I couldn’t buy clothes, pay my rent or have any savings to invest into my biz. Plan ahead, use all your spare time on your new venture and buy a Nespresso machine because Starbucks isn’t open at 11 pm when you need a boost to stay up until 3 am before waking up for your day job. Also, if you’re in the beginning steps of starting a biz looking for funding, check out kickstarter.com.
3. The Un-Glamorous Side of Quitting Your Day Job ~ Once I had the pillow cases ready to be sold, styled this fun photo shoot and officially launched; I thought everything would be easy. Wrong. It takes marketing, SEO, social media, networking and of course sales. By January of this year, still nowhere near enough monthly revenue to quit my day job; I realized I needed to focus completely on my blog and Savvy Sleepers. This means I’m on a major budget. Hence, the heavily H&M influenced outfits lately.
4. Expect Freak-Out Moments ~ When you quit your day job, the stress of your new business is amplified because that direct deposit every other week is o-v-e-r. So when a last minute ‘crisis’ arises like needing to package 80 Savvy Sleeper press kits 30 minutes before guests start arriving at your launch party; hopefully you’ll have trusted friends and family who can help you in a jam. Try to stay calm, organized and always have an in-depth spreadsheet keeping track of every cost. Shopify has been an amazing ecommerce platform with great customer service. I call them all the time.
5. My #1 Tip if You Want to Start a Business ~ First: Don’t quit your day job! Balance both until you’re finally ready. It took me over a year to that point until it wasn’t possible to do both any longer. Next: Plan a wise exit strategy unlike I did. Talk to HR. Understand when your benefits end (you don’t want to be without health insurance). Be prepared to negotiate so you don’t make mistakes mentioned in the new book, Lean In, written by Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg. Finally, celebrate with champagne on your 1st official night as your own boss. But take it easy because if you wake up the next day hungover, guess who is going to be disappointed, unproductive and letting down the company?
Thanks for following my instagram small business diary and if you have any questions and want to share your business dream, please share below.
Ready to #SleepBetter? Order at www.savvysleepers.com