26 Lessons I’ve Learned as an Entrepreneur (so far)
April is my birthday month!
I turn 26 this year (woot woot) and to celebrate the occasion I want to share 26 lessons that I’ve learned along my entrepreneurial journey so far. I hope my list not only inspires you but helps you spot the red flags and the hidden opportunities that will pop up in your own journey.
Despite the fear of stability, I knew that entrepreneurship was always in my heart. Even though its only been 2.5 years of running my business full time, I’ve been a devoted entrepreneur as far back as I can remember. From being 8 years old and going around the neighbourhood convincing my neighbours they needed a car wash for $5, freelancing at 15, to present day, where I have a team of 5 powerful ladies, servicing over 150+ clients, and looking to just keep growing and expand my business.
Taking the leap and trusting this was my calling was undoubtedly the best decision I’ve ever made. This isn’t to say that there haven’t been tears along the way but the successes shine through. Looking back at the tears, there were signs that I was stepping outside of my comfort zone and that is the place where the most growth happens.
Now my journey is far from over. Really, it’s just beginning, but for now, here are 26 lessons I’ve learned:
1. Networking has a huge impact
- Look for hidden opportunities
2. Relationship building is everything
- People don’t buy things or services, they buy people.
3. It's ok to say NO
- The key to leading a sustainable work life is by setting boundaries. If you don’t, burnout is quickly around the corner - trust me on this one!
4. Not everyone deserves your TIME.
5. Ask for support!
- Ever heard of the saying “2 heads are better than 1”. You can be exceptional at what you do but to make it a sustainable business, you’ll need help.
6. You can make 6 figures alone but if your dream is to scale your business, you’ll need a team.
7. Invest in programs / software to make your process more efficient
8. Hiring the right accountant for your kind of business is key
- Learn your numbers and pay attention to your finances from the very beginning.
9. What you put out there is what you will receive
10. The number of followers on Instagram doesn’t depict your income
- Social media can be fickle, measure your success another way.
11. Celebrate your wins even the small ones
- You’re taking on a big challenge, and it’ll often feel tough, so that’s why its super important to focus on your wins - they will keep you motivated.
12. Reading is game-changer
- Books are life!
13. Trading services is not always a good idea
- Someone always gets the short end of the stick.
14. You can learn new things every single day
- Being an entrepreneur means that your life will never be boring.
15. They don't teach your how to run a business in school
- Knowing the craft is very different than running a business doing the craft. Be ready to learn as you go or invest in additional programs or coaches to help guide you.
16. It's OK to cut ties with a long-term client
- This one may be one of the toughest things you have to do, especially if you develop a connection. But just like in your personal life, some people are meant to be there for a lifetime while others only for a season, and that is OK!
17. Put yourself in rooms with people smarter than you!
- If you’re the smartest person in all rooms, you’re in the wrong rooms.
18. Attend events, get your name out there
- People aren’t just going to stumble upon you. You have to tell people what you do.
19. Have your processes in check
- Having processes and systems in place are important if you plan to grow and scale your business. Having your processes in your head won’t help anyone you hire, they aren’t mind readers.
20. Hire a Project Manager to maintain client-relationships and oversee your team
- Everyone needs a right hand person.
21. Put money aside for taxes
- This is a habit you have to build from the start.
22. Travel and disconnect from work
- Even though you are passionate about your business and no one else has skin in the game like you do, you won’t be able to do it 24/7/365 without a break. Burning yourself out will hurt your business more than taking time for vacation and to refuel.
23. It's okay if you're not creative 24/7
- You’re not a machine. Cut yourself some slack.
24. Do things that bring you joy
- Your business may be your dream but its not your only passion. Dedicate time to other aspects of your life that make you happy.
25. Opportunities won’t just knock on your door, you have to go out and make them.
- You can’t just sit and wait for people to need your services. You need to tell people you are there. Make yourself visible, showcase your value, and don’t be afraid to ask for the business!
26. Learn to trust your gut
- Not all opportunities are made equal. If your gut says that a client isn’t the right fit for whatever reason, follow your gut. It is there to protect you!
These are just 26 of many more lessons my journey has taught me until now.
I’d be interested to know if any of these stick out to you or if you have learned a lesson in your journey that isn’t on my list. Let me know.
CEO & Creative Director of
ALESSYA BAGGETTA DESIGNS