7 Insights from a Beginner Entrepreneur
For the past 12 years I worked as part of a large educational organisation with at least 200 people around me every single day. I lived in a world with an office door that always had a visitor, a phone that constantly rang, an email that was alive with questions and group of work friends that were always there to support you. Six months ago I started my own business and have I learned a lot about myself, about work and about life!!
- Working from home is lonely: The transition from a bustling office to the silence of my home without the echoes of my girls having fun was eerie and very hard to get used to. While I am always busy with clients, responding to emails, updating social media, writing articles, creating web content, researching career related developments and attending meetings working from home is a more solitary experience than I expected. No option for a coffee and company has been a really big challenge for me.
- You are Head of Department for EVERYTHING. You run the show, you are not alone an expert in your field but you are chief secretary, head of finance, a marketing strategist, a PR manager, a computer programmer as well as a web developer, a brand manager, Social Media Guru, and anything else that you can think of. My day starts at 5am and finishes at 11pm!! So as my business builds I am engaging the professional help of people who are experts in these fields to take over some of these roles. Irish Biz Party www.irishbizparty.ie a great place to make connections. Use #irishbizparty every Wednesday evening from 9pm-11pm to join the conversation and make great connections https://twitter.com/irishbizparty. Which brings me to my next point…
- Social Media is Amazing! As, a social media novice, Twitter, scared the daylights out of me. I didn’t have a clue what a # was or the difference between @ and #. I had no followers and hadn’t a clue how to get my message out in 140 characters. Then I found the Tweeting Goddess aka Samantha Kelly. Samantha showed me the ropes of Twitter, and guided my social media strategy now I’m addicted and my following has grown substantially. Not alone that but my professional profile and network has flourished also.
- Video is the SEO King. Google love video and having one or more on your site pushes your SEO. Matthew from Hedgehogs v Foxes, a Dublin based brand activation company, provided me with the best support and help to activate my brand through video. Matthew, worked with me (very patiently) to script, produce, edit and manage myself in front of the camera which is hard (really hard) but definitely worth it.
- Network, Network, Network. On September 9th 2014 I attended my first networking breakfast with Image Magazine. I felt a bit out of place and very alone, made it through the initial networking part and then to the professionals for building your digital presence. Maryrose from Brightspark, Dave from Ebow and Laura George from Image inspired every single person in the room that morning. I left the Marker on a high not alone did I realise that setting up my own business was both possible and practical I began to put in place the plans to build and design my own version of success in the shape of A Career to Love. I kept attending the Image Networking Breakfasts and found a new lease of life while also learning so much from industry experts. So, if you are in business and work from home you have to network. While it can be hard to walk up and chat to strangers, the funny thing is that everybody finds, or has found, networking a challenge. But you will meet the most amazing and inspiring people who will both offer and follow through on their offer to help you.
- Listen to the Radio: The Sunday Business Show on Today FM is a one hour show at 10 am every Sunday morning that is packed with so much information and advice about business, careers and start-ups that you have to listen in. I always listen to the show and then have to download at least one podcast that has caught my attention. Conall & Myra as TEAM SBS run brilliant networking events which are absolutely brilliant. So make sure you keep in touch.
- Take every opportunity: If you get offered an opportunity TAKE IT. I have lived by that motto and I have yet to regret it. As a result of taking every opportunity that I have been given in the past 6 months I have contributed to Image.ie, been on Down To Business with Bobby Kerr, had a 15 minute slot with Conall O’Móráin on Today FM Sunday Business Show chatting about careers, contributed to Herfamily.ie, FamilyFriendlyHQ.ie, spoke at a Girl Crew Pro Event and had a mentoring session from Susan Hayes Culleton aka the Positive Economist.
Watch this space as there is a lot more to come in 2016 #excitement!!