The things I didn’t know when I started running a business. The list could go on and on. I have read so many business books and listened to so many podcasts but nothing could compare to the reality of having my own company. I’ve been writing and publishing my own books since 2017, but it was only recently that I’ve created my publishing company. Along the way there are something I either complety missed in the business books I read or that aren’t just talked about.
- The rest of your life will probably fall apart/ fall to the back burner.
This was a big one for me and I think most women probably struggle with this one a lot. I take a lot of pride in having my life together. Before I started this business I always cleaned my house and got my laundry done on Sundays. I also sometimes meal prepped. I regularily took my car to the car wash. I had a regular 3x a week 30 minute a session workout routine. Oh the good ole days. That has all gone to hell. As women we sometimes believe the old myth that we can have it all. But, I’m going to break your heart right here and tell you that when you are growing your business other things in your life will fall apart. I regularily have a huge pile of laundry in the corner of my bedroom. Grocery shopping has become the biggest most annoying chore of my life and I won’t even get into the cleanliness of my house. I just want to let you know that it is okay! Don’t beat yourself up about it and instead embrace the messiness that is your life right now.
2. The ebbs and flows of business are very real. (Sometimes I’m extremely busy sometimes I have nothing to do.)
If, like me, you are used to working in a corporate setting this can be a shock to you. In the corporate world you go to work from 9-5 you have a moderate amount of work, sometimes busier sometimes slower, and then you go home at the end of the day. The ebbs and flows of having your own business is completly different. Let me give you an example; last week the only thing I needed to do for my business was schedule some instagram post. Thats it! For the whole week. This week from the time I got home from work at 5:30pm until I went to bed around 9pm I had to work on this manuscript. Then I would get up at 5am and work on it a couple of hours before work then I spend my lunch break at work going over it. Then I got in my paperback copies of another book which meant I had to do the final proof read for that. I also had to schedule all my marketing for the paperback because the release day is fastly approaching. I also had to work with my cover designer to get the cover made for the manuscript I was working on. I literally went from 20 min days last week to 8 hour days this week; on top of my full time job. So when I say the ebb and flows of business are extreme, I mean it.
3. Self-doubt and fear never go away.
Self-doubt and fear are going to be your companion through the entire journey. I think this is especially true if you have a creative business because no matter how long you’ve been doing whatever your doing its still scary to put something you made out there into the world. One way I’ve learned to deal with this is by creating a alter ego. The same way that Beyonce has Sasha Fierce. When I need to taking off my writing hat and put on my CEO hat I use a alter ego and I imagine that I didn’t even write this book my only job is to sell it. There a book on this called The Alter Ego Effect. If you are interested in how using a alter ego can get you to push through your fear and self doubt I recommend this book.
4. You can only run your business how YOU can/want to run it. (What can you manage? What do you want your daily life to look like?)
This was a really, really hard lesson for me to learn. I am guilty of reading all the books, listening to all the podcast, and following all the instragrams of successful authors and seeing what they were doing. At a certain point all of that has to stop and you have to figure out how you want to run your business. So many authors and people in the industry have said you have to write at least four books a year in romance to be successful. I knew from the beginning I didn’t want to turn out books that fast. I like to spend time with my characters and really bring them to life. And the idea of “rapid-publishing” isn’t true anymore. From what I’ve personally experienced Amazon doesn’t reward those who publish more frequently anymore. Rather your book sales good or not is all about the marketing you do. Two books a year is a great number for me. I can spend six months not only working on my book but also that gives me the time to get all my marketing and together. I didn’t start my business so that I could work non-stop and be exhausted everyday which would happen if I was turning out four or more books a year. I think you really have to back away from all the influence surrounding your business and what you’re “supposed to do” and think about how you want your business to be ran. Your business is YOU, YOU are your business. Do what feels good for you.
At the end of the day running a business is no easy task. There are a lot of ups and downs and obstacles that you didn’t see coming. My best piece of advice is to keep going. Keep showing up everyday and moving forward.