EN Business Academy: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business

EN Business Academy is back with a great article by Stephanie St. Claire called “11 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business.” Check it out, as well as Margaret Rizzo McKelvy’s thoughts below, and let us know what you think in the comments below. Many thanks to Mythic Landing Enterprises for writing this series.

This quote hangs on the wall in the Mythic Landing Enterprise offices.

This quote hangs on the wall in the Mythic Landing Enterprise offices.

From Margaret: 

The following article came across my Facebook news feed a few months ago, and I thought it was a great read. Check out “11 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business” by Stephanie St. Claire. I promise that it is worth it! If you’re like me, you can easily identify with many items on Ms. St. Claire’s list, but the first item on her list really got me thinking:

“Running the business is your first priority. Your success (and financial stability) will come from expertly running your business — not teaching yoga, life coaching, writing copy or making jewelry. In other words, you will spend 15% of the time doing what you love (your gift … in my case, coaching and writing) and 85% of the time marketing, administrating, selling, strategizing your business and answering a sh*tload of e-mail. Survival will totally hinge on how quickly you adopt this role of Business Owner first, creator of pretty things, second.”

She continues, “This sucked for me because I wanted nothing to do with running a business. I just wanted to be a writer and life coach who wrote and coached all day. I didn’t get it.”

Think on this for a few minutes. If you are a horse professional, do you spend 85 percent of your time in your office running your business? If you consider the “doing what you love” portion of your job to be the actual riding and teaching, I would venture to guess that for most equestrian professionals, this ratio is reversed with 85 percent or more of your time spent riding and teaching and 15 percent or less of your time spent “in the office.” I’m also pretty sure that if I told you that you had to spend 85 percent of your time in an office running your business, you would run the other way. Right?

So what’s the answer?

Personally, I have this theory that you need to create “life teams” to help you reach your goals. For me, I have my business team, my horse team and my life team. If you’re lucky, and I consider myself to be a very lucky individual, you’ll have a core group of people that appear on all of your teams. And other people will only show up on one of your teams, and that’s ok! The point is, each team needs to be made up of people that not only understand your goals but also genuinely support you in your efforts to reach your goals. So if your business goal is to spend more time riding, then you need to find someone to add to your team that can fulfill the administrative role. This person can be a paid employee or even a family member that wants to help you out.

Luckily, I quickly realized that in order to run a successful business, I had to devote A LOT of time to the running of the actual business. I think that the ratio of spending 15 percent of your time doing what you love and 85 percent of your time running the business is pretty accurate for me. One of my first business goals was to make enough money to be able to hire a bookkeeper because I knew that in order to be able to successfully grow the business, I needed multiple eyes on my financials. Plus, what was taking me an entire day to complete takes my bookkeeper two hours to complete. So this freed up an entire day that I can spend doing other tasks.

I could go on and on about my life teams theory, but I need to get back to work! So go ahead — read the article and let us know your take away.

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