When I started my business, I knew what I was doing as a designer, but I had no idea how to run a business. Owning my own business has been one of the best things I've ever done, but the beginning was also so hard. I wanted to share my top three pieces of advice for new business owners, so that you can hopefully avoid the lessons I had to learn the hard way:
Just get started. I had the idea of running my own design business for years before I actually did it. And then I did all kinds of things I thought I needed to do before launching (for an entire year!), just to work up the courage to launch. Don't do this. Remember—your business will not be perfect in the beginning. Your brand won't look how you want it to look and you'll be a little confused about which direction you're heading. But the clarity you're looking for will come from action. As I started actually doing things and building a community, that's when my vision started to get crystal clear. That's when I figured out exactly what my branding should look like and who I wanted to serve.
Pay attention to your mindset. I ignored mindset work for so long, because it felt impractical to me. But your mindset is everything. Self-worth and your mindset around time and money all seep into your business. And you can become the biggest thing holding you back (this was so true for me). You won't be able to charge what you want to charge and attract the kind of clients or customers you want to serve unless you truly value yourself and your work. For me, this meant finding my limiting beliefs and actively working to replace them with new ones.
Invest when you can. Investing is daunting and in the beginning, you might not have a lot of capital. But when you can invest, it can make such a difference. You aren't an expert in everything (nor should you be!), so when you can, hire experts to help you with other aspects of your business, whether that's bookkeeping or branding or marketing or legal aspects. Some of the most important investments I've made have been online courses to level up my design skills, solid legal contracts from an attorney, and coaching to help me learn how to sell better and shift my mindset. I tried to do literally everything by myself at first, but it didn't lead me to any success—it just left me burnt out and frustrated.
Your business should feel aligned and fun, and reflect you living in your true zone of genius. Taking action, working on your mindset, and investing can make such a difference in getting you there. I hope this is helpful for any new business owners out there—I'm here cheering you on!