We are in a very unique time that I am enjoying witnessing and being encouraged by. It helps me feel a little less reckless for thinking that I could start a magazine when I was fresh out of college with less than a handful of magazine jobs under my belt. I’ve learned a lot and I am still learning. I am always shocked when people ask for a little advice when they are starting a company. I get a lot of people looking for tips on starting magazines, communication companies and lifestyle brands mostly just to give you an idea. The conversation always starts off with what the person feels is a disclaimer:
“Ok so this is something I really enjoy doing and……”
And in that moment without realizing it, they already have my excitement and sympathy. I tend to lean towards cheering their idea on. I do that because I remember when I use to talk about starting Worthy. People were real quick to hit me with the “Oh that’s nice,” and keep it moving on to what they really wanted to talk to me about.
I listen and offer subtle advice. I can honestly admit it is because I like seeing people take the leap of faith. The act encourages me as well. Is that horrible? Anyway, with that being said, I wanted to write something that was a little less subtle but still sincerely honest.
So here are a few tips that I don’t usually get to share:
1. Are you willing to sacrifice the love and enjoyment of your hobby for stress and hard work?
Sometimes, I think we forget that the joys of a hobby is that there is no pressure. So it is so easy to enjoy. It normally helps us relax. But turning something you enjoy into work is not going to look like an image off The Every Girl Website all the time. It may look more like your senior year of college the night before your final exam in a subject that you are already struggling in.
2. You might end up being your own best company.
Lonely nights and a lot of independent projects. Are you ready to trust yourself? There is a certain boldness and honestly loneliness that comes with declaring yourself your own boss.
3. Planning all of the details is not required.
4. Your sense of time changes
We often compare our beginning to another person’s middle point or beyond. Or we look at those really unique companies that experienced equally unique successes without knowing the details of their real journey. You often find out on your journey (if your new career is in the same genre as the person you are comparing yourself to) that the person was well connected or had unique resources or eventually compiled a resourceful contact list. But we end up constructing our timeline based off someone else’s experiences. NEVER insult your goals that way. You are not like anyone else and neither are your experiences. Once you realize that, your sense of time changes. It may take years to develop your company. Do you love your idea enough to give it that much of your time?
5. Thicken your skin.
You will have to become a little more subtle and selective with who and how you collect advice. Sometimes the worse thing you can do is lay out your entire idea and plan to your desired mentor. I learned the hard way that sometimes the worse question you can ask a person is for a quick solution to something that took them years to develop. So don’t be offended when people outright limit how much they tell you. We are kind of in an era of people saying that they charge fees for those “Can I pick your brain,” kind of conversations.
6. Do not spend too much time monitoring what other people (in your field) are doing.
These are just a few things to consider that I don’t think you get to hear over those “coffee meetings” that people love to request. You might get more information out of a phone call than over coffee. I know that is kind of how I am. Driving to a middle point to meet a person is not always ideal when you are keeping crazy hours for your craft.
Read more posts over at Ju’lia Catherine A Worthy Lifestyle Journal