“Leap, and the net will appear.” – John Burroughs
I don’t have any formal training in business and I’m not a marketing professional. As a result, I have sometimes found it difficult to navigate the entrepreneurial space at times. Painful even.
I come from a working class family. Business was never a part of our conversations and finances were a huge source of stress and anxiety. Nobody in my family has ever owned a business. We don’t take those kinds of risks, because daily survival is risky enough.
That’s the truth.
As you can imagine, that makes starting up a business all the more difficult. There was no one in my circle to turn to for support or advice when I didn’t know how to take the proper steps in running a business.
What can I offer that really makes me money? How much should I charge? What should a business contract look like?
To make a long story short, I had to struggle a lot in the beginning, do a ton of research every night and really push myself to project professionalism when everything inside me screamed, “I can’t do this.”
Nearly three years later, I am doing it, and I want to share with you some of the things I have discovered along the way.
In particular, there are three things I have learned…
1. You CAN do this. Trust me, people far less smart and talented than you, are doing it and making good money in the process. There is nothing inherently special about them…they just believed they COULD and then they DID.
2. Take what YOU need. Lot’s of people will tell you to charge what you’re worth. The problem is, you may not know what you’re worth. You may have doubts about yourself or your skills. That’s why you should start by asking for what you NEED. Think about how much work you can accomplish in a month’s time, and how much you need to get paid for that work in order to make ends meet. Use that information as a base to set your rates. Then justify the cost. Find a way to demonstrate the “value” of your product or service to your clients. If they believe it’s worth the price, that’s all that matters. Pricing is about VALUE.
3. Ask others, but rely on yourself. Above all, don’t worry about waiting around for permission or support from other people. I absolutely believe that you should reach out for help often and from people you respect. But if they don’t come through, don’t take it personally or let that discourage you. Push forward and find the information or resources that you need. We have Google now…use it. I taught myself web design solely through Google searches. Enough said. You can do the same.
If you’re nodding your head in recognition right now, I hope that you’ll take this advice and run with it. It took me far too long to realize these three things.
If you know them, you’re already ahead of the game.