5 lessons I learned from my first online business
My "adventure" and love affair with online business started with my vintage clothes shop, Stylebargain.
I love second-hand and vintage clothing so I thought it would be easy-peasy to start an online shop !?! Not a problem.....
This is often the way my multipassionate mind works: I see possibilities, not obstacles.
So without any knowledge of the online world or how to run a business I dived in head first.
Foolish, you might say?
One of the best things I ever did, I say.
I think it's important to start before you're ready.
Here are 5 lessons I learned from my first online business:
1. It is vital you have a shop system you can operate yourself.
This was my mistake number one. I was told to start small but I didn't listen, so I paid a TYPO3 'expert' company and a designer to create a shop for me that I couldn't change a single thing in myself. A very costly mistake.
2. Trust your instinct at all times.
I am usually very good at this. Excellent, actually. But because I was so new to this business world I listened to so-called experts a couple of times instead of trusting my instinct and it proved to be a (-nother costly) mistake every time.
It it soooooo important to listen to yourself and trust your own judgement. Regardless of what really successful 'superstars' or 'experts' say.
Because nobody is an expert in your life, except you!
3. Consider carefully if the life that goes with running a business is for you.
I am the type of person that goes all in but it did actually make me a bit stir crazy to sit by myself every day (or a lot if you ask my hubby ;-)).
It can be lonely running an online business by yourself. Networking events are not for me (I tried) so my online community has been a great support.
I now have a part time job I love, where I get to practice what I preach by using divergent and creative thinking and I make time for my blog as well. For me, this is a great combo.
4. Focus on your business - not social media
I got caught up in the madness of social media straight away which I knew nothing about. People said I had to have a Facebook page and be on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+. Add learning SEO to that mix and my head was spinning.
It might be free to open up accounts on these platforms but it steals your timeand it is time you should spend developing your business.
Social media is just a tool in your marketing. You shouldn't be everywhere on it and definitely not very often.
5. Starting a business is fun - running a business is work
...if you're multipassionate for sure!
You will spend a lot of your time doing things that is just work. Boring work. Frustrating work. And sometimes you have to do things that makes you run for the hills. Big time procrastinate.
But you must have fun most of the time. It has to be worth it on a personal level in the end.
For me it wasn't, so I closed my first online business down and started from scratch. Just writing. Because I love it.
I wouldn't have done without any of these lessons I learned from Stylebargain and I know when I "open up" for my next business it will be based on the experience and knowledge I have now.
These are (some of) the lessons I learned from my first online business. You have to make your own of course. But I hope my lessons will serve you in your own journey somehow. If you have any questions or any lessons you want to share, please leave a comment. xo