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What I learned in my first year of owning my own business (full-time)

Hey all, welcome back to the #SocialBlog!

One year ago, I quit my full-time job to focus on my dream of owning my own business! Within that year I have had many highs and (currently) am fighting the effects of a pandemic.


Who would have ever thought a pandemic would be something they see in year one of owning a business!?

On top of this, many times you can find courses on LinkedIn, HubSpot or other platforms that will end in giving you a certificate. If you have that option, it is much better to leave a course that you paid for with a certificate showing your network your knowledge and expertise in the industry than leaving empty-handed.

Here are my six tips that I learned (some of them the hard way) in my first year of owning a business full-time!

Photography by: Bright Focus Photography


1. Don’t buy every course you see.

It’s SO TEMPTING to see a course, think you will learn so much from it and instantly pull the trigger to buy it. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case and if you think about it, if you spend $10 a course and buy 2 courses each month you may have just wasted $240 that could have been put towards marketing or a mentor.

Do your due diligence when you go to buy a course. Look into the person (or business) that’s offering it, read reviews and go through their FREE content first. That is when you should move forward with buying the course you wish.

On top of this, many times you can find courses on LinkedIn, HubSpot or other platforms that will end in giving you a certificate. If you have that option, it is better to leave a course that you paid for with a certificate showing your network your knowledge and expertise in the industry than leaving empty-handed.

2. Look into a mentor.

Mentors can be life-changing! Know that you get what you pay for when it comes to mentorship, but the real ones are the ones that are built through a relationship. You no longer need to pay for this person’s time because they want to see you succeed.

If mentoring is something “out of your price range” it’s important to join groups within your business's niche, attend networking events that align with your business and read books or listen to podcasts of “gurus” in your niche.

Using different ways to network online and in-person can help you organically find a mentor.


3. Schedule your day out and work ahead.

Owning and starting a business is HARD, but it doesn’t have to be. In the beginning, there will be those weeks that you are working 60+ hours and feeling like you are never getting ahead. Trust me, YOU WILL get past that phase and YOU WILL get to a point that you are working ahead of schedule.

Blocking your calendar out to ensure that you have scheduled time for everything you need to complete in the week will help get you into a routine.


Be sure to schedule in time for YOU: continued learning, working out, reading, taking a walk, etc.

As time goes on and your routine becomes more solid, it’s time to start working ahead! You can pick up a new tactic to help build your brand, network more to find new customers or just get ahead on your work.

4. Have a legally binding contract with all clients.

This one is a biggie! If you are working on a contract basis like me, make sure your contracts are written out by someone who specializes in business law and writing contracts. Spend the extra money and have a legally binding contract that spells out everything from late payments, to services offered, to who owns what intellectual property (IP) and so forth.


This is one of the single most important items you need prior to signing on your first client.

5. Keep it simple.

Listen, as much as you may think you can do all the things, you can’t.

Let that set in, re-read it if you have to.

It’s year one in your business and I’m guessing you don’t have the funds to hire a team and that’s ok! Until you achieve the level of income that you can start outsourcing work you need to keep your services SIMPLE. If you’re in the marketing realm focus on what you do best: social media marketing, digital advertising, website development, etc.

You grow your business by the QUALITY of your work, not by the QUANTITY of work.

6. Don’t give up.

I can’t tell you how many times I would get in a funk from feeling over-worked or that I wasn’t scaling my business at the pace I wanted to. It’s not a fun feeling and it can be hard to pull yourself out of.

Remember that your business will only do as well as your mental state. Take time off and disconnect when you need to. Just because you feel the need to be at your business’s beck-in-call doesn’t mean that it’s healthy for you.

Take a vacation, set specific work times and keep a positive support system around you.


I have multiple coaching packages you can choose from no matter if you are just starting out or a seasoned business owner. Schedule your FREE thirty-minute session today.


And a big good luck to all of the business owners out there!



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© 2020 by Social Vision LLC.                   Belvidere, Illinois | carolyn@socialvisionllc.com

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