Entrepreneurship isn't for the faint of heart. Yes, spending your life building something is one of the greatest thrills I could ever imagine, but it's not cut out for everyone. If you're confused, check out my post on the myths of entrepreneurship for further clarification. However, September 2018 officially marked the two-year milestone of my business, Brainchild Studios (BCS) and here are a few of the lessons I learned in my second year of running my business.
This is what I learned in my second year of running a business.
- Take care of yourself. This shit is hard. The first year of running BCS, I spent so many 14-hour days staying up until 4am to keep things moving. There were many times that I didn’t open the front door to my apartment for two or three days at a time. That catches up to you after a while. So in my second year, I tried to focus more on taking care of myself so I can be better for my team and our clients. I worked on religiously getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, drinking a lot of water, exercising more, eating healthier and trying to find ways to calm my mind and fill my soul outside of work. It’s definitely a work in progress, but the first step is acknowledging it needs to happen and then making intentional moves toward balance. Highly recommended.
- Diversify revenue streams. In January of 2018 I finally read Entrepreneurial You, by Dorie Clark and it changed my world. First, I kicked myself for not reading it sooner. Second, the biggest takeaway for me was the importance of diversifying your revenue streams. This changed the entire way I view my business and what I want for the future of my business. This concept played a huge part in the creation of the Express Website and the Work From Home Playbook as these are two very intentional initiatives we’ve launched to diversify revenue.
- Standardize and streamline. We identified areas of opportunity where we can truly excel and create systems and processes to support them so they are easily repeatable. We still have a lot of work to do, but we now have dedicated resources to address these items and we’re already seeing the anticipated long-term effects paying off.
- Delegate and let go. This was a main focus for my second year. I realized that in order for things to get done (especially big projects), I need to assign a dedicated resource (or resources) to see that project through to completion. I needed to give them ownership, direction and the time, space and resources needed to succeed. And then step back and let go. Gah, so hard. But so necessary to get shit done and maintain some sense of sanity.
- Invest in legal and financial support. There are not enough positive words to be shared about the peace of mind of a solid team of legal advisors. BCS currently has four badass female attorneys supporting us and I’m terribly grateful for each of them. Additionally, I’m not an accountant and I hate accounting, but I’m equally grateful for the financial advisors and accountants that have helped me keep a steady eye on financials and make smart financial decisions. If you’re lacking in this area of your business, I really recommend you address these areas sooner than later. Having the proper support here is essential to the survival of your business.
- It’s still all about the people. All day, every day. This is, and will forever be, my mantra. We work really hard to take good care of our people and create a culture where our team is encouraged to grow and thrive both personally and professionally. Without them, BCS wouldn’t exist. Take your time to find the right people for your team and when you do, do everything you can to hold onto them, because your team will make or break your business. I adore my Brainchildren and am so grateful for every single one of them.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported Brainchild Studios and our team over the last two years. Your support and dedication are so appreciated and I thank you for it!
Kiley Executive Coach & Consultant
Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, national speaker, executive coach, and small business consultant. Having personally counseled over 100 small and medium-sized businesses on operations, business development, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis over the last 17 years Kiley is incredibly passionate about serving small business owners. She is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a research and business strategy partner for small businesses and mid-market executives, and also created the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a virtual business. With these experiences in her back pocket, she understands the challenges and struggles small business owners encounter.more posts by Kiley →