What are you waiting for?
My guess is you are reading this because it is about starting a business - which is a huge leap of faith. Regardless of what business you are starting, it is a creative pursuit. Creativity is intimate.
To make it even more complicated, starting a business is a lot of work. But just like investments, the sooner you begin, the more room you have for growth.
But the question remains: what are you waiting for?
The time to start is now.
Looking for the action items? Scroll to the bottom!
I opened my first business, Kaymauri Events, in 2008 - one short year after finishing my (still unused) English Literature B.A. Having been training to be a florist since 14, I had just turned 22, moved back to Wisconsin from Colorado, and decided to start my first side-hustle.
Of course, being 22, I knew everything. Or so I thought.
The arduous weekends kept me from friends. It helped me ignore the problems in my relationship. My finances were all over the place and not running a profit. Ultimately, I was failing, but rolling forward because so many things I read told me it would take 5 years to turn a profit.
With minimal overhead, I should have been able to run a profit in the first year, knowing what I know now.
But, the thing is...I started. I learned the hard way (which I am a firm believer is the only way to truly understand something), and now I own two successful businesses.
Now let's get back to you.
All of my clients are in different places of business development and ownership, but regardless of where they stand, I start them all in stage one: Brainstorm and Research.
In this cycle, you work through graphic organizers, personality tests, and constant self-reflection to find things that inspire you, things that scare you, things that motivate you, and things that you dream about.
Not all of these things are business related, but in developing your business, you need to make sure you are also developing yourself.
If your grandma inspires you, spiders scare you, incremental goals motivate you, and you dream of travel...while seemingly unrelated, this is information you will need to prioritize for use while constructing your business.
The other big component in brainstorming is knowing your skills.
When I wanted to start a photography business, I had basically no knowledge of how modern cameras work. That was a huge skill deficit.
However, I could frame a beautiful image without thinking about it - a natural skill that was untapped, but likely developed through my training as a florist and doing small landscape designs where proportion, placement, and balance matter.
Inventory your skills. Inventory where you are lacking.
Start a list of things to develop.
This part isn't about perfection - it is about honesty with yourself.
At some point in the chaos of brainstorming (expect to spend 2-12 weeks on that part, depending on how much you've done nonchalantly already), you developing an umbrella concept: the over-arching idea for your business.
That is when the research starts.
What is the market for your idea?
What businesses already address that market?
What are start-up costs?
What kind of marketing do other businesses in your sector use?
The internet machine is a powerful tool, but so are local business owners and organizations. The research stage is where networking truly begins.
If you need to secure financing, this is where the business plan starts to form. You get down and dirty with numbers, and start to understand the intricacies of your market and business.
Action Item: Get a notebook you like. Write down all of your thoughts, ideas, fears...anything related to starting a business.
***Literacy teacher side note***
Handwriting engages more brain centers than typing or using an app. You truly engage with and understand the material more when you handwrite, which is why journaling is such a powerful tool.
Action Item: Start making a list of competitors. I will always promote community over competition, but for this phase it is important to begin to understand your market and see how you will set yourself apart.