As we approach the end of another year, it's practically a tradition that we start to reflect on these past months. What has went well? What could we have done differently? What have we learned?
My journey into the freelance world began last December and quickly turned into a journey into being a entrepreneur, together with my husband, who co-founded CatCow with me. We had no idea what we were doing, what exactly we were selling or who we were selling it to. But, as Lisa Congdon says, "start where you are." And that's exactly what we did.
We started with the knowledge we had gained from years of working in marketing and design, and went forth: learning, failing and succeeding.
Looking back on this time, there are three things that have been essential in our personal and professional growth. And if you haven't got them already, as an entrepreneur, freelancer or anyone who believes in personal growth, you should get them soon.
1) A mentor. Getting a mentor is getting access to a lot of knowledge. A good mentor can be a sounding board for your ideas, help guide you down the right path and maybe even introduce to the right people.
The good news is that you don't have to go and search for a mentor by yourself. Many cities have mentoring groups that will connect you with experienced entrepreneurs in your area. We work with Merlin Mentors in Madison, WI.
Check out this article on how to pick the right mentor for you.
2) A business coach. I wasn't clear on the difference between a business coach and a mentor, at first. Then I went to our first business coach meeting at Doyenne Group, from where I left with my jaw on floor.
A good business coach can help you see the bigger picture, narrow down on your strategy and define goals and tasks that keep you focused. In general terms, a business coach helps you figure it out.
And we could all use help with that.
3) An entrepreneur friend. I've been so lucky to have my husband as my partner. He's always there to bounce ideas off of, celebrate small successes, or just complain to. But I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs going solo and it takes its toll!
Find someone who can relate to what you're going through - or a group of someones! Most cities have networking groups for professionals. Just look around on Meetup or local Facebook groups.
To sum it up?
Don't go solo. Sharing your stories, ideas, fears and knowledge with others is the true path to success. And it makes the journey more fun.
Is there something that's helped you as an entrepreneur? Tell us below!