After lots of surprises of our own, we were intrigued to know what had surprised you the most once you had started up your own business. So we asked “what has been your biggest surprise since you started running your own business?”
So what have been the unexpected perks, pitfalls, attitudes and opportunities that our Linked-in members have encountered on their business journey so far? Here are the things that have surprised you the most:
How good it feels to work for yourself
There was one other surprise which I think I’ve gotten used to ….. how much fun it is even when you’re biting your nails waiting for the phone to ring 🙂
I’m surprised by how much more I love working for myself than for someone else. I just really don’t make a good employee!
I can’t believe how quick the days go by. When I was working in a work place for somebody else the time use to drag.
A big surprise was that for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like I was ‘working’. Ease and grace became two common feelings I started to associate with my work – I found my groove. My pitfall, or challenge as I like to put it, is creating structure in my working life. In my previous corporate life, structure was a given, but now it’s something I have to manage for myself as I have so much more flexibility now. I am a person that works well within a structure as long as there’s loads of room in the middle to be creative, so creating my own structure can be a challenge especially as I work independently.
The nicest surprise is how many people LOVE the boutique. The decor, the ambience and the products too. An American customer exclaimed “wow, it’s like The Great Gatsby in here”. That made me smile.
One of the biggest surprises was that my clients received such huge results (and that isn’t to blow my own trumpet but more I believe because I was finally doing something that felt completely natural to me)
That I can actually earn a good living from doing what I love. I was terrified to leave the corporate world – I’d never known anything different. To actually be able to spend time with my family AND earn money has meant I’ve had the best 18 months of my life. I’ve met some wonderful and inspiring people that I never would have done otherwise and stretched myself into places I never thought I’d have to go – or fit!
The best surprise is how many people are still spending. Revival Retro dresses are on average £160 but I’ve been very pleased to find that my customers are happy to pay the pricetag because they can see how well designed, well made and stunningly flattering our dresses are.
A great surprise is that I am getting paid a good sum to write website, press releases, social media and public relations marketing plans. And, I am getting paid to copywrite training webinars and modules for sales and marketing professionals in assisted living communities. This is wonderful because I have realized that I am getting paid for all the training that I received while working as a sales and marketing director at senior communities prior to starting my social media marketing and public relations business.
My worst surprise was discovering how lonely it can be running your own business. Being in retail it’s lovely to chat with customers but when it comes to the behind the scenes decision making, never ending admin, targets etc there is only me.
Support from Others
I’ve received tremendous advice and support from the people that I’ve met both offline at networking events and online too. It’s also been a lovely surprise to get recommendations and clients via word of mouth, sometimes from people who I’ve met over a year ago! I remember someone telling me in my early days of business that you never know where your next client is coming from and it’s true!
My biggest and best surprise has definitely been the amazing amount of very special, inspiring and wonderful women out there running their own venture too. I love meeting them at networking meetings, helping them and sharing with them. It’s almost like I have a new set of colleagues, but without the politics. I thought I’d be lonely….
Inge Woudstra-Van Grondelle
I agree with some of the previous comments here about all the support I am receiving from other business-owners. This is my 2nd business and it is much different this time around because it seems that I have a much larger “support group” of other business owners. This is a wonderful surprise!
During and after the launch of GemStone Tech, I was and continue to be surprised at the sheer amount of good will passed around. Having only ever worked in Finance/Banking in the City prior to this, I’m still taken by surprise.
Me! I Can Succeed
The other surprise is finding out what you’re actually capable of. I’ve learnt so many new skills since setting up in business such as public speaking, online marketing, writing blogs – things that I would never have contemplated doing or thought I could have done in my previous life in the corporate world.
This may sound daft but my pleasant surprise was that my solutions actually worked! They worked for my own business and then for my clients. Then I became confident about the value I offer and developed a teeny bit of “swagger!” 🙂
Thank you, ladies for sharing all your useful and inspiring tips! Please do share more of your surprises in the comments section below. Don’t forget to check out Big Surprises Part 1!