After five years of flying solo as a marketing consultant and freelance editor and writer, I am closing the Adroit Narratives, LLC shop. From this experience, I learned there is a myth regarding entrepreneurship: no one builds a business by herself.
While there is tremendous satisfaction in running your own payroll to direct deposit to yourself, the reality is it takes a village to raise a business. First, you find trusted vendors, such as lawyers and CPAs, and figure out which platforms you will use to run the business (I recommend QuickBooks and ADP). Next, you must find customers or clients.
For starters, get your website and social media accounts up and running. I also recommend crafting a logo with a graphic artist, not downloading a generic one. And, yes, good old-fashioned business cards are a must. In the days before social distancing, in-person business networking is essential. At the outset of my business, I was active in BNI, a networking group that meets weekly to reinforce marketing messages among members and to give each other referrals.
The most important people to an entrepreneur are customers. These are the people who see the value in your service or product and pay you on a recurring basis. This is the backbone of a business. Over time, you develop strong working relationships with these people and appreciate them professionally and personally.
Now, the only constant in life is change. Earlier this year, I saw a LinkedIn post about a role at a public relations firm that really intrigued me. It involves the energy industry, which is one of my favorite topics and an opportunity for professional development in a new, but related realm for me. I start the Monday after Thanksgiving! In this tumultuous year, I am very grateful for a new professional opportunity.
I am also very grateful to my mainstay clients for supporting my business and for being understanding that I was wrapping it up. If you get the opportunity to start a business or want to scratch the entrepreneurial itch, I recommend it. You learn a lot about business and a lot about yourself. No matter what you do, be open to learning, be outgoing, and be appreciative.