This post is sponsored by Boise POLARIS® Premium paper. As always, all opinions are my own.
It’s the American dream – to own your own business. To be your own boss, do your own thing, and make something of yourself on your own terms. That’s honestly one of the reasons why I love this country so much. Sure, we’ve got plenty of issues, but in my opinion, the ability to make that dream come to life still exists, and that’s pretty awesome.
Problem is, a lot of people think that owning your own business is a piece of cake. People think it’s the kind of thing that you can make happen overnight. But that’s not how it works at all. It takes a whole lot of work and sleepless nights and it’s not for everyone. That’s ok.
So today I want to share a few things that you need to have if you’re even flirting with the idea of owning your own business. Whether it’s a storefront or a blog or an Etsy shop, here’s what it takes to be successful.
Lots of planning
As much as I’m a free spirit in some ways, when it comes to my blog and my business, I can’t just do things on a whim. You can’t just put random stuff together and then hope and pray that it works. Instead, you need to be doing some strategic planning.
What do I mean by strategic planning? Well first of all, you should have goals – both long-term and short-term. And then when it comes to every single thing that you do for your business, it should serve a real purpose.
For example, if you’re working on SEO for your website, that serves a purpose – getting you higher rankings on Google and bringing you more potential readers/customers. Every task that you add to your to-do list should serve an actual purpose and bring you one step closer to reaching your goals.
I’m also a big believer in that super cheesy and overused (but true) quote – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If I don’t physically write things down in my Day Designer, it’s game over.
As a business owner, you’ll likely have days when a bunch of ideas start coming to you, and that’s a good thing. But write them down! And then take action. Make plans and execute. If you can’t do that, entrepreneurship may not be for you.
Time management skills
There’s never enough time in the day when you own your own business. I could legit spend every hour of every day working and that still wouldn’t be enough time to accomplish everything that I want to. Trust me – I hear it from my husband all the time. He has to remind me that at 5pm, it’s family time, and I need to shut my computer down.
With so many things that need to get done, successful business owners have to have excellent time management skills. You need to know how to best use your time so you can be efficient and accomplish tasks that help your bottom line.
Part of that means knowing yourself and knowing how you work best. Are you more productive in the morning or are you a night owl? Do you work better with time blocking or do you need a 15 min break in between every task? How about batching? Is that a strategy that works for you? Once you have a good idea of how you operate, you can then implement time management strategies that help you get more stuff done a whole lot faster.
The right supplies and equipment
I think it goes without saying, but in order to own your own business, you need the supplies and equipment that helps you do what you gotta do.
As a blogger and content creator, that typically means a computer, a camera, different software, and a whole bunch of paper products. When I’m hustling and closing deals with clients and sponsors there’s a ton of paperwork that I need to fill out and sign (contracts, tax forms, non disclosure agreements, etc.).
Now I know that unlike many other businesses, I don’t operate a warehouse or need super fancy equipment to get the job done. But if I’m not prepared and I don’t have these things on hand, it could potentially cost me valuable business. The same goes for whatever kind of business you’re operating. You need to know what you need, how often you need it, and obviously you need to be aware of the costs associated with all these things.
When it comes to the supplies I use, I personally love supporting shops here in the USA and American-made products. I feel like it’s a great way to support other people who are living the same American dream that I have and a great way to inspire others to do the same.
For example, here’s the paper I use.
I choose to use Boise Paper products because they are made right here in the USA and I love their commitment to our community. By purchasing their products, I help support other American workers (who work really hard btw) since Boise Paper employs more than 1,500 people all throughout the country. They also give back to national charities and regularly collaborate with organizations like the American Red Cross, Box Tops for Education, and the Arbor Day Foundation.
So yea, when I find businesses who give back to our community, that makes me really happy and it makes me want to continue supporting them in whatever way I can. Because at the end of the day, one of the reasons why I want to be successful as a business owner is to be able to give back to MY community too. I always joke and say that I’d be the most generous millionaire because I honestly think I would. So if you’re looking to give someone a few million dollars, I happily volunteer.
Oh, plus, I’m a huge fan of consistency and that’s something that Boise POLARIS® Premium papers delivers. Their paper is always bright and whenever I print documents, they come out crisp and vibrant and super professional looking. Their 99.99% Jam-Free® performance guarantee is also super helpful because ain’t nobody got time for paper jams!
Razor sharp focus
We live in a society plagued by the new shiny toy syndrome. As a blogger, I have to deal with this constantly and it can be quite annoying. Every other day there’s some new social media platform popping up or some new way of distributing content and point is – it’s really easy to get distracted from what you ought to be doing.
As a business owner, you need to be focused. You need to know what your goals are, know how you’re going to achieve them, and dive right into the actions you need to take to get them done. There’s no time for distractions. There’s no time to get sucked into what everyone else is doing.
Just focus. And make things happen.
Last but probably the most important, to own your own business, you need grit. Not sure what that is?
Here’s a definition I found: “courage and determination despite difficulty”
That’s what you need. Because every day as a business owner will be hard. Will it be rewarding? Absolutely. Is it an incredible feeling to be pursuing your dreams and building something for yourself? You have no idea. But is it easy? Not at a all.
You’ll be faced with so many obstacles and you’ll hear the word “no” a whole lot more often than you’d like. You’ll be rejected. You’ll have clients who don’t hire you. You’ll have friends who think you’re crazy.
But whether or not you succeed depends on your ability to not really care. To not care about the “no’s.” To not care about falling on your face every once in a while. To not let those obstacles stop you from doing your thing.
Sure, you should lear from all of that. You should learn from your failures and ask questions as to why you were passed up for certain deals you were hoping to close. Learn, yes. But give up? No.
So that, my friends, are a few of the things that it takes to own your own business. This whole entrepreneurship thing is definitely a lot of work, but it’s amazing to know that opportunities like this exist out there.
And now that I’ve rambled on forever, it’s your turn! Let me know if you’re a blogger or business owner down in the comments. If you’re not and you want to be, then tell me…what’s stopping you?
Interested in starting a blog of your own? Sign up for my free 5-day e-mail course here that’ll have you blogging within a week!
Other stuff you might like:
- 5 Tips For Entrepreneurs
- How To Be Successful – The Real Answer
- How To Make A Career Change Like A Boss
- How To Start A Blog – A Step By Step Guide (With Screenshots)
- It’s Ok To Not Know What You Want To Do With Your Life