Budding Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneuring is Hard…

In It's Business Time by Ken Braithwaite

Let me start off by saying that the past eight months have been some of the most challenging yet amazing months of my life. I know most people go through that time in their life when they’ve been travelling down a certain path for so long, that diverging from it seems completely overwhelming. That’s where I was this time last year, stuck in a rut, unhappy in my work and exploring new potentials, and with a little bit of trial and a whole lot of error, I finally find my self in a place where I love what I do, and kicking myself for not taking the plunge in to entrepreneurship sooner.For those of you seeing me for the first time, or those of you who haven’t had an update from me in a while, I’ll make the long story a short one. I’ve spent the better part of a decade teaching and travelling the world. I had too many amazing experiences to keep track of, and I met so many incredible people along the way, and as fun as that was, I was never truly fulfilled by my work. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking, teaching? Unfulfilling? That career is about as rewarding as it gets. Well, maybe you’re right, I don’t know. All I know for sure is that I still get to help people, which I’m naturally driven to do, but now I get to do it on my own terms.

So, starting up my own business has had it’s ups and downs for sure. What was once just a hobby that I enjoyed doing in my spare time, became my livelihood. I knew I wanted to put my skills and knowledge to good use helping others, and that putting people first would be my chief priority. However, I couldn’t have been less prepared for the business part of running a business. I landed a couple of great projects right off the bat, so I figured hey, this isn’t so hard, finding new clients? Piece of cake… and then months of crickets. 

It was at this point I devoted the vast majority of my time to learning as much as I possibly could about the business of design.I read every business and design book I could get my hands on, watched youtube for purpose rather than pleasure (they’re one in the same at this point), I listened to podcasts by all the great modern entrepreneurs, and I redesigned my own web page no less than 25 times. If you build it, they will come, right? And then I started networking… 

I found a few local events online, and just showed up. I met and still meet all of these amazing people with their unique and interesting businesses on a regular basis, and I started finding ways that I could help them out. These alliances have allowed me grow my business, and to create a reputation for myself, not only in the quality of my work, but also in the enjoyment I get from working with new people on new projects. It really is all about the people. 

Now that we’re moving towards the tail end of my first year as an entrepreneur, I feel liked I’ve learned more, created more, and helped more, than any other year in my life. The road ahead is chock full of opportunities for learning, exciting new challenges, and most of all collaborating with more amazing individuals. 

Tune in every now and again, and you can check out some of the exciting projects I’m working on, the amazing people behind them, and maybe a valuable tip here and there on how you can grow your own business, without doing it the hard way like me!