Guest Post: 7 Lessons I’ve Learned in My First Year of Business

by Megan Constantino, Parachute Partners


Megan ConstantinoToday Facebook reminded me that I have officially been in business for one year. Really? It has already been a year? It has ONLY been a year? The desire and dream of owning my own PR firm was planted in my heart a long time ago. Many factors led to my plunge but ultimately it was God’s timing that sealed the deal. Basically, I needed to develop my craft and be circled with an extensive, powerful network of clients and collaborators for a sustainable launch. What I didn’t anticipate was the having to put on my big-girl pants and figure out my own special recipe for work-life integration. Oh what a year of growth!

Let me save you some stress, anxiety, and heartaches by sharing a few crucial amazing and heart-filled lessons that I have learned over the past 12 months. Perhaps this post is just a self-reflection or it will touch one or three thousand budding hopeful entrepreneurs. Save yourself some sanity and stand firm on boundaries around these 7 things.

  1. Put God first. Every area of your life should glorify Him. If you are working only for earthly recognition, you will not find that deep fulfillment. Each day is nuts when you are running a thriving and growing startup and you cannot do it without Him.
  2. Care for yourself. I ran myself in to the ground. This is easy to do when your laptop is available 24/7 and your phone, social media, etc. are always within reach. If you don’t make moments for you, nobody will. Actually, nobody can care for you. That is up to you. Even if you just take a bubble bath or fifteen-minute walk, treat yourself. Your clients need a well-balanced and rested partner. Do it for you. Do it for them.
  3. Secure family time. When we are all retired or our life has passed, the amount of revenue you brought in a quarter, year, or decade will not matter. We have an amazing and wild two-year-old. I finally have learned to secure quality time without a screen to relish this time. Your family is your most important stakeholder. Secure time for them.
  4. Don’t slave for money. Yes, work hard and be extremely ambitious but don’t sacrifice your sanity and soul for dollars. Pace yourself already! Sign only work that makes your heart skip a beat. There is plenty of business out there… wait for the right matches when you financially can. If you are trying to find happiness in money, you will never be able to earn enough. You will let life pass you by and regret much. Balance needs with sanity, okay?
  5. Price right. You will spend much more time on each project than anticipated if you’re a perfectionist like me. Also, you are worth it! Ask for fair market value! You have invested YEARS in developing your craft. Not to mention, it costs money to make money plus rent isn’t free, right?
  6. Use a project management system. Once you get going and things get crazy, details can become a blur. Perfectionists, find a good low cost or free project management system like Asana or Basecamp. Document each detail with deadlines!
  7. Remember that camaraderie is worth a million bucks. If you are working remotely, enlist the dialogue of collaborators. I now take time to talk on the phone to a few great partners and even do a regular video prayer meeting with Beth. (If you are our client or teammate, you get prayed for!)

I cannot believe my business is already a year old. Happy birthday, Parachute Partners… thanks for the grey hairs but ability to make a difference the way God intended for me to do.

If you are in business for yourself or thinking of taking the plunge, know that you can do this but it might be a little wonky finding that balance or integration that first year. Learn from my top 7 tips on how to keep sane, okay?

I am thankful for this wild journey and see God’s blessings in my work each day. Here’s to our second year serving the world’s best clients.

My best,

Megan

Megan Constantino

Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Half Crazy Mother, and Frazzled Wife
Parachute Partners

android-icon-36x36[1]A note from Beth: building a friendship with Megan (who I call my ‘business sister’) has been one of the recent joys I’ve received in running HOPE Unlimited. Megan is also one of our ‘strategic referral partners’ — part of the network HOPE has established of trustworthy, ‘rock-star-service’ professionals designed to help your business excel. To see more about our team click here.

Comments

comments

Beth Beutler is the Executive Director of H.O.P.E. Unlimited, a small business offering collaborative virtual assistance and business soft skill education to Help Overwhelmed Professionals Excel. She has over 25 years experience in administrative assistance and office management, soft skills training, and writing.