It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog readership, or quit your desk job to pursue your hand sewn line of women’s clothing full-time. In fact, it’s almost always quite challenging at times. So, I started a series that tells it like it is…the good, the bad, and the completely ‘Girl, I can’t believe you went there.” Secrets to success that have been learned along the way. Today, Tiffany will pick up where we left off last time…
This contributor post was written by Tiffany Han.
It was March 2011. I was running my coaching business, helping organize workshops at Teahouse, and working 10 hours per week as a freelancer helping manage programs and run social media for a women's entrepreneur organization.
Everything was going well. Until I got the Mac rainbow-spinning-wheel-of-death. For those of you non-Mac folks (not that there's anything wrong with that!), the rainbow-spinning-wheel-of-death is the Mac equivalent of your computer freezing up. Except that for me, nearly two years ago, restarting didn't work. Restarting led me to a fatal error message.
Oh. Crap. Y'all.
At this point (and still to this day), my entire professional life was on my laptop. And I had a fatal error.
Luckily, I have a good friend who runs his own IT consulting firm. I called him in a panic and explained what was happening. He suggested that I run a diagnostic and when I told him the results, he said, "Don't touch another thing. When was the last time you backed up?" and then asked, "How soon can you bring your laptop to me?"
Oh. Crap. Y'all.
This is the moment that leads us into the next Secret of Success:
Even though you are running your own business, it takes a team to make you successful. You absolutely CANNOT do it alone. (Also, don't be crazy. Doing it alone is no fun at all.)
When you work a traditional job and dreaming of getting out, it's easy to forget about all the details: the free coffee, IT department available to help you at any moment, and the limitless supply of office supplies. Once you start working for yourself, you realize that all of these assumed perks of a day job cost money. And when money is tight, it's easy to learn to live without paper clips. It's less easy to learn to live without a functional computer.
Also, when your computer dies COMPLETELY and needs to be rebuilt (NOT fun), it helps to have a good friend to turn to who can help you out.
For you, it may not be an IT specialist, it might be a PR whiz, or a marketing genius. Or it might just be someone who does something similar who you can text when you're having a freak-out (Brittni recently wrote about her peeps too).
Whatever the case may be, I implore you to stop whatever you're doing and make a list of your team - who do you want on your side when things get rough?
As an entrepreneur, you get to create your dream team, you lucky duck.
PS. If you're still at a day job but want to someday work for yourself, now would be a good time to stock up on post-its and sharpies. Just sayin'.
PPS. Back up. Don't put it off. This is important.