My new business is taking off, at least in the way of necessary start-up paperwork, like getting the LLC set up, tax ID, bank account, business cards, domain names, etc. I have spent nearly two full days taking care of the details, and I feel like I’m not spending much time at all where I would prefer to. Which is why I planned this sabbatical – to learn to slow down, to spend time lost in thought, and to smell the roses. Trying to not get overwhelmed, which seems too easy for me to do these days. I used to be such a trooper, a regular Wonder Woman when it came to getting things done. People would describe me as energetic, tenacious, driven, spunky, and exuberant. Now I’d prefer to be called balanced, calm, patient, aligned, and happy. I don’t suppose these are opposite ends of the spectrum, but I’d like for the swinging of the pendulum to be more rhythmic than bouncing.
Here is a list of 5 things I’m reminded of lately relating to this endeavor.
1. Done is better than perfect.
I keep hearing this, from different people, so it must have some kernel of truth in it. However, there is a corollary to this, one I learned in Miss Heery’s 10th-grade typing class: There is never enough time to do it right, but there’s always enough time to do it over. It seems to me that taking time now to put the big picture in perspective will save precious time down the road, so I won’t rush through things.
2. You don’t have to know it all, you just have to know where to find it (or who to call).
Okay, but I need to understand what I’m signing and why I’m making the decisions I am. I am not interested in becoming a marketing guru, for example, but I need to understand the proposed strategy so that I can support it -or at least not get in the way. There are also things I could do but just don’t want to, so I’d rather pay for those services. Examples are preparing and filing the LLC and EIN paperwork, and getting other legal documents done right. And bookkeeping. Not that I have any dollars to manage right now, but I sure do want expert tax advice when the dough starts rolling in. Enter an accountant.
3. There is no substitute for experience. Except preparation.
I am reading, learning, researching, conferring with, and getting myself ready. I can learn from other people’s mistakes and give myself some early wins. Lots and lots of preparation going on here, to give my experience some shine.
4. Don’t get too good at something you don’t want to do.
Way back in the day, I was a legal secretary and paralegal. I since climbed that old ladder of success all the way to the top, before I got on another ladder. Now I’m on my third ladder, which is just a little bit wobbly yet. Today I had my first inquiry from a random person on Linked In, asking me about doing some temp work for a few weeks. Interesting! As a legal secretary. It was good work back then, but not only am I not available, I’m not interested now. I have to practice saying No. I have to keep myself available for the work I do want to do.
5. There are more than five things to know about starting your own business!
But they don’t all have to be known, or done, at once. The advice I’m getting is: start simple, get complicated later. A related axiom: You can have it all; you just can’t have it all at once. This is where good organizational and time management skills come into serious play. I’m so glad I returned to my Day-Timer planner system. Not only can I read everything because it’s on 5×8 paper instead of a 2×4 screen, but I can keep reminders and notes and stickies and flip back and forth to compare dates or … blah-blah-blah.
The energy created by working on this, something that will be not just mine but reflective of me, is giving me quite a buzz. Time flies by, and I’m not tired even when the clock approaches that witching hour. I get up when the birds start singing and rarely does that seem too early. It proves that I have done a fine job on this sabbatical of recovering from my exhaustion and restoring my energy. It also goes to show that engaging in a labor of love generates much more satisfaction than fighting disharmony. The only thing that would make it even better right now is to have someone to share this with, someone I could bounce ideas around with, someone to give me insights, to smile and tell me I’m on the right path and that it will all be okay, and mostly, that he’s got my back. That would make a huge difference. And so I’ve named my new business The Duggan Difference.