I really don’t even know how to sum it up to 10 lessons because the honest truth of it is, I learn daily. We fix and adjust and we have to make decisions on the fly. That is entrepreneurship. It is not for the faint of heart and I always joke saying it is solving one problem to the next. If you are not a problem-solver, seriously reconsider.
I get asked all the time what is your business structure. Well here are my current companies effective today! 🙂
STARTplanner, CEO – Sell organizational products, planners and tools that help you to be more productive!
Kristy Dickerson & Company – Just my website! 🙂 Speaking engagements and Start Balancing Books and a couple of other ideas brewing and contracts have been signed when the timing is right!
STARTdetoxing, CEO – Gut health and wellness. I mean I have been reminded yet again this year of the importance of health and how it can impact your daily life and function when taken for granted.
Dickerson Hill – New. Launching next Wednesday but it is my second home that I am rolling into a business so others can enjoy a retreat stay! 50+ acres and modern home. Sleeps 14 – just a little slice of heaven!
START HQ – This is our headquarters and our companies lease from this company. 🙂
Start Loving You Inc. was sold last week and no longer under my control.
When we started STARTplanner, the first of the companies, I was a joint income household so my income helped to do different things but it was not essential for life and living. I am now a single Mom and my income is now my livelihood. When mistakes are made, we will feel them. Entrepreneurship is a different breed. You don’t clock in and out and money is just NEVER ever the focus and it never EVER will be. It has been creating solutions and leading the heart and then making sure business wise it can be supported. THAT is how STARTplanner and the STARTbrands were created. Here are 10 lessons.
If you wait until you are ready…you will never start. If you have a dream or an idea and you are trying to wait for the perfect time… you will spend your life waiting.
Be Patient. Jenny and I did not take our first paycheck for six months after we started. We could have taken our business idea to investors, gotten funding and launched out the gate with more capital and the security of a paycheck. Instead, we bootstrapped it. I secured a small line of credit, ran the numbers, launched preorders on a product we had not created yet and busted our booties to make it work!
Insurance. Don’t omit on the stuff you think, “Oh, it won’t happen to me!” We had insurance everywhere, except for logistics. Year one we had a damaged shipment come in and lost $14,000. Next year we had an even bigger issue with a shipment and the world never knew about it. Guess why? We had insurance on logistics, this time it was a $32,000 issue that could have put us under! Knock on wood, no issues since – but we are prepared if we ever do!
Trademarks. You want to start a business. You think “Oh, I will just start it.” You then research and find out the URL is available and you roll with it. NEGATIVE! Make sure you are not using a name that causes any market confusion with another brand. We did not do this and got a huge wake-up call and lesson. Fortunately, we got lucky and were able to establish a co-existing agreement. We own STARTplanner, Hustle Planner, Fancy Pants Planner, Legit Planner, and others are pending. If anyone attempts to use a name similar to our products we can stop it (which has happened over and over). THIS IS ESSENTIAL!
A vision. I am a visionary. I even have right now a couple of other business ideas and directions for our business. I can clearly see why and how and the big question for me is just when!
What do you suck at? Yes for real! This has been my biggest asset knowing what I am not great at and giving up control and job tasks. Jenny is my counterpart on so much of what I do and knowing not only what I am good at, but also what I am bad at allows us to make business decisions, assign tasks to each other, outsoure and to have employees do different tasks.
Cash Flow/ Projections. I meet so many entrepreneurs who do not know their numbers. Their breakeven points and have no projections built out at all. I know why…it is one of the most daunting tasks and if you are not a numbers person it can be completely OVERWHELMING. I personally LOVE numbers and excel. If you don’t know your numbers you are blindly driving your business.
Focus. We recently sold Start Loving You Inc. out from under the STARTbrands umbrella. Our time, my time, your time is limited so make sure you are focusing on efforts that make sense for your life. So much in my life changed these last two years and for me, less is more to be able to do more of the stuff that makes my heart skip a beat! I love teaching and speaking but I didnt have the capacity to run a full conference. It is okay to make decisions to say NO to some things. It is actually crucial you do.
Make what you have work. “Kristy you have a nice office and warehouse.” – Yes, I do and we busted our butt to get it. We started in my home office off the garage floor. Then moved to a storage facility, then signed a lease, then we were able to plan for a year to make a financial decision to buy START HQ. So make what you have work until the numbers and business can support the next step!
Figure it out. If you don’t know how to do something figure it out. It is that grit that you just figure it out as you go that will make it work or not. Youtube, workshops, learn from others, follow people who inspire you and freely share information. Pick up a book. Just be willing to do the work!
Here is the thing about me that I have learned… I really feel like I am in it for the game, the challenge and for the purpose and mission behind it all! My passion and purpose are helping others. Jenny and I plan to come out with some online business solutions and training this year for those of you that read this and say… I WANT MORE!! Yep, dreaming out loud! So just know that!
For STARTplanner I am currently rocking and using the 90 Days of START and will be switching to Mid Year Hustle Weekly to coordinate my schedule in tandem with my kids academic schedule!
Also, know ground up is where we started. It is from that ground that I constantly level and humbled and thankful for this entire journey! Keep dreaming with me friends!