Startup Diaries: 10 Things I Wish I Knew 3 Years Ago

There are things I wish I knew three years ago when I first took the plunge as a full-time entrepreneur. These are my favorites.

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  1. Create, plan, elevate and repeat.

    This is truly my new motto. As an entrepreneur we are always creating. It’s great to create, but it’s very important to continuously work on your overall plan for your business. A vision without a plan is not a plan at all. Next, it’s important to elevate. When you get into a groove, you often become comfortable. The only way out of that comfort plateau is to elevate! Now, put this theory on repeat so you are constantly growing and expanding your reach.

  2. Teamwork makes the dream work.

    Get help with the business tasks you do not like. This has been my awakening over the past few months. In the first year of business I tried to be everything. I literally thought I was superwoman. What I soon found out was there are tasks and jobs within my company that I do not like! Some of those tasks are accounting and finance, sales and operations management. As soon as I learned to “let go and grow” I was able to start delegating these tasks and welcoming team members to my growing business.

  3. Manage that money.

    This has been a challenge for me. I have a serious case of accounting phobia. Accounting and bookkeeping practices caused me three years of angst in my prior full-time job. I am not made for financial-type work, and I never will be. Why did it take me two years to remember this as an entrepreneur? I have finally hired a specialist in this area to help get our books in order. I can’t stress the importance of this enough, especially when you are self-employed. What types of reports are you able to produce when trying to get a loan or a mortgage? My point exactly! I love working with experts in their respective industries.

  4. Work on your workflow.

    This is easier said than done. I have averaged 10-15 new graphic design and web projects per week over the past few years. This year, my business coach brought to my attention the fact that we have no workflow systems in place, nor do we have any reporting or data to show how we are doing with attracting new business, completing projects on time and examining room for growth before we hire more staff. Workflow management is a work in progress for us; however I am very excited to start implementing some new systems. It’s time to elevate! Currently my desk is filled with 15-20 sheets of notes, lists and things that need to be done. That is not productive!

  5. Live and let go.

    Learn to live, let go and operate in your own excellence. There is nothing more important than proving to yourself that you can do it. Forget everyone else; forget the haters and the naysayers. Forget those who think they are doing it better than you.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Julie M. Holloway is an artist, author, designer and mompreneur. After escaping the corporate world as a 16-year executive assistant, Holloway opened JMH Cre8ive Solutions in November, 2011 and began to curate the book series, The Entrepreneur Within You. Her family business has experienced tremendous growth and an expansion of creative design, print and web services along with her team of co-entrepreneurs. With an enormous heart and hunger for collaborating and assisting entrepreneurs carry through their creative vision, the business continues to flourish. Her husband Darnell and young authors and kidpreneurs Jasmine and DJ live in Hanover Park, Illinois. Connect with @jmhcre8ive on Twitter.

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