How To Start A Business
The very first thing I want to tell you is this: I’m not an expert in profit and loss statements, business taxation, or profit margins, but what I do know a thing or two about is starting a business from scratch.
I started my first business when I was 16. It was a mobile personal training business that I ended up operating out of my custom-built garage of my house - complete with sound system, rubber flooring and occasionally a parked car right next to us. I had a full client list, and a jam-packed work schedule, and ran this for almost 7 years.
I moved to Perth and started another personal training business which I ran out of a beautiful beach-side studio for almost 4 years, and built a client base out of complete strangers in a brand new city. Then, my biggest business venture came when I was pregnant with my twin daughters 2.5 years ago. I started this business right here - self branded as Brittany Eastman. A wellness lifestyle brand that encompasses natural healthcare solutions, mentorship, writing and leadership. So, my skill set is largely geared towards an ideate-activate-wing it style, and although it’s not the typically suggested path, it’s a path I advocate for … here’s why:
One step at a time
When you decide to start a business, you don’t need to have it all worked out. I love the notion of responding to the demands of your industry in an innovative, ethical and solutions-focused way, and a business plan doesn’t always allow for that. Starting a business, in my experience, has largely been about making quick decisions with ethics, growth and sustainability at the forefront.
Plus, starting a business can be overwhelming enough without having to have it all figured out in a 10 year plan. Your list of to-do’s can range from “decide on a business name” to “speak at the major company event as a multiple-six-figure income earner”, and both of those things require different levels of energy, duration, and investment from you. My advice? Listen to this podcast by Brooke Castillo about breaking down your to-do list into a manageable and effective process. You don’t need to have it all mapped out straight away - I promise! Most of my biggest learnings have come from changing direction and rerouting from the original plan, so winging it is essential for all entrepreneurs. I recommend reading Winging It by Emma Isaacs.
Plan your time effectively
Seriously, the order in which I do things on the daily has a HUGE impact on my productivity, effectiveness and enjoyment within my business. I know that I write like a damn Queen first thing in the morning so I love to sit down at my laptop and write out a new journal entry, chapter of my book, some content for social media or some education for my private support group. This works wonders for my creative juices and always starts me off on a good note for the day. I know that leading calls and team trainings are perfect around mid morning - lunch time and I feel more attuned to the energy of the group at this time of day. When I don’t have calls schedules, doing details-focussed activities like accounting and numbers strategy within my doterra business work well here too.
I workout like a boss between lunch and mid arvo, so always schedule my workouts then when possible (which I think is a natural acclimation from ALWAYS working out when my kids were napping at lunch time).
Afternoons and early evenings are for time with my babes, so absolutely nothing other than love and motherhood happen then, but evenings are EPIC times for me to create ideas and concepts, and get them all out of my head and onto paper before I hit the hay. It took me a while to figure this out about myself, but one of the things that really helped, was this podcast by Tony Robbins and Daniel Pink
What works best for you?
Commit to being a student forever
That’s right! Be a student. Be committed to becoming prolific in your industry - read the books, watch the TED talks, listen to the podcasts, and go within to attune to the wisdom and the knowing that lives within you. Do you think that any of the top business moguls in the world perfected their business and product and launch campaign the first time around? No. Definitely NO. They learned through trying, reflecting, learning, adjusting, trying again, and so on. Understand that you will NOT know everything (nor should you) in your first 6 months, year, or even 5 years - you will constantly be learning. And, thank goodness! Because the best business professionals I know are constantly learning and growing.
Stop trying to kick fear
Business is for the willing, not the fearless or even the entrepreneurially minded. It’s for the willing. That is, those that are willing to be in the process of learning and improving constantly. It’s for those that are willing to lose temporary social esteem while they pursue the dream that no one understands yet. A great quote by Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn is, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late”.
Meaning; stop waiting to know enough, be perfect, to feel ready, to gain confidence - all of that will come. Launch before you’re ready and be willing to LEAP (with fear)
Decide if it is really a business
I mean, is it reeeeally a business? Or just a hobby that you’d like to make some extra cash from?
I ask this because I’m not talking to the hobbyists here. I’m talking to the business or bust babes that want massive impact, change, influence, wealth and contribution. The alignment and commitment to that big vision you have is going to come in very handy. That is, you’re gonna need it. Starting a business is not for the faint-hearted. As I said, it’s for the willing. You need to be driven for that end goal MORE than any other excuse, road block, pothole or endless abyss that you may stumble across. If it’s a hobby, you’ll most likely bow out when the going gets tough. If it’s a business, you’ll navigate the tough times with grit and resilience, and you’ll grow as a leader. Before you start your business, decide if you are willing to go through some serious discomfort and growth in order to live out your vision for your business.
If you treat your business like a hobby, it’ll pay you like a hobby.
If you respect your business like a business, it’ll pay you like a business. So often, I see people turning things they’re good at into businesses, only to get a year down the track and realising they haven’t made any money - they have a pretty website though! And let’s be real, you can’t pay the power bill with a pretty website.
So friends, give it the respect, strategy, time investment and commitment necessary to see it grow beyond just the website and bangin’ business name.
Find a mentor
Having someone you respect and love learning from as a mentor is essential to your growth as an entrepreneur. I’m particularly fond of the network marketing business model for this reason - you start your business with a mentor of your choosing. That is, who you decide to purchase your product from will be your mentor by default. So, when you get started, you have the gift of choice when it comes to your mentor.
In other industries, I know that mentors aren’t just ripe for the picking on every corner - you truly have to search for them, and often pay big bucks for their mentorship.
But here’s a hot tip: you have free mentor everywhere. INTRODUCING: books, podcasts, TED talks, netflix specials, audio books, networking events and conferences! So, get a fresh mentor in your ear holes immediately, folks!
Have a reason
Aside from “I just really like it”, you need to have a reason that will keep you going. Some call this their “why”. As in, ‘why do you do what you do?’
So, instead of trying to piece a beautifully poised sentence together, I’m going to ask you two questions that will cut through the bullshit you want to say that sounds good (we all do it - so don’t stress): 1. What is the cost if you don’t do this business?
2. What is the reward if you do?
For me, the cost was that I couldn’t put food on the table for my family. So, instead of going for the beautiful and ethical phrase of “I want to help women in third world ….”, look inward first - look after YOU. After all, we cannot serve other communities, and countries and cohorts if we, ourself, are not okay first. This is your shame-free permission to ask for what you need to feel ok and secure. Security is a basic human need, and you deserve to have security + a whole lot of overflow.
Check out the Join and Genesis tabs for opportunities to work with me.
And if you have your own business that is hanging out in the recesses of your mind, go get it! Be willing and leap!