1) Passion: I started Thrift Core soon after I landed my copywriting job, I was ghost writing and wanted a space where I could write with my real voice. Early posts were BAD due to very limited time and lack of practice, but it was the necessary start.
Lesson: Your first blog posts may not where/what you want them to be, but it's good to just start writing to get into the routine and to practice. Plus, pick PASSION.
2.) Don't Quit: I worked on Thrift Core and worked 55 hours per week at the day job for 3 years until Thrift Core became the full time job. Probably worked 65-70 hours per week.
Lesson: It's going to take time, don't quit your day job in a hurry. You may actually find out you hate doing what you thought your dream job was. Go slow, give it a try first. Don't dive in, test the waters!
3.) Since 1997: I make/design blogs for others and navigate the web so well because I've been experimenting with web writing and design since I was eleven.
Lesson: It's going to take time to hone the skills you need for your work.
4.) Make Mistakes: I've heard many entrepreneurs say you're not trying hard enough if you're not making mistakes. You'll misspend money here and there, you'll try a new craft fair or antique mall and not make back profit.
Lesson: Keep trying when you fail. I broke even my first big art-selling venture, but I still generated interest, sold out, and met my dearest art pals/connections.
5.) Be Organized: After launching some disorganized art lines I know better! I keep spreadsheets for merchandise and am meticulously plotting the next steps for art lines and other ventures.
Lesson: Write your business plan, keep track of expenses, be pedantically organized.The Real Deal: When I was working on Thrift Core and at the day job I gained weight, looked like crap, and often felt frustrated. It was a go-go-go always busy exhilarating time but it took a year to reboot my health after that time. There was no magic shortcut I took, just hours of work and a genuine love of the work.
PS: I also have a decent amount of money saved up from when I was getting paid well at the day job. This gives me peace of mind when sales are slow.
So tell me...what's your biggest tip for success running a small business? What's your biggest frustration? Let's discuss in the comments and help each other succeed.