Photo from Stock That Rocks
What comes to mind when you think about being a business owner? For many of us, we think about the ability to work flexible hours, being your own boss, and calling the shots. However, when you ask a business owner herself, the answer might sound something like carrying the weight of the business on your shoulders, working late nights, managing a team of employees, and handling the finances of the biz.
Yes, starting and running a business is incredibly rewarding, but any entrepreneur will tell you that it takes a great amount of hard work and dedication. Here at Bloguettes, we love hearing the stories of the amazing entrepreneurs around us, and we thought who better to give advice on building a business from the ground up than an entrepreneur herself?
Meet Megan Elizabeth–a Brooklyn-based artist and painter. Megan is a former high school Art and Spanish teacher who now runs a small business, Art By Megan, as an abstract painter and artist working on collaborations with companies like Brit and Co, Design Love Fest, West Elm, Minted and several shops and galleries. Read along as she shares 5 things you should know before starting a business!
Build a strong foundation before you start.
Before I felt “ready”, I took several steps to build a strong foundation for my business. Before you become successful from the outsider’s perspective, it’s very important to build something that you can believe in from behind-the-scenes.
I researched and made sure to register my business, form an LLC, purchased business insurance, received legal advice as I licensed my work with companies and paid my taxes! All of these seemingly boring and small steps are essential to running smoothly as new opportunities arise in my business.
Save UP: You will invest A LOT more money than you think.
As my business grows, I have found that I continue to invest more and more into it. I often read business books and learn about reinvesting into my own company through them. One of the facts that has always stood out is that the budget for a business has to account for each year having new opportunities and expenses build into it. If I want to continue to grow, I have to use my money wisely and continue to re-invest.
The business might take over your life (hopefully only temporarily!).
As I work diligently behind-the-scenes on building my business, I have found that I rarely take a full day off. It sometimes feels like it is taking over my life! But, I have learned to take advantage of the perks of owning a small business and to be grateful for the flexibility that it has allowed me as a creative person and mom.
While it may seem hard to turn off the “art by megan” side of me, I am just really excited to be able to follow my dream to own a small business and pursue something I love, no matter how much work it takes!
Find a Mastermind.
One of the biggest steps I have taken to build my business has been to find other small business owners who I meet with monthly as a mastermind. My small mastermind consists of myself and two other women who are running businesses that are different than mine, but we critique and share ideas about how to push ourselves as we follow our dreams. It’s a perfect way to check in with someone (not a friend or spouse!) and be held accountable.
I have also been super lucky to find creative entrepreneur friends through the awesome people in TuesdaysTogether NY, through the @risingtidesociety. I feel so blessed to have been able to lead this group as a volunteer and I rely on these awesome creatives as my “co-workers”. It’s important to feel like you always have a knowledgeable friend who you can ask questions about your business to!
Read, read, read…and then read some more.
Constantly research and read about how to run a small business. Stay inspired by listening to others who you admire and how they achieved success. I love listening to podcasts for inspiration from women who run small businesses and some of my favorites are “How I Built This”, “Second Life” and “On Being”.
I also read a million books for fun to stay inspired. I recently heard on Jen Gotch’s Podcast (@jengotch) that you have to be passionate to start a small business and obsessed in order to continue working on it. I COMPLETELY agree.
People often ask how I avoid burnout and how I stay inspired in my work, but I think it’s honestly because I am a bit of a crazy person about making this work. I don’t want to give up. I love it so, so much!
Special thanks to Megan for sharing her tips with us!
Read more about Megan and Art by Megan here:
Check out megan’s work in-person at the following shops:
Salt Mystic – Mystic, CT (@saltmystic)
Indigo MArket – Charleston, SC (@indigomarketcharleston)
Oliver Dunn – Washington, DC (@oliverdunndc)
Viola’s Market – St. Simon’s Island, GA (@violasmarket)
Main Street Gallery – Manasquan, NJ (@mainstreetgallerynj)
Take Megan’s online painting class with Brit and Co here: