Starting a business comes with all sorts of learning curves, and no matter how prepared or qualified you feel, there’s no avoiding them. But talking with people that have been through it before can help you learn from their mistakes. That’s why I chatted with Brittany Hopkins, a Toronto-based entrepreneur who founded Anice Jewellery.
Brittany shared some of those ah-ha moments she had when starting her business which now has two Toronto locations, and an online store. Here is what she had to say…
1. Hire an accountant
One of the common mistakes that new business owners make is thinking they can do it all themselves. Often it’s because they don’t want to ask for help, or pay the fees that are associated with asking for an expert to step in, but this can be one of the best decisions you make for your business.
Brittany suggests hiring an accountant from the start, she personally thought she could do it all since she went to business school, but learned her lesson the hard way. “Pay people to do what they do best and save yourself the time to do what you do best,” she advised. “It is totally okay and respectable to ask for help, aka stop trying to be the hero is what I tell myself.”
2. Always be on time
Being on time and showing up each day feeling prepared and ready to rock the day is critical to your success as a business owner and entrepreneur. You have a responsibility to withhold with your clients or customers, and even though when you’re your own boss, you can pick and choose how and when you work, you also need to hold yourself accountable in order to be successful. “I have learned that if I start early and am prepared to be fully present in the day, I am going to not only enjoy it a lot more but do a much better job,” Brittany shared.
3. Find balance
Many entrepreneurs look at work-life balance and ask what it even is? When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s a given that your life is your business. But finding balance is important, because it will keep you sane, healthy, and allow for you to be the best you can be when it comes to your business.
Brittany explains that when she overworks herself, and spreads herself too thin, she finds that she is suddenly resenting the things that are usually exciting and inspiring. Sometimes even taking a five-minute coffee break or walk can help in productivity. “I have learned that if I take a “Britt Day” with friends or a day of silence, I am charging my soul up to be that much more creative and fun to be around,” she says. “I want to be the best version of myself for myself and those around me.”
4. Remind yourself why you started
When running your own business, you can sometimes get caught up in the roadblocks, chaos, and busyness that you lose sight of why you started in the first place. Taking a step back and reminding yourself about why you were passionate enough to start is key to continuing to love what you do, and also key to not losing sight of what your business is all about.
Brittany mentioned that she has had days where she’s alone in her store, and feels overwhelmed with the business side of Anice, and balancing both that aspect of her business and the creative side. “I realized how important it was for me to look myself in the mirror and actually say those words, to remind myself that I love jewellery, I love connecting with people, I love being creative and silly and playing,” she explained. “Those are the things that are the core of this business and if I didn’t take time to feed them and let myself do them, then I wouldn’t have a business at all.”
5. It’s all going to be okay
We’ve all had moments where we feel like the world is crashing down around us or things aren’t working in our favour, but we have to constantly remind ourselves that everything happens for a reason. In the end, it’s all going to be okay, and Brittany emphasized how this is by far her biggest thing to remember as a business owner. “If things go wrong, they will get better, and if things change, it’s for a purpose,” she shared.
When things go wrong, it’s easy to panic and react emotionally, but sometimes you just need to take a deep breath, not sweat the small stuff, and focus on building a solution to the problem instead of dwelling on it.
So ask for help, be on time and present, find balance in work and life, never lose sight of your passion, and remind yourself that in the end, it’s all going to be okay.
About the Author
Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.