The CEO of Pitch PR shares the most important things she's learned from her business.
Nearly 10 years ago, I became an entrepreneur – something I never necessarily aspired to be. It turns out that starting my own business was the hardest and best decision I ever made. I started Pitch Public Relations during the recession, when it wasn't considered wise to venture out into new territory. But with risk comes reward. Over the years, I expanded my company from a one-woman operation to a thriving agency and a team of 14. We are a leading public relations firm representing small startups and big brands, and our reputation for results is unmatched. In short, we rock!
While I never planned on running my own business, I've learned lessons along the way. Here are seven realities of owning your own business.
1. No one cares as much about your business as you do. Think of a business like a baby. Relatives will adore it. Strangers will smile at it. But no one will hover over it, protect it and deeply connect with it like its mother. Yes, owning your own business is like that. No one – not employees, partners, customers or friends – will have the same passion for your company's success as you do. Ever.
2. You have to hustle every day. It takes a daily grind to achieve success. The hustle never ends. No sitting back and basking in your company's achievements. There's always a need to compete, adapt and grow. The hustle is what makes it great – and hard.
3. It takes a village. I know that I don't know it all. I've assembled an amazing team, which has been critical to our company's success. When we needed a website revamp, we found the right partner. Starting and growing a company means learning to delegate.
4. Your reputation is everything. It's a small world after all. It's incredible how often I cross paths with the same people in different businesses, or someone knows someone. I believe reputation is everything, and I'm proud to have so many strong referrals. We focus on impeccable service and delivering true results for our clients. That outstanding work comes back to us.
5. Business never stops. At night. On vacation. Always. Business is on the brain. I often dream about things on my to-do list. How boring, right? When you own your own business, taking a break from thinking about work is impossible.
6. Pay attention but don't copy. Our company's PR style is what makes us unique and effective. I pay attention to trends and how other agencies operate, but it's more about staying in the loop than trying to follow suit. I don't get caught up with what everyone else is doing. Eyes ahead!
7. Take the good with the bad. Owning a business is like being on a ride – there are highs and lows. Expecting challenges, dealing with them and knowing they are temporary gets you past them. Just like the lows, the highs don't last forever either.
I'd always read that people either have the entrepreneurial spirit or they don't. Nah, not true. I never sold lemonade by the side of the road as a kid or went to business school with aspirations to own my own company. But I do know that hard work pays off. I have relished building a business from the ground, with a true sense of accomplishment. Being your own boss is a unique thrill.
But no time to savor success. It's time to get back to work!