I didn’t decide overnight to quit my lucrative job as the content manager at an advertising agency in order to pursue my dream of full-time freelance writing. I’d dabbled in freelancing for a while, even landing a craft beer column in my local alt-weekly, but the thought of actually being my own boss was downright scary. Even though plenty of people encouraged me to just go for it and start my own business, there were still things I wish people said to me when I started working for myself.
I'd read countless articles on how to start a business, but there's no substitute for advice from entrepreneurs and people who've done it before. While I found myself craving an unabashed "cheer squad" feeding me optimistic mantras, the solid to-do's like "find a good accountant" and "don't worry about filing paperwork to incorporate yet" helped me focus my energies in the most productive areas during launch.
I'm a year-and-a-half in now and, of course, hindsight is 20/20. I've had some ups and downs, but now I can look back and identify certain things I wish I'd known — or been told — from the very first day of starting my own business: