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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My First Business
These will save you a ton of time, money, and frustration
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A couple days ago, I put out a thread on Twitter that did quite well.
It is titled, “10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My First Business”.
I want to expand upon that thread and emphasize just how important each tweet is.
Most people spend far too much time contemplating things that are unnecessary before they dive in with a business idea.
Act first, then assess later.
The main difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is simply that the successful people just started.
If you follow my advice from Tweet #1, it is very easy to overlook something as necessary as this.
As much as you need to get started as soon as possible, you must ensure what you’re doing is profitable.
I myself was once barely making money when I thought I was making a ton!
Keep yourself accountable and track every last expense and fee using something like Google Sheets.
You’ll thank yourself later.
Almost everyone overthinks the idea of incorporating. I know that it sounds like this gigantic process that is difficult, but it isn’t.
Feel free to pay a service, but it’s not necessary.
Once you are profitable, set aside a little bit of time and knock it out.
This is a fantastic tip for those running e-commerce businesses.
I found out about this far too late and spent way too much money on materials when I shouldn’t have.
Once you get some of these in your possession, look up how to alter them to save money on postage.
There are a ton of guides on YouTube.
When running a business, tax season is a bit more time consuming than when you work a regular job and receive a W-2 form.
You see, the IRS knows how much money you received if you get sent a 1099 form from eBay/Amazon/Stripe etc.
It’s your job to keep track of expenses to subtract from those amounts, to find out how much profit you made.
You only pay tax on profit, but that’s impossible to do if you don’t keep track of your expenses.
You can do this manually, but paying $50-100/month will save you SO much time.
Ask me how I know…
As always, seek a tax professional for any tax questions you may have.
If there is anything I regret in life, it’s not using cash back or rewards credit cards for my purchases sooner.
I spent so much money on advertising and product for years on end, without them.
They are the reason I travel for free and will likely never have to pay for travel again in my lifetime.
Always pay your balance in full each month and there are no negatives to using them.
If you haven’t read my Substack post about this, do so now:
It’s useful to try and find what people have to say about your business idea, but the only way to know if it will work is to try it yourself.
Every individual has a different skill-set and a different approach.
What didn’t work for someone may work for you.
If you don’t try, you’ll never know.
I hate to bring up taxes again, but this is a real thing that too many people ignore.
The IRS expects you to pay estimated taxes every quarter if you are making money because no one is withholding taxes for you like they would at a regular job.
There are different techniques for getting this done the right way, so do your research and consult a professional.
Taxes suck, but I encourage everyone to do the right thing and follow the rules.
This is the silent killer of almost all side hustles and small businesses.
People jump into it for the wrong reasons and with ridiculous expectations.
This kind of stuff takes a lot of time and effort.
You must find something you enjoy about the process that gives you real fulfillment or you will give up before you ever have a chance.
I’m serious about this.
If you are thinking about starting a business because it “looks cool”, don’t waste your time.
This is the flip side of the coin.
If you don’t operate with some serious hustle in your day-to-day operations, how are you going to get anywhere?
If you aren’t willing to skip parties, vacations, and that new season on Netflix, how bad do you really want it?
Do you actually want it bad or do you just say you do?
Taking days off can be valuable, but only if they are a measured part of a grand scheme that revolves around putting that work in.
If you don’t like that approach, you’re in the wrong place.
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