Opening your own business is not for the faint of heart….when creating an LLC – you’re quite literally scratch building something with its own entity – I mean it has its own tax ID number. This is literally like having a baby in the sense that:
- It’s expensive – and there will be little things you don’t expect that add up quickly
- Lots of tears will be shed by everyone involved
- There is an instantaneous influx of responsibility
- It has an entire identity of it’s own that you don’t know quite yet but are kind of excited to find out.
So how did we get here? We operated as a sole proprietorship and started Cirrus Gold Creative Company in 2021 just to see how it would go. We got our business license, rebranded, launched our website, and started business. Two months after opening – we had to quickly put a pause to all things because I was going through some scary medical testing. More on that another day – but after about 5 months off we were finally able to resume again. Not sure how everything would pan out – we ended our first year with almost $3,000 more in sales than our original goal for the year.
So we decided it was time to get serious. A series of doors began closing in my professional life and it was the perfect time to decide to go all in! I have about 9 months left on my contract with my 9-5 job and I will be going full time in October of 2022. After about 14 years of chasing this dream I decided to stop running and face all things that were holding me back.
Here’s what I learned our first week as an LLC:
- 90 % of opening your own business is about persistence
- Just because you don’t know what you’re doing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing it
- Courage will not always be there – do it anyway
Okay let’s address these things shall we?
Number 1 – 90% of this opening up your own business is about persistence – it’s just a mind game.
You start to ask yourself all of these insane questions, the most prominent one being “What if this fails”!? Great question….if you’re planning for it to fail – you just might see that come to fruition. Now there’s something to be said about having a back up plan or making sure your finances are going to be relatively okay if you take a hit – but in reality opening your business means that you’re taking a risk. You have to suspend yourself a little bit from the notion that things are going to be safe and comfortable and get really intimate with the idea that you are going to stumble a bit. Even with said stumbling – really the only way to fail is to stop trying to get back up.
So when you don’t know how to fill out the business license application – Ask for help. When you realize you forgot to renew your license on time the previous year and get hit with a penalty (true story) – you make a note in your calendar to make sure it gets done correctly and pay the fine. When you’ve had so many conversations about numbers that your head starts spinning, take a break. Put it down and pick it back up again, and again, and again. I’ve heard it so many times but I’ll say it here too….successful people learn when to rest so they don’t have to quit. So far in my journey it’s been spot on.
Number 2 – Just because you don’t know what you’re doing does not mean you shouldn’t be doing it.
As a first time business owner, I’m very grateful for my background in counseling and coaching because I was able to coach myself in the process a bit. There will be so many times you question your ability to make it through this process because you have no idea what you’re doing. Here’s the thing – fear is just a knowledge gap. Yet it is capable of driving you right out of those offices and right on home if you let it. What I found to be helpful is to say to myself “fear I know you’re here but we are doing this anyway so hang tight” and I asked questions. I asked so many questions to anyone and everyone who was willing to sit on the phone with me. There were companies calling me and asking me questions I knew nothing about, so I spent hours on the phone asking them questions just so I knew how to answer their original questions.
Google is a friend – but be weary of the things you read on there as not everything is up to date or applies to your circumstances. I recommend going to the offices you need to visit in person (if possible) to get the most accurate information needed. It helps if you tell them that you’re a first time business owner and that you really value their time educating you – that certainly went a long way with the disgruntled lady at the licensing office. If this is your first time opening a new business – you’re going to feel inadequate. But you need to start somewhere. You’re just as worthy of owning your own business as the next person – the only thing separating you from them is this is your first time taking action. You’re not going to know how to do it if you’ve never done it – but it doesn’t mean you should call it quits.
Number 3 – Courage will come and go. Do it anyway!
Emotions and feelings are temporary and constantly moving through your body. You cannot control them, but you can control your reaction to them. Are you still going to be scared, going to feel lost, and going to wonder if you’re cut out for this? The answer is YES – a screaming yes to all of those things. But you’re allowed to be brave and scared at the same time. You’re allowed to wonder if it’s going to work and still have hope that it will. The only thing that’s going to get you to that success is by taking action. Show up! Even when your knees are shaking – keep showing up. I have been doing photography for 14 years and always dreamed I would own my own company. Dreams are great – but they get you nowhere without action.
Overall I can say that this week has taught me more than I ever cared to know about bank disclosures, merchant services, the penalties involved with not turning in your freaking license paperwork on time. So there were plenty of stumbling blocks, moments I felt completely lost, and times I wondered if this was really worth all of the trouble. But ultimately it comes down to this – time is passing and I can spend it safely behind a desk working for someone else’s dream or I can be uncomfortable for a while and build my own adventure from the ground up. I’m voting for the second.
Stay tuned friends & thanks for being here!
Cirrus Gold Creative Company LLC is located in Phenix City Alabama & Columbus Georgia. We provide photography, Cirrus Gold is a Wedding Photography business based in Columbus Georgia and Phenix City Alabama area. We also do couples, engagements, business branding, and some family portraits. We are about to launch an entire drone video service so stay tuned for more information!