Armed with experience I started Prologue the ground up. After my many years of working as a journalist then public relations and social media professional I'd thought about what it might be like to work for myself, but there's no way to truly prepare to take that sort of leap. And overthinking it won't help. You just have to jump. For those contemplating the same, here are few views and lessons learned so far:
Stay focused: Work Days have always been long. They are longer now, sometimes never-ending switching between client work, running the business, administrative odds-and-ends. It's hard to put your work brain on pause and switch into relaxation mode but after a long day of working, it's crucial to do so. Thank goodness for family, friends and Netflix.
Take care: Refueling and staying healthy can be tough. I practically set reminders to eat or drink water. To find my way to a healthier track in the thick of startup life, I gave up trying to cook on-the-regular for now. I rely on Better Woodman an order healthy meals and snacks (real food, nothing processed or frozen) so I know I have options I can grab on the run. I make a giant batch of green iced tea to keep me from inhaling too much coffee all day (I can't give it up!). And I prioritize exercise. The first appointment of the day - whenever humanly possible - is a visit to the gym.
Flexibility: Work for yourself! Set your own hours! These sound like pros to those who daydream of going it solo. Yes, there is still something special about the freedom associated with this idea of starting your own business. In reality, work requires a great deal of attention. However the flexibility feels fantastic when gaining time once spent stuck in rush hour traffic or panic while trying to manage doctor's appointments or other needs during the day. They do fit right in, among the many many other items on the to-do list of any busy professional.
Love the work and the people: This has never been an issue for me. I'm running on hyper speed with events this month and loved to hear the feedback during one client party when strangers told me it was obvious that I loved my work. They sometimes remark that my job must be "fun" or "easy" - it's definitely exciting and I am always grateful for the work I get to do and people I have a chance to collaborate with along the way.
Recharge: Here's the hardest part. In order to rest and log off, creating boundaries are key. They are tough to create when you work hard to be all you can for clients. But providing enough time to rest and recharge is crucial to keep up the pace and produce great work when the hours are non-stop. The best way I've found to recharge - find a beach nearby and soak in the fresh air and sunlight. When achieved, it's always a welcome change of pace.
Do you have tips for what it feels like to start a business? Something important you've learned along the way? Share it with us in the comments.
Stephanie Angelyn Casola founded Prologue as a writer, social media and PR professional with more than two decades of experience in media. She is addicted to wi-fi and minimalist design. Stephanie holds high expectations for coffee, craft beer and pizza, and grew up an avid fan of scary movies. Dubbed the "Queen Bee of hustle, media relations and coolness" when she's not working or traveling, she's probably ducking into a movie, rock show or museum. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.