Career Girl Daily has taught us so many things about life, people, and business. We really are constantly learning, sometimes the act of doing can teach you so much more than lessons in school can. With that said, here are a few things we learned from working on CGD that you’ll learn in your first few weeks of business.
1. Do it for love not for money
You can tell straight away when a company doesn’t have any love behind it because a real labor of love goes with you to bed at night and wakes up with you in the morning. You constantly improve, you try your best and you take those criticisms to heart (sometimes!) because you’re putting your soul into it. When you don’t love your company it looks like it’s missing something, plus, if you’re expecting a company to give you a large return straight away you are mistaken, these things take time and hard, hard work!
2. Be flexible
Working at a start-up from its very beginnings means you get thrown into the deep end and have to swap into different job roles a lot. I’ve done things I didn’t think I could do out of necessity because someone has to. From steaming clothes to managing 20+ writers all over the world to interviewing inspiring women with nothing but my phone to record it.
Every day presents a new challenge that you have to learn to overcome, and the thought of all the things I’ve accomplished is so rewarding.
3. Working with people is so much better than working alone
CGD is smart, because we know that everyone has their own set of strengths, and we could never do it alone. People are often shocked to know that we didn’t know each other before CGD, Lois and Celina met briefly before and I just waltzed in and got stuck-in to the tasks, but people think we’ve known each other for ages because of our dynamic.
When things get too tough for one of us, or we’re having a bad week, we rely on the others to lift our spirits or even do a video call in the evening to figure out how best to tackle the load. Teamwork really does make the dream work.
4. It changes your life completely
In just over 1 year my life has changed completely. I went from PR Intern, who just finished her master’s degree and wasn’t sure what would be next, to becoming founder and Sales Director of probably one of the most exciting projects in my life.
Starting your own company basically means living it. You get up with it, you go to bed with it and it really becomes your baby that, hopefully, will grow up into a successful business. You also start to see business opportunities in the daily things in life (e.g. an advert of a cool brand that you would love to work with).
5. You will learn more than you dare to imagine
Experience is the best teacher for sure! I learned more in 1 year of setting up a business and running CGD as a startup than during my 4 years at University. Especially in the beginning, we needed to do everything ourselves, from writing fashion, beauty, lifestyle or career articles to figuring out a sales strategy, and from making contracts to building relationships with brands and doing social media.
6. Not everyone will understand you
Not all of my friends understand why I chose starting a business over a ready-steady 9-5 job with set holidays and weekends. And then you also have people that will be a bit skeptical about your business plans and doubt if you will make it. Personally, I shut myself off from all the doubters and focus on the constructive criticism and positive support.
7. You will learn to use your time wisely
I can’t even imagine the last time I felt completely ‘free’. Even when I’m on holiday I make sure I have a decent wifi connection. A holiday isn’t the same when you have your own company. Of course, you’ll enjoy your off moment, but you’re always on alert because when something happens it’s your responsibility.
8. You will be constantly challenging yourself
Maybe this is a personal thing. But at CGD we always strive to be better. We want to make the best content possible and hopefully inspire the thousands of girls who come to our website every day. That means we are challenging ourselves every day. What can we improve? How can we improve as a team? What can we learn from each other and from our readers?
See when you have your own company you have your eyes wide open and always look for opportunities to improve your business.
9. The value of a great team
As we already mentioned working in a team is so much fun. As a business owner, you will realize how hard it is to find the right people for your team. Remember the times you’ve been rejected from a job interview? Trust me if I say it’s not you. Finding the right people is almost like dating. You try to mix and match and make sure the strengths of one person compliment the strengths of another and when you’ve built that team it’s worth gold. A successful team beats with one heart.
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