The Easiest Getting Started Guide To Entrepreneurship (even if you don't have a business idea yet!)

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entrepreneurship getting started guide

You can't scroll through Facebook without seeing yet another entrepreneur peddling their sure-fire way to make millions on the internet...

...  in just a few short months.

... without spending any money.

... without building an email list.

... without any experience.

The list of unlikely events goes on.

In a world of hyper growth and an increasing need to tell the world about our wins, it's easy to believe that everyone has it all together except you.

"These online entrepreneurs can make entrepreneurship look much more glamorous than it actually is," says Eva Janotta of Simply Put Strategies.

One day, Eva found herself the proud recipient of a pink slip. (Not really, she just lost her job.) Rather than finding a new job, she decided that she would go out on her own, break the mold and build a business. 

I bet we've all thought about that at one point or another, but Eva decided to go for it!

In our #SideHustleGoals video series, Eva shares exactly how she did it - from start to finish. 


What Should You Consider Before Becoming An Entrepreneur? 

Your Current Lifestyle

Eva credits her willingness to jump into entrepreneurship head first in part to her life stage. She was young, bright-eyed and busy tailed and ready to take on the world.

Being young offers more than a playful innocence. You also have the best of both worlds - a youthful outlook on the world and flexibility in your habits. In many cases, you'll also have no family to support. (Entrepreneurship is a bit more of a risk when you have a child or two.)


Your Current Expenses

Eva was renting a small bedroom in a home shared with several other renters. Because of this, her cost of living was very low. She had flexibility in her living expenses and she didn't have a family to support at the time. Without a ton of huge expenses, she was confident she could take a chance on herself to start a business.


your Ability To Reduce Your Income

Essentially, you'll need time to build your dream. Time is something that's very limited - especially if you're working 40 hours a week at your 9-to-5 job. Eva was able to reduce her income because she reduced her expenses. With less bills to account for each month, she wan't in a huge hurry to find a job after being laid off. 


Get More Hours To Put Towards Your Business

Eva only needed steady income that would cover her dramatically reduced expenses. To ensure she would still have enough time to work on her business, Eva started working a part time job at a grocery store for 3 days a week.


How Do You Get Started?

The first business Eva built was a professional organizing business.

She enjoyed organizing her things and thought that professional organizing would be a great direction to take her life next. She planned go into people's homes and counsel them on what items to let go of, what to keep and how to arrange their things. 


Test Your Idea... On Real Clients

She got started immediately by out an email to her neighborhood listserv. She didn't charge her first few clients for her services. Instead, she offered to organize their things in exchange for testimonials.

She quickly got referrals and clients from around the neighborhood and her little business was off the ground.

By simply testing out the professional organizing business, she was able to validate that there was a market within her community that would pay for these services. 


Don't Be Afraid To Walk Away

Something unexpected happened once Eva worked with a few clients: She realized that professional organizing wasn't a good fit for her. #GoFigure

Eva could tell pretty quickly that professional organizing didn't make her happy the way she envisioned so she shut down her professional organizing business

"Stop things when they don't feel good"  - Eva Janotta

Test out your product or service among a small number of users to see how you feel about them before building out your business.  

(Pro tip: Don't start your business by spending your time and money building websites and creating branding. Instead, see if there is a market out there for the business you would like to start AND see if the business is something you'd be interested in doing by simply trying it out first.)

Eva sees this as a huge success  because she didn't not waste much time or energy building out a business and marketing plan for a business that didn't align with her vision for her life.


Pivot, When Necessary

After one #EpicFail, I would've totally been sitting in a corner, licking my wounds, but not Eva! 

She leaned on one of her past experiences when a friend came to her needing help with social media. Eva was officially in the social media marketing business.

It turns out that online marketing felt just right and energized Eva in a way that professional organizing did not. Her business grew from word of mouth and her clients (who totally loved her work) started telling people other about her.

Over time, things started to pick up pace.


Use All The Tools In Your Arsenal

Eva leaned heavily on her past experiences to become a brilliant social media marketer. You can always take skills that you already have to build something that will be valuable to your community. What skills do you already have that could add tremendous value to someone else? 


Take Baby Steps

Remember that job Eva had at the grocery store?

Once Eva's social media business started to grow, she noticed that she didn't have enough time to do both.

Rather than completely lose her stable income from the job, she decided to work less days over time as her income from Simply Put Strategies started to grow.

After her first year of business, Eva dropped from 3 days to 2 days per week.  Just six month later, she dropped to 1 day a week. Finally, Eva made the leap into becoming a full time entrepreneur after two years of business. 


It Doesn't Happen Overnight

Entrepreneurship is not a sprint, it's more like a marathon. Take your time learning how to build it right. Build a strong foundation on which to grow your dreams.


Get Ready For The Ride

Becoming an entrepreneur isn't nearly as glamorous (or fast) as many social media posts might lead you to believe. In fact, Eva will be the first to tell you about how emotionally challenging being an entrepreneur ban be. But if you're up for a challenge and ready to build something of your own that you can be proud of go forth and prosper, my friend!

It's totally do-able! 


Meet Eva


Eva is one of five entrepreneurs featured in our #SideHustleGoals video series

Eva Janotta is the owner of Simply Put Strategies, a social media marketing consultancy that uses social media to create and nurture relationships between brands and their fans by telling the unique brand story. 

Learn more about our #SideHustleGoals video series here.


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4 Lessons Every #Girlboss Should Think About Before Starting Their Business

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Last week, we hosted our first Mastermind. The goal of the event was to help millennial women entrepreneurs and bloggers get the answers to their business challenges. Many of the women were running successful blogs or selling coaching services and I had the opportunity to learn a lot from them.

Here are my 4 biggest takeaways from our first mastermind session:


It's very easy to get distracted from your goals by "shiny object syndrome" (aka. that moment you see someone making a ton of cash-money doing something you could totally do with your eyes closed... so you want to abandon your current goal and try your hand at it?).  

About two years ago, I dived deep into Entrepreneur On Fire where John Lee Dumas coined the acronym for FOCUS as 

Follow One Course Until Success

This tiny phrase became my entrepreneurial mantra. It reminded me to focus on what I really wanted and if I wanted to become successful I would have to stick with it (no matter how many #epicfail moments I had) because each failure leads to lessons learned. 


FOCUS... Unless it's time to PIVOT.

Sometimes, the path you're going down isn't a particularly lucrative one. There are times when what you have to offer is not what the market wants. In these moments, it may be best to pivot (aka. change gears and follow that shiny object!).

You cannot force people to want your product... but you can create a product people already want.  So.. how do you know what people want? (drumroll, please!)


Get to know your audience. 

How do you really know what people want? You have to take some time getting to know them. Go to the events that they frequent. Ask them out for drinks. Can't get out that much? Don't have the budget? Hang out on the Facebook groups and online forums they use. Talk to your target audience in any form you can until you know them inside and out. 

This will help you visualize them and their specific needs as you're creating. 


Align your personal mission with your company mission. 

After doing anything for a long time, it's very easy to fall into a cycle of habit. You get used to blogging, you get comfortable with what you're selling, you make sure you create blog post images for social media sharing and share, SHARE, SHARE! #SocialMediaStruggle

Maybe you started your small business or blog to create something you were passionate about and over time your beautiful creation has turned into a collection of to-do lists that you complete just because and it no longer gives you life. 

Take a week off... (I know it's hard for us to really take a week off, but it's totally worth it, I promise.) In that week, think about what makes you happy and what impact you want to make on the world. Then, think about why you want to make that impact. Finally, ask yourself what you can change about the way you're currently running your business so that it aligns with your personal mission. (Pro Tip: You know you've hit the nail on the head when you're excited about your business again and "shiny objects" are no longer enticing! #winning)

That's it! Starting (and growing) a business only gets easier when you get started, so go out there and build your empire, girlboss! 

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A Note On Failure

Speak Your Next Big Life Change Into Existance

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Two years ago, we started Meeting of the Minds (aka. MOTM) after a very small vision board "party." It consisted of three women, chatting about their respective side hustles. They talked about what they were doing to gain extra income and things that they were struggling with. Even though the group was very small, for each woman that had a problem, there was another woman there that had been there, done that, and lived to tell the story. This conversation was eye-opening, not only because I was able to see better ways to approach my problems, but I was also able to see what could happen if you added more people with more expertise and more goals. Not only would I now be in a position to help more people with my experience, but I'd also be able to learn from the collective experience of brilliant women. 

It was that night at our tiny vision board party drinking a $7 bottle of wine and barbecued popcorn chicken that I realized the strength in having a support group focused on accomplishing your goals. 

Raro Lae of Rarolae.com, and co-founders Chant'l Martin and Skye Charlie

Raro Lae of Rarolae.com, and co-founders Chant'l Martin and Skye Charlie

We wanted to get more people to attend our meetings and the first one was a huge success! We had nearly 15 women... a giant leap forward from our first meeting. However, slowly but surely our numbers started to fall, less people would attend the meetings. Some days we would have a "meeting" where only one person would show up. Sometimes (particularly when we talked about personal finance) no one would show up at all. 

At that point, it got depressing. We were tempted to end the monthly meetings because we were spending all of our time planning and no one was showing up. 

Rather than give up on our plan to build a group of women that were totally kicking butt in life, we approached it from a different angle. (If you're familiar with startup buzzwords, this would be our first pivot.) We decided not to talk about personal finance and fitness anymore. In fact, we limited our topics to side hustles, freelancing, blogging, and entrepreneurship. We realized that in trying to reach everyone we were reaching no one. 

Mistakes happen all the time and some of the most well-intentioned ideas can fall short of what you imagined. The real goal is to keep going. Revamp your ideas if you need to. The more value you add to others the more people are willing to pay you for it. If you can't get people to show up for free, you're not adding enough value. 


We wanted a space for women in the DMV to show up and talk about their goals, be inspired and motivated which is something we are passionate about. Our goal is to pivot until we hit the nail on the head. As long as we keep going, we will one day create the community we can enjoy all year round. Thank you for walking this journey with us.

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exclusive access to premium content & events for women taking their career + hustle to the next level. (Yes, that's you.)

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