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I turned 30 ahhhh! Never in a million years did I think I’d be an entrepreneur with a successful online biz at 30 years old. I didn’t think I was capable or creative enough… but here we are.
However, being an entrepreneur is not all fun and games – it comes with several challenges and lessons learned.
So to honor my 30th birthday and my almost 3 years of entrepreneurship, I’m going to share 30 entrepreneurial lessons I’ve learned before turning 30 with the hopes that even one (or a few) will resonate with you as you go through this entrepreneur journey too.
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(Note: This is a formatted AI-generated transcript to make it easier for you to read through, but is not an optimized blog post. Please excuse any spelling or grammar errors and filler words – it’s just how I speak LOL)
I turn 30!!! Never in a million years did I think I’d be an entrepreneur with a successful online biz at 30 years old. I didn’t think I was capable or creative enough, but here we are. However, being an entrepreneur is not all fun and games and you know, that.
It comes with several challenges and lessons learned. So to honor my 30th birthday and my almost three years of entrepreneurship, I’m going to share 30 entrepreneurial lessons I’ve learned before turning 30 with the hopes that even one or a few will resonate with you as you go through this entrepreneurial journey too. So are you ready to dive in? Me too. Let’s do this!
Hey, I’m Lucy Reyes, your host of the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast, where I’m on a mission to help online entrepreneurs like you focus on all the right things and kiss overwhelm goodbye. Here, you’re going to learn strategies that will boost your productivity so that you can scale your online biz and impact lives sooner. It’s your time to shine! So let’s get started.
Thank you for being here!
Hey, welcome back to the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast, episode 16. So at the time of recording this episode, I’m still 29, but by the time this episode goes live, I’ll already be 30, which blows my mind. Just a few years ago, I never thought that I would have my own business. I was a girl who once dreamed about climbing the corporate ladder, but then I started going up the ladder and I didn’t like it.
So I am so grateful to have came across those pins that told me to start a blog, to make money online as a side hustle. And I am so blessed that God has given me the courage, the knowledge and the strength to lead me towards an even more impactful path that I absolutely love.
Anyways, before I go on and get all emotional, I want to say thank you for listening and thank you for being here. It truly means so, so much to me that you’ve decided to spend some time with me.
Now today’s podcast episode is going to be a bit different and it’s going to be more rapid fire type tips. At least that’s my goal. I want to speed through this. I don’t want it to be an hour and 90 long podcast episode, because 30 lessons is a lot. So I’m not going to go through them thoroughly.
But if there are any that resonate or any that you’d like me to cover in depth or in its own episode, then send me a DM on Instagram @cheerstoblogging to let me know and I’ll add it to the list.
30 Entrepreneurial Lessons Learned Before Turning 30
All right, moving on to the 30 entrepreneurial lessons I learned before I turned 30 and ones that I hope resonate with you no matter your age or how long you’ve been in business.
1) It’s not easy to be an entrepreneur
The first one is probably an obvious one. It’s not easy to be an entrepreneur. It is not as easy as some people like to make it seem, or as some people think, right. Because they’re like, “oh, you’re the boss you could do whatever you want.”
Like, yeah, that’s true, but it’s not easy. And you will go through hard and rough times. That’s just how it is. It’s why so many people quit within their first six months of being an entrepreneur, but don’t let this be you.
Just know and accept that it’s not going to be an easy ride, but it is so, so worth it as long as you stick to it.
2) Overwhelm cost time and time is money
Number two, overwhelm cost time and time is money. Overwhelm costs time and time is money. This is why I am so incredibly passionate about helping you get productive.
Your time is so valuable, so you need to find ways to get things done quicker. And one of those ways, one of my most favorite ways, and the one that I teach the most is to help you get organized.
You need to implement strategic systems as early as you can. I’m telling you, I wish this was something I had implemented way sooner in my business journey and it’s something that I constantly hear from my students as well. So if you’re not sure what I mean about strategic systems, go listen to episode 11.
3) Practice flexible, detailed planning
Number three. Practice flexible and detailed planning. So what I mean by this is you need to be okay with the fact that your plans will not always go as planned. And in order for that, you need to allow some flexibility in your planning to let life happen.
But with systems and workflows, you can get super, super detailed in your planning so that way, when something does come up, you can just leave and then come back to it and pick right back up where you left off without having to really take so much time trying to be like, “oh, did I do this? I didn’t do that? Like what happened?”
So practice flexible and detailed planning. That’s another lesson that I really think many of us should practice more often.
(If you need help with flexible, and detailed planning – check out the replays of my Level Up Your Systems Challenge here).
4) Do it scared
Number four, do it scared. So get out of your comfort zone. I know this is easier said than done, but you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
You have no idea how many times I have been uncomfortable doing something. How many times my heart has been beating so fast that I can barely breathe because I’m so nervous about what’s about to happen or what am I about to do or what I’m about to send or publish or who I’m going to reach out to or whatever.
But I do it anyways. And it’s something that comes with being an entrepreneur is that you need to be able to get yourself out of your comfort zone. And do it scared. Do it scared.
You don’t have to be, you know, you don’t have to get to a place where you’re not scared or where you’re, you know, super comfortable. Like that’s a really hard place to get to. So just do it scared. All right.
5) Don’t be afraid to fail
Number five, don’t be afraid to fail. Okay. There is no failure. Like there is this thing about you being scared to fail. You’re scared of failure. You’re scared of what people are going to think about you. You’re scared of the feelings that you’re going to feel when something doesn’t go your way.
This could be not reaching your goals. It could be not getting as many sales as you’d like. It could be not getting enough blog traffic, whatever it is. The fear of failure is actually going to hold you back if you let it.
So you need to be able to take risks. Bank on yourself. You know yourself best. And if you really, really, really want something, if you really want this, then take a risk on yourself. Okay. There is actually no failure if you’re learning from your mistakes. They all become lessons learned.
So shift your mindset on how you think about failure a little bit, and instead, just think, okay, if something didn’t go my way, let’s go back and analyze it and see why not and let’s learn from it and let’s do it again.
6) Put yourself out there
Number six, put yourself out there. I know it’s scary. I know it’s scary to put yourself out there, but it is going to be one of the best ways for you to grow your business. You need to make connections and network, so go engage in Facebook communities. Go reach out to other people, put yourself in bundles. pitch yourself to speak at summits, everything, do it all.
And you don’t have to do it all at once but put yourself out there. Okay. And don’t feel like you have to go through this entrepreneur journey alone. Find friends. Find people who understand what you’re going through.
As much as I love my husband and even though he is an entrepreneur himself, he owns his own small construction business. He still doesn’t understand the online space. He doesn’t understand what it means to be an online entrepreneur. He’s getting there and he tries really hard to understand me.
But it’s different when you can actually just talk to a friend and they know exactly what you’re going through. They know exactly what you’re talking about. You don’t have to explain first and then share your thoughts. You can just talk about things.
So don’t feel like you have to do this alone. Go find biz friends, but the only way you’re going to find them is if you put yourself out there. All right.
7) The snowball effect is real
Number seven is that the snowball effect is real. So, I don’t know if you’ve heard this before. I don’t know if you’ve heard about the so-called snowball effect, which is basically kind of going on from what I said, just now about making connections, putting yourself out there.
The snowball effect basically means that once you’ve reached a certain level and you’ve collaborated so many times and people start knowing who you are, then it’s like, kind of going up the hill, you know, it’s really, really slow to go up the hill. And so that’s like your first year, your first two years, or first three years, you’re pushing this snowball up the hill. So it’s really, really hard.
But once you reach the top, and you’re starting to go down, that snowball is just rolling and rolling and rolling. And it’s rolling so fast that you can barely keep up. And it’s real. It’s real, it’s magical, but it can also be scary. but just remember that it takes longer to get up the hill than to go down. Okay.
So keep going if you’re still in that process where you’re pushing yourself up the hill, because once you get there, you’re about to see that snowball effect. And then that is going to be the most amazing feeling. And you will know once it’s happening. You will know. All right.
8) Make investments into yourself and your biz
Number eight. Make investments into yourself and your biz You have to spend money to make money. Like that is just how it is. So you need to get out of the mentality that you’ll spend money when you make money. Like, no, that is not how it works.
Just because you are working online, just because you started an online business, doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be any costs associated with it. You wouldn’t tell someone who’s going to franchise a Starbucks or who’s going to open their own restaurant or their own store…
You’re not going to tell them that, “No, no, no, no, you can’t, you can’t spend any money until you start making money. You can’t buy the material for your shirts until you sell the shirts.” Right?
Like that is not how it works. And in the online space, it’s the same thing. You need to spend a little bit of money in order to make money. Now I’m not saying to go crazy now. But you definitely need to be strategic and smart with the investments that you make, but you do have to make them. So that is going to lead me into a few other points here.
9) Invest into your education
The ninth thing is one of the things that I really recommend is that you invest into your education whether it’s courses or through coaching.
Now bundles are a great way to get so many products from so many different people. And to get access to so much knowledge at a low cost. It’s how I learned a lot of what I know.
And it’s what I started getting when I first started in the online space, I was buying bundles left and right. And that is how I was able to at least get started with a lot of things, avoid a lot of mistakes and learn who in the online space I wanted to follow and continue learning from.
And then at some point, I really want you to consider investing into a coaching program that’s going to get you results quicker. I cannot tell you how many coaching programs I have invested into myself. And they have all helped me get to where I am a whole lot faster.
Having that support of someone where you can ask your questions and get direct feedback to whatever it is that you’re doing, whatever it is that you’re going through is so incredibly valuable. I know it’s not something that many people can afford, but it’s definitely something that’s worth saving up for and investing into.
Okay. Even though you’re not going to see like an instant and immediate impact, you’re going to see it long-term. Sometimes pretty instantly, instantly as, and when you’re done going through the coaching program, but anyways, it’s worth it.
10) Invest into tools that’ll save you time
The 10th thing and the other thing that I want you to invest into is tools that will save you time. Okay. Remember, like I said, time is money. So you want to invest into tools that will save you time. Automate whatever you can using tools like Trello and Zapier.
You can also use templates and swipe copy. Oh my gosh. I am such a templates person. I use templates for everything. I customize everything, but it really, really helps to not have to start with a blank slate.
So episode seven, I actually go through a whole bunch of different templates that you can use for your business, not just graphic templates. So definitely listen to that. All right.
Related Post: How to Use Trello to Organize Your Business
11) You’ll make bad investments
The 11th lesson is going to be a hard pill to swallow. Okay. And it’s that you’re going to make bad investments. There is no way for you to know that every single investment that you make is going to be a good one. Unfortunately, that’s just part of being an entrepreneur.
I have so many bad investments that I am not proud of. I am not happy with. I am not happy that I invested in a certain person, a certain coach, a certain course, a certain tool, a certain platform.
There are so many, so quote on quote, bad investments that I have made, but just like that mindset of failure, yeah, they’re bad investments, but I learned from them. I learned something from that bad investment and I moved on. Right? So don’t let your bad investments or the fear of making bad investments stop you from investing all together okay.
12) Outsource for help sooner than you think you need to
All right. Lesson number 12. Outsource for help sooner than you think you need to. So many times I have heard that you will outsource once you get to a certain level, once you start making money. Once you make a certain amount of money a month.
And the truth is, you should plan to outsource sooner than you think because by outsourcing something, anything, it’s actually going to help you give you back time. It’s going to give you back time and remember time is money.
So it’s going to give you back time and they’re going to help you be able to focus that time that you’re saving on other tasks, which is then going to help you make more money quicker. So definitely plan to outsource sooner than you think. All right.
13) Implement what you’ve learned
Lesson number 13, implement what you’ve learned. Okay. So I just went on a little rant about how you need to invest into your education. But the other important piece to that is to actually implement what you have learned.
You cannot just go and course hoard everything. You cannot just go buy all of the bundles and never take any action. That is not going to help you. So you need to invest, but you also need to make time to implement what you are learning.
If you don’t make time to implement or to even give whatever it is that you learn a shot, a try. Then you cannot blame a course or a training for not getting you the results that it’s so called promised if you don’t even try. There should always be a momentum of you taking some sort of action to implement something that you have learned. All right.
14) There is no one-size-fits-all formula or strategy
Lesson number 14 is there is no one size fits all formula or strategy. So kind of to piggyback off of the last one is don’t get so caught up on a single strategy. Okay.
Don’t try to find that one secret magic sauce for boosting your engagement on Instagram or figuring out how to have the perfect 5k launch for your new course or product or whatever it is. There is no one size fits all strategy. Okay.
I really, truly believe that there is not a single strategy that will work for everyone. It’s all a matter of trying different strategies. Testing them out and then tweaking them to work for you.
So don’t get so caught up in trying to figure out that magic one size fits all formula. Absolutely everything that you learn will probably need to be tweaked in some way to make sense for your business.
15) Diversify your income
All right. Lesson number 15. Diversify your income. So if you’re like me and you started out as a blogger, your first instinct was probably okay, I need to make money off of ads. And then you’re working so hard to get all of those blog posts out there.
You’re working really, really hard to try to stay consistent on your blog posting schedule. And you are probably on like Google ads or something, and you’re making pennies. And now you’re getting demotivated.
Maybe you applied to the Amazon affiliate program and you’re still making pennies. And now you’re kind of like, “ah, I kind of diversified and you know, I’m still making pennies. Now this is never going to work.”
No, you, whoever you are, whatever you do, whether you are a blogger or whether you’re a service provider, a course, creator, a coach, whatever it is, you need to diversify your income and have several different streams.
And one of the best ways that I have personally seen work, so, so well is by creating digital products a whole lot sooner in your process.
The second thing that I want to point out here is definitely charge more than what you think you should be charging. Yes. Do your research on all of the products and see what would be a fair price, but just don’t undervalue yourself. Okay.
I know I tend to do that a lot. But it’s something that all of us will have to learn and do and become okay with. Giving things out for free one, doesn’t help the people get the transformation that you want them to get, because they’re not going to value it as much.
And then two, giving it at a super low cost may actually turn some people away from you because they’ll think that the quality isn’t quite right. So definitely charge more than what you probably are charging right now, or charge more than what you think you should be charging.
16) Perfectionism, indecision and overthinking will cost you time
All right. Number 16, perfectionism indecision and overthinking will cost you time. And I remember time is money. Yes. I sound like a broken record, but that’s because that is the whole trend here. Right?
So time is money and I personally have not overcome perfectionism, indecision and overthinking, but I am still working on that.
Just know that you’re literally the boss and you can do whatever you want but these three things, perfectionism, indecision, and overthinking are going to be things that cost you way more time. So definitely work on trying to improve these.
Okay. Like I said, this is something that I am still constantly battling myself. But it’s on the list. Okay. Because I know that it’s something that I need to work on and maybe that’s you too. All right.
17) If you post it up, they will not “just come”
Number 17. If you put it up, they will not come. Okay. Just because you put something out there, it doesn’t mean that people will naturally come. So this is, especially if you’re trying to promote your products, your digital products, you need to practice selling it.
You need to practice promoting and marketing it, whether that’s in your email list, on social media, on your blog, whatever it is, you need to practice promoting and selling it because people will not just naturally come.
Plus, there’s a saying in the marketing space that says that people need to see something at least seven times before they actually buy it. So you putting it out there one time to your audience is not going to do the job.
18) Transformation + connection is key
Number 18. Transformation and connection is key. One thing that I have personally learned and seen is that when you focus on transformation through your content, and you really try to build a connection with your audience…
That is really what’s going to build that know, like, and trust factor and help them buy from you in the future, or listen to your things or support you in other ways. Right?
I know that if you’re an online entrepreneur, you need to make money, but I know that inside you still want to help as many people as possible, even if they don’t all buy from you. So providing some sort of transformation through your content, whether it’s through your free content, your blog posts, your podcast episode, your paid products…
And connecting with them by talking to them personally, by showing up as yourself and showing some behind the scenes on Instagram or whatever, that is really going to help you stand out from the rest and let them know why they want to work with you over someone else. All right.
19) Quality not quantity
Number 19 quality, not quantity. Do your best work even if it means it’s going to take you a little bit longer. Don’t worry so much on “I need to get out 20 blog posts before I can publish my website.” No.
Don’t worry about the fact that you probably need to post on Instagram stories every single day in order to increase your engagement or whatever, like no. Focus on the quality of your work and know that whatever you’re putting out there is your best work yet.
Not, you know, Being perfect or none of that. But still very high quality work even if it means it’s going to take you a little bit longer, because at least it’s going to be that much more impactful.
20) Email will make you the most money, if you let it
All right. 10 more here. Email will make you the most money if you let it. This is the number of 20. I have learned so many different things about email. There’s so many different strategies. You can choose one or a few or a mix that will work for you.
But I know that emailing your list, especially whenever you’re not used to it, it’s scary and hard. It’s hard to send those first emails, but I promise you that it does get easier over time.
My two top email superstars I have learned so much from is Kate Doster and Liz Wilcox so I’ll link to some of their resources in the show notes so that way you can go and check them out and learn all things email from them.
21) Don’t focus on vanity metrics
Don’t focus on vanity metrics. Okay. This is something that is really not going to show whether you’re being successful or not. The number of email subscribers that you have doesn’t matter. There’s people that are making tens of thousands of dollars with a small email list. Okay. That is a vanity metric that you definitely don’t need to follow.
And the same goes true for the number of unsubscribes that you get. The number of email unsubscribes that you get doesn’t mean anything about you. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to succeed. It doesn’t mean that your content sucks. It doesn’t mean that whatever you’re doing is not good. That’s not what it means.
And the person that I personally learned to fall in love with unsubscribes is Kate Doster. Just fall in love with your unsubscribes, because if they’re unsubscribing, that means that they’re saving us space for someone else and they’re not your people. And you only want to talk to your people, which we’ll get to in just a moment.
Another vanity metric that you don’t want to worry about is followers. Okay. Don’t worry about how many followers you have. Your followers really doesn’t mean nothing compared to your bank account.
22) Niche down for quicker success
So number 22. Niche down for quicker success. Now, I know that you probably hear this all the time. I myself started as a lifestyle blogger and I have seen the difference on how just getting more focused on a particular target audience really does help. Now you don’t need to get like super, super niched down like you don’t need to go that far if you don’t want to. But if you’re talking to a whole range of people, it’s going to make it harder for you to stand out as an expert in certain things because you’re kind of talking all over the place.
But that doesn’t mean that if you’re a lifestyle right now, if you don’t have any particular niche, you’re not going to be successful. That is not what I’m saying. But niching down does help you get quicker success, because you are only focusing on one audience.
So you can still start broad. You can niche down later. It’ll take you a little bit longer to kind of get your groove, but that’s still okay. And always know that once you niche down, you can always broaden back up later on after you’ve already started seeing your success. Okay. So keep that in mind.
23) Have a long-term vision and work backwards from it
Number 23, have a long-term vision and work backwards from it. So set your long-term goals. So think about where you want to be in the future, what it is that you’re going to want to do, even if you’re not even close to achieving that, know where you’re heading and then map out the baby steps that is going to take you to get there.
So for example, if you know that someday you’re going to want to be a coach, then what would be the logical steps that you’ll need to work towards to get there? And the reason why I say this is because you’re going to want to know what type of content you need to put out there.
So if you already know that one day you want to be a coach for a mindset coach, For example. If you already know that you’re going to want to be a mindset coach, then there’s no point on you putting out content about recipes, right? Because now once you get to that goal, you’re not going to be using your recipes to help you get there.
So instead you could look at creating content around mindset, blog posts, podcast episodes, maybe an ebook, a guide, a course, and those are going to be your baby steps that help you get there.
24) You can’t please everybody
All right. 24, you can’t please everybody. You’re not meant to help everybody. And when I say everyone, I mean, everyone. Like you can’t please the entire world. You can’t even please everyone within your own niche.
You will attract your own person and there is plenty of people out there for every single one of us. Okay. So don’t feel like you have to compete, like you have to really get all of the attention. Like you have to get everything from everyone because that is just not how it is.
And this is especially important to remember once those negative comments or emails start coming through because they will happen at some point. And by you knowing that you can’t please everyone will just help you just be strong once that does happen.
25) Be able to recognize red flags
All right, almost done here. Number 25, be able to recognize red flags. So to know who you work with, to know who not to work with. So this could be in the form of hiring someone or hiring a coach. It could be who you buy and learn from. It could be who you collaborate with.
Learn what are going to be some red flags for you and keep an eye out for them. I know, naturally we like to think that, you know, see the best in everyone and see the best in every company. But sometimes that is just not the case.
Sometimes there’s going to be people that just don’t align with your values or don’t meet your expectations and that’s okay. But you need to be able to recognize those red flags so that way you know not to invest in that. Whether it’s investing your time or your actual money. All right.
26) Mindset is something you’ll always need to work on
26 is mindset is something that you’re always going to need to work on. So whatever you believe is true, whether you believe you can, or you can’t is going to be true.
So another thing is whether you have a full-time job or you’re a parent, or you have health conditions or whatever it is, you can still build and grow a successful business. Like I said, whatever you believe is true is true. Okay.
So you can be any of these things and still have a successful business. It’s just a matter of what you personally believe. The power of the mind is so real. And yes, I know this is a little woo, woo. But it’s true.
Now, if you need help with mindset, Faith Mariah is my own personal go-to mindset person. I listen to her podcast all of the time when I go down my mindset spirals so I’ll link to her podcast in the show notes and definitely check her out if you need a little bit more of mindset support.
27) Don’t spread yourself too thin
All right, 27. Don’t spread yourself too thin. I know that you are ambitious and now you want to do it all, but you need to know how much you can realistically handle. So outsource if you can, or just rearrange your plan to give yourself space to breathe.
You do not want to spread yourself too thin because you doing 10% here, 10% there, 12% percent over here, it does not combine to equal a hundred percent. I don’t remember where I heard that quote from, but it’s true. You doing 10% everywhere doesn’t equal a hundred percent of one thing.
So focus on a few things. Focus on making quality work and then rearrange your plan if you need to give yourself a little bit of space to breathe.
28) Self-care is important
Which leads me into the next one, which is self care is important. It’s okay to take breaks. It’s okay to take long breaks too.
Whenever I got pregnant with my baby girl, I dropped my business for eight months. Eight months and I’ve only been an entrepreneur for three years! Okay. Or not even three years, but I took a super long break for eight months. And here I am. Here I am better and stronger than ever.
It’s okay to take breaks when you feel like you need them, whether it’s a 10 minute break on a certain day, because you just need to rest your mind from everything you’ve been working on. Whether you need to go on vacation for a whole week. Whether you need to take a month or a couple months off, it’s okay.
Your business will still be here once you’re ready to come back to it. The important thing is to avoid burnout and episode 10 is where I talk all about avoiding burnout as an entrepreneur.
29) Your business makes a greater impact than you think
Your business makes a greater impact than you think. So your business is your business. It’s your baby. And it is so impactful. No matter how big or small you are.
It’s going to be something and it is something that impacts your people, the people that you’re trying to serve. it’s an impact on your own business, financially and how it grows. And it’s an impact for you and your family.
So think of it as this big, massive circle of impact that you’re building for not just you, not just for your business, for the people that you’re serving as well. They need you. Okay.
30) Be patient and trust the process
And the last one here is to be patient and trust the process. And this is coming from someone who is incredibly impatient. I am a super impatient person but I know that this is a long-term game.
Being an entrepreneur is not a get rich quick type of thing. But it is going to be worth it. So be patient. Trust the process and you will succeed. Okay. Like I said, you need to believe it in order for it to happen though. Nothing will happen if you yourself don’t believe in yourself and your business and your mission. So believe in yourself, be patient and trust the process.
Related Post: Focus On Yourself, Not Others and Here’s How
Okay. That was a lot. And I know this episode is longer than my normal ones But all of these are going to be listed in the show notes at cheertoblogging.com/16 so you’ll be able to reference them as often as you need them.
But if any of these did resonate with you, please take a screenshot of you listening and share it to your Instagram stories and tag me @cheertoblogging. I would love to know what other lessons you’ve learned while being an entrepreneur and if any of the ones I mentioned today resonated with you. So I’ll keep an eye out for your DM or your IG story and I’ll talk to you again next week.
Thank you so much for listening to the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast with me, Lucy Reyes. To view the complete show notes and all the links mentioned in today’s episode, visit cheerstoblogging.com/16. And before you go, make sure you subscribe wherever you’re listening so you know once the next productive chat is released. Talk soon and cheers to your productivity and success.!
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