What a year it has been…
We launched just over a year and are still feeling so excited for what the future holds. For those wondering: Girl Gang started when our founder, Morgan Sandlin, was busy writing a business plan for a completely different business idea. When she realized how disconnected she was from the Atlanta creative world, she started an Instagram account to get looped in.
What started as a way to connect the entrepreneurial spirits of Atlanta has taken on an entirely new identity. The Girl Gang is a platform meant to connect and inspire women. Read more about us here.
People often ask for tips to start their own business, so our founder, Morgan, has added her key takeaways from her first year as a start-up founder:
1. It’s going to be hard
Once I quit my job, I gave myself one year to work at max capacity. After one year, you can look back on a year of hard work and reevaluate everything. For our business, that meant hiring a new full-time Community Lead (hi Maddy Haller!) to continue growing the business, for others that might mean restructuring your business model. That first year may be brutal – and trust me, it was sometimes! Working at 11 pm on a Friday night isn’t exactly a normal 24 year old’s dream life, but I knew what I had committed to – one year of a “whatever it takes” mindset. And to be fair, I still have that mindset, but I also learned that lifestyle wasn’t going to be sustainable for years and years to come.
So, yes, it’s going to be hard, stressful, and scary, but it’s also going to be worth it. You’ll grow a lot as a person and, if you’re truly passionate about it, you’ll never regret trying your best.
2. Outsource things you hate!
This was a big one for me. I felt like I could do it all. I also felt like outsourcing some projects (like finances) would cost an arm and a leg. Turns out, it doesn’t always break the bank. And if it takes a little bit of stress of your plate, it’s worth every penny.
3. Make true friends in your industry
For me, this was easy, because we built a community just for this! But it’s true, surrounding yourself with people who can relate or even contribute to your business is a key to success. It makes me feel less alone and more motivated in the crazy start-up process.
Side note: don’t forget that you LOVE your friends and family who don’t have their own businesses. Make time for them! Don’t work 24/7 at the cost of friendships and relationships.
3. Work. Out.
Still trying to master this one. My “whatever it takes” mindset sometimes meant choosing an extra hour of work over an hour in spin. Honestly, that’s the end of this advice, just do it. And bring me with you so I go too.
4. Get out of the house
When you own your own business, it’s your baby and your life. That basically means work never ends. This is a newer realization as we recently moved into a co-working space. Ever since making this change, my home has started feeling like a home again. Watching Netflix at night has turned into actually watching Netflix instead of a slight distraction from my laptop screen. Not ready for an office yet? Coffee shops are great too.
5. Find someone to talk strategy with
Not ready for an employee or intern? Is your mom sick of hearing from you 20 times a day? You HAVE to find someone to strategize with. You need to bounce ideas off other people. Of course, Girl Gang is a great place to meet these people. But you can also look into a business coach or mentor.
Most of all, enjoy it. Because, if you don’t, why bother?