9 Truths I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Business

By Paul Ramondo on

TLDR; I can hardly believe it’s been three years since I started my company, RamondoMedia Pty Ltd. Here are nine truths I wish I knew before I started my business 36 months ago. If you’re a budding entrepreneur, this is for you.

Today marks the third birthday of my company, RamondoMedia Pty Ltd.

🎂 🍾 🎉 🎂 🍾 🎉 🎂 🍾 🎉

I can’t believe it’s been THREE years since this all started!

Thank you so much to everyone who has been there for me since I began this journey. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all your continued support.

It’s still so surreal to me when I think back to how much has happened over the past three years.

I’ve experienced so many incredible opportunities and met some of the most amazing people. I’ve also been fortunate to make a small impact to other people’s lives and businesses along the way.

When I think back to how this all started – I had NO idea what I was getting myself into (haha)…

To put it simply – my life changed dramatically when I started my business.

There have been so many highs and just as many (if not more) lows… A lot of which could have been avoided had I known better.

I guess that’s the beauty of hindsight, hey?

With that said, here are 9 truths I wish I knew before I started my business 36 months ago… I hope they help you as much as I know they would have helped me.

paul ramondo at the start of his business

1️⃣ YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL BY YOURSELF

Contrary to what your ego may like you to think, you can’t do everything by yourself.

When you start your business, cash flow will be tight and it will be necessary for you to minimise unecessary overheads. This means hours of work and hustle will be dedicated to doing everything from strategy, planning, implementation, admin, accounting, meetings, CRM, etc.

It’s a necessary evil you’ll need to face, especially in the first year of business.

Yet, you’ll find this is not a sustainable business model. There are only so many 80+ hour weeks your body can handle before you’ll burn out. Trust me, burnout is not something you want to experience. I’ve talked about avoiding entrepreneur burnout before and how you can avoid it here.

The lesson?

Start budgeting for a helping hand as soon as your liquidity allows for it. This doesn’t mean you have to go and hire someone as a part-timer or casual straight away.

It does mean you should start automating all the mundane tasks through software. This could mean using an accounting platform to manage your accounts, quotes and invoicing, or using a social media scheduler to automate content distribution.

For the more complex tasks you can’t automate, I recommend you delegate to a professional.

The idea here is to create internal systems that free your time, so you can continue to work ON the business instead of working IN the business.

Check out Tim Ferriss’ The Four Hour Work Week to learn more about this.

2️⃣ DONE > PERFECT

Here’s another hot tip that might be a bit hard for your ego to swallow… Perfectionism will CRIPPLE and rob you of the speed you need to grow your business.

I learnt this the hard way.

And to be honest, I’m still learning to let go of my unrealistic and unachievable standards of perfectionism I’ve set for myself in my business, blogs, vlogs, posts, etc.

Perfectionism is poisonous.

I’ve found the best antidote has been appreciating that nothing can be perfect. And completing a task to a great standard is WAY better than spending an extra 10 hours to make it ‘perfect’…

The true irony of perfectionism is that no one notices except for you. And if no one notices, you’re cheating yourself out of reaching your full potential.

I’ve been applying this new found perspective to my content. I realised that in trying so hard to get my content perfect, I didn’t end up posting any content at all!

Content that’s done and distributed is always > than content which never gets distributed.

3️⃣ YOU WILL HAVE ALL OF THE FREEDOM IN THE WORLD – BUT IT’S A TRAP

Now you have the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want, DOESN’T mean you should. In fact, this thinking will put you on a trajectory to failure – guaranteed.

If you want to achieve freedom in your life through your business, you need to be accountable. This means you need a routine, which defines when you start, when you have breaks and when you finish.

Freedom is ironically created through structure and routine. Without these, you’ll watch it disappear.

A few other tips worth mentioning under this umbrella include:

❶ Control your time or let others control it for you.
❷ Give your body the sleep and rest it so craves (again, burnout is not something you want to experience).
❸ Eat a balanced diet and regularly exercise.
❹ Have dedicated time away from screens.
❺ Walk 10,000 steps a day (this has been a game changer for me).

4️⃣ JOURNAL EVERY DAY

I’ve recently started journalling every single day and it’s been life changing. I’ll be putting together a whole post on this point alone. For now, you’ll have to trust me when I say that daily journalling will improve your mental health and help you achieve your goals on time.

Some of the tasks I use my journal to help me complete include:
❶ Goal setting (yearly, quarterly, monthly and daily goals).
❷ Daily mindfulness, gratitude and reflection.
❸ Project planning & time management.
❹ Brainstorming & content planning.
❺ Celebrating wins & eradicating bad habits.
❻ Staying on task and avoiding the alluring ‘unicorns’ we all love to chase.

Check out the journal I use everyday here.

5️⃣ PEOPLE WILL JUDGE YOU, SOME WILL HATE YOU (AND THAT’S OKAY)

The larger your influence and impact, the more haters you’ll attract.

As my influence and impact has grown, so have the number of people who go out of their way to hate on me and everything I do.

In the past, I allowed this unsolicited hate to get to me, both in my professional life and also my personal life. This was most true the first few times it happened. These days, I couldn’t care less.

So here’s my two cents for anyone who experiences this kind of debilitating hate in the future:

❶ By definition, anyone who is trying to cut you down to their level, is, LITERALLY, below you.
❷ It’s NONE of your BUSINESS what other people think about you, period.
❸ Take solace in the fact that having haters means you’re doing something right.

Next time someone hates on you, smile and remind yourself their opinion means sweet F-all. Here’s to you doing you, and not letting anyone else tell you otherwise.

6️⃣ PRODUCE CONTENT OR BECOME IRRELEVANT

It’s 2018 which means your business is a media company – regardless of what it does or how it makes its money.

Get comfortable regularly creating, documenting, producing and distributing content or don’t. Don’t be confused when you’re struggling to generate leads and sales because you haven’t put in the work to remain relevant to your target market.

7️⃣ JOIN A MASTERMIND OF LIKE MINDED PEERS

Every struggle and obstacle you encounter in your business’ has already been experienced and overcome by someone.

It’s easy to trick ourselves into thinking that “you’re alone” and “no one else understands”. This couldn’t further from the truth.

I was reluctant to join a mastermind and I am so grateful one of my colleagues invited me to join his mastermind (over a year ago now). Being a part of a mastermind with like-minded, like-hearted peers has been the most enriching experience. It will also do wonders for your mental health and business’ success.

I regret not joining a mastermind when I started my business and implore you not to make the same mistake that I did.

A few other tips worth mentioning under this umbrella include:

❶ Surround yourself with people who want you to win.
❷ Never stop investing in your own self & professional development.
❸ No one will understand how you feel unless they are also an entrepreneur.
❹ Social FOMO is part of the territory – get used to it. Your mastermind will help you appreciate and mitigate this feeling in more ways than you can imagine.

8️⃣ YOU’RE GOING TO FAIL (A LOT) – GET USED TO IT

Contrary to popular belief, failure is amazing.

I believe you should fail as much as possible, as long as you keep learning from every single failure you encounter. A great way to track and improve on your failures is by journaling daily – see point four.

9️⃣ DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN

Starting a business has been the most challenging thing that I’ve ever done in my life.

With self inflicted pressure to perform, grow and achieve my goals, it’s not unusual for me to beat up on myself when:
👎🏻 A project doesn’t go as planned, or
👎🏻 I don’t meet a deadline for releasing a vlog, or
👎🏻 I have to reschedule meetings or
👎🏻 [LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN IMAGINE]

As more time passes, I’ve begun to realise these struggles, challenges and failures are part of the territory. Starting and running a business isn’t meant to be easy and it’s going to fucking suck sometimes. But in the big scheme of things, that’s okay.

Whenever I’m down and out I always think back to why I started my business in the first place…

When you think back to the starting line, you inevitably end up thinking about where you are right now. And when you take time to sit back and reflect on everything that’s taken you from A to B…It’s impossible to not feel a sense of overwhelming gratitude because you’re fortunate enough to wake up every day and do what you love…

How SPECIAL, COOL and most importantly, FUN is that!?

It’s often easy to lose sight of the forest when you’re among the trees, especially when you’ve been grinding your face off for back to back 80 hour weeks. I always think where the journey began, ESPECIALLY when I’m feeling down and out (because it’s often when you need perspective the most).

Never forget to stop having fun with your business – REMEMBER you’re doing what you love, and it should be fun.

Thanks so much for reading.

I love you all.

xx

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Paul Ramondo

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2018-08-02T14:54:10+00:00