Lessons Learned From Building a Business In 3 Months - Intro

starting a business | Dec 03, 2017

I have to apologize for pretty much disappearing over the last three months.  In a few other posts I talked about grabbing onto the things that terrify you and trying something new.  To knock out one my biggest fears in 2016, I decided to take on an event.  Of course in Erin fashion, I couldn't take on a standard event.  I had to go big.  Originally, the idea was to have it be an extension of The Starters Club, but as I worked through the target market, I realized I had to make this its own company.

What I thought would be a great side project, turned into becoming a beast of a business.  I want to get real with you for just a minute because as I lay out all the great things that have happened after the event, I want you to realize that there were days when it felt like extreme hell getting there.  I cried.  I cried a lot.  I literally sent emails about a month before the event to friends half-joking, asking if I could quit.

'Why', you may ask.  

Well, here are just a few reasons....

  • The details were overwhelming, and the issues that were coming up felt like I couldn't get them under control.
  • I went to bed each night thinking about the long list of things that I never accomplished and would be waiting for me the minute I opened my eyes.
  • I felt like I couldn't get close to the traction that I needed.
  • I felt like at times no one was listening.
  • Then in other moments, I felt like the world was watching, and I had to come through.
  • I was terrified I would never be able to deliver what I had promised to those who were taking a chance on me.
  • I knew I had to do more delegating, but wasn't 100% sure of what was required to actually delegate.  Plus since I put this together in three months, there wasn't much time to delegate.

Then the First Entrepreneur Summit Finally Happened

The last time I remember counting down the days to something was when I was pregnant (and I was not a happy, glowing pregnant woman near the end).  On two hours of sleep, I woke up the morning of the event telling myself that it was almost over, and I would never do it again.

I stepped on that stage terrified.  It wasn't because I was scared of public speaking, but I was terrified I was going to begin sobbing.  There was so much emotion getting to that finishing point.  I felt so exhausted and so broken that I didn't think I could talk about the event without losing it.  However, with a few deep breaths and some jokes, it all started to roll.

Ann Handley kicked it off, and I watched people frantically taking notes.  At that moment I had a sense of pride overcome me, and I started to relax just ever so slightly.

But then about two sessions in, a woman I didn't recognize stood up with a very young girl sitting next to her.   She explained how her sixth-grade daughter had been asking her to go to an entrepreneur event, and she signed up as soon as she saw the Entrepreneur Summit.  Later that young girl asked some of the best questions of the day.  I can say with great certainty that girl's life was forever changed, and who knows what business is bubbling in that young mind of hers.  I just can't wait to see.

The tears that I thought were officially gone started to well up again because I knew at that moment this was only the beginning.  My why was to help inspire people and to give business owners that nudge that they needed to get over the next hurdle.  Whether it was the courage to start or scale, I heard time and time again throughout the day how much they loved what they were learning.

When the happy hour bar rolled into the room, I sighed a very, very, very large sigh of relief, and a glass of really shitty hotel wine never tasted so good.

As I stand on the other side, I couldn't be more proud of what I created.  I did exactly what I set out to do and filled a need.  I'm getting constant feedback of how amazing the event was.  I'm getting partnership opportunities, and there is even potential to take it to other cities.  What felt like a small and simple idea is now turning into something bigger than I had imagined.   Doors I didn't even know existed are now opening left and right.  What almost broke me as a not just an entrepreneur, but as a person, has now become one of the best decisions I ever made.

Over the next ten days I'm going to break down the lessons I learned in building a business and event so quickly.  I think it's always important to reflect back on what once felt impossible and to have it all make sense again.  I also think it's always encouraging to re-learn the lessons that are so crucial to learning and to know we're not alone.

If you're in the thick of things, trying to figure out where to go next, or if it's all worth it, I'm here to tell you that it is.  This isn't my first time at the business rodeo, yet every single time I forget how mucky those waters can be, and how hard it sometimes is to trudge through them.   However, I also have realized time and time again when you're truly connected in doing what you're doing, and what you love, how rewarding every single ounce of hard work can be.

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