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Knowledge Center - Starting a Business

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What I Learned My First Year As A Consultant

Kathy Wall, The Media Matters


Why Me?

  • I've busted the glass ceiling and have the scars to prove it.
  • I had wonderful mentors who fostered and encouraged growth.
  • I worked my butt off.
  • You can learn from my mistakes.

Things Happen for a Reason

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.  - E.M. Forster


  • Take time off for family and friends
  • Breathe
  • Don't sign anything
  • Stay positive
  • Breathe some more
  • Schedule a "Today is THE Day"

Set up an "Office"

  • Create or rent a functional space
  • Stock the space with everything you need
  • Upgrade your computer programs
  • Set up a professional email signature and voice mail
  • Ensure the environment is professional (i.e. dogs, children, TV)
  • Make it the space you always wanted but couldn't have in the "real" world

Get Professional Advice

  • Do you need an LLC or corporation?
  • Open a business checking account
  • Set aside money for taxes
  • Get your own health insurance.
  • Do you need business liability or renter's insurance?
  • Will you have contract labor or employees? You may need workers' comp.

Create a "Very Large Shadow"

  • Have a name for your business
  • Purchase your URL; get your social networking names
  • Create a "corporate" color palette/look
  • Invest in professionally created business cards
  • Carry a tote bag and notebooks that fit your "corporate" look
  • Distribute a professionally written press release about your business
  • Have simple but professional website

Maintain a Business Schedule

  • Set the clock, get up, shower and DRESS
  • Be professional during working hours
  • Take breaks and lunch; use your voice mail
  • "Officially" close for holidays
  • STOP work at a reasonable hour

Hire Help

  • Be aware of how you spend your time
  • Get a return on your "time" investment
  • Can someone else do it cheaper?






Network, Network, Network

"Where two or more are gathered, so shall you be." - Rick Amme

Face Time is Important

  • If it's free, show up
  • If important people will be there, show up
  • If you can afford it, show up
  • If you have something of value to contribute, show up
  • If you can offer or barter a service, show up

Be Bold - Be Brave

  • Stick your hand out, smile
  • Try not to be intimidated
  • Never let 'em see you sweat
  • Sit as a table where you know no one
  • Ditto for the shuttle bus

Call in Favors

  • Ask for ideas
  • Ask for help
  • Ask for leads
  • Ask someone to go with you
  • Ask, ask, ask

Be Open-Minded

When the door of happiness closes, another opens. But often times we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which as been opened for us. -Unknown

It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lost it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been missing until it arrives. - Unknown



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