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Benefits of creating an LLC

Kirsten Gallagher, School of Self-Study

"One of the major benefits of forming a business as an LLC is the liability protection this can confer. You and your business become two separate entities. Your business earnings go into a separate bank account. You track your business income and expenses in a program like QuickBooks or Wave. Drawing these clear distinctions early on can keep you out of a lot of legal hot water and generally make your day-to-day operations easier to maintain.

Great! You’ve taken all the recommended steps to legally and financially separate you from your business. Now let’s look at your emotional experience of entrepreneurship. It’s likely that at some point you’ve heard that it’s important to separate your work from your worth, that it’s unsustainable to tether your self-esteem to something changeable.

Take a deep breath and ask yourself: “How am I relating to the success or failure of this business? Does it mean anything about me, as a person, if I succeed or if I fail?”

Of course it feels great when others affirm the value of our work. The offerings of creators come from the heart. We tend to be motivated by service and care, and there is something very tender and vulnerable about bringing your ideas into the world. I’ve totally called my business “my baby,” so it wasn’t really surprising when I later caught myself being incredibly precious about it. I had lost track of how I was relating to the success or failure of School of Self-Study.

It may require a lot of attention and time, and emotionally I may feel like it’s been cleaved from my insides, but my business is not an infant. It’s just one idea of many, the one idea I chose to throw my weight behind this time. It may not work out (many ideas don’t), and if it does fail, I’ve not failed a tiny living being. It doesn’t mean anything about me or my inherent worth. I can pivot and try a different approach or scrap it and create something entirely new.

We make really different choices depending on how we’re relating to our business. As soon as I noticed that I was seeing the School as a soft little thing that needed my protection, I also noticed that this dramatically impacted how widely and openly I was willing to talk about my work. I was shying away from any sort of exposure, terrified that the weight of potential criticism would surely crush my fresh new offering.

I’ve already taught enough to know that I am not everyone’s teacher, and yet it’s still possible to forget that some people will be disinterested or fully disapproving and that this will not kill me. It won’t even kill my business so long as enough folks resonate with my vision and values. It keeps me going to imagine my people out there, just as appreciative of what I’ve created as I am of their willingness to trust in my process.

My people and I will only be able to find one another, though, if I’m willing to see my creation as a hardy creature that can survive a cold winter, whose success or failure is untethered from my sense of self. For truly, as creators, we cannot help but keep imagining and reimagining. If a dream dies, we will dream an even better one. It’s just who we are."

Advice Contributor

Kirsten Gallagher

The School of Self-Study is an online home to learn contemplative tools and build community aligned around living engaged, joyful lives shaped by awareness and connection.

See Kirsten's Site