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Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs

Jessica Winchester, WONDER&WANDER

"The very first thing I wish I would have done is really research and do my homework on the tools I actually need to run my business. It is really easy to fall into the habit of doing things yourself, or on the opposite spectrum, not doing anything yourself. There are so many products and systems out there that we can fall into the trap of having multiple accounts and still not having what we need. By the time we figure it out, we’ve run out of money, and now we’re stuck doing it ourselves.

Another misconception that I realize now, but did not when I started, is that my service and product is very little of what I do as a founder and CEO. When I started this, I thought I would be spending most of my time teaching courses, working with kids, and providing quality programming. The truth is, and this is true in the for-profit sector too, most of your time as a creator is spent developing your processes and business strategies, marketing your business, selling your services, and doing administrative tasks. Don't get me wrong, I love these tasks, and I wouldn't change a thing, but it's something that I wish I would have known. It would have saved me a lot of stress being able to know where to focus my efforts and that it was ok to be doing that. I would often feel guilty for not being able to provide direct services.

Lastly, surround yourself with other founders, creators, and entrepreneurs. Like-minded people can help you work through your bottlenecks, provide you with tools and resources, and give you the confidence to know that "it's not just you" going through struggles. The faster you can make these connections, the better. I also got in touch with an executive mentor and consultant who really help me develop and get on the right track. These are valuable folks to have around you. It is important to hang around people who constantly challenge you to do better. If we don't, then we never reach our potential."

Advice Contributor

Jessica Winchester

Jessica Winchester is the CEO and Founder of WONDER&WANDER. She is an artist, sculptor, podcaster, and instructor who has devoted her life to helping individuals with disabilities and finding accommodations so everyone can enjoy music and theater.

See Jessica's Site