How to Turn Your Passion in a Business
People always ask me about how I got into this business and where I started. While I'd love to say that I had some great master plan, the reality is far simpler. The truth is I started Thoughtfully Organized after pouring 100% of myself to be a stay at home mom for 6 years and loved every minute of it. When my second daughter was born though, I began to think what my life would look like career-wise once my youngest was in school full time. Before having kids I was a Mental Health Therapist and worked at Dartmouth College working with clients that were overcoming some serious life challenges - both a difficult and rewarding job. I have always said that life has many stages and although I loved my stage as a therapist I wanted to do something else with the next stage of my life.
Now, on to the advice...I know it is not easy or realistic for everyone to turn their passion into a profession but it doesn't mean you need to lose sight of it. Figure out what makes you truly happy and dedicate some time each week to it. The more you follow your passion the more new opportunities will open. Once I determined that I wanted to be a Professional Organizer I created a plan, not a super detailed one, but a rough outline of what I needed to do. I am sharing what I did with you in hopes that it might inspire someone to take the leap and follow their dream as well.
1. Pick a name for your business
2. Create a logo and color scheme
3. Create a website and email account
4. File for an LLC or INC
5. Open a bank account and enroll in an accounting and payment service
6. Open social media accounts
7. Order marketing tools
8. Just do it
STEP 1 PICK A NAME FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Picking a name some might say is not important but I beg to differ. I believe a lot can be said by the name of your company. When I was picking a name for my business I wanted it to be original and not piggyback on other companies. I wanted the gist of my company to come across in that one name. My company is called Thoughtfully Organized and the sole purpose of my business is to create a space that caters personally to my client's needs. Organizing a space is not a one size fits all -- I believe my clients are each special and unique and together with them, I create a layout that works with and fits their daily needs. Creating a space that is aesthetically pleasing but also very functional.
STEP 2 CREATE A LOGO AND COLOR SCHEME
Creating a logo and color scheme will set the tone for your business. It will make it easier once you create a webpage and order marketing tools such as business cards and shirts. I went on Etsy and had Luella Design create a logo that was simple but elegant. When it came down to picking my color scheme I just went with a subtle pink. If you know me you know it's very ME.
STEP 3 CREATE A WEBSITE AND EMAIL ACCOUNT
Having a website is important because it acts as your portfolio of work, it tells the consumer a little bit about you, and it holds your contact information. I personally use Squarespace for my website and love how easy and customizable it is. For email, I simply use a Gmail account.
STEP 4 FILE FOR AN LLC OR INC
Creating an LLC for me was important for several reasons as having a legitimate company made it more real. It was a way to hold myself accountable for my actions. I even have liability insurance. Having a company allows me to expense items such as my car and marketing materials. This is crucial because you only pay taxes on whatever is left after you have subtracted your expenses. Filing for an LLC also makes you more legitimate and will open up your client base. I used Legal Zoom to file for an LLC.
STEP 5 OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT AND ENROLL IN AN ACCOUNTING AND PAYMENT SERVICE
Having a bank account allows you to keep your money and your company's money separate. It also allows you to open a credit card and start building your company's credit. Accepting only cash limits you to only a certain number of clients. When you open a business you want to make sure to accept all forms of payment, I use SQUARE. It is easy to use and can be operated by an app on your phone. Square allows you to store all your clients and invoices all in one place. It's a one-stop shop for everything you need to effectively run your business. It gives me the opportunity to accept all forms of payment. At the end of the year, you can customize reports making taxes easier.
STEP 6 OPEN SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
Social media is the most powerful marketing tool I have used. Instagram has allowed my work to be seen by people all over the world. I have been able to make incredible connections and friendships with other organizers in the industry. Social media allows you to create and engage not only with potential clients but also with other entrepreneurs. It is through the power of social media that I have been also to work with amazing brands.
STEP 7 ORDER MARKETING TOOLS
Once you have your company' name and color scheme you can start creating marketing tools. Marketing tools are great gifts for your clients. Order promotional items that fit into your company.
STEP 8 JUST DO IT
The final stage is to go out into the world and start telling everyone what you are doing. In business, there are good days and there are bad days. Bad days are not all that bad - We thrive in the face of adversity and learn from our mistakes. The most important day is the day after a bad day. It's the days that will separate your business from the rest. You have a choice to push through the uncomfortableness of a bad day and turn it into a day of glory. Learn from your mistakes and share what you have learned with others in the industry.
I am extremely proud of my business and overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude to all my clients who have become friends. Thank you for supporting me in my journey! I feel truly blessed to be able to help people reach a level of clarity in their space.
Thanks again for following along!