Start Ups! – Dani Gagnon

The most asked question I get is “How did you just, start a business?”

The question is a bit confusing because when I think back to the day that I got my business name licensed, it never really occurred to me that my business would reach the level it was at today. I made my social media marketing firm logo and business name on a whim, and thought it would be a fun side project. Today my “whim” has been operating with a profit for 3 years – I have 5 staff members, we have worked with over 300 companies across North America, and I couldn’t be happier.

But the important start-up moment of business for me wasn’t when I chose my logo and branding, or got my HST number. My moment was jumping into the cold water of being self-employed head-first.

I know a lot of people who own businesses, which always end up staying relatively small and part-time. These people are often really envious of what my business has become, and wish they didn’t have to work full-time jobs to support their business¬†endeavours. The most important thing I could have done for my company was not working on anything else.

Often we spread ourselves too thin. It is impossible to focus all your energy on your business, if you are working hours during the week on anything else. Your business will simply not grow. I left my day job (managing a skate board shop) 3 years ago to work on my business full time with no back-up plan, no income and no help. And it was because of that sense of urgency – the sense of “I need to do this.” that I became successful.

I had 60 hours a week to promote, network, connect, write, learn and become the businessperson I am today. Without those hours to eat, breathe and sleep my company, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

So remember – even though the jump may be the scariest thing in the world (trust me, I know getting a stable pay cheque every 2 weeks is a lot safer feeling than not knowing if you will get a pay cheque) and the water you jump into is unknown territory and might be freezing, with great risk, comes great reward. Though the water may be cold at first, the harder you swim, the warmer you’ll get and soon the waters will feel refreshing.

– Dani

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