The Ten Things I Learned My First Year in Business
The Ten Things I Learned My First Year in Business

The Ten Things I Learned My First Year in Business

Terri Gallagher, the Founder and President of Gallagher and Consultants, a temp workforce strategy consultancy, kindly shares her experience of being a beginning businessman.

Terri has a passion for technology and innovation and it’s the foundation of her business; her approach is based on current state temp workforce trends incorporating cutting edge technology and globalization factors that are rapidly changing our workforce. 

Terri leverages 20+ years of experience in enterprise contingent (temp) workforce strategies to bring value-add innovative solutions and delivery for her clients; particularly in the manufacturing sector.  She was raised single-handedly by her father, a steelworker, which developed her love of this evolving and every changing industry.

Prior to Gallagher and Consultants, Terri was responsible for the successful design, solution and delivery of several global and domestic contingent workforce programs, across sectors ranging from $25M – $2B in temp workforce spend.
Find Terri on LinkedIn.

#1  You Can Actually Live Quite Comfortably on 25% of your Former Income

Maybelline is actually just as good as Chanel and no one can tell the difference. Everyone will still love you; even when you pick up less checks and can’t go to The Palm.  Especially your pets; they don’t care. Bonus: it makes you a more tolerant person.

#2 Make Fear your Friend; It’s Presence is a Good Sign!

I named my fear; she is a wolf named Natasha. I acknowledge her but let her know she will not run amok. She is fine with that…most of the time…because…well…she’s a wolf. Feeling fear means you are getting to the good stuff, growing your business, your skills, your courage, getting beyond your comfort zone; see it as such.

#3 Don’t Vent to your Friends Working Corp. Job. Ever

They love you but don’t get it. They will say, “Well, you can just go back to your regular job if this doesn’t work out anyway.” You can’t go back; you are changed forever.

#4  You Will Change and Shape Shift into Someone Your Friends and Family May not Recognize. And that’s OK

Being an entrepreneur means you have to up your game, be your strongest self, voraciously protect your time, peace of mind, focus.  YOU are center stage, warts and all.  You are answering your true calling and being your most authentic self, you might lose some folks along the way, and that’s OK. Probably time for them to go anyway.


#5 Speaking of Changing… Say Hello to Personal Demons you Never Knew you Had… Until now

Know that you can do it, you are good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!”, says Stuart Smalley.  Things your Personal Demon will say, “You can’t pull this off”,  “Who are you to go up against the biggest staffing companies in the world?”, “You are crazy putting all your money at risk for this”, “You are not smart enough, tough enough.”

#6 It is REALLY hard work, for a REALLY long time, and DELAYED pay-off

It can be lonely, scary, challenging, where is the money?!! But know that the small voice (the smartest voice) tells you this was the right thing to do.  And that voice is always right, have faith.  “You are the smartest savviest person I know. If you decided to do this, you are onto something because you don’t do anything really stupid.” ~My sister Jackie.

#7 Get Support from People who “Get It” and Mentors, because You Need the Help, You have a Lot to Learn

There is a lot you don’t know.  Even if you were a brilliant, hard-driving V.P. before you started this adventure.  How could you know? You never ran your own company.  Be vulnerable and ask for help. Find mentors who know what they are doing and have been successful.  

business woman hands pointing holding business graph information diagram.

#8 Dating is hard your first year, you are not Playing “Hard to Get” or being “Mysterious”, you are trying to SURVIVE and not to Lose your House

You really ARE that busy and intensely focused. That is what it takes your first year, so be flexible and understanding, and don’t get annoyed when I can’t just go at the drop of a hat. Or one can date other entrepreneurs… and they might get it, but if they are in their first year, you might not see much of them either.

#9  When you Least Expect it or are thinking about quitting, you will just then experience that taste of success

Something really good will happen just then, when you are absolutely at the wall and don’t think you can handle it. A client you have been prospecting for six months wants to meet you, you get asked to do a key note speech and they will PAY YOU, a collaborator has a deal they want to bring you into and it’s big bucks.  It’s the Universe throwing you a bone, telling you that you made the right decision.  The signs are there… you just need to pay attention.

#10 It’s Hard, Scary, You are Wearing Cheap Makeup, Working Long Hours, Dealing with Natasha the Wolf, Feeling Crazy, but… It’s worth it! 

You have to take a swing, you know you do. No matter what happens, that is the most important thing; to get up to bat and give it a shot.  That alone already puts you in rare company.  The pay-off is living your most authentic life, adding to the dialog, making more money than you ever dreamed, and on YOUR terms.

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