Starting My Own Business: Month One

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One month ago today, I officially launched Greg Langstaff - Resume Writer & Interview Coach and But my friends, the journey started much before that fateful morning of January 8th, 2018.

A journey with 3 beginnings

In some ways, it started 6 years ago when I interviewed one million times on my quest to grad school, in America. In other ways, it began 3 years ago, when I started helping friends and family with their resumes and interviews.

But in a very real way, this journey started about a year ago, when my prototypical late-twenties urge to understand money turned into a burning desire to create a source of income that I was in charge of, outside my day job.

The past year, from idea to launch has been full of a lot of joy and frustration, and most surprisingly a recurring feeling of exhilaration with each new step.

Small Wins and Early Success

In this first month, I've been very lucky to have worked with 7 paying clients (and 3 more upcoming), and I was even was paid to speak at a conference.

I've had over 550 unique visitors to my website, 31 people sign up for my mailing list, and I've received a great deal of meaningful compliments :)

None of this would have been possible without all the amazing support I received from friends, family, and well-wishers offering advice and sharing my content, so thank you!

For all those who helped me, and anyone else who is interested, I've curated the most notable takeaways from launching this business.

What I’ve Loved

  • The feeling of creating something real: To start a business and truly own it for myself has been a very empowering and mind-opening experience. Now knowing this is possible, I feel like I could create so much more.
  • The feeling I get when I've helped someone: I get this amazing a rush of adrenaline when I hit send to deliver someone a new resume, and such an endorphin rush when they tell me how much they appreciate it. It's incredibly rewarding to see someone visibly improve their interview skills as I'm working with them. I was not expecting this benefit, but it's amazing.
  • The feeling of getting paid: It’s not a lot of money yet, but it's not nothing either. It feels great every time payment comes in. I think it's the feeling that I'm not 100% dependent on an employer that really brings me joy.

What I’ve Hated

  • My Wordpress Fail: I booked a couple days off work to create a Wordpress site and it was… a disaster. As a guy with moderate to low tech ability, Squarespace was my saviour. It genuinely was as easy and customizable as I hoped.
  • My Mailchimp Fail: I got booted from Mailchimp during my testing phase after accidentally violating several of their anti-spam protocols. I swear I only had 3 of my own email accounts on my list but apparently I spammed myself.

What I've Learned

  • Externalize accountability: Just promising myself I would do something wasn't enough. I repeatedly missed my own deadlines until I learned to create external pressure to meet deadlines. For me, negative incentives work best. I will make arrangements for something bad to happen (usually me giving away or wasting money) if I don't reach a deadline. I've used friends, enemies and a site called to make sure I'm held to my deadlines (stickk worked well; however, shortly after signing up, I experienced credit card fraud. Not sure it was their fault, but I wouldn't recommend, just to be safe).
  • Start before you're ready: It's been a month and I'm still finding typos on my website. I still don't have a proper social media marketing strategy and I've completely run out of photos for my blogs, but hey, if I had waited for everything to be perfect, I may have never started.

What's Next?

As I mentioned, I feel like I could take on a world of new possibilities after this great start; however, in practical terms, I have a few things in mind.

  • LinkedIn: It seems like a natural expansion of the job search services. I've been working hard to become a LinkedIn guru, and I'm hoping to add this soon!
  • Building a Social Media Brand: I feel like I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to make social media work for expanding my brand. I'm taking a Skillshare course to help me gain some background knowledge… which brings me to my next point
  • Create a Skillshare course: there are a few courses on that cover job search topics. I think it would be fun and I think I'd do a pretty good job at it, so I'm going to give it a shot later in the year.

Thanks for reading and I'll keep you up-to-date as this journey progresses! Thanks again to everyone who has helped me along the way. You're the best <3