10 Business Lessons I learned from running a business in New York City

It is easy to feel like a fraud when you do not have the “proper” qualifications that formal education rewards. Most of us have gone to google and youtube universities, and that is how we are surviving in the world. But, I have stopped looking for reasons that should disqualify me. And now I ask myself this when I do feel insecure (and a lot of times I do feel insecure) ‘WHY NOT ME?’

I have since convinced myself that I do deserve to be at the table, simply because I now have five years practical business experience. Tears, sweat, multiple losses, taxes and everything else school does not prepare one for. 
I went to business school. Which one? New York City streets.

What did I learn?

1. Aggressive branding. If you’ve been to NYC, and actually paid attention to the signages outside stores, you” be amazed at how creative people are. It’s the best school for branding and getting people’s attention.
2. Never quit. Never quit. Never quit.
3. $1 goes a long way. Respect money and it will respect you back.
4. If you can do it by yourself, then do it yourself. If you can learn how to do something by yourself then learn and do it. It saves you so much money that you would have otherwise spent on hired contractors.
5. Be the boss, be the employee, be the cleaner until you’re financially capable of hiring extra help. There should never be shame or pride at work. Roll those sleeves up.
6. Utilize google and youtube to learn skills e.g creating flyers, sending promotional emails and all those discount coupons from vista print are gold!
7. Make a client’s visit memorable, the best kind of publicity still remains word of mouth from a friend you trust.
8. It will take a few years before you can see profit, even then, keep at it, learn from your failures, aggressively cut back.
9. Sometimes you’ll have to eat a cheaper lunch and walk or take the bus. The upside, walking is good for you. Invest in good shoes.
10. Stay positive and patient. Your day might be extra slow but there might be that one customer who might come and change your day. Stay hopeful.

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