Entrepreneurship is hard work. I don’t say those words to scare you, but to prepare you for this blog post.

Last year, I took a leap and turned my writing group, CayWriters, into a company. I scrambled to organize everything perfectly so my business would get a fantastic start only to discover I was a parent who convinced themselves because they planned parenthood they’d be ready. For those with kids, you know that statement is a joke. Lol!

Planning is a must, but things don’t have to be perfect. Instead, expect the unexpected, understand failure is not a death sentence, and adjust quickly to your business’s needs.  Here’s are 5 lessons I hope you find helpful.

LESSON ONE – Prepare yourself personally

Sounds simple enough, but we tend to focus on the business and forget about our personal stuff. Starting a business will impact your personal finances, your daily schedule and routine, and even your office space. Heck, it’s going to affect your marriage and kids in ways you never excepted, which leads me to lesson two.

LESSON TWO – Prepare your family

Think about every single area having a business will affect your family. Once you’ve compile the list, talk candidly with your spouse, kids or trusted family member. Let them know how this is going to impact your life going forward. This not only prepares them emotionally, but also the many changes you owning a business is going have on them daily. Entrepreneurship can be lonely and having an understanding family is vital, so don’t neglect them. They’re important!

LESSON THREE – Get professional help

The logistic of starting a company is complicated. The paperwork to get your business license alone is mind boggling, and will be delayed if not properly completed and processed.  If you’re an amazing person who understands legal jargon and is a wiz with government documents, then setting up a business might be a walk in the park for you, but for those who aren’t so fortunate, I recommend hiring a professional or calling in favors from people who knows their stuff to help with the documents. The time and stress saved will be well worth the returned favors and fees.

LESSON FOUR – Create a useable business plan

Ah, yes! The dreaded business plan. While I personally love them, your left eye just started twitching, didn’t it? Not to worry, although they’re important, they don’t have to be ten page documents, unless requested by your future business partners or investors. More important than a fancy business plan you look at one a year, is one that moves you and your business towards its goals. Here are short cut options to help accomplish this.

LESSON FIVE – Be accountable to someone

Having the best business plan, family support, and the next steps plotted perfectly, is nothing if you don’t take action and move your company forward. Even if you’re highly motivated, staying on track and stoked will get difficult at some point during your entrepreneurial journey and having someone to guide and encourage you is priceless. Find a trusted friend or follow people you admire who live to encourage business owners and provide online or in-person support communities. In addition to a great support system, you’ll meet other like-minded people.

The life of an entrepreneur contains endless challenges and some days you’ll want to quit. On those days, get inspired, remember why you choose this road and remind yourself everyday the journey gets better.

Are you an entrepreneur? What lessons have you learned along the way?