I love that public libraries are still around. I don’t know if they’re even close to extinction yet, but I’m happy that they currently exist and that I can walk in and borrow books for free. In the fall, I went to my local library and went to the non-fiction section on business. With some lime green on the binding, The Boss of You called out to me from the shelves. I read the front cover, “The Boss of You: Everything A Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run, and Maintain Her Own Business” and immediately tucked it under my arm and headed for the check-out.
I started reading it the next day and spent a lot of time working through those first chapters. As I read, the authors challenged me to record my thoughts through written exercises. I feverishly jotted down my vision and business goals, my personal measures of success, my skills, strengths, and passions. I thought of potential business names, my ideal customers, my competition, and my mission statement. I even estimated start-up expenses and ongoing expenses. Then, I came to the legal stuff. I couldn’t go any further.
I read those sections over and over, but I still wasn’t sure of what I should be. A sole proprietor, a partner with my husband? And then, did I need to explore the option of an LLC or an LLP? The authors recommended I make an appointment with a CPA. The CPA could help us figure out what type of business would work best for me, help get the tax id set up, and then properly get our taxes set up for it. Wait, taxes? Man! With only a couple months remaining for the year, how much of a hassle would doing our 2013 taxes be? Maybe we should wait until the new year. Yep, let’s wait.
In the meantime, I was really starting to stress out. All this business stuff was definitively no fun. I felt like I was glazing over, trying to read and retread this section, and I still felt confused. Since my husband majored in Business and has been encouraging me to start my own business for years, I turned to him. I asked him if he’d be willing to read what I’d read too, so that he could explain some of it to me and we could make decisions on it together. He gladly agreed. But then his job became much more complicated in the following weeks, and I returned the book to the library, not wanting to hound him in the little free time that he’d have to read it.
Maybe reading a book specifically on starting a photography business was what I needed! I searched the entire St. Louis County Library system and fold only one The Photographer’s Market Guide to Building Your Photography Business by Vik Ornstein. Now this I could get into!