Very SMART Tips & Tools That Helped, Start A Company And Grow Team

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Ilustration. ( gpointstudio)

INDFacuet — As an alumn of the EHD team who ventured out into the freelance world at the end of 2019 and started growing my team (from me to 6) beginning the following year, my old friends reached out asking if I’d want to do a post on ‘Very SMART Tips & Tools That Helped, Start A Company And Grow Team’.

And while I was crazy flattered by their confidence, I’m still chuckling at the thought that I ‘know’ anything yet. Does anyone self-employed or running a startup ever feel they do? Does imposter syndrome go away? Do the freelancer-fears and nighttime panics eventually subside? Just starting year three, I can tell you it has all gotten a lot better.

And since I have 1000% found tools along the way to implement that being the case, I’m happy to share. I don’t ‘know’, but here are:

Now, since this process is consistently one of discovery, I’ll owe it to you to report back if any of these early methods eventually land us on our bums. After all, I’m 2 years and 1 month old now.

READ ALSO : Basics Starting a Business, Coach Hendra Hilman

I’ve just started walking and may need a diaper change now and then. Or maybe I’m in preschool starting to count? Can I speak yet? Never mind, I know nothing about children except that they need durable textiles, rounded edges, and lot of creativity, color, and whimsy in their design worlds (*Inserted Free Ad: Hire VHD for kids’ playroom and bedroom virtual designs!).

You’re a freelancer, you’re busy. I know! So, Let’s get started… Wait… But where to do so? We’ve never done this before. Agggghhh… HELP! 

Exactly. While most of these tips are in no particular order, this first one, in my book, should be numero uno:

Ilsutration. (@fannia)


There are layers to the types of help you’ll need as you start and grow. Not all can be done in the beginning. But some can.


One thing I am SO glad I did early (and I mean before filling out S Corp paperwork or setting up a site)… was talk to people who already had experience doing what I was hoping to do myself. The kicker here is to realize that time is valuable. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend/mentor in the field (as I did in Emily Henderson), I’m sure a lunch or call would be welcome. But if not, don’t expect strangers to dedicate their time for free; offer to pay for a consultation with someone you respect (or find someone who already offers such a thing in your field). $100-300 for an hour of your average professional’s time is a fair price to expect/offer from what I’ve experienced. Don’t get ripped off. 

Now, if you’re going to break this rule I just made up about paying for consultation time, be really concise with your ask when you reach out to a stranger. Think: ‘what could someone answer in 15 seconds that would send me in a direction (ie. I was wondering:  Did you like the school you went to/would you recommend your program? What software do you use most?). Perhaps you’ll discover someone is really generous and this opens a further conversation, but starting with overwhelming questions (ie. Can I pick your brain? Can you tell me how you started your company?) isn’t respecting the value of time and may not get a response. Be concise and specific instead.

Speaking of specific, I have a really easy suggestion for interior design firm startups out there: Carly Waters. She offers hour-long consultations. Doing two of these may be the wisest thing I did in the beginning. While I learned SO much about design from Emily, the company she runs is entirely different from the one I was starting, so I needed additional help. Carly Waters couldn’t have been more generous, intelligent, or resourceful. Several of the tips/tools I’m passing along are ones she shared with me. Thank you, Carly!


Find your ‘external team’. Maybe you can’t afford to hire yet, but do you really want to spend all of your time learning how to be a bookkeeper & lawyer… Or take on potentially great financial risk by making mistakes out of pure ignorance? Before I did my interior design program, I got a bachelors in business. Pretending I recall more than the 4% I actually do about economics, let me give you this piece of knowledge (that actually stuck). It’s more cost-effective to specialize than to have a team of ‘jack of all trades’.

Read more ‘Very SMART Tips & Tools That Helped, Start A Company And Grow Teamat stylebyemilyhendersoncom

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