5 Days to 5 Years Series: Day 1 – Start

Disclaimer: In celebration of my company Nel Tax and Financial Solutions completing its fifth year of business, I decided to once again share some words of wisdom to other business owners and entrepreneurs that will help them along their entrepreneurial journeys. Tips and guidance provided are purely for informational purposes only. Enjoy! 
First Professional Headshot of Shan-Nel D Simmons in 2016 Photo by Maxine Moore


I smile every time I see that first head shoot I took back in August 2016. One month away from leaving my 7 year career with the IRS. Three months away from starting my company as Nel’s Tax Help and truly taking one of the ultimate risks one can take in a lifetime – betting on myself to make my dream a reality.

That day in August, I was strategic about what I wanted to include in that photo. I wanted it to say I am a woman with my pearls. I needed it to show that black is professional which is why I donned my poised afro puff on top of my head in my executive chair. But most importantly, I can see the joy and fear in that smile as I was showing 100% of me at that time. There was a woman ready to take on the world of tax and accounting as a new entrepreneur with both feet planted in her new company without any back up.

There was no transitioning for me by working somewhere else as my business grew. I took what I had saved from working in the government and I have only worked solely from my business since its beginning. I chose the all or nothing route.

Whether it was wise or not to do it the way I did, I started. I started with what I had and what I knew I could do then. I trusted my abilities before they were fully proven because in the beginning I knew fully the vision I had for myself, my company, and my family.

I am currently 5 days away from celebrating 5 years of this business because with all the uncertainty, with all the statistically odds against my longevity, I did the bravest thing I could have done – I started anyway.

If you are reading this and you are trying to find the perfect time, or you doubt if you have what you need to start your business, complete small tasks such as registering your business name, deciding what to offer, or even writing down all of your ideas for the business. But do something to start making the business happen in reality and stop living rent free in your head. I describe in detail throughout A.S.K.ing for Success the steps I took and the questions I asked myself when I started the process of leaving employment to start entrepreneurship.

Just know that how you start is not how you will finish. Start with what you have now and you can (and will) grow into the entrepreneur, the company, and/or enterprise you desire to be.

But you do not make it to 1 year, 5 years, or 50 years in business until you start with day 1.

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