5. Invest in a few items that will make your work life more productive: a laptop that doesn’t slow you down, a big-screen monitor so you can work more efficiently, a desk and chair that you can use as your go-to spot. How many of us sit on the couch and work on tiny laptops? An employer would never ask you to do that (they want to maximize your time so you’re most productive!) so don’t ask yourself to. One of the best things I ever did was buy a $300 refurbished monitor, which took my workspace from 11 inches to 27 inches. Other nice-to-haves: a whiteboard, notebooks you love to write in and accordion folders to hold all of your new paperwork.
6. Savor it. Savor the craziness, the uncertainty, the act of creating something new and different every single day (and sometimes multiple times a day!). Once you dive in, you’ll feel like your life whirls faster than you ever thought possible, and it’s tempting to look for the other shore and concentrate solely on making it through. But make a few moments each day to snap pictures, write a few lines in a journal and simply enjoy the ride. One of the best presents I ever got was from Maddy D’Amato, the founder of Love Grown Foods, who gave me something she wished she’d done from the beginning — a one-line-a-day journal, like this one, to chronicle the first year.
Rachel Hofstetter (@rachelhoffy) is the author of the new, go-to guide to food entrepreneurship “Cooking Up a Business.” The former food editor at O, the Oprah Magazine and Reader’s Digest was so inspired by the entrepreneurs she wrote about that she started her own company, guesterly, where users can create custom playbills for any event.