5 lessons I’ve learnt in my business
A little snippet into my first month of business:
No office desk [had to use my cousins]
Downloading a million freebies [maybe a slight exaggeration, but it was a lot]
Searching all the biz tips, blog posts and Youtube videos I could find
Buying educational courses, 1:1 coaching sessions and downloads so that I could learn how to have a business people benefited from
Spent forever at office works printing all the different downloads I’d opted into
No social media strategy
Limited knowledge of programs and business tools…
Anyone relate? Think back to when you first started… can you make me feel any better than my humble beginnings!?
But did you know what? I wrote this down as a note to myself in the notes of my phone
“I’m not going to quit my business unless I’ve given it my absolute best and the timing is right. I’m going to improve each and every day. I have something to bring to this world that no one else can.”
I found that note the other day on my phone, and it’s crazy looking back to June 2018 when I officially launched and seeing just how far I’ve come. I’ve learned A LOT along the way, and wanted to share 5 of the lessons I have learned today, my hope is that you can take one of these lessons and apply it to your business.
Find 5 business owners you admire, and learn from them
I use to download a lot of freebies from business owners when I first started and I found two things that didn’t serve me by doing this:
I surrounded myself with a lot of noise, often too much
I had too many varying ways of doing things and opinions on things that I began feeling confused and overwhelmed
So this is what I did, and it helped me so much:
I wrote down 5 business owners I admire, their content benefits me, and I learn from their style of education
I used unroll.me to unsubscribe from a lot of other business owners. Extra reading: inbox management ->
I dedicated time out in my month for education
I gave myself a budget for education each month + a download limit of the amount of freebies I could download.
Here’s the thing: I LOVE learning, I LOVE education, in fact I am currently studying education at university. I could spend hours learning from others, and while I believe growth happens in our learning, there comes a point where we don’t leave room for that inspiration to become opportunity for our own creativity + implementation
You don’t have to do it all but what you do, do it well
When I first started, some business owners recommended being on every platform… I got overwhelmed with the ‘use this Instagram strategy,’ ‘here’s this Facebook workflow,’ ‘you’re making this mistake on Pinterest…’ and while all those are super helpful [heck I even write blog posts on them now myself], I felt the pressure to show up everywhere and to a really high standard.
After times of feeling overwhelmed and not really giving my whole heart to everything…. I needed a change. I learnt that I didn’t have to do it all.
So I started with Instagram and word of mouth to grow my business… then once I had a steady workflow and strategy in place for that I then started on Pinterest, and then I started a blog, and then I started interacting in FB groups. Through all of this though, I never put pressure on myself to add another platform or task until two things happened:
I felt ready to add more, and realistically could in an informed way
I had a great system and workflow in place for the tasks I currently was committed to.
So maybe there are some things you need to drop, in order to get really good at the tasks that are driving the most traffic for you.
Under promise, over deliver
One of the first clients I had, I promised a lot of things to her. I committed to doing a lot of tasks and promised a lot of different results for her business. Through this experience I realized how much stress and pressure I caused myself for promising so much, and having to use everything I had to do it.
In my opinion we have to learn the fine line between going above and beyond for clients, and burning ourselves out in the process.
Now I have a pretty strict on-boarding process and tasks that I am able to do within the times I work on my business… yet I have also learned that there are other ways we can add value, when the clients don’t expect it. E.g. sending a kind message or taking time to encourage them on their work, or when you have some spare time offering to do something extra.
It’s important we care deeply about our clients, yet it is also important that we care deeply about ourselves and what we can realistically commit to.
Don’t be afraid to invest
I love what Jenna Kutcher says on her sales page ‘people that pay, pay attention’ and it’s so true. Whenever I have invested, I have found that my business grows because of it. In exchange for money I receive valuable training and education, often time saved from trying to DIY and confidence from the work I do because I know that experts in the field recommend it.
In saying this though, we need to be wise about our investments… here are three questions I ask myself before I invest:
Is this someone I trust and want to learn from [often, like in point 1, it will be from a business owner I have researched and know their work, and oftentimes I will scroll through their free work -e.g. Blog posts and opt-ins to see what the value is like.]
By investing in this, will I save time and stress [e.g. I bought Pinterest templates online because they were created with the style I liked and it saved my hours of DIY time]
How will this help my business. I will often look at testimonials for results from other people who have invested, I will look at what the product includes and see if it will work for me, and I also evaluate if I have the time to go through it and implement it.
Protect my time
I use to work 7 days a week on my business. Yes I did. I would spend HOURS at the computer… and while I loved doing it, I found I didn’t take time out for anything else.
Now in my business I have batch days for 2 days of the week, I have a day of white-space to catch up on any work I haven’t completed and I don’t work weekends.
This is what I learned in doing this:
People have more respect for boundaries than I realize [and if they don’t; they aren’t dream clients]
By taking time out, I gave myself space to breathe and be inspired so that when I was working I was more focused and productive
I was able to understand that time is actually more valuable than I realized and we have a duty to steward our time well.