My Biggest Lessons from 5 Years in Business
This week I celebrate my business’ 5th birthday. 5 years since I began working with my first paying client (actually, it was my first client… I never did any work for free).
I took some time to reflect on the biggest learnings from those 5 years. The things I didn’t have a clue about when I started out. Here are my biggest learnings:
1) I AM AS QUALIFIED AS ANYONE TO BE HERE
When I started my business, I had a lot of people on a pedestal, believing that they were “legitimate businesswomen” and I was not. I thought I needed to take years to prove myself, that I needed more clients, more experience, more followers, a bigger email list, etc, etc to validate what I was offering. But then I got inside the businesses of the women I looked up to and realised that they felt exactly the same!! Imposter syndrome is rife. Everyone feels it and it prevents so many people from sharing their gifts with the world. I deserved my seat at the table just as much as they did.
Side note – just because I am qualified to do something doesn’t mean I should be doing it. I spent too much time doing stuff I felt that I was qualified to do, rather than the things that I wanted to be doing.
2) WE LEARN BEST BY DOING
I’m a sponge for information about business and personal development. I’m a voracious reader, I listen to podcasts and love conversations with my business buddies who are experts in their field to soak up their wisdom. I’d supported clients through big things like launching podcasts, new programs, hiring staff, firing staff, opening new premises and many more.
But it’s a different matter to do those things myself. That is when the biggest learnings come – from that real life experience. We can talk ourselves out of anything. Fortune favours the brave so it’s important to be willing to take action.
3. ACCOUNTABILITY IS ESSENTIAL
As business owners we have no boss or manager setting KPIs – we can do anything or we can do nothing. Having someone to talk through and commit my goals and intentions to ensures that I take action (and the reassurance that I get from them makes doing scary things less scary) I am fortunate to be surrounded by many very wise business buddies to thrash my ideas out with. I am part of Tina Tower’s Her Empire Builder Mastermind so not only do I get Tina’s support but also that of the 100 other women in the group.
4) CONSISTENCY & RELIABILITY = A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
In anything business and life outside our business, the things we do regularly are more impactful than the things we do occasionally. I learn this the hard way if I take my foot off the pedal with things that I need to do consistently – like proactive business development, follow ups, social media posting, bank reconciliations… all the fun stuff! If I don’t do those activities consistently then I see a drop off in business enquiries.
Reliability builds businesses. Doing what you say you are going to do, showing up on time, delivering when and what you have committed to and communicating if you can’t. Sounds so simple but you would be amazed at how many people don’t do this – which makes you a stand out when you do it.
5) THE BIGGEST GROWTH HAPPENS WHEN I AM TRUE TO MYSELF
When I stopped playing small, when I backed myself the way I backed the women that I support, that was when big, positive changes happened in my business. Being clear on what it is that I want to do, not what is easy, not what I’ve “always done”, not hiding in the wings where it was safe, asking for what I want – pursuing it and being brave. Leap and the net will appear is one of my mantras and it has served me well. A little bit of woo woo mixed with a whole lot of action. Whenever I trust in myself, make a change and open up space for something incredible to happen, it always does.
I hope that these learnings help and inspire you. I have written more about this milestone in my monthly Business Boost email. I share things that boost my business and life once a month.
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