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10 Lessons From 10 Years (Part 1)

Entrepreneurship, Thrive

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Following on from last week’s article about how Virtually Does It grew up, I thought it would be fun to share the 10 lessons I have learnt throughout the last 10 years. Some might not be lessons as such, but things that fall into the ‘if only I had done that sooner’ category!

Running a business is a journey, always evolving, and I’m sure I can share more than I’m going to do here and in next week’s article, but these are still the things I talk about more often with clients, or draw from today.

Just start, and have the confidence to keep going

If you’ve read this article, you’ll know that I didn’t hesitate in starting my business. I just built a website from a box, hand drew my logo, started a Twitter account and got started. I wasn’t nervous, I was excited, and I wanted to see what would happen. Nothing was holding me back. I didn’t procrastinate or go round in circles in all the information telling me all the things I should be before starting! The online business world was very different back then, there is so much keeping us from starting now, and one of those things is perfectionism and the fear of failure if we don’t start right.

But you still need to start. You need to start to learn from your mistakes, and you need to start to build the business you’re aspiring to.

Yes, you’ll make mistakes, there will be road bumps, but have the confidence to keep going.

Define what you do best, and go all in.

You’ll know what it is that you do best, and you’ll have started your business from that place. You’ll have your superpower, the way you support people, what you create, and your uniqueness that binds it all together. And that is what you need to cultivate and nurture.

There are a lot of shiny objects, empty promises and quick wins that will come across your path, some you may choose to take, some you may not, but always make decisions from what you do best, and who you are. You can waste a lot of time and money following a path that isn’t aligned with your core message, or service.

Go all in on your best self.

Never stop learning

The online business space is growing at top speed, with new social platforms, marketing strategies, tools and software to help our businesses work better.

If we want our businesses to grow too, we need to keep up to date with what areas of the online space are growing that can directly benefit our business. What do you need to learn how to do, or understand in order to take your business to the next level? Is it aligned with your vision? Then spend some time learning, and implementing (<< don’t forget this bit!).

Part of how my business has evolved is me having an idea to expand my offerings, and learning how to do that. It’s fun, and exciting but it is all linked back to what I do best. List building, lead magnets, landing pages, funnels is all part of getting what I do out in the world and making a bigger impact in a different way than I have done. I don’t directly sell those services, but learning about them for myself, also helps me point my clients in the right direction too.

Don’t be afraid to pivot when you need, or want, to

What you do best may change, or evolve, but you may feel like you can’t shift what you do in your business for a number of reasons; what will your clients think? It will be like starting from scratch again. You’re not sure you can do it.

A lot will come up, but in the same way I have talked about just starting earlier on, the same applies here. You don’t have to go all in overnight (now that is scary!), just add your new service or product alongside what you currently do and work with it for a while. You’ll have made the decision to pivot, or expand for a good reason, you’ll be working at your best and it will be aligned to what you do fundamentally.

You’re the boss here. Don’t wait for permission. Take measured steps to get to where you want to go.

Cultivate a CEO Mindset (you’re not an employee!)

Eeeek! This is a big one. And one that is always work in progress for me. You are the CEO, founder, boss, Director, of your business, you are the keeper of your time, your products and services, and you are the decision maker in how you work and what you do. Not your clients. Not strangers on the internet. You. Please remember this!

As a service based business it can be easier than most to fall into working like an employee in your business and to all your clients. And soon you’ll be feeling like you’re working a 9-5 from your spare room, with 15 bosses! Boundaries are everything here, you don’t need to be militant about it, but to find a way to work so you and your clients both know where you/they stand and how you work is an absolute necessity. It’s not being unhelpful or inflexible, it’s making sure they get the best of you for what they need. And you get the best of you too!

So, that’s the first five, have you read and been nodding along?! Or perhaps they have given you the confidence to switch a few things, and focus differently in your business.

Check back next week for part two!