“ Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard. ”
Launching – and running – your own business is an exhilarating ride.
From the first moment that you have the idea to go it alone, to the moment you quit your nine-to-five. From buying your domain name to launching your website. From setting foot into a networking event to signing your first client.
At the time, you thought that these were the ‘hard’ bits of running a business. That once you had a website and a couple of clients it would all be plain sailing.
No matter what your background is, the unique challenges of running a business can blindside you, disappoint you and make you feel like giving up at least once a week (if you’re lucky!).
But you know, deep down, that it’s worth it. That the potential, the freedom and the excitement outweigh the downsides. And you know that if you just stick with it, you can make it work.
That Monday Morning Feeling
As an employee, you kind of expect the Monday morning blues/hump-day hurrays/thank God it’s Friday cycle – after all, you don’t really have much say in your workload or who you have to work with. And getting off this merry-go-round was probably one of the reasons you wanted to branch out on your own.
But if you’re feeling like this and you’re the boss – that’s not a great place to be in. And it’s not good news for your business.
It is possible to create a business and a life that you love. It might not be easy, but then very little in life that’s worth it is. However, I absolutely believe it’s not all about the #hustle and #grind.
It’s about working smarter – not harder (but without cutting corners). It’s about understanding what to give your attention to – taking a laser-focused approach to what will serve you and what won’t. It’s about remembering why you started and what your dreams are – but not being afraid to reset your goals as you grow and evolve as a business and as a person.
Online Business Clichés
You’ve probably heard that ‘the money’s in the list’. Well, at the risk of being controversial – I don’t agree. Firstly, yes, there is money in the list – but it’s not the size of your list that counts, it’s what you do with the list. And secondly, there are other ways of building and scaling a profitable online business.
Talking of lists… Every busy person needs a to-do list, but your to-do list isn’t going to be what helps you to build an empire. For that, you’re going to need a strategy and a game plan. Getting trapped in the detail and minutiae without ever getting a 360° view of your business is not a recipe for success. It’s a recipe for burnout, frustration and disappointment.
And I’m sorry to break it to you, but there’s no secret sauce, no quick fix and no formula to build the best version of you and the business you want. No webinar, blueprint, or PDF will tell you that. To paraphrase Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz, you already have the power within you. Read, listen, learn everything you can about business, but apply your own filter it to – what feels true, real and authentic to you? – and then use the gold that comes out to be the best you can be.
Selling Your Soul
Growing a profitable business requires strong foundations and a solid strategy, but that’s not all. Your mindset is a key component to your success.
Lately, ‘mindset’ has become a bit of a meaningless buzzword; however, that’s not to say we should disregard its impact. Your mindset is integral to how you run your business and how you live your life.
It’s vital to be empowered by what you have created – and making money from it is something we should be unashamedly proud of. You shouldn’t feel guilty about being successful.
Likewise, you shouldn’t have to give up ‘you’ to be successful. We all should have the confidence to let ourselves shine through in our businesses, building what we do with a sprinkling of who we are. It is possible to build a business without selling your soul to be like everyone else.
It’s also important not to fall foul of comparisonitis – keep an eye on your competition and trends, but don’t let them slow you down or make you question what you’re doing if it’s working for you.
Don’t Go It Alone
The entrepreneurial life can be lonely. The hours can be long, and often our friends and family don’t really understand what we’re trying to achieve.
We all need to find and nurture relationships that light us up and support us on our journey. These connections can be found with our business buddies, partners and mentors and even our clients and suppliers.
Your support network will give you the perspective you need when things get tough and when things get exciting. They’ll spur you on when you’ve had enough, and rein you in when you’re getting ahead of yourself. Never underestimate the power of a ‘plus one’ when it comes to your business.
Building Your Business – Your Way
If I could give any entrepreneur one piece of advice – whether they’re launching a brand new business or scaling an existing company – it would be to be present in your business. Don’t get distracted by the little things, and don’t get carried away with every shiny object that passes your way. Focus on what’s going on now – and where you want to go next.
That’s how you make progress – one step at a time. A calm and organised approach – with a positive attitude.
Whether you’re a startup, heading towards six-figures or somewhere between, you’re going to get where you want to go much faster if you invest in expert support and guidance. To discover how I can help you with your business, take a look here.