It’s my sixth business birthday!
I started my business by accident six years ago today. In fact, I am not sure I can claim today is my business birthday because today was the day I set up my first Facebook group. It wasn’t a real business until a few years after that. Since then, running my own business has undoubtedly been one of the best and one of the worst experiences of my life! Today, I feel very grounded and have a very clear path ahead of me.
I figured I would write a little list of some of the most important things I’ve learned thus far.
- You are going to get criticised no matter what you do. Honestly, this is number one for a reason. No matter what I do or how I do it, people criticise me. If I listened to every single piece of negative feedback, I would be sitting in a dark room feeling very sorry for myself. I have seen the very best of running a community of women and I have seen the very worst. You’ve got to what you have got to do. Someone, somewhere along the way is going to have something to say. Say nothing, do nothing and ignore them. It’s not always easy to do that and you cannot change people. It’s pointless trying. Keep smiling and move on!
- Start with a small idea and become really good at it. Instead of thinking big, big, big, think small and grow. A bit like an upside-down triangle! Focus on a niche and grow outward. Having millions of ideas and trying to implement them all doesn’t work. It’s better to be a genius in one area, sell one product or service than be pretty average in ten. Be the best you can be at this one thing and then grow. Remember the triangle. Start at the top of the triangle and grow outward. Don’t start at the bottom.
- Be Consistent. My business has grown organically. There has been and are no shortcuts. It’s tough. Sometimes it’s impossible. But I have been consistent. It’s the only way to grow your audience and business. Keep pushing out content with the right message to the right audience. Nothing stays the same and you have to tweak things along the way. If you are consistent, suddenly things will fall into place. It always happens. If something isn’t working, change it. Being consistent is the only way.
- Motivation is tough. One of the hardest parts of running a business is finding the motivation to keep being consistent. It’s hard to find the motivation to work on your own, at home, in your own time. My motivation tends to dip in and out. Some days, I feel motivated to work ten hours, and others I can barely look at a screen. One of the best ways to make sure you are covered if this happens is to schedule a lot of your content and emails in advance and on the days when the motivation flows. Then the job is done. If motivation leaves you, make a list of your top three priorities for the day and just dive into one. The hardest part is sometimes getting started.
- Celebrate your successes. It’s no secret, I’ve had some highs and lows in my business. The lowest point being last year. What I had forgotten were the things I have achieved. I let the lows overshadow the highs. I let them pass me by without considering their significance or achievement. I’ve learned it’s important to step back every so often and reflect on your achievements. Write down your successes. Share them. Make them memorable. If you don’t celebrate them, you have a higher chance of burning out or questioning ‘why am I doing all of this?’.
- Be Genuine and Authentic. Last but not least – and perhaps the most important lesson of all. Be utterly genuine and authentic. Be ridiculously authentic to the people you serve. People want to see the real you. Don’t try to be something you are not. The digital world is flooded with millions of business. People will buy from you because it’s YOU. That’s what makes you stand out in the crowd.
I’m off to celebrate! Have some chilled champagne for me this evening, please! A few short months ago I didn’t even think my business would still exist so the champagne is important!
Happy Business Birthday to me!