“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
~ Winston Churchill
On Thursday 19th May 2022, I celebrated 5 years in business as a business coach, around 8 years in business total (I was a Life Coach before that) and around 10 years of working for myself. As such, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share some of what I’ve learned over the past 5–10 years.
The most exciting thing for me to be able to share after 5 years in business, is that it’s working.
I make a good living, working only 6 hours a day. Often working only 4 days a week, as I regularly take Fridays off. I love what I do and I’m having a positive impact on the lives and businesses of others (so I’m told!). What more could I ask for? In many ways, it feels like a dream come true.
Whilst I share this, I’m painfully aware that it hasn’t always been this way that there has been a lot of struggle and fear over the years as well as courage, blind faith and dogged determination. A lot of highs as well as a lot of lows. There have been months where I’ve made more money than I knew what to do with and months where I’ve not known how I was going to pay the rent (more of the latter than the former so far).
In this blog, I’m going to share just a few things I’ve learned along the way.
1. Your income doesn’t reflect your worth. Period.
2. The number of likes, shares and comments on your content doesn’t determine the value of what you have to say. Most people aren’t even seeing it.
3. There is no shame in getting part-time work to pay the bills while you’re waiting to get your business off the ground. Financial stability is a really good place to operate from.
4. Belief that you’ll succeed is key. I genuinely believe this is one of the most important factors of my own success. I never said “if my business works” I said “when” and I meant it.
5. In many ways your business is just like having a job. You have to show up for it and do the work or you’ll lose it.
6. It takes time for things to work. In my experience, it’s taken at least a year of consistent application of any given strategy before I’ve seen good results. Strategy switching kills your business.
7. Less is more. The more you do, the more exhausted you become and the more confused your audience gets. Pick a few things and do them well.
8. Keep it simple. Don’t try to be too clever in your business, try to be clear. Remember a confused mind says no.
9. Do what you love rather than what the mainstream marketers tell you you should be doing. You’ll be more consistent that way.
10. Support is essential. Over the years, I’ve worked with many coaches, taken a lot of courses and had several amazing mastermind partners. Even now, I wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to a mentor if I’m feeling stuck or unsure about my next steps.
11. There’s no quick fix or magic bullet when it comes to building a successful and sustainable business. Those people on the internet who say that there is, are profiting off your desire to succeed. Be in it for the long haul and know that these things take time.
12. It takes about 4 years of consistently working on the right things to reach a level of sustainability in business. That’s been my experience and it’s the number I’ve heard shared by other experienced business coaches I respect.
14. Strategy trumps tactics. It doesn’t matter if you are on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, writing long-form, making videos or doing reels. What matters is that you are showing up consistently and being of value. That’s strategy. The former is tactics.
15. It’s more important to challenge your clients than it is to please them. In my line of work anyway!
17. Be mindful of what you consume. Unsubscribe from or unlike anyone whose advice feels toxic or makes you feel less than. Choose your mentors wisely, based on shared values.
18. You don’t need to worry about bothering people, if you are a business owner, then you must accept that people are in your audience and on your list because they expect to be sold to.
19. Ask for feedback as much as possible, but focus on what your ideal clients are telling you more than anyone else.
20. If you really want to master something in business, taking action trumps all the thinking, studying, reading and listening you can do.
21. Give more than you ask. Genuinely put people before the sale and interestingly you’ll make more sales.
There’s so much more I could say but for now, I’ll leave it there. I hope that in some small way, my lessons learned over the last 5–10 years, are useful to you on your journey. Now over to you, what’s your greatest lesson learned in business? I would so love to know.
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