Right okay, I might as well just say it… I turn 30 on Saturday. It feels like a big milestone although there’s no huge celebration and doesn’t really relate to my business.
I did, however, want to mark the occasion by sharing 30 Lessons I’ve Learned in my 30 years on the planet (4 of them as a business owner) to see if I can share some wisdom, or maybe give you a laugh at how clueless I used to be.
Carve out at least one hour per week to work on your business.
Otherwise you’ll get swept up in keeping everyone else happy, and so much time will fly without you developing or even keeping up with the changes you need to make.
Keep all of your receipts in one place.
Yeah, I’m still practising this, but it makes the 31st January so much easier. Or you could do you self assessment in advance, maybe I’ll have learnt that by my 31st Birthday…
Make friends who ‘get it’.
I’m so sorry to say that not everyone will, and there’ll be times when you just need someone to understand what you’re going through. Business can be a lonely place.
Set boundaries early on and stick to them.
If you don’t stick to them, you can’t reasonably ask anyone else to. And not setting boundaries is the quickest way to burning yourself out and running a business you don’t even like.
Consume as much knowledge as you can.
Don’t ever presume you know it all, read books, then re-read them. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Watch free masterclasses. Always make time for learning and understanding.
Write down waves of inspiration – you won’t remember them.
It’s not just because I’m getting older, you will never remember every time you get a great idea unless you write them down. Preferably in the same place so you can pool them all together.
Plan your content in advance.
Then you’re never left scratching your head or scraping the barrel for things to say. At least have an idea of what you’re going to say in advance, so that you can cover all of your content pillars nicely.
Automate wherever you can.
Recurring invoices, online booking, workflows and any form of automation will become your best friend once you get busy. It’s worth the initial time and headache to get it set up, so that you can sit back and let it do the work for you.
Take on help before you get too busy.
Whether it’s building said automation or taking on someone to help – always take on the help before you’re full to capacity so that you have the time to invest in them.
Repurpose and cross-pollinate everywhere.
Stop re-inventing the wheel every time you create content. Take a look at your blog, newsletter, social media feed as your first stop for inspiration to create other content elsewhere.
Don’t underestimate the power of connections.
You may not see a need for them now, but you never know when you’ll need who to help you with what. Having a wealth of connections you can fall back on will prove invaluable – and hopefully the love will be shared both ways.
Make time to take time off.
You cannot run on empty, your clients will understand. Prioritise taking time off to really really recharge and step away from it all at least once a year.
Only work with clients who understand your why.
If your working week revolves around your children, or a particular thing – only take on clients who totally get and respect that. Don’t stress yourself with clients who will continually ask for 6pm meetings when you clock off at 3pm.
Success is definitely more than money.
The first half of this year resembled a huge loss in growth for my business, but I was happier than ever. I took the time to appreciate what I had, spend time with Soph and build a life we absolutely adore.
There will also be seasons for pure growth.
Sometimes, it’s okay to say you’re putting your business first and to go pedal to the metal. You can run your business according to your life and wishes.
You don’t have to show your face to be present.
Hands, surroundings, backs of heads are all great ways to show where you are and what you’re up to without showing your face. You don’t have to show your face to say you’re ‘showing up’.
The right business coach is worth more than the most expensive one.
I’m in a membership for around £60 a month, and I’ve become more successful, happier and work far more in flow than when I was paying £12,000 for a business coach who claimed they’d skyrocket my business.
Be in alignment with everything.
Your prices, your clients, your coaches, your services, your processes. Only work with things you feel truly in alignment and at peace with.
Trust is the most important thing.
More so than finding the cheapest or fastest, find someone you can trust. Especially when it comes to accountants and people handling your money.
Always have a plan.
If you’re like me then feeling lost is the worst feeling in the world, having a plan, and then a back-up plan, always puts me at ease and keeps me on track.
Know that you can’t always stick to the plan.
If Covid taught us anything, it’s that we have to be adaptable. I do love knowing roughly how I want my week/month/year to pan out, but also being in flow is super important.
You’re always allowed to change your mind.
In my 4 years of business, I’ve made tweaks to services, changed packages, introduced whole new ideas and then taken them away again. I get to do that, because it’s my business.
No-one has to know why you’re busy.
I’m forever justifying not taking a call because I’m with Soph. In reality, however, they don’t need to know or even care why I’m busy – they just want to know when someone can get done.
Shedding bad clients is the best decision you’ll ever make.
Take it from someone who did this recently, they are not worth it. Get rid of them before they really grind you down and replace them with people who light you up.
You get to run your business, your way.
You want to only work school hours? Good. Don’t want to ship overseas? Fine. Only take on so many orders per week? Absolutely. It’s your business and if it works for you, then that’s all that matters.
There is no such thing as a unique idea.
We’re thousands of years into this human-being-thing, if you think you’re going to come up with a 100% brand new, never thought of before idea – you’re wrong. That’s not to say you can’t put your spin on things, but make it unique to you – rather than unique to the universe.
Know your limits.
Don’t overbook yourself, work out how much you can honestly fit into one day (notice how I didn’t say cram?) and don’t be tempted to stretch it, you’ll be exhausted and won’t be offering your best by the end of it.
Losing clients is inevitable.
I remember being 18 months in and I hadn’t lost a client yet, now I can’t count how many have been and gone. It’s natural and nothing to be ashamed of, people’s needs change and it’s totally normal in business.
Find the platforms which suit you.
Just because your business bestie uses something, doesn’t mean it’ll fit the bill for you. Do you research and find the right scheduling/newsletter/website/invoicing platform for you – it’ll make your life so much easier.
You can take people to court.
Without even leaving your sofa. If you’re owed money and someone isn’t paying up, the small claims court is ridiculously easy and extremely fair in their rulings. I’ve done it twice now, it’s pain free and you get paid.
Okay, phew, there we go. Gold star for you if you made it to the end of that! I’m quite proud of that list up there, some more deep than others but all useful information in my opinion.
I’ll leave it there as this is already extremely long, happy birthday to me for Saturday!