Hello January! Hello 2014! I am sure you are getting tons of articles in your newsfeed reminding your to make sure you set your goals and plan your year. And, while I agree that’s all uber-important, for me the start of your year can be any day you make it. January is a nice neat time to do it, so if that works for you, then jump into it. But not to worry if you’re not quite there yet, set your goals and get planning whatever time of the year works for you. Try the free goal-setting training here, or the goals to action free downloadable fun sheet here to get you going.
I’ve been reflecting on my time in business for myself recently, and have decided to share some of the things I wish someone had shared with me when I was starting out. I think it’s a good time of year for that 🙂 I’ve outlined my top 5, so that you can perhaps avoid, or fast forward through some of these significant learnings for me and skip to success just that little bit quicker.
1. It’s all about the list!
‘The List’ is probably your most essential piece of kit for doing business, whether thats online or offline. Making sure you keep contact details and of anyone who expresses an interest in your business is fundamental to business success. I wish I had known this earlier, and started building it from the very start! I had the basics down, and had a list of my clients, but no more than that. Big mistake. I should have been collecting contact details from those expressing an interest via my website, networking events, social media and any other source. Then I can contact them when I have something of note, rather than hoping they will visit my webpage or notice my social media post. Use an email management system such as Mad Mimi or Aweber to make managing and growing your list so much easier. *NB* You must have their permission to put them on your list! And if they want to be removed, make sure you remove them properly. An email management system makes the subscribe and unsubscribe management mega-easy, so I definitely recommend setting it up right from the start. Many of them are free up to a certain level too.
2. The Power Posse Rocks!
Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely job. No matter how highly motivated and driven you are, there will be times when you feel isolated, de-motivated or uninspired. Getting myself into a mastermind group was one of the best things I ever did to alleviate this. These guys are my go-to peeps when I need a second opinion, an injection of motivation or even just a kick in the bum to get me out of that rut. They are your support network, your cheerleaders and your inspiration. Ideas and creativity expand in a mastermind group. PLUS, they hold you accountable to your plans, so you follow through a hell of a lot quicker and make it happen.
3. ‘Now’ rather than ‘Perfect’
Big, big lesson here for me. I’ve always been about high standards and having things just right. I still hold myself to high standards, but I have relaxed a little on the ‘perfect’ part. If I am constantly striving for ‘perfect’, then I am never going to get anything out there. So, now I give it my best shot, and if it looks good enough, then I post/launch/go for it… now. Things can be edited, amended and revised as time goes on. In fact, I think this method actually makes the product/service/post even better than it would have been if I had waited for my version of perfect.
People and relationships are what makes business work. And there is nothing more valuable than word of mouth and personal recommendations when it comes to your own business and seeking out the services of others. I’ve found the relationships I have built, and continue building are truly propelling my business forward. It’s almost like free advertising. When people know you and know your worth, they feel comfortable recommending you. And that works both ways! I use my network in the same way. When I need something, for my business or otherwise, my first point of call is my network.
Note: I’m including traditional networking locally and networking online via social media and blogs here.
5. Believing in yourself is crucial
This is the core foundation block to business success. You must truly and 100% believe that you can do it. There will be days, even weeks sometimes where you feel downbeat, worn, and de-motivated. It’s your self-believe, and the belief that you CAN do this that will pick you back up and set you back on track again.
You must have 100% confidence in your services and products and portray that when you are networking and selling. Selling doesn’t come naturally for all of us, and so when we start talking about our business and our products, sometimes it starts to feel a bit like selling and the discomfort builds. Yep, been there. My tip here, find words that feel authentic to you when you speak about your business. Then stand in front of a mirror and practice that script over and over until you feel comfortable with it, saying it out loud.
Are there any significant things you’ve learned in business so far? Share them in the comments below, so we can all learn from them 🙂