What I learned in my second year of business | business journey

So as my local social media business turns 2 I wanted to reflect on some of the things I have learned. It has been quite the run, I mean what a time to pick to start and grow a business!
I hope that by sharing you will feel inspired to look back at your own progress too. Whether you’ve been in business 2 years or twenty, it is always important to see how far we have come.

Anything can happen, and you can only prepare yourself

Ah yes! Remember when we used to feel we could be ready for anything, that the world wouldn’t just close overnight. So we’ve learnt a lot along the way. For me, with lockdowns and rule changes it created a lot of anxiety and made daily life feel way harder, even though little had changed for me. I learned that you can only prepare yourself to change and adapt as was needed.
This is as true for me as a business owner, as it is for me just as a human. Whether it is meditation, reading, or just taking enough time to sleep and eat well, we all need to give ourselves that grace.
We can’t control what others think and do, we can’t shape government rules by wishful thinking, and we can’t prepare for every eventuality. We have to empower and trust ourselves to realise we are more capable than we give ourselves credit for. We can handle most things that are thrown at us.

Not everyone will value what you do and that’s ok

I started my business because I could see a huge issue with the visibility of local business owners online. The thing is, this is a problem I see, not necessarily one that businesses see. Even though I panic watching bigger and more profitable companies fold due to the changing times, small businesses remain happy with what they have and how they do business. They see no reason to change, and that’s ok.
I’m not here to make the world do things my way, I‘m here to help support them when they feel the time is right. For some social media is still fairly new, and adapting traditional marketing mindsets to something more digital can be tough. There is a huge amount of education that needs to be given to business owners. They should feel empowered and knowledgeable about the marketing landscape, and the opportunities it brings.
I have had discussions with business owners who see social media as an admin task, or something that will catapult a business overnight. These might work in some places, but this isn’t my understanding or my goal. This doesn’t help build sustainable businesses.
I’m quite particular with who I work with, and it pays off massively! I don’t need to bend over backwards to make others understand, we just might not be a right fit, and that’s ok.
woman at laptop smiling
Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Being yourself is the ultimate for building relationships

Building networking, especially on social media, work when you are being yourself. We’re told to be authentic like it’s something we must learn, but it’s sort of the opposite. Being yourself is who you are when you have no filters.
When you are just you, you will get the inevitable ‘ney-sayer’ or troll, but you will also earn a network of people who respond to similar things. You will grow a stronger more genuine network, and not just one build on ‘anyone and everyone’.
If you’re trying to mass appeal you will be dull. If you’re scared of empathy you will build average relationships.
It doesn’t mean you have to be political or even deeply personal, but you have to allow people some element of your personality. We want to be divisive, get rid of those we don’t want and build a fantastic community with those we do.

Opportunity is everywhere

t doesn’t matter where you are in the world, what your interests are, or what you are good at, opportunity is everywhere but you have to look. It’s weird to say, but you have to have the right mindset to see opportunities. I find it similar when I hear people who want to ‘travel to find myself’….eh? You’re right here sweetie, you just have to listen and look.

I think opportunities can also be a stepping stone to greater things. We need to consider all the factors. You might get an opportunity to network more, which would in turn help us grow our business. It might be an opportunity to learn a new breathing technique, which will make us more calm and creative. We don’t always know what opportunities will lead us too. We need to be open to new things, and not just look for specific things.


It’s ok to change and adapt

The first few years of business are usually you figuring things out. So once you find something that makes you sparkle and shine, lean into it. This could be a specific industry or even a group of people you love working with, it’s good to adapt to make your work more enjoyable, especially if it brings you better results.
Finding your niche, or a client base that works well for you is a process, it takes time and patience. You can’t adapt every 3 months and wonder why you aren’t making any progress, but you can move when the time feels right.

Make time for lunch and important things

As someone who is a fan of snacks, and eating in general this has become a new rule for me. I used to think about taking a break from work as a ‘need’. I need to step away, I need to eat etc…but it isn’t about need. You can kid yourself that you don’t need a break as you aren’t hungry, or you’re on a roll and you’ll just finish your to do list.
But since marking the space in my diary for lunch, it has felt easier to step away, have a snack and take a break. It has actually felt, quite joyful! When you work from home you can feel pressure to work for as long as possible, because it doesn’t always feel like work, you didn’t ‘struggle through the commute’ or ‘meet grumpy co-workers at the door’. So it can feel like you deserve less nice things throughout the day to balance.
Cut that noise out, treat yourself to breaks, snacks and even a walk if you choose. It makes the world of difference.

It can feel really hard sometimes, but that’s the point

In the world of social media everything is perfect, hustle culture is real and the world and his mum are raking in the cash because they worked really hard. Guess what, you can work really hard and it doesn’t always work. You can be authentically you and passionate, and it doesn’t work. Sometimes…..things can really suck.
After years of being in a corporate environment, where someone usually has the answer or resource you need, being on your own and trying your hardest can feel soul-destroying. Some days you don’t want to work, some days nothing goes right, some days you run out of options and you want to pull the plug.
This stuff is hard. But it’s meant to be.
I think it was Gary Vee who said everyone wants to be a millionaire, so you want it to be hard. You only want those who really deserve it, to have it.
I agree, having a business, making money from home is a privilege not every gets to have, because it’s hard. You could quit too soon. If it’s sought after, it’s worth having.
Remember to rest, not quit.
Today might not be your day, but tomorrow could be, you could be a day away from your greatest goal.
It’s hard stuff, no lies here, roll with it, know it will get better, and make sure you reach out to those who understand too.
So there are some of the key points from the past year, but there is so much more I could have captured. You learn so much everyday, it proves you are capable of more than maybe you take credit for. 

Related Post