60% of new businesses will go bust in the first 3 years.
I’ll be honest it’s been hard this past year. A lot has changed in the world, many businesses are closing their doors, it looks pretty bleak.
On that cheery note, my business turns 3 this month. I also became a mum last December, so a lot has changed for me personally too.
I wanted to celebrate with a cake from a small local business. This is from Angel Pie Baking Company which is a fairly new business, and I love it!
As seems to be my annual reflection tradition, I wanted to share my thoughts on this past year.
It gets really tough
You’ll question everything you thought you wanted. The burnout is real.
You are not just struggling on your own, this is the path.
Mindset will keep you on track.
I’ve learned this from viewing someone close to me. They want to start something of their own, but they’re looking for perfection.
They want to do something they love, something they can do well, something that will bring in the big bucks. They will be waiting forever. The perfect thing in the perfect time, doesn’t exist.
It’s messy, stressful, and never the right time.
Only the strong succeed – even if at times.you don’t feel that strong.
Visibility is massive for growth
Your network is your biggest asset.
You can give posting a break to focus on other things, you can step back from general marketing but don’t sleep on supporting your network.
Being visible will bring you new opportunities, leads and interesting conversations.
Out of everything else, keeping up with my network and supporting others has been the biggest shift for me in bringing in new business and opportunities.
There will always be something new – keep moving.
Social media changes all the time, there is always something new to learn, try and develop.
You have to have the confidence to keep moving, not over thinking, over analysing and just learn, test, tweak and repeat.
What works one day sometimes won’t work the next, which can be either frustrating or fun. It’s a game, just keep playing.
There are always new ways to do things, new hacks, new features and every guru telling you something different. Stick to your strategy unless your data and insights tells you otherwise.
It can feel easy to throw in the towel everytime there is a new platform announcement or when you login and all the buttons have moved. I get it. But check out tutorials on YouTube and get back into your rhythm.
You can do anything, just not everything, and not at the same time
So I became a parent, and suddenly any time or space to think was swiftly swept away.
I thought I was busy before…what a fool!
So I had to work smarter.
Make a plan at the beginning of the week of what needed to be achieved.
I also mapped out in Trello the tasks I needed to do daily, both for my own growth and my clients.
Creating habits helped. When I drink my coffee in the morning while little one watches Elmo, I check on my notifications and start to do some of my daily activities.
It makes things feel easier, and I know I’ve ticked off a chunk of tasks before 7:30am.
Block out time chunks in your diary for the things you NEED to do, and forget about the rest.
You only have the mental capacity for some things and not everything.
I’ll be honest my anxiety has been causing havoc, and I’ve had to cut out a lot of the noise. There are things I just have to say no to, for now at least.
Have the confidence to say no
We’ve been there with a client, when the scope is slowly including more and more, and yet your invoice isn’t going to reflect the increase to your work.
You can say no.
- No you won’t work for free
- No that work isn’t including in your original scope
- No I don’t think that deadline works
- No I can’t join a call if it isn’t essential
You are the owner of a business, not their employee.
It’s easy sometimes to feel undervalued and try to make up for it with all those little extras you’re going to do for free.
Trust your gut.
Don’t do anything beyond scope unless you’re going to get paid for it – and you suggest the price, not them.
Also ditching clients that just aren’t aligned. They can be more hassle in the long run, and you have the power to make room for better.
I cut my diary right back, and stopped offering free calls. I found these were a waste of time, and I spent a lot of time on calls and proposals that didn’t go anywhere.
I reserve my time for clients, prospects that pass a few filtering questions and people I want to talk to. This means I have got a lot of my time back, which is limited to start with.
So there we go, 3 years in the making.
I’m not a 6 figure business owner, I haven’t landed Dr Pepper as a client, and I don’t have a fancy office space in London.
But it works for me, I have the freedom to work how I like, to be able to be there for my daughter.
I work with some incredible people, and I’m looking forward to the new challenges and new clients I have in the pipeline.
You can find my previous business birthday blogs here: