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There is nothing impossible to they who will try.

– Alexander the Great

Hello & welcome 2022!

Once again we welcome in a brand new year whilst saying goodbye to a year that has been filled with many triumphs and challenges.

Now I wouldn’t say that the last year has been easy (after all we were all still having to deal with the realities of a pandemic) however, for me, it was a year of growth both personally and professionally.

There’s nothing quite like running a business through such difficult times to test your limits, boundaries, resilience and tenacity. There have been many moments of self-doubt and fear as I embarked on what was perhaps my most testing year to date, but the truth is that despite all the ups and downs, last year was one of the best years I have experienced in business.

Now at the start of 2022, I look back at last year feeling a sense of pride, excitement and joy at what I’ve achieved.

At the start of 2021, having experienced what digital courses and digital products could do for my business, I decided to transition the company into this field so that our team could support clients in creating passive revenue streams for their businesses.

It’s a perfect addition to the services Pink Lemon already provides as, not only can we help with the extensive branding and web services we offer, but we can also continue to support our clients by helping them to successfully monetise their brand online.

At the start of the pandemic I realised that, as a service provider, I was heavily reliant on clients to generate revenue. I was spending most of my time finding new clients to pay the bills, rather than focusing on expanding my offering and doing what I really love.

Whilst in lockdown I realised that the way I was running my business was not sustainable and so something had to change if I wanted to realise my long-term vision. I started to consider other ways of running my business and working out how I could create passive revenue streams to provide me with more financial and creative freedom.

So far my move in this direction has been very successful and so I wanted to share with you the 5 key lessons I learnt in business last year.

1. Mindset is everything

And I mean EVERYTHING!!!

Something that I have learnt is that it really doesn’t matter what your goals are, if your mind is not there, you will struggle to achieve them.

In business, I believe it’s vital to cultivate a strong growth mindset so that we are open to taking risks and learning from failures. This can be really scary of course, but I do believe that it is a necessary part of growth. If we stay in our comfort zone, we will never be able to push past our fears and find our true passion.

The truth is that ‘failure’ doesn’t really exist, because when things don’t go to plan, we learn a lesson and we start again. We only truly ‘fail’ when we stop trying. Reframing how you view failure will help you to develop a mindset for success.

2. Perfection doesn’t exist

Everyone’s idea of perfection is different, which makes it subjective, and so we may therefore posit that it too doesn’t exist.

How many times have you been crippled by the need to deliver perfection? For me, I can honestly say, a lot.

We see people doing what we do, but earning more money or getting more recognition, and we view them as ‘perfect’, but that’s simply a fear response. The truth is that these ‘perfect’ people have worked just as hard as us behind the scenes.

Perhaps they’ve been doing it longer than us, perhaps they’ve been especially lucky, perhaps they’ve simply hit upon the ‘right’ way for them a little sooner than most, but sit down for a chat and you’ll soon find that they have been just as concerned with their imagined imperfections as you!

The key here is, once more, your mindset. Throw away the idea that everything has to be perfect, and realise that you simply need to do the best that you can at any given moment.  

3. Build a strong team

No man is an island and one lone person cannot make a successful business. Even if you are a solopreneur you still need a little help. Whether this is in the form of an accountant, a VA, a designer or even just a friend to act as a sounding board, you must never make the mistake of thinking you have to do everything yourself.

The biggest error people make when establishing a new business is trying to save money by doing everything themselves. If you don’t know much about building websites you can use a cheap DIY platform to set one up, but guess what… it will look cheap. It will devalue your service and will drive away potential customers.

In the long run, it’s really not worth it. There are a host of services available to help start-ups fund their new companies, so look into this aspect before trying to go it completely alone.

4. Always start with the end in mind

 
Know what you are trying to achieve and then work back from there. Define your vision, create your roadmap and outline your goals.
 
This is something I talk about a lot and it’s the first thing I establish when I meet with a new client. If your goals for your business are vague then you won’t be able to define a clear set of actions to take. If this is the case then you’ll end up simply running a business rather than developing one and you’ll never reach your potential, financial or otherwise.
 
For some people this can be an acceptable path, but for the true entrepreneur this way of working will feel stilted and frustrating. It’s worth taking the time to define your goals and, once you have, break them down into a few sentences, or even a few words, display them somewhere prominent in your home or office and refer to them daily in order to maintain focus and drive.

5. Stop worrying about what other people think

 
There are some people who will always judge others. Sometimes this is because they are jealous of other people’s success, sometimes it’s because they are so sure of their own path that they cannot bear to see people do things differently. People like this are a minority, but when we’re running a business we often feel as though those judging eyes are everywhere we look.
 
This self-consciousness can have a massive negative impact on us and our business, even though, rationally, we know that most of the people we deal with are firmly on our side.
 
The trick is not to assume that everyone is rooting for us (because we know there will always be those few who aren’t) but to make a conscious decision not to pay attention to nay-sayers.
 
At the end of the day, the only person who can judge you is you, and if you determine to treat yourself with kindness and respect then there’s nothing you can’t achieve.

Summary

So those are my 5 key lessons for starting (or upgrading!) a business. They may seem straightforward, but they’re things that many of us forget to consider once we get caught up in the mundanity of running a business. Hopefully seeing them here in black and white will help you to step back and re-evaluate things, and January is a good month for re-evaluation!
 
So does anything I’ve said here resonate with you? I hope so, and I hope that they can provide a jumping-off point for you as we head into the New Year. 
5 Key Lessons I learnt during 2021
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