Whilst I am not too sure where 2018 went, I do feel as though I experienced 10 years’ worth of business in just one year, where so much happened.
2018 consisted of so many incredible highs and lows to the point where I was starting to feel as though I was on a permanent rollercoaster. However, I can honestly say, last year was one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling years to date.
When I first started my business, I never considered the emotional investment needed, because in truth, I had no clue. I never had those initial conversations with friends about what is involved in starting and running a business because I didn’t know anyone who had taken the leap before me. My own leap was made in an impulsive moment and was done, very much in blind faith.
So here I am at the beginning of 2019, looking back at my business journey last year, feeling an overwhelming sense of pride, excitement and hope.
I feel proud because, I know without a shadow of a doubt, that I moved forward both personally and professionally. I really wanted to push myself last year, so I made sure that I took opportunities that allowed me to really step out of my comfort zone. I feel ‘excited’ because I have so many plans in the pipeline for 2019 and of course ‘hope’ because I hope that I can continue to build on the success I have been fortunate to achieve during 2018.
So, with this in mind, I just wanted to share with you 6 key things I have learnt last year (and boy have I learnt a lot!).
Our limitations are defined by what we tell ourselves is possible
Last March I was nominated as a Finalist at Kent Women in Business Awards (KWIBA) for the first time which was amazing experience and which took me completely by surprise because I wasn’t expecting it. However, what the experience taught me that by working hard, setting goals and staying focused, we can achieve the very things we set our mind to.
Of course, I didn’t need an Awards Ceremony to spell that out, however what it did do, was show me what was possible. I’ve never thought about chasing Awards, after all it’s what you do for your Clients that count, but this experience encouraged me to think differently. To think bigger.
As I write this, I have once again been nominated for the KWIBA 2019 by several of my Clients which I feel immensely proud about.
A goal without a plan really is only a dream
OK, I know this is a cliché but it really is true.
One of my biggest achievements last year was the event I put on to celebrate Pink Lemon’s first year in business. This came about from a discussion with a friend in July, over our usual coffee. I just happened to say that I was thinking of doing something to acknowledge my business’s first year and then before I knew it, ideas were flowing and then all of a sudden, it took on a life of its own. It went from being a small, informal gathering to a full-on ‘let’s book a venue’ event.
I realised I had an opportunity to create something that would really help position my business so I also decided to create a branding workbook that I could launch at the event. This workbook would then become a product that I could sell through the business.
I spent 2 very busy months over the summer working towards my two goals; the event and the branding workbook.
Both proved to be a huge success however going through this exercise, I realised two key things;
- I LOVE creating something
- The power of goal setting
Setting specific goals with realistic timeframes works because it really helped to keep the focus.
When the going gets tough, ask for help!
Whilst I enjoyed many highs last year, I did however encounter my first problem Client who refused to pay their invoice. In fact, they didn’t refuse to pay the invoice, they just went very quiet and suddenly became illusive… does that ring a bell to anyone?
When it happened, I had no idea how to really deal with it because I had never found myself to be in this position before. I have a very well written set of T&C’s so I was confident that I had everything sewn up on my part however this Client just became difficult.
So where do you go when situations like this occur? after all there’s no guide book paving the way for you.
Well, I turned to The Chamber of Commerce who were very supportive and helped me to deal with this situation in the best way possible. I was also put in touch with a debt-recover business who also helped me. I am so thankful to both who guided me through the process in an efficient and professional manner.
Yep, this was one lesson I most definitely learnt from.
Community over competition
Over the past few years I have met many people who I now consider to be good friends because networking has allowed me to meet people who are on the same journey as I am. I really value these friendships because they have helped to keep me on track during the past year.
When I first started working for myself I didn’t know anyone who was going through the same challenges of starting a business, so I found it quite isolating however by going networking and meeting like-minded people, I have been able to forge relationships which have really benefited both myself and my business.
I think it’s really important to surround yourself with people who get what it is your doing and that lift you up when all you want to do is fall down. I now believe that building your tribe is essential for both personal and business development.
I found that just by catching up with a like-minded business owner for a chat over coffee can stimulate some great ideas which is how my branding workbook came about.
I have now built an inner-circle of business friends that I turn to when I need support, advice or simply to rant! I believe investing time in the right people can really help you and your business to move forward.
I try and stay away from people who take energy away from me. As an empath, I always want to help and give however sometimes that can prove to be quite detrimental because it can leave me feeling exhausted and lacklustre. It’s ok to protect ourselves and in business we must. Our energy is what is important so it cannot be given away so freely.
I really do know what I know and it works!
Last year, I had been fortunate enough to work with an array of different size Clients, across many industries and sectors. This has led me to create my own unique framework that supports the work I do, so that I can deliver a quality service each time.
What I realised is, that this can only be achieved when you are fully connected to what you do. I had a pivotal moment this year where it just all made sense to me; why I am doing this and who I am doing this for. When you are able to connect the dots, what you do suddenly becomes a lot more powerful.
I am now really excited because I am currently in the process of planning for 2019; I intend to take all my successes from last year and build on them.
One thing I have done already, is partnered with an accountability buddy who is at the same stage of business as I am. We will meet every month where we will talk about specific areas of our business. We will then set goals and then meet every month where we will be accountable for doing what we agreed.
Believe in yourself, you are enough
How true is this but how many of us actually believe it?!
During 2018, I embarked on a course of hypnotherapy because I felt as though I needed help with my confidence. I was feeling overwhelmed, stuck and I could feel my self belief start to waiver due to business-related challenges. The treatment proved to be incredible because it completely shifted my mindset.
Within a few short weeks of starting the treatment, I felt better and my focus became sharper than ever. It’s one of the reasons I was able to create my event because I started to believe in myself again.
I learnt that the moment we start to really believe in ourselves, that’s when the magic happens!
So, what now?
As I mentioned earlier, I am now in the planning stages of this year. I will be launching my ‘Finding Your Brand Zest’ workshops in March which I am incredibly excited about. I want to help other business owners move forward and grow their business. It’s important to me to help others and it’s one of my core values. I will also be doing more public speaking so that I can tell my story and share my message.
I want to take this opportunity and wish all my readers an amazing 2019.
Don’t ever be afraid to dream big… decide on what it is you want, set your goals, create a plan and then focus on working hard to achieve them.
We can create the life we want, we just have to commit to the journey and enjoy the ride!
Get in touch
The New Year is a perfect time to review where you are in your business and to plan the year ahead. If you feel as though your not attracting the right audience or that your branding is looking a little tired and in need of some added flavour then please get in touch here as we offer a FREE consultation to discuss your requirements.