It’s hard to believe that it’s been just over a year I “officially” launched my business. I’d like to share with you the 6 lessons I’ve learned in year 1 of running my own business. I can say with 100% clarity that the path I’ve chosen is one of the hardest I’ve taken and the most fulfilling.
While there are many things I’ve learned, the six lessons I’m sharing had the biggest impact and apply universally not just to running your own business. Some of my learnings were reinforcements of things I already knew but needed to exercise those “muscles” again and others were surprises. Here are the 6 lessons I’ve learned in in year 1 of running my own business:
- You select what advice and feedback to follow
- The flexible schedule is a blessing and a curse
- It’s about progress – one foot in front of the other – and not PERFECTION
- Disconnect emotion and feelings from business results
- You can’t do it alone – the strongest thing you can do is ask for help
- Just because you build it does not mean they will come
You select what advice and feedback you follow
This was one of my “refreshing” learnings. Many people stepped forward to provide me advice, sometimes solicited other times not; some helpful and some dreadful. I remembered something I used in the corporate world for myself and my team: Feedback is not fact. You get to pick and choose what works best for you and your goals. For me, in this business, it was all about taking the feedback that was aligned with my values, who I was and those that would propel myself and my business forward.
The flexible schedule is a blessing and a curse
This one really took me by surprise. At first the flexible schedule was refreshing and not having a calendar filled with appointments was thrilling. However, after a career where my calendar was booked non-stop and having clear deadlines for work, the empty calendar and lack of definitive deadlines quickly became a struggle. While I didn’t want to go back to the crammed schedule, I knew I’d have to come up with a process. This is still a work in progress for me but I’m trying different things to see what works best for me.
It’s about progress – one foot in front of the other – and not PERFECTION
Another refresher for me and as a recovering perfectionist this is something I’m always working on in both life and business. All I can say is if I waited for everything to be PERFECT, my business wouldn’t be launched. This is a journey, what I do today will change as I continue to grow and learn how to run a business. And if you ask me, I can point out all the little imperfections in my posts and reels because instead of waiting to get it just right, I posted. It’s the same for the course I’m getting ready to beta test, I’m scared but reminding myself the reason for the beta test is to learn – it’s not about having it perfect and just right.
Disconnect emotion and feelings from business results
This is a hard one for me. My therapist helps me with it regularly. It’s hard not to get excited when you see a social media post views hit a high (nothing viral but I’ve had a few 1K and 2K moments) and then the next post crickets and so you begin to panic. Or the times after you make a pitch and nothing happens. Yes, I am human and have to feel my feelings AND at the same time I have to disconnect those feelings from the business results.
You can’t do it alone – the strongest thing you can do is ask for help
I’ve written about this before and it is so true in this first year of business. It’s a lesson that I continually “relearn”. While I am a solopreneur, doesn’t mean that I don’t reach out to others for help and I’m doing just that where I need the help as I’m constantly reminded asking for help is the strongest thing you can do.
Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come
I had the very naïve thought that when I launched my business that all my network connections would come running and I’d have no problem hitting my revenue goals. Yes, I know you can’t just build something and expect that they will come but, in the beginning, I spent more time waiting for people to come than I should have. The great thing is my first clients were all from my network. Ultimately the lesson is you have to do the work things aren’t going to magically happen.
It’s been one heck of a first year in business. I know year 2 I’ll learn new lessons and continue to grow in the 6 lessons I’ve learned in year 1 of running my own business. I know deep within my soul that this is what I’m supposed to be doing and putting in the work to make year 2 a successful one.
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