In November, I’ll be celebrating 5 years of leaving corporate and starting my own business.
Rather than writing a long, boring article about how wonderful these 5 years have been, I thought I’d share 60 quick lessons from 60 months of being in business.
(Oh and btw, I wrote a similar post 2 years ago about the things I wish I knew when first starting out in business.)
1. If anything needs to be done, it’s up to you and no one else.
2. People care more about what you can do for them, rather than what you can do.
4. Say no to anyone who asks you for a discount.
5. Follow up anyone you’ve sent a quote to. Follow up a second time. Then move on.
6. Start an email list yesterday (here’s mine if you want to learn SEO tips!)
7. Don’t overthink everything- just start the marathon already.
8. Putting off something? What’s the loss to you if you don’t do it now?
9. Don’t be a dickhead.
10. Don’t engage in debates with fools- from a distance, no one can tell which one is the fool (thanks Jay-Z).
11. Think about the value you bring to your client, not just the time you spend.
12. Share your knowledge freely.
13. It’s ok to start with what you have- people care more about what you can do for them than the flashy tools you use.
14. Treat your business seriously- open a new bank account; have a dedicated workspace; don’t let people drop by without an appointment.
15. Offer a “Pick your brain” service for people who want to get some knowledge from you quickly.
16. Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should.
17. Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you can’t do it better.
18. In a crowded market, consider niching.
19. Decide one thing you want to be known for. Me: the SEO Sleuth, specialising in keyword research.
20. Go to networking events to build connections and socialise, not to sell.
21. Stay away from negative people who complain all the time.
22. Don’t talk much about your business to non-business friends: they just won’t get it.
23. Make some business friends who you can talk to about business stuff- they get it.
24. Don’t copy trends- if you’re a woman in business who hates girly branding crap, don’t do it!
25. Figure out the basics first: your product/service, pricing, target market, target message.
26. Don’t be afraid to sell! People want to buy from you. Want to book one of my services?
27. Be proud when others say lovely things about you.
28. Learn how to schedule social media posts.
29. Look up to people who have achieved what you desire, not people who pretend they have.
30. On social media, often what you see is not what you get “in real life”.
31. Learn to block out, “Why don’t you go get a real job?”
32. What’s one hour of your time worth in dollars?
33. Outsource as soon as you can afford it. Are you an SEO copywriter? You can outsource SEO to me.
34. Don’t beat yourself up if your kids need to be distracted so you can work.
35. Don’t schedule important phone calls when the kids are around.
36. Ask- the worst that can happen is that you get a no. Life doesn’t stop.
37. Not everything you do has to be difficult.
38. Some people will ignore you until you start getting noticed by others.
39. It’s ok to fly under the radar- you don’t need to broadcast all of your wins.
40. Give without any expectations.
41. Don’t just create: document as you’re creating.
42. Learn what Shiny Object Syndrome is and avoid it. Here’s a great article about SNOS.
43. When you find your cheerleaders, hold onto them for dear life. Value them.
44. Support other businesses however you can.
45. Not everyone can afford you and that’s ok (see no. 4)
46. Write using plain English language. Don’t be a pompous fart.
47. Laugh at yourself every now and then.
48. You will always make mistakes- learn from them and move on.
49. Act with integrity, especially when others don’t.
50. Some people you idolise end up being massive farts.
51. Keep doing the same thing and it’s not working? Try something different.
52. There will always be someone who is jealous of you.
53. Be consistent.
54. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
55. It’s ok to declare a “day off” if you’re having a crap day.
56. You don’t need to know everything- just know enough.
57. No one is an expert. Even experts aren’t really experts.
58. What works for one business may not work for yours.
59. Celebrate your small wins for they add up to big wins.
60. Make a difference in the world, no matter how small.
Thanks to everyone who has played some part in my business journey over the past 5 years- the people who have supported me, cheered me on and even those who have been massive farts (you’ve taught me more about myself, so thank you!).
Cheers to another 5 years!