You hear many stories about businesses that fail within their first few years...but that hasn't put me off.
I have had the pleasure of being in business for a year now and I am loving it.
When I started my business (formerly known as IgniteRock), I didn't know what to expect.
What a journey though!
I knew what I wanted to do in terms of what I offer. But naturally things happen and things change as you go on that journey and you have to be able to adapt.
What I can say is that I have learnt a heck of a lot, which has helped me, not just in business but in life too.
And here are 52 lessons I want to share with you.
- What you think might happen, may not happen
- You will work harder than ever in your life
- You may have to adapt along the way
- Being part of a community is critical for personal development, networking and for general fun (for example, WordPress)
- You learn so much about yourself
- You are in control of your own destiny...
- ...and that means you have even more responsibility for your future
- Self-development is important
- Always be learning
- Having an accountant from the beginning can save you a lot of hassle
- Using software to manage your finances helps too (I use FreeAgent)
- It's so easy to go overboard paying for monthly software
- You have to learn to say "no" to help your business grow
- Not everyone will want to work with you...and that's okay
- Not everything is fun when you run your own business
- The knowledge and experience from your previous jobs can help your business to succeed
- Reading a variety of different types of books can expand your knowledge and creativity
- Having a good relationship with your client is important on a personal and business level
- You have more flexibility...
- ...but that doesn't mean you work less
- At the same time, you don't mind because you are enjoying it...
- ...most of the time anyway. There are plenty of tasks you hate
- Do not complain. Nobody will care and it will not help you
- Being more human helps when it comes to marketing
- There's nothing wrong with admitting that you can't do the job or the tasks in hand...
- ...and that's why you should outsource the things you can't do to someone who can do it better
- Learning how to communicate effectively is so important
- Don't just depend on emails. Use voice and video calls (phone, Skype, Zoom...whatever)
- You can learn to enjoy the things you used to hate
- Learning to create content consistently is more important than you think it is
- There are definitely ups and downs
- You learn how to deal with the good and the bad
- Looking after your health can determine the success of your business
- It's easy to neglect your spouse, family and friends if you are not careful
- It's okay to go with your gut feeling
- There will be things which are out of your control
- You learn to let things go
- Be around people who are smarter than you
- Be around people who are different to you
- Being patient is important
- If you are not a patient person, you can learn how to be patient over time
- All those illusions of working on a beach with a laptop all the time is just that...an illusion
- You will work during weekends
- You will work unsociable hours
- You will need to remember and remind yourself why you are doing this
- Having a diary is so useful
- If you work from home, remember to get out of the house
- Changing the working environment can help you to get things done
- Growing slowly is more manageable and better in the long-term than rapid growth
- The support of your family and peers can make a world of difference
- Budgeting is more important than you think
- You will pick up skills that wouldn't have been possible otherwise
Frankly, I'm chuffed with how the past year has gone.
And now, I'm looking forward to seeing what the next year brings...and beyond.