52 Things I Have Learnt From My First Year in Business (July 2017)


You hear many stories about businesses that fail within their first few years...but that hasn't put me off. So I share my own lessons.

By Ahmed khalifa
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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.

  1. What you think might happen, may not happen
  2. You will work harder than ever in your life
  3. You may have to adapt along the way
  4. Being part of a community is critical for personal development, networking and for general fun (for example, WordPress)
  5. You learn so much about yourself
  6. You are in control of your own destiny...
  7. ...and that means you have even more responsibility for your future
  8. Self-development is important
  9. Always be learning
  10. Having an accountant from the beginning can save you a lot of hassle
  11. Using software to manage your finances helps too (I use FreeAgent)
  12. It's so easy to go overboard paying for monthly software
  13. You have to learn to say "no" to help your business grow
  14. Not everyone will want to work with you...and that's okay
  15. Not everything is fun when you run your own business
  16. The knowledge and experience from your previous jobs can help your business to succeed
  17. Reading a variety of different types of books can expand your knowledge and creativity
  18. Having a good relationship with your client is important on a personal and business level
  19. You have more flexibility...
  20. ...but that doesn't mean you work less
  21. At the same time, you don't mind because you are enjoying it...
  22. ...most of the time anyway. There are plenty of tasks you hate
  23. Do not complain. Nobody will care and it will not help you
  24. Being more human helps when it comes to marketing
  25. There's nothing wrong with admitting that you can't do the job or the tasks in hand...
  26. ...and that's why you should outsource the things you can't do to someone who can do it better
  27. Learning how to communicate effectively is so important
  28. Don't just depend on emails. Use voice and video calls (phone, Skype, Zoom...whatever)
  29. You can learn to enjoy the things you used to hate
  30. Learning to create content consistently is more important than you think it is
  31. There are definitely ups and downs
  32. You learn how to deal with the good and the bad
  33. Looking after your health can determine the success of your business
  34. It's easy to neglect your spouse, family and friends if you are not careful
  35. It's okay to go with your gut feeling
  36. There will be things which are out of your control
  37. You learn to let things go
  38. Be around people who are smarter than you
  39. Be around people who are different to you
  40. Being patient is important
  41. If you are not a patient person, you can learn how to be patient over time
  42. All those illusions of working on a beach with a laptop all the time is just that...an illusion
  43. You will work during weekends
  44. You will work unsociable hours
  45. You will need to remember and remind yourself why you are doing this
  46. Having a diary is so useful
  47. If you work from home, remember to get out of the house
  48. Changing the working environment can help you to get things done
  49. Growing slowly is more manageable and better in the long-term than rapid growth
  50. The support of your family and peers can make a world of difference
  51. Budgeting is more important than you think
  52. 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.

Related Article: How Do You Start a Business? Get a Full-Time Job First!