I find it very interesting, and some what funny, when people assume that 'I've made it' because I have a business.
I've also had plenty of people tell me 'you are just one of those lucky types of people!'
Let me tell you this could not be further from the truth. There is one thing I know to be true that has got me to where I am, and what will take me to where Im going. Hard work.
If I could summarise everything Ive learned from my parents, although there would be a lot, hard work would be the final line.
(Yes, this was my first desk, an ironing board! Also using my mirrored wardrobes as a whiteboard ha!)
My whole life my parents have worked so hard not just to care for our family, but in everything they do, they do it to the best of their abilities. We are not a 'rich' family, but my parents manage what they have well, and reap the benefits for doing so.
My Dad was an engineer most of my life and became a self employed gardener in the last few years. The one thing I know about his work is he spends every ounce of his energy making sure it's done to perfection. He finishes his days of work exhausted. My Mum is very similar, she goes over and beyond her job role, supporting her team where she can and picking up work where there is need, even if it means working out with her working paid hours. They both do the best possible job in whatever they put their hand to. I have learned so much from them about work ethic!
Back in 2015 when I passionately returned from living in Australia, I was home with a mission to start my first business. Let me tell you about some of the thoughts I had back then vs my thoughts now:
Maths doesn't equal cash.
I thought I could reach huge financial goals very quickly, become a millionaire within 6 months because the maths worked out.
Just because you can do £1000 x 1000 = £1,000,000, does not mean you have the systems or sales strategy in place to achieve it.
Premature excitement gets your no where..
I was very excited, if someone even so much as listening to my sales pitch I considered their numbers in my sales records
A sale is not a sale until the money is in your bank account, I get excited now when I achieve productivity from day to day and when I see my monthly wage increase.
Strong systems that you USE are the businesses foundation & strength.
I had no systems in place and wrote on many different books and scrap pieces of paper, it was a mess and not easy to manage!
I believe strong operations are the foundation to a great business, I LOVE systems! Even the simplest of system such as a free to use spreadsheet, is better than pieces of paper. I very rarely use paper for business now. Many people tell me they just love to write things down but I would argue that if what you are writing is of importance, you will either be doubling your workload by having to re-write that information onto a system later, or you are increasing your workload by struggling to find that piece of paper, especially when you need it quickly!
If you are not clear on what you do, no one else will be.
I was nervous to speak to people about my business, particularly 'corporate' types of people such at the likes of networking events.
I can write and learn a new sales pitch in about 15-20 minutes. Through being part of a business accelerator program I learned the importance of this. If you can't understand and tell people clearly what you are selling, why would they ever buy from you? I now use 6 words/phrases to write a simple pitch to say what I do. This is something I have found gets better with practise and time!
A great accountant will work wonders for you!
I had no clue how to manage my finances! I got myself into a mess in the first 1-2 years because I never hired a great accountant to help with an area I struggled with.
It is true, not all heroes wear capes, my accountant is someone I cling to tightly now. I view my accountant as part of my 'team' and view her and her team's opinion highly. They have helped me more than I can say! I also now feel very confident in this area thanks to their support. I also know how affordable this is, where as in the early days I was scared to pay a penny for this and be ripped off!
If you are starting a business and you need someone to give you some pointers on your sales pitch, or some ideas of some systems you could use, or anything else you need help with, I would be happy to help. Feel free to contact me! Business can be lonely, but it does not need to be!