Isn’t technology amazing? We are now a tribe from all over the world, coming together, who likely share similar hopes, dreams and struggles. I want to build on this sense of community, as personal development can be both tough and lonely. Any ideas let me know….what would support and empower you?
“You have great, untapped reserves of potential within you. Your job is to release them.”
My first Retreat, 4th Year Anniversary and engagement
The past month has been a big one for me, I celebrated 4 years of owning my own business, ran my first retreat In France (pictures above); a dream 7 years in the making, and got engaged, all a HUGE deal for me!As it’s my 4th anniversary and I regularly get asked what I’ve learnt from my business and success tips to building one they love, I thought it would be great time to share those lessons with you. This is business focused but you can bend it to whatever you ache for. There are many ways to find your purpose and a share it that have nothing to do with career or money; it could be being a parent, a hobbie, volunteering or pro bono work, sharing your knowledge, story or passion.
1. Don’t let anyone, (including goverments, media, other people or your own negative committee, limiting beliefs and low self-esteem ) tell you what’s possible for you.
I was told most people needs years of experience to be financially solvent in private practice as their sole income. I set up private practice 6 months after qualifying, quit my employed job (without enough clients to pay the bills)and was completely self-employed a year later. That was 3 years ago. Don’t allow fear, limitations, prejudice and judgments dictate what’s possible for you. You are far more capable than you can ever imagine.
2.Be realistic about timings/money/resources.
A lot of businesses fail within the first 3 years and I can see why. At the beginning it’s hard. There seems to be a huge amount of intput and little output. For the first 7 months I made £50 a month, had no new clients and then there were months when I made no money at all. It’s taken me years of investment, both of time and money, to build up momentum, reputation and a following. Be realistic with your resources; allow for the time to build proper foundations and have ways to support yourself while you are building.
- No one knows what they are doing until they do it
I cannot stress this enough. It’s easy to idolise people who have succeeded, comparing ourselves to a polished, established package and think “I can’t do that.” Of course you can’t and nor could they. By the time people become visible in the public arena, they’ve been working for years privately, not knowing what they were doing either. There is only one way to develop competence; practice.
- Build the trust, add value and people will invest in you.
When we are asking for investment, whether it’s someone’s time, to follow you, a buy from you, invest in your business, dream or product, we need to earn it. We do this by building trust and proving that we can add value. Trust is made up of these things:
Reliability: do you follow through on what you say you are going to do?
Consistency. is your message consistent?
Authenticity: is your behaviour aligned with your message?
Value: what do you offer and how does this help people?
Honesty: how open and honest are you?
Accountability: are you taking responsibility for your 50% and doing it to the best of your ability?
5.No one is going to do the work for you.
It’s great to talk, create ideas, read motivational books, watch inspirational videos; a wonderful first step! But if you want to build something, it needs more than words, it needs consistent action and a willingness to keep putting one foot in front of the other in whatever direction we are called to go in. This may not be what you originally had planned but the bravery is needed to do it anyway.
6.Prepare to fail
When a child is learning to walk or talk, we don’t shout and criticise them for stumbling, we get excited, in awe of the new stage they have entered. We beat this attitude out of ourselves as adults which makes us terrified of failure, not being perfect, and getting things wrong. This causes stress, procrastination, risk aversion and avoidance. When we welcome failure not as something to be terrified of, but as a step to progressing, it makes us brave and bold in our decisions. Even if you do “fail”, you have learnt what works and what doesn’t, upping your chances of success next time- brilliant!
7.Our purpose quite often comes from our wounds.
Whilst I wouldn’t want to re-live a lot of my life, as I’ve healed, I’ve come to be deeply grateful for the experiences that were most difficult. They’ve given me drive, ambition, compassion, empathy, passion, bravery, enormous strength and the greatest gift of all: to be able to share my learning with others. This makes my work my passion. What has your life experience taught you, what do you wish you’d known earlier? How can you bring more of what you naturally do well and love doing into your work?
- Feel the fear and do it anyway.
When my first website went live, I couldn’t sleep for 3 nights. After I posted my first blog and saw that 5 people had read it, i wanted to give up my career because i felt so anxious!! I didn’t want people “looking” at me, (hysteria considering i’ve nearly got 4,500 people following me on Instagram and have always got a camera in front of my face!!) Then it was the terror of my voice being recorded, then videos, then live radio… we never stop being frightened/uncomfortable when we do something new or vulnerable, you just can’t let it stop you. When we move through fear, we open a whole world of new opportunities.
Visualise your 10/10
This is a great way of discovering what your hopes/dreams/visions are and programing your unconscious mind. Write out a future ideal day/week. Don’t worry about the “how” or whether it’s realistic and don’t judge it, as this has a shutting down effect.
What are you doing?
How are you feeling?
What are you thinking?
Who is there with you?
What is different than now?
- Immerse yourself in knowledge of your subject, learn everything you can..
When I started I had no idea what I was doing. I had no marketing, business, accounting, experience and my IT knowledge extended to word! For the first two years I read and watched everything I could get my hands, went to networking events, asked lots of questions and found role models who were already doing what I wanted to do. I had to watch the same video on wordpress for 3 weeks (painful) before I could build the “basic” website (obviously not basic enough!!) tough, but essential learning.
10.Be clear about your ideal clients/business and don’t worry about trying to please or appeal to everyone.
You are not going to appeal to everyone and you don’t need to. Be clear about your audience and talk to them. Recognise the value you can offer to those specific people; this will be your anchor in all that you do and this is the one thing that has kept me going throughout all the challenges. The more clear and authentic you are, the easier people will be able to self-select and find you.
- Define your vision and what successful means to you.
All of our definitions of success will be different and it’s important to be motivated by your version. Is it freedom, creativity, flexibility, automomy, connection, deep relationship, changing the world, liking yourself, variety? What do you want to have, feel, be? Meeting these personal goals, makes everything you do satisfying, regardless of the outcome.
- Find your tribe, support network, and mentorship
This has been absolutely crucial to me. Building a business, 100% there will be times when you will have doubts, you will want to give up, and wonder why you aren’t taking an easier route! It’s inevitable. Having a support network who understand the challenges that come with designing your life, is essential. I have business coaching, monthly supervision and have a wonderful group of people who are my business go-to. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and share in others wisdom. For post on finding your tribe, see blog.
- Find behaviours/routines that fill you up, build resilience that help you keep going.
You’ve heard me say this 100 times I know, but that’s because it works! If you do not have things in place that replenish you, no matter how passionate and enthusiastic, you are going to end up burnt-out, exhausted and stressed. I know because I’ve periodically gone through crises until I changed! Details of my morning routine on my blog.
- Stick to a couple of marketing techniques rather than trying to do them all at once and deliver good, consistent content.
There are so many mediums now to market yourself that it can be overwhelming. Just choose a couple and put your emphasis on good content instead that’s consistent. Hootsuite is a great app that allows your forward date your posts, it’s been a life saver to me.
Enjoy the ride and let the experience expand you
Don’t fixate on outcomes, figures, likes and followers, this is not a true reflection of how successful you are. Even if your dream doesn’t come to fruition in the way you had imagined, it doesn’t matter. The process of building something from the ground up in whatever context, will test, challenge, and reveal things to that you had no idea of. It will take you to places you hadn’t imagined. You will meet people who you may have had no other way of coming into contact with. As you internally expand, your external world will expand with you and everything becomes a little more possible.
Dream big, enjoy the ride.