Have you ever thought about starting your own business but thought, “Nah, it’s too much work.” Perhaps you have your own business and you’re wondering, “Why is it so hard to find new clients?” Today, I’m going to share the 5 things I wish I knew when starting my own business. Putting these into practice have helped me immensely.
Growing your business doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, attracting new clients, if done right, can be a lot of fun. So, without further ado, here are the 5 things I wish I knew in the first 4 years of starting my business. May they be helpful lessons that encourage you to stay in the joy of entrepreneurship.
1.Enjoy the Journey
This is without a doubt my biggest lesson. I spent my first 4 years stressing and worrying about paying the bills. When my business didn’t grow as fast as I hoped, I felt like a failure. I put a tremendous amount of pressure on my shoulders. Everyday was a struggle to stay optimistic. I realized that worrying about money was actually pushing opportunities away. So I decided to stop worrying about money and to start focusing on having fun instead. Right away, a new idea hit me and within 3 weeks I had 6 new coaching clients. Really! I now intentionally incorporate fun into everything I do including marketing, social media, workshops, and even consultations. Fun is my secret sauce to overcoming fear, doubt and worry. It’s how I motivate myself to keep going.
2. Acknowledge Wins Everyday
Fear of failure was a constant companion. More often than not, I badgered myself about what I should be doing to get new business. I never felt like I was doing enough. It was nagging me by telling me what I should be doing, need to be doing, ought to be doing. I realized this voice was actually the reason I wasn’t doing more. My self-esteem was in the toilet because instead of focusing on what I was doing right, I was constantly noticing what I was doing wrong. To change this, I implemented a daily practice to acknowledge my wins. I wrote down 10 things I did well, big or small. As I looked back on my list over for 3 months time, I realized I had taken over 115 steps in the right direction! I now share this with all my clients and it works great for them too so definitely try this one out.
3.Feel Grateful for Every Opportunity
So often I would feel frustrated that more people didn’t sign up, show up and attend my various workshops, events, email lists, offers, etc. I would get so frustrated that I would just quit trying and switch to something else. Over and over again, I would try something new with similar results. Finally, I realized that if I focused on the quantity of people showing up, I was disappointed. If I focused on the quality of the conversations, I felt fulfilled. So, I began to focus on making every interaction count. Every conversation was an opportunity to connect with what people were struggling with. Soon I began to realize how I could best help others and who were the ideal people I could best serve. This made it much easier to find my niche and communicate from the heart.
4. Be Yourself 100%
The first 4 years were about finding myself. Who was I in the world of coaches? There are so many. You probably feel that too in your own industry. I had many amazing role models and coaches and spent most of my time thinking I should be like them. After all, they were extremely successful. Clearly they had it all figured out. I finally realized that what works for them doesn’t always work for me. Each of us is on a journey of discovering who we really are. I discovered that I’m more about inspiration, self-care, fun, freedom and the joy of life. That’s what my clients really resonate with. I incorporate a lot from what I learned from my coaches but I also tuned into the essence of who I really am. This is when connecting with my own tribe got much easier.
5. Don’t Sell, Just Serve
This was a tough one! There are sales tactics that people use because they really work and I’ve tried many. However, most of us heart-centered entrepreneurs have a major resistance to selling and often our clients hate being sold to. This makes sales conversations very awkward and frustrating for both parties. There are so many hidden landmines we can accidentally step on and I’ve stepped on most of them. Learning to sell without being salesy is a worthy investment.
Ideally, what we want to do is share what we do over and over again so that people can see who we are and really get to know us before they enter into a sales conversation. Hosting events, writing blogs, posting on social media, creating YouTube videos are great ways for people to learn what you’re about (but stick to one or two to start with). If done right, your potential clients have made up their minds to work with you before you even have a sales conversation. This means, the more you give and serve, the easier the sales conversations are. That’s perfect for those of us who love to teach and inspire others.
Being a business owner is a blessing (two generations ago, hardly any women owned businesses). Thanks to new technologies, rising awareness and more rights for women, we can create and be successful at any kind of business we choose. I believe we can and deserve to have a growing business, plenty of time for family and days that flow with ease and fun. We just need to let go of the old ‘work hard’ mentality and build a business that allows us to have it all. That’s what I love teaching people how to do.
P.S. Did you find this helpful? If so, please share it with a friend or two.