I have been running my own business for nearly four years. The mums I talk to often say, “wow you’re doing so much, you’re such an inspiration”. However my success didn’t come overnight and I have made plenty of mistakes along the way. Mums who work or run their own business have a special place in my heart. I know exactly what it’s like fitting my business around school runs and after school activities. Today I want to share what are think are the most important tips for business success.
1 – Just get started
Just get started. This is the most important thing to do. Take that first step. It doesn’t need to be the right step or a big step. But unless you get started, you don’t have a business. When you take imperfect action, you will achieve so much more than doing nothing at all. Don’t worry about being perfect. Don’t let that put you off. You don’t need the perfect website, the perfect colours, the perfect blog, the perfect course or whatever you are working on. The sooner you start, the quicker you will learn, and figure out whether you are going in the right direction.
One business mother I spoke to last week was struggling to get clarity and deal with the overwhelm. She fits her business into three days. She runs one-to-one and group fitness sessions, as well as an online membership site with amazing postnatal fitness tips, videos and recipes. She was trying to do everything and feeling overwhelmed with the barrage of advice coming at her from so many online digital marketing experts. She was spending a lot of her ‘free’ time learning, when she could have been doing. Just get started. Take action. Do something. Almost anything.
If you only have 15 minutes, just pick a task. One of the shorter tasks, even if it’s a less urgent task, and JUST DO IT. It’s one thing off your overwhelm list. It’s one item less for your brain to manage. If there are no shorter tasks, pick one and do what you can in 15 minutes. If you are thinking, well there’s only four weeks until the school holidays start, you can do SO much in four weeks when you focus. I transformed my whole business in four months.
Not sure? Don’t believe me? Just get started and see how far you get. You CAN do it. I know you can.
2 – Be authentic
It’s very simple. Be authentic, just be you. Don’t try to pretend to be something you’re not.
Let you come out in whatever you do – whether you are selling paper, developing websites, providing music classes or consulting on information security. Don’t try and be somebody you are not. When you are authentic, what you write, how you talk, will come across as genuine. People buy from people. And we want to buy from people we trust. You build the trust by being authentic and genuine.
It’s also an awful lot easier to be you than to pretend to be anybody else. It means you don’t ever have to put on an act. You don’t have to think about your writing or your marketing and put your “business me” hat on. You are you, the authentic you, all the time. Simples.
3 – Be passionate
Be passionate about what you do. Passion is contagious, it’s infectious, it’s powerful, it’s memorable, it’s attractive.
To sell paper successfully, you’ve got to love paper: the textures, the feel, the colours, the styles.
Your passion will shine through. It shines through when you write, when you talk, and in your marketing material. When you are passionate your voice and tone change. You have heard people talking when they are excited about a topic. You can just tell, can’t you. People will be attracted to you and your business. It reinforces your authenticity.
When I came to a crossroads in my own business, I was talking to my business coach about two different projects I was contemplating. Both were fantastic projects (or so I thought at the time). My coach pointed out how my voice lifted and changed when I talked about The Confident Mother. There was more excitement and more passion. Passion affects your energy. It’s how people are attracted to you. To be really successful, you’ve got to do something you love. Sometimes it’s hard to get really clear on what it is you love. It was certainly like that for me. For a long time I thought I needed to be working hard, wearing a suit, and commuting into the City to be successful.
4 – Be prepared to evolve
Give you and your business permission to change and evolve. This was such a powerful lesson for me to learn when I was at that crossroads I mentioned above.
It may be the way you sell your coaching services. It may be offering additional services or dropping a familiar workshop. It may be the way you do your marketing. Or it may be when you run your online training. Let me give you an example because I had a lightbulb moment on Monday.
I run free online training for working mums and mums in business every month on a Wednesday in the evening. Wednesday evening was the best time when I worked part-time for the NHS, as it was the only evening that didn’t clash with running club nights and swim lessons. But I stopped working part-time for the NHS over a year ago!
Wednesday evenings are no longer that convenient because my husband works Wednesday evenings. In turn this means my daughters take advantage of the fact that I’m distracted by prepping for the webinar. They don’t go to bed when they should (they’re old enough to put themselves to bed). I’m not ‘there’, I’m not being fully present to ‘remind’ them.
On Monday then, I had the brilliant idea (doh!) that I don’t have to keep doing these sessions on a Wednesday night. Lots of women listen live but many listen to the recording anyway. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to figure this out!
Be prepared to evolve and change what you do and how you do it.
5 – Get a coach
Caveat – yes I am a coach and business mentor, so you might think I’m duty bound to mention this. However I believe that this is one of the BIGGEST factors behind my success. I have a business coach, I worked with a book coach for The Confident Mother, I belong to a mastermind and I run a mastermind specifically for mums who run their own business.
Some of the biggest decisions that I have taken, I never would have without the support of a coach or my mastermind group.
When you belong to a mastermind, you develop a very special relationship. It’s a group of people who absolutely believe in what you do and who are really invested in your growth and success. However they are more objective; they can play devil’s advocate. Working with a coach or a mastermind group will keep you focussed. You’ll get support for the life-changing or business-changing decisions.
On your own, it can be so easy to get lost in ideas and overwhelm. If you have the entrepreneurial streak, chances are that creativity and idea generation are easy for you. What is harder is figuring out the right ideas to focus on. Or believing in the ideas when they don’t pay dividends at first.
Working with a coach or a mastermind IS one of the most important factors in my own business success, confidence and mindset.
So there you have it, my five simple tips for business success. To have any success at all, you have to get started. Being authentic makes life so much easier. When you are passionate about what you do, everything is more straightforward. Be prepared to let your business evolve. Don’t get fixated on staying stuck on what you started off with. When you accept that, it makes it so much easier to just get started, because you know you don’t have to be perfect from the off! And finally, get a coach or a business mentor or join a business mastermind.
Let’s talk …
If you know that you want that feeling of confidence in your business success, but you also know that you need help, let’s talk to find out how I can help.