I always knew that I would always own my own business, but I had no idea when. October 2016 I lost my Grandfather and my job all in the same day! I kid you not.
I remember sitting in the funeral and crying my eyes out, months later I still have no idea if I was crying because we all lost such a great man or because I had no idea what I was going to do with my life.
I had to think quick and smart. I gave myself 6 months to make an idea work, and Smart Social Online was created.
The last 6 months have been a whirlwind of emotions, from crying my eyes out because I couldn't get a picture to align on the website ( yes I know, not my finest moment, ) from staying up countless nights, getting up early in the morning ( right now it's 4.16am ) and meeting the most amazing women I could of ever dreamed off.
The last 6 months have been an eye-opener, and I wanted to share with you some of the lessons that I have learned to help me keep pushing on, and become the business woman I have always wanted to be.
Business Lesson One
I think I have a great product, but everyone else is doing it!
This was a big one for me. The thought of either stepping on somebody else's toes gives me the heebie jeebies! But I had to believe in the product that I created. Yes I am all about Social Media but my services go beyond that. I made sure that my product stood out, that I stood out as a business woman. You can not go through life thinking should I? or shouldn't I? JUST DO IT.
Right now there are 11 other Social Media businesses in my area! 11 one of those just popped up yesterday. Now I can stress out about them taking my business, taking my potential clients. But they are doing their business totally different to how I do it. I made sure that I came up with a business plan that will see my business grow, yes it will be hard work, and yes long hours but in 6 months time I know I will be so grateful that I didn't stress about what they were doing, instead I worried about how I was
GOING TO DO IT!
Short Version! Who cares what everyone else is doing, follow your own path!
Business Lesson Two
Surround your self with people who get you!
For me this was really hard. At the start I felt like I had no one. My husband didn't get it, my family didn't get it and I was lost. But I looked at this issue with a clear head. I was going to change my head space, create an atmosphere that not only do I want to be apart of, but other women do to. I created two side businesses. One that connects other like minded women in a private facebook group giving them guidance on their business, social media and everything in between you can join here if you like
The other thing I did was, i felt that as women we were lacking connection, fun and most of all someone who understands us. I created a space for women to let their hair down, leave business behind for a few hours and just to get out of the house and meet other women who were feeling the same. Ladies Stepping Out Lifestyle was created. Fun events that woman get can learn new things, meet new friends and so much more. We have coffee catch ups, exercise classes, painting classes, professional photos taken and so much more to come.
Now I have friends that I can truly go to if I need that pick me up, friends who actually get me. I 100% believe that they have helped me be more confident in my self and my business.
Short Version - Think outside the box, if you can't find what you are looking for.
Business Lesson Three
Cut your losses!
We all have things that weigh us down, make us dread getting up in the morning. For me, that was letting go of friendships that were letting me down. I deserve better and so do you. Now I am not saying that you unfriend everyone in your Facebook list, but really think about who you spend your time with, do you have that friend that is so negative, that doesn't believe going into business is the right thing to do? then cut them, Do you have a friend who doesn't support you, be that shoulder to cry on when you need that true friendship support? then cut them. Honestly, you will feel so much better!
This lesson can mean so many things for you, it could be your family like your mum! Now for me, my mum who I am certain doesn't read my blogs! But for me, my mum convinced me one day because she was having a bad day not to go through with a business decision. I was told to go home, get a real job and not to worry about owning your own business anymore. I followed her advice! as you do most of the time! and it cost me potentially 12 clients! I didn't speak to her for 3 months because of this. Yes, it was my choice to leave but looking back I will never listen to her advice again when it comes to business. Close minded people are truly toxic, we are talking now but I never mention anything about business to her I just don't need her in my life for that. So be careful who you ask for advice it can and most likely will bite you in the arse! Cut your losses when you can.
Short Version - you don't need anyone to spread your wings! Just go for it!
Business Lesson Four
Focus on what you do best, hire out the rest!
Every business owner needs to take this advice. If you are not good at something, don't feel bad and give up. Look around and get someone else to do it!
For me I hated calling businesses to get appointments, I would cringe, make excuses and just put it off. My business was suffering because of it. I ended up making the decision to hire my first staff member and get her to help make my appointments, and honestly, it is the best thing I could have done. I felt free, I no longer put things off, I would jump right in. It also freed up a day a week that I could focus on other things in the business. Melinda is amazing and without her taking that stress away from me I don't know where my business would be. As we grow I know that I want her by my side so her role will grow into a personal assistant and I am great full to be able to trust someone enough to do those tasks.
It's important to learn when to give in. If you hate creating graphics then hire someone, yes it might be costly but if you think about it how much time are you actually wasting by doing it yourself. Don't be afraid to outsource. If you need ideas of places you can use for your mundane tasks feel free to comment below.
Short Version -
" Spend time in your business, not on it "
Business Lesson Five
Take a day for YOU!
Most people have in their head that business owners work endless hours to achieve success! We know success takes time, hard work and lots of sleepless nights. But you get to the point where it becomes too much for you, you end up crying over the stupidest thing like your child spilling water! yes water and me standing there crying my eyes out! I quickly learned that I had to take time for me, time away from my business to make it succeed.
Over the Easter break the boys went away, so for 4 whole days, I had my days set! I was going to write blogs in advance, schedule a months of content, work on my client list and ohh so much more! Come Saturday what happened! I froze, i couldn't think, i couldn't breathe and i just had to step away. I ended up spending 3 days watching blooming Netflix! ahh so i had lost 3 days of work! Come Wednesday i didn't sleep i had so much to do, my new sales lady Jess was starting the next day, i had a big training to do for a new client and i started to get sick! Ahhh but Friday came around and i started the day at 6am with a list longer then most and the whole day i ticked every single one off my list and then some! Why? Because i gave my self time to breathe, i refreshed my body, refreshed my mind and took the time away i needed. I truly believe that my business will thank me over the weeks coming lol. I am in front and i haven't been in 6 months.
Short Version - Don't be afraid to step away, binge watch TV and get your nails done!
I would love to hear all about what you have learned in your business.
Feel free to post your lessons below xo Natasha