A year ago, I was a bit of an online business n00b. I’d been blogging pretty intensely for about a year (but with no real business intentions) and running a business on and off with my partner (but without much passion).
I’ll be honest, a year later and I’m only just getting started. Sure, some people would have decided to start a business and just gotten on with it (all power to you!) but I’m not like that. I took my driver’s test a total of four times (yes, four) before I was really ready to drive and I gained a whole new insight into driving that I wouldn’t have had if I’d passed the first time.
I’m not saying that the way I’ve done things is the right or the wrong way, but it definitely gave me the opportunity to discover a few necessary steps that I wouldn’t have worked out otherwise.
So, here are the six things I did last year to set my business up this year:
– Discovering My Passion
From the moment I started my lifestyle blog, I loved blogging. Coming up with ideas, taking photos, writing posts; I just loved it. But I didn’t think of it as a business.
My partner and I were also running a business simultaneously, but I was more of a support player, not interested in the manufacturing and designing that his clothing brand entailed. I was also working full time (and really not enjoying it). But what I did start to see was a conflict in my life between what was supposed to be my “dream career” and what was quickly becoming my dream life.
The moment I caught wind of what really lit me up was a turning point in my life. I looked at all the things I loved doing like blogging, connecting with like minded, kick ass women, and the frequency (and gusto) with which I listened to and helped my friends. When I could see the stuff I was doing with passion and excitement (and doing well), then I investigated the many opportunities that could lead me in the direction of my dreams.
– Investing in Myself
Last year was probably the first year of my adult life that I invested in myself.
When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I paid for my own university degree, I paid for my car outright and without a loan, and I paid for a three month European holiday with cash.
But from my mid 20s onwards, I skimped and saved because of the short-term nature of the television industry and never quite knowing when my next job would be. I somehow forgot the importance of investing in myself. Of travel, and learning, and even having nice things.
Last year I took a bunch of courses without thinking twice, I hired professionals to help me (see the next step for more), I got out there in the world, went to New York, and I bought books and other resources to learn from.
I can’t tell you of another time when I’ve learned more about business and life and everything in between. Last year was like “life university” and it was epic.
– Bringing in The Pros
Until you know everything, you’re going to need a little help. And the more you start to know, the more you realise you don’t know (does that bake your noodle or what?)
Each circumstance will depend on the kind of help, but going it alone is the quickest way to struggle town.
Realising that I could gain so much (time, insight, help, inspiration) from a coach, an editor, a graphic designer, or a kinesiologist could be the best tip I’ve got! These people are pros for a reason, and the only way to get to where you want to go, is to work with the best you can get.
Because they will challenge you to be better, work harder, rest sometimes, and kick those goals (yeah, just like you’re an elite athlete – let’s hear it for totally accurate analogies!)
– Finding a Business Buddy
Second to hiring pros to help me plan out and train my business muscles, finding a friend or two has been great. Someone you can talk to about your challenges, someone you can give advice to that helps you take your mind off your own problems (and often leads back to helping you in one way or another), someone who will be your cheerleader when you’re feeling less than great about your business.
If you can meet up for regular coffee dates, go for walks, Skype or email regularly, a positive and go-getting business buddy is great for morale (in a world of solopreneurs when work buddies are pretty much non-existent).
I can’t tell you how valuable having a few trusty friends I can email when the going gets tough has done for my spirit and for my business.
– Getting Offline
I mean this in the literal sense. Online businesses have opened up a world of entrepreneurial opportunities but they also have the potential to make us slaves to our computers.
Seeing people fact to face, meeting up with new and old friends, and getting out and about to network and de-stress are all perfectly legitimate reasons to shut down the computer once in a while and get out in the real world.
Plan a trip, go overseas, visit your mum, have a dinner party. It doesn’t matter what you do, but it’s important to step away. It also means that you’ll come back refreshed and with brand new eyes to look over anything you’ve been working on. And that always helps!
– Dealing With My Crap
There are so many limiting beliefs we’re holding into from past experiences that are subconsciously holding back our businesses (especially in the early stages when everything is pretty fragile). Going to a kinesiologist and reading some great books has helped me change my mentality towards my business, money, relationship and life mindset. It’s unlocked energy blockages that I didn’t even know I had and made me more self aware than ever.
After all, you don’t want to be the one thing holding you back from being successful, do you?
Stay tuned for a killer list of resources that I HIGHLY recommend for your business (or life) no matter where it’s at. Make sure you get on the newsletter list so you don’t miss it (and get my free posters for some extra inspiration!)
Until then, tell me in the comments what you are going to do to step it up in your business/career/life this year.
P.S Want to step it up right now? Email me – katherine (at) thebeautyoflife (dot) com (dot) au – for a free 30 minute strategy session and let’s get going already!