FUN FACT: I’ve been in business almost 5 years … July 1 is the big birthday! And while it can be a struggle some days (like it is when you have a job, or a life, or a kid, or a dog, or…well, insert anything you like here because we all have bad days!), I’m super happy with my achievements in business.
Going from a journalist and editor of print publications to an online business owner with no business prowess at all has been one of the highlights of my life so far.
It wasn’t the easiest transition to make (have you heard my “storm out moment” the day I left my FT job? There’s a blog on it) … and even now I still have to remind myself that I’m a successful businesswoman. It took me a long time to kick that employee mentality.
I’m sure you can relate!
In the last 5-ish years, I’m made some huge mistakes (let’s call them learnings) … ones that almost cost me the business, some cost me partnerships, and others that left me going “what the hell was I thinking, why did I do that!?”.
But I’ve also done some things right … well, I guess a few things if I’m still here to tell the stories, right?!
FAST FACT: 60 per cent of small businesses cease operating within the first three years of starting.
I’d love to share the best things I did in business…and the biggest mistakes too. Let’s break it down:
- 2013 – Starting strong
Best thing: I put it out to all of my family, friends and colleagues in the media that I was out on my own and open for business. We forget our friends and family are our biggest fans!
Biggest mistake: Didn’t trust my experience and myself to really put myself out there. I lacked confidence as a new business owner thinking my peers were better than me and I worried about my competition.
What I would tell my younger self now: Be brave, be awesome and you have experience no one else does. And not everyone can run a business … you’re doing it! PS – make friends with your competition, you might be able to form partnerships with them.
- 2014 – Writing content
Best thing: Wrote a book! The coolest thing I have done and one of the biggest leverage tools I have in my marketing arsenal.
Biggest mistake: Worked around the clock with my one-to-one work, let myself burn out. Plus I was going through a divorce, which doesn’t make anything easy, let alone running a business!
What I would tell my younger self now: Go easy on yourself. There’s no rush … you will do everything you want to achieve and more so take some breaks and eat!
- 2015 – Bye-bye
Best thing: Won some massive jobs worth tens of thousands of dollars … but with the wrong clients. So I sacked them (in the nicest possible way and with love and respect. These were actually amicable sackings!).
Biggest mistake: I still worked with “everyone” even though I’d niched (I hadn’t done it well, yet!). I thought I could help and write for everyone. This was a costly mistake because I ended up working for about $1 an hour (or it felt that way, I don’t think it was far off), with people who weren’t my business besties. I over-promised and over-delivered, and undercharged for my time and experience, to the point where I was too available for my clients and I was allowing them to message me at 10pm at night and doing a lot for free.
What I would tell my younger self now: Set some boundaries, girl! You need to have a life too. Also, qualify the people who want to work with you. Are they your business besties and is it going to be a win-win for you both? And know what you are worth. Those 16 years as a journalist and editor didn’t come cheaply and neither should you!
- 2016 – One to many
Best thing: I started running events and workshops. Huge profile growth with all the content I was putting out there.
Biggest mistake: Didn’t have the systems and processes in place to handle massive growth. Thought I did … but ended up “sticky taping and stapling a bunch of stuff together and wrapping it up into a ball and throwing it in the corner” to be dealt with at a later date. Yeah, business doesn’t work well like that.
What I would tell my younger self: Don’t do that! Enlist the help of a very good financial expert to get a proper growth strategy in place and someone who can help you implement the systems you need for future growth.
- 2017 – Ran a sprint and then stopped
Best thing: Scaled back to scale up. I stopped, reassessed in what I wanted in business and where I was at, and let somethings go. In letting a few things go, this year I was able to scale online and launch my very successful Wow School Global’s online course “Content 2 Ca$h”.
Biggest mistake: Didn’t listen to my gut and followed the crowd too much. Oh, I made a lot of mistakes last year, but this would have been one of the biggest. The side-effects of doing this almost crippled my business in ways you could only imagine. While we had a massive year of growth and I wouldn’t change a thing (because lessons are valuable!) it was undermined by some very costly mistakes.
What I would tell my younger self: See the point above…Get your systems in place! You can’t grow without them. And remember to stay true to who you are and what you want.
It’s such amazing thing to stop, check in with yourself and look at what you are doing and where you are going … I think we should do this monthly to make sure we are still on course.
It’s something I’ve committed to from now on!
Made a few mistakes?
As a business owner, I’m sure you’ve made a few mistakes too. I’d hate for one of those to be your content writing. If content creation and writing is something you need a hand with and you are ready to take action, stand out and show the world who you are and what you do, my half-day content writing workshop might be a fit for you.
Here’s all you need to know to secure your spot and start writing online content that rocks and gets results.