Your business is going to evolve. It's not set in stone.
I have several years’ experience of running my own businesses, a good social media following across various platforms, an eclectic CV, and have been a magazine and newspaper columnist. I feel like I’m just on the brink of making it all work seamlessly and bringing in an abundance of wealth, but it’s always just around the corner. Let me share with you what I have learnt so far.
What I like to tell myself is this: I have enough. It’s a good mantra.
If we had more, we’d only spend it, right?
I have a Business Club full of clients who are happy with the service I provide. I regularly introduce new perks and aim to continually improve my offering, bringing increasing value and support.
My experience and advice is probably best suited to those who are, or intend to be, self-employed, and will hopefully also be useful to anyone career-minded in general.
Your Smart Ideas
Not all ideas get off the ground, but that doesn’t mean we can’t carry them through to their natural end, because it’s all good experience. My friend Kym once explained it that way and it’s stuck with me. If you’re creative you may be having ideas left, right and centre, and you know it would be impossible to carry them all to fruition. But don't let that stop you.
Lightbulb Moment: Ideas that fizzle out are not a waste of time and energy.
We learn something from taking them as far as they will go.
I believe that the idea you actually start your business off with isn’t the most important factor. It’s going to evolve and possibly change direction anyway. Your initial idea will blossom and grow and sometimes mutate into something very different from what you initially dreamed up and intended. That’s good! Being open to change and allowing things to evolve is ideal. The important thing is to just start something - anything at all! As long as it’s in line with your ethics and something you're passionate about, then you’ll be able to take it somewhere. This isn’t just my own view; I work with and represent several business coaches and they say the same thing.
Test Your Ideas
It’s worth using friends and family as a sounding board and I think it’s essential to join a Facebook business group so that you can learn, take part, get tips and make connections ready for when you launch.
An example: I started my business with the concept that I was going to work for other people doing office admin, graphic design, helping at events or on their reception desk covering staff absence… basically a Girl Friday to help with whatever needed doing. A chef friend was going to be available for the catering side, and another friend for the cleaning. Instead, it evolved into a smart online directory where people have their services or products listed, with me as a personal ambassador, using social media and real life recommendations to get them seen and heard, and forming a Business Club that holds monthly lunches. I back up the service by facilitating Facebook groups where clients can do self-marketing and call on the expertise of experts in the group, as well as making connections, forming collaborations and asking for trusted recommendations.
I had no idea whatsoever that my business would emerge into what it is now. Then other things grew out of it, sometimes because of people I was meeting through my business. As we learn more and more along the way, we also grow in confidence. I now have a skincare range and this blog, as well as being a Reiki practitioner. My mum and I have even modelled in a client's fashion show and photo shoots. Who knew? Not me.
I had no idea whatsoever that my business would emerge into what it is now.
My friend and client Helen started a social group and directory also, but experience helping in animal shelters and her love of animals led her to follow her passion and become a dog walker and eventually a trainer. She now runs Pet Professional Network and has appeared on Breakfast TV with a crow she rescued. I know she struggled along the way with her businesses like I did, but has stuck at it and been open to change of direction. It’s beginning to pay off now and she is thoroughly devoted to what she does.
I recount these stories to encourage you to just get started. If you want to run your business idea past an expert, why not book a session with a coach or mentor to assess and refine your concept, and potentially save yourself a lot of wasted time and money down the line. And once you have your business up and running, you need to get a side hustle going too. We can talk about passive income another day.
Lightbulb Moment: It doesn’t matter what you do - just start something now!
Love Sal x