Next month I’ll be celebrating 9 years in my business.
Yay, happy anniversary business baby!
I’m unbelievably grateful for the life my business has allowed me to create.
But it hasn’t been without its many challenges.
My journey has not been a straight path.
I’ve pivoted a bunch of times.
Some days I’ve been sparkling with joy. While others have rendered me a sobbing heap on the floor.
But through all my experiences, I’ve learned a truckload.
And I’m here today to share some of those lessons. In the hopes it’ll provide you some comfort if you’re in a slump. Or some motivation to help you bring your own dreams to life.
There will be highs, and many lows
None of us are born knowing how to be successful business people.
It often takes trial and error, along with countless ‘failures’ to understand what works.
You need to expect to ‘fail’ along the way.
But that’s ok.
You’ll learn from every single one of them. You’ll learn what worked, what didn’t and what you need to change to make it better.
The great thing is those lows don’t last long. There’s always another high around the corner.
You have full permission to succumb to the ugly crying and hiding under the covers for a while. But don’t wait too long before you step back into action.
The next cork popping moment is always within your grasp.
Invest to grow
This has been one of my biggest lessons.
I spent the first 5 years in my business alone, doing EVERYTHING myself.
I didn’t have a business coach.
I didn’t buy courses.
I didn’t sign up for software and tools.
I wanted to save money and convinced myself I didn’t need any of those things.
How wrong I was.
There’s a reason my income swayed around just £15,000 a year, in my first 5 years.
Since then, my mindset around investing in support has changed dramatically.
So much so I spent over £6,000 last year on the things I needed to push my business forwards.
Without the right advice and support, you’ll never be able to take your business to the next level.
Time out is essential
I’m one of the biggest introverts you’ll ever meet.
I’ve come to accept the wild ebbs and flows in my energy and mood.
Which means for me, time to just BE and recharge has become a non-negotiable.
But that’s true for every single one of us glorious business owners too.
We’re all humans with only so much energy available in our bodies.
If our energy hits rock bottom, we simply can’t show up as our best selves and do our best work.
It’s why I’ve grown my business in a way that’s infinitely scalable and doesn’t require me to be in it all the time.
And it’s why you’ll always see me sharing content around how you can create more freedom, impact and income in your life.
Because space and calmness is important to me.
And it’s my life’s work to show pet business owners how they can create more ease and flow in their lives too.
Systems and tools are a lifesaver
I’m expanding on this here because this is an important lesson.
As I’ve already mentioned, I used to avoid paying for things, because I always thought: ‘I can just do that myself.’
But you know what that does…
It zaps your time that could be better spent working in your zone of genius.
Time is money, as they say.
Now, I have a bunch of systems and tools operating in my business that help me save time and take away a lot of manual work.
This gives me more space to serve my clients, make more money, or relax with one of my many hobbies.
Here’s just a snapshot of the kind of tools I use:
- Booking system
- Email marketing system
- Social media scheduler
- Checkout system
- Course platform
- Platform connector
- Landing page creator
Each one is crucial to support my growth.
If there are areas in your business that feel difficult, time-consuming and just plain old hard work, there’s always a better way.
Trust your instincts
Always listen to your gut. It’s very rarely wrong.
If a potential client is setting off alarm bells, listen to that voice.
If it feels right in your soul to invest in a business coach, go for it.
If your mind is nagging at you to introduce a new service, do that!
It’s a beautiful thing to be able to trust in yourself and your choices. But I know it’s not easy. It takes some time to hone that skill.
My instincts are always growing, always getting sharper.
Mindset is everything
The mind monkeys will rear their ugly heads whatever stage you’re at.
You’ll come face to face with imposter syndrome.
Those voices will scream ‘I can’t do this, or I’m not good enough!’
You’ll have preconceived ideas about what you’re capable of or how much you can earn.
Every ounce of your being will try to keep you in your safe zone.
There will be overwhelm. There will be anger, sadness and frustration.
I know this, because I’ve felt all of those things.
But the key to keeping all of this mental crap at bay, is to actively work on improving your mindset.
My mindset coach has helped me get a handle on my own mind monkeys.
But do what you need to do to turn your negatives into positives. Find your own methods or get the help you need.
Have bull-headed consistency and patience
Success doesn’t happen overnight.
Heck, it can take almost a decade to really start seeing a difference.
I’m living, breathing proof of that.
What you do need to have is the determination to carry on even when it feels hard.
Even when you really don’t want to write your social posts, (because why bother, no-one’s engaging, right?!).
Even when only 1-2 people show up for your Facebook lives.
Even when your recent launch was a giant flop.
Even when people aren’t buying from you.
Because here’s the thing… That’s just your reality right now.
If you keep showing up with a message that truly helps your people, you will start to get noticed.
Don’t get disheartened.
And remember, everything is a learning opportunity.
Choose the path of least resistance
I’ve loving taken this from my money mindset coach Denise Duffield Thomas.
She often talks about choosing the path of least resistance.
And as someone who values freedom in life, this really resonated with me.
As business owners we can have a tendency to overcomplicate things.
And again, in part, this comes back to my point about using systems and tools in your life.
But it’s also about choosing only to do what you’re good at, integrating processes and having standard operating procedures in your business too.
This is another big topic I cover and help my clients with. And particularly how it applies to marketing your business.
It’s things like:
- Organising, batching, scheduling and repurposing your content.
- Having automated emails in place when someone signs up to your email list or buys from you.
- Having email templates so you can send standard responses to customer questions.
- Creating a passive income stream like an online course so you can earn while you sleep.
- Working in your zone of genius instead of doing things that feel hard for you.
We don’t have to reinvent the wheel to make a decent living.
Always be your beautiful, unique self
I cringe when I look back at some of my earlier social posts, blog posts and videos.
Because they were NOT me.
They were some filtered, half arsed version of me.
I was so fearful of what people might think of the real me, I toned everything down.
To the point there was zero personality. Honestly, some computer could have given my words and voice more life.
But that’s never going to draw anyone in.
If you want your business to stand out online, you need to bring all of you.
Let all your quirks and brilliance sing.
Real, raw and authentic. That’s what people need right now.
So don’t be afraid to let it out. Give it to them and you’ll make adoring fans and customers for life.
I’ll probably be celebrating my 9 years in business with a daytime adventure with Loki, a few glasses of Prosecco, a takeaway and video game with the other half. When did I get so rock and roll!
I hope these lessons have given you some comfort and perhaps a splash of inspiration.
If you’d like more practical advice and support on how you can create more freedom, impact and income in your life, don’t forget to check out the Pet Biz Thrive Online Club.
We’d love to help you take your pet business to the next level and beyond.