Although I’ve been blogging since 2010, I officially registered my business on the day before I turned 30 back in 2012 so I’ve been in business for 10 years!
I also turn 40 this week and it’s been making me reflect on life and business in some big ways.
In this post I’m sharing 10 things I’ve learned in 10 years of running a coaching business and a few musings on turning 40!
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Ten Things I’ve Learned in Ten Years of Business
1 – Having confidence in ourselves and our work
Having confidence in yourself and your work as a coach makes an absolutely massive difference. It makes a difference to how you show up, to how you claim space to how you charge – everything. When it comes to success (in the most traditional sense) I believe that having confidence in yourself and your work is what has the biggest impact.
It’s also something I’ve struggled with massively over the last 10 years.
But as my confidence has grown, so has my business. It’s taken a long time to be able to stand up and say that I know I’m really good at what I do. And while I still have lots of room for improvement, I’ve made a lot of progress.
Whatever you need to do to improve your confidence in yourself and your business – do it! Maybe it’s mindset work, maybe it’s working with some clients for free to build it up, perhaps it’s working with a mentor – whatever it is, do it!
2 – Marketing
Something I’ve learned is that most of us don’t spend enough time and effort on marketing our businesses and doing the stuff that is going to help us grow. Mostly because it’s hard, and even harder when you don’t have the confidence to be visible.
Looking back, I wish I had put more time into marketing and did more of the hard things. Collaborations have always felt hard because I didn’t feel like I could bring anything to the table (hello lack of confidence) so reaching out for podcast interviews, summits etc has been a tricky area in the past.
3 – This is your journey – no one else’s
It’s so easy to become completely crushed by comparison. It’s badly affected me and definitely goes hand in hand with a lack of confidence.
I’ve learned that we have to focus on our journey being our journey. No one else is really arsed about whether or not you lost 5 followers this week or how much money you’re making but it can be easy to spend way too much energy being concerned with what others think of us and comparing ourselves to them.
Our journey is completely unique. The access to resources we have, our circumstances, the privileges we hold – all of these things will impact what our business growth looks like.
I still get a bit of comparison now and then but mostly being able to focus on my version of success, my niche being me, and staying in my land has really helped.
4 – Consistency and continuously showing up
When I think about what has helped me get to where I am now, consistency has been a massive part of it. I’ve just kept showing up in big, but mostly small ways for years and years.
I know there’s nothing sexy about consistency, but it works. Building a business takes time. Showing up consistently with even small actions is what’s going to help it grow.
5 – Don’t rely on social media
I guess this one is pretty topical right now but something I’ve learned over the last 10 years is not to rely on social media – or any one marketing platform / way of doing things.
The online business landscape can change very quickly, so being able to be adaptable and pivot or change when needed is a good approach to have. Being creative and looking for new opportunities can really help make a difference to your business success.
6 – Do what you enjoy
Ah, this is such a big one! If you’re not enjoying your business then what the fuck are you doing? It’s not that every single thing you do in your business should be the best thing in the world, but you want like 70-90% of what you do to be something that brings you joy. Life is too short for anything else.
And when you enjoy what you do it makes everything easier – it makes showing up, being consistent, marketing and even grows your confidence.
7 – It’s ok to change
I originally trained as a health coach and that was my work for 8 of the last 10 years. But even quite early on, because I have a background in business support and design I started helping other coaches with their stuff – tech, design and marketing.
Over the years that side of my business grew and when I had my daughter at the very end of 2019 I knew that it was ready to move fully into the business mentoring space.
That decision took me a while because – confidence!
But I also had massive blocks around changing what I do, ‘selling out’ etc until I fully integrated the fact that it’s ok, if not actually a completely normal and natural thing, to have your passions and interests change – certainly within the space of 10 years.
The business you have now is not the business you will have in the future – and that’s ok. It’s ok to change.
8 – There’s no such thing as a bad business investment
This is such a helpful approach and belief to have. A few years ago I decided that the way I’d approach any business investments was ‘this is going to be good for me no matter what’.
It helps me feel good about investing in my business and helps me see the wide range of benefits I can experience from different opportunities. You’ll always learn something!
When I started to properly invest in my business with coaching and mentoring, VA support and courses and programmes, that was when I started to really see my business grow.
9 – You’re in a relationship with your business
This is a more recent learning for me. As someone who has felt like herself and her business was the one entity, I’ve started to see things more like I’m in a relationship with my business than it simply being an extension of myself.
My business has its own ‘spirit’ and while I’m still massively connected to it, that slight separation has been helpful when it comes to projecting some of my own insecurities into the business.
10 – It’s always about the people you want to help
It can be easy to forget this part, but the most fundamental element of your business is the people you help. Without your clients and customers your business doesn’t exist. So understanding them, helping them, creating good experiences for them – that will always help your business grow.
On turning 40
I’m not going to lie, I’m really feeling this one! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking back to my late teens / early twenties and when I turned 30 and just how things have changed.
I’m a completely different person to who I was then. I’m definitely a late bloomer and it’s always felt like the older I get the more ‘me’ I feel, the more I get my shit together, the better I look and feel.
There’s a general sense in society that as you get older your life get’s shitter – your health goes, your looks go, that we are somehow diminished as we age – especially women. And I’m saying fuck that.
And while I do worry sometimes about feeling invisible, I remember that I never really felt that visible in the first place. I’m truly coming into my own now and I know this decade of my life is going to be the best.
I’ve gifted myself a necklace for my birthday with an engraving on the back which says ‘the best is yet to come’
Right at this moment I’m probably the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been. I’m definitely the most confident I’ve been. I’m really glad I didn’t peak in my 20’s and I have so much to look forward to.
Overall, something I’m feeling more and more is caring less about what other people think. I’m 40 and fresh out of fucks basically.
Bring it on!
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