Look back, you’ve blazed a path! Sometimes you have to look back to see how far you’ve really come.
Like many of you, I started in the corporate world in sales. I started right out of university, with no experience and no client list.
I was handed a phone book and released out into the world to find clients (yes, that’s how we prospected back then!) Google was not what it is now.
During my time in sales I also took 3, 1-year maternity leaves and had to rebuild my business back up each time I returned.
I have never been afraid of hard work.
Taking the leap into entrepreneurship brings a different kind of hard work, and a different level of responsibility. As I reflect on the last 5 years since starting Boost Coaching, these years have really flown by (well, with the exception of the last 12 months! - thank you COVID). I’ve learned some hard lessons, just like most people in business.
Here are 5 things I really value that I wish someone had told me on day one. They’re insights I am happy to have now and to share with YOU:
1. Resourcefulness is our safety net.
I often say growing a business is like building an airplane as you’re flying it - it’s good to seek out the mechanics along the way! I’ve had to learn and change course along the way. Sometimes, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, but I knew enough to be resourceful and find people with more knowledge to help me in my journey. And that is the ultimate safety net. My business, team, and even my clients aren’t my safety net - my resourcefulness is. The more resourceful and open you can be, the easier it will be to thrive in your business.
2. Choose your clients as carefully as they choose you.
At the beginning, I took on clients that weren’t particularly aligned with what I do, and most importantly, how I do it. Many people came to me who wanted the work done FOR them rather than learning how and being empowered, which was against my methodology as a business coaching model because it incubates dependency rather than empowerment. It took me firing a few clients to get clear on how to identify and onboard the right clients and make sure they were a good fit for my model. It resulted in greater results and fantastic client relationships.
3. Understand who will advance or slow down your progress.
The truth is, there are just some people who will stunt your growth rather than add to it. And that’s not particularly their fault or yours. You could be at different stages of your businesses. But it could also be because they’re just used to a certain work environment. For example, if I spend time with people who blame external sources when things don’t go their way, that could greatly impact their progress and subsequently mine as well. Instead I spend time with people who make things happen which inspires me to do the same on a daily basis. Make sure you build a community of like-minded professionals around you who are headed in the same direction.
4. It's not just about the work but also the COMMUNITY.
We often spend a lot of time “doing”, getting wrapped up in the day to day, and we often forget about the vast benefit of community. Community can bring you support, knowledge, connections, and so much more. It really comes down to making time to connect with others. I truly believe if we are all looking out for each other in business, the rewards will be greater for everyone.
5. Have help from someone who is not attached to the outcome.
I’ve had my coach forever, and this surprises people when I tell them. Because they assume I wouldn’t need a coach. But pro athletes and top business leaders have coaches to challenge them and give them outside perspective, and the truth is I can be objective about everyone’s business but my own. So having someone to be accountable to and have thoughtful conversations with is key to my growth. It is important to have somebody who is attached to you doing things properly but not attached to the outcome to help you move beyond your own bias’ and opinions and keep you moving forward.
These 5 lessons are the biggest lessons that I’ve learned over the years that I’ve reflected on recently. And I know, as an entrepreneur, I will continue to learn and grow from each and every experience. What are some of the lessons you have learned over the years? Leave a comment for me and let me know. When you look back, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come.