10 Lessons From 10 Years (Part 2)


Following on from last week’s article, here is part 2 of the lessons I have learned in 10 years of running a business (or things I wish I had done sooner!).

I hope they inspire you to do, be and have the business you want. Business is about designing your future, and there are a lot of moving parts to get there!

Let’s dive in.

Hire before you think you’re ready (and then add on a month!)

This is definitely one of those things that I wish I had done sooner, and I thought I had actually done this ahead of when I was planning to!

It seems that we wait until we are in dire need of help before actually getting help, forgetting that the new person isn’t just going to be able to come in like they have been working in the business from day 1!

Hiring a team takes time. Not only the recruiting, but also the onboarding and getting them up to speed with how your business works, your clients, and your ways and quirks.

‘Hire slow, fire fast’ is definitely the way to go here, so make sure you build in ample time to recruit, onboard and also factor in time for your new hire to work within the business too before anything big lands on their plate.

Surround yourself with good people

Working for yourself in the online space can be a lonely place to be, so it’s so important to build a good network of people who you can connect with, learn from, share experiences and drink virtual glasses of wine with when necessary!

Whether that’s people you meet organically on social media, or via a mastermind group or membership, these relationships will be really important to your journey. To be able to talk to others in the same situation as you is amazing and can make all the difference to navigating road blocks, celebrating wins and your personal development.

I urge you to carve out time to do this and build relationships. I have some wonderful people in my network who are there for the good, bad, difficult, ugly and who help me work things out. Never underestimate that.

Invest in yourself and your business

You know what you’re good at, but you can always be better and you can always do better. But that does often mean parting with your hard earned cash! Something we can be reluctant to do sometimes, but in order to grow, you need to keep on learning, and all those freebies will only get you so far.

Whether you are learning a brand new skill which will enhance the service you provide, or you’re ready to join a mastermind or membership to work on your mindset and general business development, or you would like to refresh and get better at what you currently do, you need to set aside some time and budget to invest in this.

Research all the options before you need them, and then take an informed decision to decide what your best next step is.

This investment also applies to your business, the free versions of platforms will only get you so far. It can seem easier to stick to the free version vs spending $10 a month, but will the extra functionality that you get with a paid version make you more than $10 back in time? You might be surprised!

Take the time to set up your business properly – your future business will thank you for it.

This one is right up my street, and one that I have learnt how important it is through working with clients whose businesses are 10 steps ahead of where their foundations, ops and systems are and everything is just not working as it should or supporting their business goals.

Queue stress, mess and disorganisation.

A business cannot grow unless you have a strong business foundation to support everything you do; your client work, your marketing efforts, your finances, your team and your general business ops.

You need to start early and start setting systems, processes and platforms up as you go, not afterwards when everything will take so much time to unravel.

If this article spurs you on to do anything, please make it be this!

Your future business will thank you for it. Your ideas will integrate much more easily, your goals will be more easily achieved, and you will be happier and confident in delivering your business services.

Take a holiday!

In 2018 I took two weeks totally away from the business. It was the first time since I started the business in 2011 that I had gone away for a stretch of time without checking in on the business once. I even took my emails off my phone. I was ready to holiday like a pro!

I don’t buy into the concept that when you run your own business holidays are a thing of times gone by, and some entrepreneurs are quite happy to make work/life/holiday integration work with them still checking in on a daily basis. I have done it this way before too. But after all that, you cannot beat two weeks of switching off, being present with your loved ones, having new experiences, and making memories.

You need a holiday, and you get no extra points on the Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame scale for not taking one!

I totally get this might not be for you, and you may love combining the two, but if you’re more than ready then my top tip would be back to no. 6 in this article. I was lucky to have two amazing team members who handled everything while I was away. They knew how to get hold of me if they needed to, but they didn’t, and I returned to a business that was still working just as well as when I left it.

Taking a holiday is more about building a business that will support you having time out of it, it’s about taking care of yourself in a way that is good for you. We need to keep well, healthy, and positive. We can’t do that if we’re overtired, a little bit fed up and just not at our best.

And there you have it – I could have actually written more, but I think the 10 I have written about here, and here, underpin what running a business is about and what it takes.

Here’s to the next 10 years!

Meet Katie

Katie is a business operations strategist, manager and workflow expert, designing and streamlining what goes on behind the scenes for better results.