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365 Days in Business - Survive or Thrive? What can you learn from my first year in business?

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

365 days to reflect on!

Last year I wrote a blog on ‘Day 1 Week 1’

Today I sit here writing a blog on Day 1 Year 2

I am not sure where the last 365 days have gone. It has been a crazy 12 months and I have been on the most amazing journey.

It has been one hell of a learning curve and most definitely not anywhere near to my comfort zone but I have loved the challenge!

If you have heard me speak and tell my personal story then you will have heard me cover off the top things I learnt along the way.

  • Nothing will happen until you take the first step

  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

  • There is always a positive in every situation

  • Put 100% into everything – you get out what you put in

  • Look after you first – without guilt

  • Know your values, needs and purpose

Looking back on the last 12 months .. here is what I have learnt, and how I have grown.

  • Nothing will happen until you take the first step

In February last year I was told that I was being made redundant, it wasn’t expected, I had been told a couple of weeks before that there was funding for my role for the next couple of years.

I had to make a decision, I had 16 weeks to either find another job or make this business work full time.

I chose the latter. That was my first step.

What followed was a huge number of small steps that have brought me to where I am today.

Is the business successful? How do you measure success?

My measures of success are as follows;

  • Build a community of support

  • Help people be the best version of themselves – Mentally, physically, emotionally.

  • Pay the bills

Has this year been a success? YES!

  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

The past 12 months have been an incredible journey of personal growth. If you have heard my story you will have heard me talk about my ‘Yes’ years. This year has been all about saying yes to all the opportunities that have come my way.

I had an idea of the direction I wanted to take but I did not foresee a lot of the opportunities that have come my way.

Have I learnt that I am capable of more than I thought – Yes!

Would I do all of them again - No!

Did they lead on to more opportunities – Yes!

Has my comfort zone grown – YES!

  • There is always a positive in every situation

Has the last year been all positive? Interesting question as my initial response is - Yes!

When I stop to think about it the honest answer is actually no. However, I am really strict with myself in searching for the positive in every situation and so when I look back over the year I only remember the positives. Even the more challenging situations had a positive learning as a result!

I have learnt a lot, but even the challenging situations have helped me realise what I am truly capable of so that is a great positive to take away!

  • Put 100% into everything – you get out what you put in

Here is the honest truth. I have worked harder and more in the last 12 months than I have ever done in my working life.

Self-employment is relentless

Building a business is relentless

Lets face it, this is on me. There isn’t a team to delegate to, there isn’t a team meeting each week to bounce ideas around and have help making decisions. There isn’t a boss to make the final decision and take the weight of responsibility - well there is, but it is me!

I have given it 100%. For 12 months I have made it a priority, given it my energy.

Did I get out what I put in? YES!

  • Look after you first – without guilt

So, this is an interesting one! In the last paragraph I have told you that I have worked longer and harder than ever before!

Have I looked after myself? On the whole - yes!

I have had to rethink how to do this, I have had to do this differently and I have had to make some changes. It took some time to work out what a good balance for me is in my new world.

Taking time out to look after me has had to be a priority. I don’t have time to be ill. This means it has been important to look after myself. Eat well, sleep well, take some ‘no people’ time out, take time to re-energise, take time for activity, even if this is different to the activities I was doing last year!

Taking time out to rest and recuperate means I can give the business 100% the rest of the time

Can I do this without guilt – YES!

  • Know your values, needs and purpose

Last – and by no means least as this is probably the most important one on the list!

I have my values and needs on the wall of the office. Every time I make a decision, I ask myself if it is in alignment with them. If not, why not, and what can I do to bring them in alignment. If I can’t then the decision is made!

There was a time where I lost sight of my values, my needs were not being met and I had no sense of purpose.

This was a painful and frustrating period of my life. I have no intention of returning to that place!

Have I made business decisions based on my values, needs, purpose – YES!

If you have been part of the first 12 months then thank you!

Thank you for being a part of it, for helping me shape decisions to make sure what I provide is what you need.

Thank you for giving me the space to be me.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you and share your journey to success with you.

Here is to the next 12 months …

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