4 Lessons I've learned in my first year in business

Wow! Can you believe 2015 is coming to an end? Me neither!

This has been a really exciting and challenging year for me. It was my first year in business. Well, my first 8 months, to be more precise.

It has been an amazing, challenging, frustrating, stressful, yet fun adventure! As the end of the year approaches, I couldn’t help but reflecting on some of the incredible things that happened to me in 2015 – my first clients, my first workshop, my first e-guide, the many fabulous entrepreneurs I've met in person and online, and so much more.

I also started to reflect on my mistakes and the lessons I’ve learned, which won’t be repeated next year, that’s for sure.

Today I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned from my first year in business, so hopefully  you don't repeat the same mistakes.

1. Don’t let fear hold you back

 Yes my friend, fear has held me back many times this year. There were lots of things I wanted to have done this year and I haven’t, and if I'm totally honest with myself, it was purely for fear. 

Fear of other people’s judgement, fear of failure, fear to invest too much time or money and not see the return, and maybe even fear of success.

We all feel that from time to time, and it's ok, but it’s important not to let fear stop us or hold us back. In 2016 I’m leaving fear behind and I’m going for it!

2. We harvest what we plant

The second thing I've learned is the importance of investing heavily in my business. Without investing things move really slowly and it can be quite frustrating. Unfortunately this is a catch 22, because when starting a business we don't make a lot of money, so it’s hard to find the funds to invest, but without investing it’s harder to make money and propel our business forward.

I’ve already taken the first steps in the right direction, and got myself a business mentor. I also put aside a bigger budget to invest in my own marketing in 2016. How else can I expect my business to grow?

3. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail

I don’t start any work or project for my clients without a plan. So why shouldn’t I do the same for my own business?

Without a plan, it’s easy to miss opportunities, waste time and money, and have no direction.

A plan helps you foresee upcoming opportunities, consider what you want to do and where you want to take your business and create an action plan with steps to take you there.

I have already finished my marketing plan for 2016. Have you done yours? If not, you’d better get cracking. Need some help? Download your Free Marketing Plan Guide here.

4. Streamline your processes and get help!

I’ve learned that I can’t do all myself. No matter how much knowledge and experience I have in my field, there are lots of things about running a business that I didn't know, and still don't know. It takes time to learn it all.

To save time, stress, money and a few tears I've learned that it's best to ask for help, and outsource what I can’t do, so I can focus on what I do best.

Many of the things we do, from our bookkeeping, to our sales processes, marketing, and admin can be easily outsourced, freeing up a lot of precious time to work on our business, instead of in our business. This freedom gives us space to look at the big picture, think, innovate and grow our business.

Which lessons have you learned this year? What will you do different in 2016 to achieve your goals and have your dream business?

Don’t forget, if marketing is NOT your area of expertise, we are here to help you. Don’t let another year go by before you make the decision to invest in your business. A year from now you will wish you have started today.

I would like to thank you for your support and readership this year. It has been an amazing journey and it wouldn’t be the same without you. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you a fabulous Christmas and a very successful New Year!

See you in 2016!