#052: 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business

This weekend marks a double anniversary for my business. Two years of Marketing Magic and one year of hosting this podcast! What a wild ride it’s been — and I’m sure, if you had to start over again there’d be some things you’d do different or wish you knew.

That’s exactly what this episode is about.

It’s 10 lessons I’ve learned in since starting Marketing Magic — both business, personal and podcasting.

Lesson #1 – Trust your gut!

Whether you’re just starting out, thinking about launching a business, been in business a while or been around forever — there’s something about trusting that you’re making the right decisions that change things.

As a solo entrepreneur or even small business owner with a small team — we make SO many decisions day in and day out — and it can get exhausting to keep at it and make smart choices. But that’s the thing. It’s our business, our dream and we can build it however we want too.

The mistake I know I made and I’ve seen so many people make in their business that slows them down or derails them is when they ask too many people for advice.

I recently read this quote and fell in love: (author unknown)

Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice from.

Too often we “ask for opinions,” unsure if we’re doing the right thing — and it ends up being 100 reasons why we should do something else, which lands like a critique of our judgment over and over.

Lesson #2: Be vulnerable

If you can’t learn to be vulnerable and experience emotions — your relationship will suffer. It doesn’t matter if they’re personal, professional, familial — real relationships take vulnerability to make them work.

Although my personality is very bubbly, I am a very private person. It’s why if you’re a personal friend of mine on social media, you hardly see me post commentary or pictures of my children or family. I tend to keep things to myself, both the good and the bad — which can make people suspicious or unsure whether to trust you or not.

What I’m learning and still working on that’s been immensely valuable is to repeat to myself and tell my children — You can do hard things.

You can do hard things.

Lesson #3: Start podcasting today

I knew podcasting was a long-range plan for visibility and business success. But man, I’d tell you if you’re even toying with the idea of starting a podcast and you can tie it into generating leads, revenue or visibility – I’d say jump in with both feet today.

The podcasting platform continues to gain steam and pick up loyal followers each day.

(if podcasting isn’t your jam but a YouTube channel or FB Live series is — do that!)

Here’s why podcasting is amazing to jump into:

  • It forces me to deal with my perfectionism in real-time and let it go. I can’t be perfect on a podcast. If I tried, it would never air each week. Podcasting with a growing subscriber base makes me be consistent and show up as myself.
  • If you’ve been listening for any length of time, you know that what you hear is what you get. I can’t possibly be someone different on this podcast than I am in real life. And that has been a hidden blessing to be. myself
  • You find your voice when you talk about what you do, how you do it and the topics passionate to you and your brand each week.

Lesson #4: Choose your metrics wisely

On episode #005 I did an entire podcast on how and what to track to make sure your business is growing, healthy and so that you feel like you know what to work on each day.

When you’re growing a business, you can get paralyzed by tracking numbers that don’t matter — and getting sucked into them. I call them vanity metrics.

If you’re tracking things compulsively, it means you’re avoiding doing real work in your business. Ouch! To avoid this, you need to figure out what metrics tell you the health of your business. These metrics show you if you’re growing, sustainable and cash positive.

Those metrics are the ones that predict if you’re growing a viable and sustainable business.

Go to episode 005 to learn what these are for YOUR business, and get my free Metrics download.

Lesson #5: Relationships are everything.

Can I just say that it doesn’t matter if you’re new, you’re local, you’re online, you’re remote, you have a team or no team — there are some really amazing people out there, and some people who are totally crappy.

If you feel like you’re only finding crappy people — keep looking! They are out there.

I know I felt like I was going to be a loner in my business forever and

The connections and collaborations and referrals are what’s going to make or break your business.

Some of you may not want to hear this because you want to go the passive route and sell courses all day — but you still need relationships to get the ball rolling and people to hold you up on the hard days.

Lesson #6: Stick with the thing I’m doing well until I’m doing it awesome.

This lesson keeps showing up in my business, so I figure someone else needs to hear it as well. I am a doer — and I have a million ideas at all times running through my head that I want to try. Plus, I’m a Quickstart on the Kolbe — which means I start all these ideas often too.

This makes things very fun and exciting but doesn’t equal a lot of finished projects. So I’m telling all of us, it’s OK for you to have one offer you’re good at and consistently put it out there over and over and over again.

One thing.

Just one.

I like instant gratification. I think a lot of us do in this fast-paced culture of now, now, now.

But there’s no way to measure true success, gain a following that truly understands what you do if you’re showing them 100 new projects every quarter. It’s like whiplash to those following you.

So I would strongly encourage, that thing you’ve put out into the world 1 or 2 or 3 times…. put it out there 12 times and let’s see what happens. Or 100 times. You may have only received lackluster results the first few times and that’s why you’re moving to something new — but if you can stay focused on it and just make minor tweaks, you’re going to be 100x further than if you start 8 new projects this quarter.

If you can stay focused on it and just make minor tweaks, you’re going to be 100x further than if you start 8 new projects this quarter.

The last piece to this lesson is that to us, when we stick with one thing, one offer, one product, one service — we sound like a broken record to ourselves. However, you never know who has JUST found you and is hearing this for the first time. It’s blowing their mind.

Lesson #7: Get help sooner, rather than later.

Episode #017 dives into when to hire someone in your business and when it’s a waste of money. BUT, the points when I’ve made the biggest leaps in my business are when I invested with someone for a particular thing. For example, I need help getting from point A to point B, or I need help mastering sales, or marketing, or ads, etc.

To be able to do this, you need to know what you need and how you work best with others.

I know I don’t do courses well. In fact, I buy them and never open them. It’s like taking my money and flushing down someone’s dirty toilet. Gross, but true.

I need someone who’s going to kick me in the butt and give me accountability to actually do the things I’m saying I want to accomplish.

Lesson #8: Credit cards are the devil.

Don’t buy that thing that you think is going to take your business to the next level with a credit card. They often are used for wishful thinking and purchases and not purchases grounded in concrete decisions that are going to help you grow a business.

Debt feels awful. It drags you down and feel guilty, and makes you get into a weird hustle mindset that it makes it difficult to grow your business. If at all possible, if you don’t have to use credit — don’t use it.

I LOVE Profit First by Mike Michalowicz — if you want a good resource for managing your business accounts and money so you’re taking a profit from Day 1 — so you don’t have to freak out and use credit cards.

Lesson #9: Hire help if it gets you to your zone of genius faster

This lesson is for both personal and business. If you can hire someone to do a task in your life at a much lower rate than it would take for you to do it yourself AND you can afford it (without going into debt) DO IT.

It is a tremendous load off of you that are not in your sweet spot. One example for me is podcast editing. I handed mine over to Caroline at Caroline Creates. She and her team are fabulous.

I held onto the editing and post-production for 10 months before I finally brought someone in to do their zone of awesomeness.

On the flip side, at home, I have a college student that watches my kids on summer break and I decided to UP her hours this year because I know that if only need to sell 1 of THESE things (insert whatever offer you have) a month to pay for her watching them more hours.

What’s up next for me is someone to do my laundry!!

Start small by even just finding out the prices for someone that you want to hand over a task too. Figure out what you actually could hand over, when you do the math. Then do it!

Lesson #10: Be intentional on social media

I have a love/hate relationship with social media — we all know this.

There is a pull between needing to be public — and needing to be real without being fake. I need to set boundaries for my own mental space on how and when and where I’m going to show up in a way that’s authentic but not soul-sucking.

I’m reading a great book called the Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch. (You can get it for free on Kindle Unlimited — if you don’t have this already, it’s $10 a month and amazing!) It’s in alignment with the thoughts rolling through my mind. How do I be present but not let it control my life?

Even more importantly, how do I set healthy boundaries so my kids aren’t zombies? What boundaries do I need to put in place and how do they affect my business and family in a positive way?

Technology should be used in a way that it brings people together, not in a way where it’s putting you in isolation so you can simply consume it.

What am I putting out there and how is it fostering community instead of just being out there for attention?

So some boundaries I’m setting are: my phone goes to bed before I do and wakes up after I do — meaning it’s not with me at all times and it has a set time when it can be used.

So here’s permission to back away from social media and still run a viable business. Get off channels. Set timers when you’re going to check in. Figure out what healthy boundaries look like and then stick to them.

About Marketing Magic:

The Marketing Magic podcast is where women entrepreneurs trying to do all the things come to get inspiration, business strategy, and on-air coaching on how to get their business noticed and growing. If you have a business that people need to know about in order for it to grow, you’re in the right place. This is the place to uncomplicate your marketing. Be sure to listensubscribe, and leave a review! Join the conversation of other unapologetically successful women in her Facebook community, The #girlboss Club.

By | 2019-06-13T16:03:04+00:00 June 13th, 2019|How To..., Scaling a Business|