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23 things I’ve learned from building a business by 23

August 15, 2022

 

1. It’ll never be the “right time” so just go for it. 

When I started my business I was unsure if now was the right time. It was March 2020, the world was in absolute chaos, employers were making a major shift and I was a brand new first-time mom. On the outside, it would seem that starting a business then would be the wrong time to do it. However, I am so incredibly grateful I started my business when I did. It will never feel like the right time, so you just have to go for it or you never will. 

2. Be okay acknowledging what you don’t know 

I knew little to nothing about owning a business, all I knew is that I had knowledge and skill that I could share and really help other business owners. Building a business by 23 You have to be willing to go into it blind and be curious enough to answer your own questions along the way  – I did a whole episode on Beginning Cluelessly in your own business & being comfortable in your own ignorance, Episode 02.

3. Be willing to learn from those who have been there and done that 

You can only grow as far as you see. Be willing to connect and learn from others that are actively living the life you are trying to create. There is a lot to learn from those who have already built successful brands and businesses. Choose a few entrepreneurs in your niche that you genuinely look up to and make an effort to create meaningful connections. Not a “ can I pick your brain DM” but genuine connection, and engagement with them and their brand.

There is a lot to learn from simply engaging with other business owners & watching how they navigate their own businesses. They may also offer a course which I would highly recommend as you are creating meaningful connections through the purchase and belief in their product but also you get an insider scoop into their knowledge base and expertise. 

4. Be okay with making a fool out of yourself

Your friends and family will question you and people from high school will think you’re a weirdo for a while. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make our businesses seem perfect through perfect brand photos, websites & social media content and it often ends up becoming a roadblock to doing those things because we don’t want to make a fool of ourselves.

You need to be willing to look a little foolish with some terrible beginner brand photography and a terrible social media feed to be able to grow & evolve from that. Perfection doesn’t just happen, it’s created through trial & error. Be willing to look a little foolish to be able to create perfection 

5. Big scary action is Good and is what is going to push you and your business forward 

The times I was the most scared yielded the highest results. The high-ticket client proposals & discovery calls that make you sweat a little are often the ones that are going to yield the highest amount of growth either personally or financially. If you are scared to jump on your next sales call or join that networking group, take that as a sign that you are not playing small and you are taking the necessary action to create big impact and growth. 

6. You have to invest in your business to grow your business

Advice as old a time but one you don’t understand until you do it. For me, this was one piece of business advice that I did not implement as soon as I should have. You are actively asking others to invest in you and your business every time you sell your product or service. If you are unwilling to invest your own funds into your business yourself that makes you nothing but a hypocrite. Would you ever buy from a company where the owner doesn’t invest their own money?

When you refuse to invest in your business, you are saying I don’t believe this is valuable enough to have my hard-earned dollars. Investment does not have to mean stocks or a complex portfolio. Investing can be simple through, Hiring your first team member, purchasing courses or coaches, conferences and networking groups..  When I invested in my first course last year I saw an almost instant return on my investment. My business grew in confidence and impact from my investment. 

 7. Work isn’t ALWAYS supposed to be hard 

I was building a business by 23 to enjoy what I was doing. And somehow when i started to enjoy it I took it as a sign that I was not working hard enough. Work isn’t always supposed to be hard and stressful it can be enjoyable and still be work. 

8. Just like life, your business will go through seasons

When I started by business I saw my growth and income like a steady incline. In reality it is really up and down and all over the place. My business has gone through seasons of growth & being booked out and really slow seasons of reflection and sparse clients. Both are completely normal.

Use each season to its fullest. While you are booked out focus on your client processes and experience. Likewise, while you are going through a slow season invest in a course and continue to grow your skills.

9. Community is the heart of the business 

I knew that there was a community out there of other amazing online business owners but I didn’t truly understand that community until I was apart of it. The support in the online space is out of this world. And in an industry where you would assume it is really competitive and cut throat it is actually incredibly welcoming and supportive.

Online business owners are statistically more likely to suffer from loneliness, anxiety & depression. Being an online business owner can be incredibly isolating if you don’t not make an effort to embrace the community in front of you. Community is the heart of the business because if i did not have community, for support, knowledge & and connection I would not be able to build a business by 23

10. Put yourself out there – even if it scares you. IT’S WORTH IT! 

In conjunction with making a fool of yourself and taking big scary action, you really need to put yourself out there. Building a business by 23 is hard, make an effort to introduce yourself at events, show your life a little on social media. Make yourself connectable. Put yourself out there, in a way that says I am here and I want to connect. 

11. Networking is more about connection than making money 

I had the assumption when I started my business that networking meant selling yourself to others in hopes that they had the connection to your next client. Networking is less about selling yourself and more about creating genuine connections and strong business relationships. I began networking through social media and local business groups. I went into these relationships with a heart of connection and support as opposed to a sales tactic. Networking with the intent of genuine connection will always result in a stronger business relationship than selling yourself constantly. 

12. Likewise, networking is more profitable than marketing 

I have found amazing clients through having really strong relationships with other business owners. We genuinely connect, and form a great cheer squad for each other and are able to confidently recommend their products and services to others. Referrals are one the most powerful client generators and you will receive more of them through networking with the intent and heart of connection. 

13. Time is not your friend but intentional action is 

I don’t think I have ever felt like I have had enough time for anything. And if you’re a mom with littles at home, you probably know exactly what I am talking about. Time will never feel on your side, but strategic intentional action will always make up for your lack of time.

I would spend way to much time stressing about the time I didn’t have vs. taking intentional action with the time I did have. So you may have to put a little more forward-thinking thought into your work blocks but you will know exactly what you are working on each time and will leave feeling accomplished. 

14. Build your business around your life, not your life around your business 

I always desired freedom of time and lifestyle from a very early age. I hated being in school 8 hours a day, I hated being behind a desk when I started working. So I made it a priority when building my business by 23 that my business is structured around my life and the way I work best, vs making my life revolve around my business. 

15. It’s all trial and error

Everything. Social media, websites, networking, and absolutely everything are trial and error. The biggest point here is that you have to be willing to try. This was crucial to building a business by 23.

16. You’ll waste a lot of time trying to figure out how to best spend your time 

When I started my business I was unsure what the best most impactful use of my time was. In hindsight, I spent a lot of time on medical tasks that were not impactful or revenue-generating. Being a mom I was limited on time, so it was important that all of my work was productive and moving my business forward. After noticing a pattern I was able to adjust my work to make it the most value-packed for my time.

17. Internal motivation is the only way you’ll get anything done 

I have always been very internally motivating. Entrepreneurship takes this to a whole new level. As the boss you are the ONLY driving force to getting ANYTHING done in your business. You are the one setting the destination and driving the ship.

You need to make yourself do things you do not want to. In the famous words of Mel Robbins, “No one is coming”. That has been a quote that I hold close to myself to motivate me to push myself, continue to grow & do the things I do not want to do.

18. You need to be the boss and the employee 

This was pivotal for me. This concept was introduced to me by Becky Hoschek . It is your job as the boss to set the plan and be the visionary for the growth of your business AND it is your job as the employee to follow through with what the boss has set forth. By separating the two you will be able to make more impactful growth decisions and be able to tackle tasks efficiently.

19. You need to keep the promises you make to yourself 

This is something I have struggled with and something that I know so many of you struggle with as well. When you tell yourself you are going to sit down and work on your business or take care of an important task it is important that you keep that promise to yourself. When you continually keep the promises you make to yourself you begin to change the way you view yourself. You now view yourself as a trustworthy person who does what they say they are going to do. By creating that identity and developing a trust within yourself you are going to become more magnetic to potential clients and confident in your business.

20. Desperate energy + desperate action yields minimal results 

I have been there. I wanted the clients, and the income SO BADLY that I was throwing things out there to see what would stick. The thing about desperation is that is an energy that often repels exactly what you want. Clients can feel desperate energy and will be repealed by that. When you start to act with abundance and alignment with your goals you will begin to see results.

21. If you wouldn’t invest in your own services how can you expect anyone else to 

Take an honest audit of your products and services and ask yourself “if this was being sold to me in the exact same way I am selling to others, would I purchase this?” Also, ask yourself “what is the value of what I am providing beyond the finished product?” You should be able to answer both questions with honesty. You should be willing to invest in your own services 10x over.

22. Guide clients with your knowledge and a heart of service 

You are not the hero of the client’s story YOU are the guide to get them to where they want to be. Guide your clients with your knowledge and a heart of service. Be the one to educate them on the things that they did not know before so they can create the business that they dream of!

My business is NOT transactional they are not paying for my services, they are paying for a guide and someone that will not only build them a website but someone who will teach and serve them and their business.

23. Ditch the imposter syndrome, believe in your ability to create the life + freedom you have always wanted! 

Nothing is beyond your reach. Believe in your abilities and knowledge that will serve you to create the life you have always wanted. Everyone starts somewhere, you are not an imposter for going after your dreams and using the skills you have to serve others and grow a business. You deserve the EXACT life that you desire and if that means not sitting behind a desk for 8+ hours a day on someone else’s time then WE WILL GET YOU THERE!

24. BONUS Know your WHY

Know exactly why you are creating your business. Have a clear and concise way and use that as your motivator and driving force to get you to where you want to be. A great exercise for this is called 7 levels deep. You ask yourself WHY 7 times. “Why do you want to start your own business? Because I want to serve others and be in control of my time. Why is it important to you to serve others and control your time?” You ask yourself the why connected to your answer 7 times. By the end, you should have a clear why that you can use as clarity and motivation to get you to where you want to be.

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building a business by 23