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The lessons so far, including my biggest mistake!
The first lesson, from an operational sense has been the hardest, please learn from my mistakes! The first few months in business have taught me a lot! As exciting as it has been being the master of my own destiny, it has also been frustrating at times as I really under-estimated the time needed to set the business up. The setup is now complete and I am really excited about focusing on business outputs. I have learnt a lot in a very short amount of time and I’m tipping the learning will continue!
The biggest mistake so far
RecruitMe is dead. Connecting Recruiters is alive and happening. I had to re-brand my business, 12 weeks in (thank goodness it was only 12 weeks in). I was called a few weeks ago, advising me that someone else was trading under that name, and that it had been trademarked. I did not read the fine print, and just assumed that when you registered a business name (and it came up in their available name search on ASIC website), that this business name was in fact available. Available to use and yes available to advance you to the payment screen! It still blows my mind that ASIC can sell you a name that can’t be used. But I also did not read the fine print under trademark’s (and failed to do a trademark search). ASIC does not combine their search and the trademark search. So if my mistake can help one person in the future, I will be happy!
The Importance of Time
I thought I knew the value of time but going into business has really highlighted how important time is, as there is never enough! Time needs to be used wisely, as how your time is allocated is the most influential factor in pushing the success of your business. The timing allocated just for ‘thinking’ should never be underestimated either. Reflection and thinking time is hard to measure but needs to be incorporated into your daily routine.
Administration and all that computer stuff
You can’t be good at everything right? Admin and IT are certainly not areas that I would consider strengths and setting up administration and IT structures has been a challenge for me. There have been many moments of panic when it is all on me! I have worked through it and the big world of ‘freelancing’ and ‘outsourcing’ has had a very positive impact on my business. My CRM system has been implemented and my website is up and running. The business set up took a lot more time that I had ever imagined and I have felt frustrated at times working on tasks that are at the back end of my business. They will certainly add to my success, but have taken time away from me, time I wanted to spend on other things (work that generates the invoices!).
Small is great
In the current business environment, there is a real shift towards the freelancer and the sole trader. There will always be a need for the large multinationals, but small business has so much to offer in regards to personal service, flexibility and the offering of services without the huge price tags of working with the big guys. Small is something to be proud of.
The Need for a Mentor
Well I am lucky enough to have inherited two of these and they know who they are – thanks!
Family comes first, work comes second
This certainly won’t be the goal for everyone, but it is my goal and it is one of the main reasons I started my own business. Don’t get me wrong, I have been through stages were I have been obsessed with the traditional idea of success and riches. Fortunately my perspective on life is focused on having a certain level of comfort, and if more comes it is a bonus. My business and the time allocated to it is just as much about quality of life as it is business outcomes. We all talk about finding the balance, but how many people actually do?
My first month in business has certainly taught me that you can’t force motivation. I plan my days (the day before) and I have certainly realized that each day is not equal in terms of the amount of motivation I will have, so why force it? Some days I am firing, other days for whatever reason I am not as motivated (tiredness, household duties etc.),I have learnt on the days I am not feeling as motivated to concentrate on the more menial tasks and that it is ok to cut yourself some slack. Don’t get my wrong, I have way more motivated days that unmotivated days but I have learnt to manage my workflow around it. I recognize that life is a series of peaks and troughs so why fight it, I have leant to work around it instead.
The glass needs to be half full
Surrounding yourself with people who believe in you and believing in yourself are key ingredients. My life experience has taught me that success in life comes down to attitude, your ability to connect and keeping that glass half full.
Remember why I made the leap!
I made this leap, as I have a strong belief in service and how things “should be done”. I also made this leap to reach a very important goal of giving my family a work/life balance many people dream of. When you have a clear purpose its exciting when you are making it happen. Daily goals and setting a daily purpose are key to achieving my output. I get to have a career whilst also being actively involved in my family’s lives. Career woman by day, taxi driver by mid afternoon! I am excited about the next 12 months ahead and the journey I have chosen.