Although I’ve been side-hustling Marketing Goodness for 3 years, it was just over a year ago I bravely cut ties with secure part-time corporate employment to give this business a red-hot go. There have been ups, there have been downs, and there have been lots of new experiences.
Here’s my thoughts on what I’ve learned this year.
It’s no surprise, I like to be around people.
I’m quite happy with my own company and very self-motivated, but man do I thrive around the energy of other people. It’s all about balance. It’s why I joined a co-working space in Barangaroo a few days a week. I get the best of both worlds.
And hello. Barangaroo is a pretty cool hop, skip and a jump from my ferry.
It can be lonely working for yourself, so it’s important to surround yourself with a good network of people (online or in real life).
You don’t have to say yes to everything
When you first start out, it’s easy to have a scarcity mindset. Worried when the next client payment will come in, how you’ll pay the bills, how you’ll manage cash flow etc. You say yes to things you really don’t want to do.
But, when you say no, it means you’re opening the door to something you love doing. And it works. I’ve seen it. In real life!
Saying no, and sticking to your core skills makes way for growth
It’s ok to make mistakes. But only if you learn from them.
No one is perfect, and running your own business is a huge learning curve. There’s the tax, there are business set-ups, there’s marketing, there are sales, there’s IT, there’s HR, you name it. The one man/woman band is you. And, you have no choice but to deal with it. Sometimes you’ll get it right, and other times you’ll stuff it up royally. But that’s ok too. If you own up to it and work out how to make it not happen again.
The best lessons come from what’s considered a failure
Systems and Processes are the way to go
When you’re busy, the only way to ensure everyone has the same experience is to create awesome templates and systems. It takes off the cognitive strain of having to think -how do I do that again? And saves so much time in the long run.
This year I’ve put together a pretty good suite of business and copywriting templates thanks to the advice of guidance of Kate Toon of the Clever Copywriting School. And in 2019, I’m going to share my very own Marketing Templates on my site.
If I focussed on my process from day 1, I’d have grown a lot sooner
You have to set boundaries
It may sound appealing to be your own boss, but not everyone is cut out for it. The hours are long, your new boss can be a real tyrant – making you work all hours of the day, checking socials, emails, being on call. WARNING. If you don’t have an off-switch, you’ll reach burn out pretty quick. Roping off ‘me time’ or blanket – no work times, has made a difference to how I feel about work and has boosted my creativity.
It’s ok to take a break. Work out how to work smarter, not harder.
I like sales
Who would have thought? Sales are meant to be the icky part, but I enjoy it. And, I think it’s because I’m more invested in what the potential client needs than what I can get out of it. To me, sales are all about finding a problem and working out whether you have the solution. If that’s not me, or outside my skillset, I have a great network of other freelancers to refer work to.
Sales is about listening and finding a solution to your potential customer’s problem.
I don’t love networking
Which is a surprise to people who know me. I love people and can usually find common ground with anyone, but there are only a few networking events I’ll actually attend – LinkedIn local Sydney was a good one.
Events I attend involve learning. If I’m going to give up my me-time to talk with strangers I want to come away knowing something I didn’t the day before.
If you do network, please be present with the person you’re talking to – not scouring the room for your next business card victim
Customers aren’t always right, but I’m not either
It’s ingrained in my head that the customer is always right – but that’s not always the way.
It’s up to me to help my clients understand marketing, what the process is, and guide them through so we get the best result. That’s what they are paying me for. Sometimes the best ideas come from the business themselves, they just need some outside help to make them happen.
Work towards a common understanding and ditch the ego to be right at the door
I love training
To be honest, I’m scared of Public Speaking but when I put my teaching hat on – all that disappears. Simply because it’s all about the audience and not so much about me standing on stage.
This year I’ve delivered numerous small training sessions (seems up to 8 people don’t scare me) on Marketing 101 and LinkedIn.
Seeing the Aha moments for my customers is the highlight of my day
I’m finding my voice
Over 20 years experience in marketing has taught me a lesson or two and this year I’ve consciously started sharing what I know so others can benefit. I’ve tried to let my quirky Beck shine. I’ve been active on LinkedIn, written numerous blogs, submitted an article for publication under my own name on a business site and have upped my Social Media game.
It’s ok to be you. Each of us brings something different to the conversation.
As 2018 draws to a close and 2019 looms I’m excited. It’s time to grow, collaborate and help more business owners and companies with their marketing.