Tiddler and Fox News
Goals and Plans
No matter how much time you spend talking to friends and family, colleagues, plus the world and his dog about business before you get started, there is simply nothing better for your development and learning, than actually doing.
So when I started my business, I certainly wasn't arrogant enough to think that I knew what I was doing, in fact, I was well aware that I knew less than nothing. So my first year was a vertical learning curve; thoroughly enjoyable, incredibly frustrating at times but a wonderful and exciting challenge.
I also read a great deal about business, followed lots of blogs (still do) and read a lot of newsletters and often came across blogs posts titled something like 'what I wish I'd known before I started'.
So I thought I would add my thoughts to this with the 8 biggest lessons I learnt in my first year of Tiddler & Fox.
Ask for help - as I have said, I knew I didn't really know what I was doing but I was not afraid to ask for help. Don't feel like you should be an expert straight away - you won't be and you'll have a million questions, so if in doubt - just ask! There is a lot of free advice out there, as well as that which you'll have to pay for, but it does reap rewards to look for as much help and information as possible.
Read lots - I have read an immense amount of information in the form of blogs and email newsletters, listened to podcasts and so on and again, all this for free and it has been invaluable - so read as much as you can. You may only take one piece of advice from an article but that that one thing could be a game changer for you.
Network - meet people and make those people like-minded! You'll need support from people who know what you are talking about and can feel your pain - sorry pleasures - of being in business. Again, lots of free networking out there as well as paid, so try it all, you never know who you'll meet - I've made some amazing friends through networking and they all 'get' me and my business.
Get Training - this goes back to the point of asking for help - if you know you have a weakness in one area - get some training on it. There are lots of free training seminars and courses out there for small businesses so find as much as you possibly can, but you may have to pay for more in-depth training.
Don't overspend - I got carried away at the beginning with branded this, that and pretty much everything. I don't regret it but I could have done with reigning myself in - most of it wasn't necessary, at least not to begin with.
Don't try to rush things - it will take longer than you think. As with much in life, it won't happen overnight, let things grow naturally and sustainably and don't rush into things without thinking them through - expensive mistakes happen this way - you will however learn a huge amount from them!
Be flexible - things will change all the time, you learn as you go along and life also has a habit of getting in your way - be flexible enough to adapt and change, not just to external changes and your own learning and ideas but to your customers needs and wants.
Have fun - biggest lesson of all - plus don't take yourself too seriously. If like me, you are in it for the long haul, you have to enjoy it, otherwise why are you doing it?!
Speaking of fun, the sun is out, so I'm going to make the most of it and have a cuppa outside! Until next time x
Life never quite runs as smoothly as you would always like does it? 2017 has been a bit bumpy for me so far but the road is getting smoother as the weeks go by. Having split with my partner at the end of last year, January was a bit of an odd month. It's a sad and grey month anyway so it was doubly sad for me. However, I was determined not to become down and to face the future with hope and vigour.
So I took myself off for the weekend, going down to Dartmouth in Devon for a rest and a chance to take a good look at life and where I was going and how I felt about it all, my personal circumstances plus my business which was just over a year old.
Now, I've had some challenges in the past; divorce, redundancy, all the fun stuff you know, and each road block has been a chance to learn and grown and I have never allowed myself to grow bitter and have always tried to be positive and strong. Strength has been a bit of a by-product of all the fall outs over the years and something that I am actually very grateful for. Especially going into business for myself, you need it, believe me!
But this time was different. We are all our greatest enemies I think and I'm no exception; being incredibly hard on myself and quick to blame myself when things go wrong. But not this time, there was no blame anyway, but only a good opportunity to learn from this and to make some badly needed changes to my mindset. I invested in various books, I'm loathe to call them 'self-help' books as they are generally more about business success and money as much as anything, but they have been the catalyst for great change in the way I see myself and also how I understand myself.
I took the time over that weekend in Dartmouth to set some personal and financial goals for 2017, more on that in a future blog post, as I want to talk today more about the transformation that has taken place for me over the past 6 or 7 weeks and to recommend how the same could happen for you.
So back to these books. Three in particular really resonated with me, one was incredibly transformational and they are:
Get Rich, Lucky Bitch - Denise Duffield-Thomas
Miracle Morning - Hal Elrod
The One Thing - Grey Keller with Jay Papasan
I list Denise's book first as this is the one that has had the biggest impact on my mindset - ever. And I don't exaggerate. What Denise advises goes pretty much beyond everything I have ever read about mindset, exploring the way you think, looking at reasons for negative thinking and how you can let go of old patterns and false ways of thinking. It's been an emotional journey but wow, what a difference it has made.
I now understand where my myths have come from, it's made me more aware than ever before of why I think the way I do and allowed me to let go of the past and move on. If this sounds like something you are searching for then get Denise's book now! Yes it's about money but the premise is essentially to change and improve your mindset, and that you can do for any area of your life. Let me know if you read it and what changes it makes to your life.
Secondly, the Miracle Morning has been a great eye opener to how I start my day and by starting it in the best way possible, setting myself up for the best day possible. Still working on that one but each morning I am more focused and seemingly much more content and ready to get going than before.
This has the potential to really alter how I approach my goals and what actions I take each day and I intend to develop that approach in the future. I'm also liking the fact that the first hour of my day has nothing to do with Facebook, Twitter or even looking at my phone! That can only be a good thing....
Thirdly, The One Thing - focus people!! Well, I can honestly say that the idea of thinking big and then going small and identifying your One Thing has been an eye opener for sure. Great for honing in on exactly what you should be doing and how to discard all the fluff that we really shouldn't be bothering with. Also nice to have a chapter around how to say no....read it if you have the same issues!
All these books are available on Amazon for not a lot of money (I have no affiliates with any of these, this is just my personal opinion) but are likely to make huge changes to your life, if you allow them to.
If you read them and experience any benefits, please let me know in the comments, I would love to hear of your success stories too.
Until next time x