My biggest business lessons of 2016
Welcome into 2017 lovelies.
I’ve a sneaky suspicion this year is going to be an incredible one for many of you as you continue to launch and grow incredible businesses doing what you love and creating incredible lifestyles for yourself.
After taking some serious down time in December, I’m coming back to my business with fresh eyes and having be thinking back to 2016 and what I learned along the way. Whilst it was an incredible year in business, it certainly wasn’t plain sailing all of the way and there are many things I learned which I thought I’d share with you here.
In no particular order, my business lessons of 2017 are as follows….
Its ok to take a breather
I went into 2016 working crazy hours, under the impression that earning incredible money and growing my business equaled 24/7 hustle. I was afraid to take time out, afraid if I took my foot off the pedal I’d return to my business to find my audience would have disappeared and my income stream dried up.
What I now know is that isn’t the case. Just as it takes time to build an audience, your audience similarly aren’t going to vanish just because you take an extended vaycay.
I took pretty much the whole of September off, ten days in October, a week in November and two weeks over Christmas. Incidentally, November was my highest earning month. My point is, taking time out isn’t going to kill your business and in fact, it’s a good thing to have a pause every now and then and hit that reset button.
Having systems set up, a VA to help out and an automated way to make money means you can have time out without it doing any serious damage.
Creating more content doesn’t equal more sales.
I went into the year on a content creation high producing a whopping two blog posts a day.
I love content creation so this was something that lit me up but at the same time, creating more work for myself didn’t necessarily mean more sales.
In fact, towards the end of the year I took my foot off content creation pretty much entirely so that I could get super clear on the direction I wanted my business to go.
And guess what? My audience still grew and my sales actually soared.
Why? Because rather than creating more content for my existing audience, I promoted the content I’d already created (I pushed them back out across social and promoted using Facebook ads)
What I’ve realized is that it is far better to create less but create incredible blog posts rather than create more just for the sake of creating. Also, creating content that is Evergreen (ie doesn’t need updating) means you can regurgitate old blog posts during periods when you want to take time out of content creation.
Personal Branding is major
I went into the year still very much hiding behind my brand. Although I was able to get clients, I sold courses and my business was doing well, I knew it could do better if I put myself out there more.
So, that is exactly what I did. I did more video, I shared more of ‘me’ on my social media, I became very transparent about what I earned, I took up guest speaking opportunities and I networked more.
Then, towards the end of the year, I took the big decision to attach my coaching and mentorship to a separate brand that is under my own name www.daniwatson.com
Whilst using a brand name and creating a brand like I have with The Clique allows you to build an amazing community, there is no denying how powerful your personal brand can be and my sales skyrocketed as soon as I became more visible with my audience.
Your network is your networth
Your personal connections are your greatest asset as an entrepreneur. Who you have on your side in business is going to dictate how far your rise. I’m so incredibly blessed to have made some AMAZING bonds with women who are doing incredible things in their businesses. These women are either at a similar level to where I’m at, or have been in business much longer. The important thing is, having regular contact with women who you can learn from and who inspire you is major.
Invest in a coach/mentor, get yourself into a mastermind, have regular contact with a business bestie, attend networking events/conferences/group coaching programs where likeminded women hang out and watch your progression go through the roof.
It’s ok to say No to things
I used to feel that I had to say yes to every single opportunity that came my way and that if I didn’t, I’d disappoint someone or I’d miss out on something.
What I now realize is that turning something down because it isn’t exactly aligned with your goals or isn’t something you’d really love doing is fine.
Whilst it’s ok to help people out with things every now and then, you have to put yourself first. Ask yourself;
What will I gain from doing this?
Is this the best use of my time?
Will I actually enjoy doing this?
I often help others out with things but I’ve also learned to say no when I don’t have the time or it isn’t something I really want to do. And that is OK! You are serving no one if you commit to things and then resent it or you agree to something that you can’t manage in your schedule.
Self care is an important part of building your business
The beginning of 2016 was NOT my year for health/wellness. I lost my way when it came to working out/eating healthy and it took me a while to realize how much that was harming my business.
In order to show up as the best version of you for your business and for your clients, you NEED to look after yourself first and foremost. No one does their best work when they are eating crap, not getting enough sleep and not working out.
Treat looking after yourself an essential part of your business growth. Schedule in working out/planning and prepping healthy meals/taking rest as you would a business meeting. Your health is your wealth after all.
The ability to delegate/Outsource is KEY to growth
I hired my first person at the beginning of 2016. I let her go a week later. Why? Because I was still of the impression that because I could do everything in my business, I should do everything. I was a control freak and hated handing things over to someone else.
I soon realized that someone who runs a six-figure business doesn’t do so solo. No one gets to that level alone. If I wanted to get where I wanted to go financially, it would require me to create a business that was scalable and being scalable starts with hiring people to do the work that you, as the business owner, don’t need to be doing.
Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. You need to decide what your time is worth and where your time is best spend then get comfortable handing over the things that someone else can do.
You need to be comfortable spending large sums of money
At the beginning of 2016, I was still fearful of spending in my business. I’d made a few investments, but nothing significant mainly because I was so scared that I wouldn’t make a return on what I spent.
I wanted my business to grow, but didn’t want to spend the money required to get there.
I have since reminded myself that you don’t create a multimillion pound business without financial risk. If I wasn’t prepared to spend large sums on things for my business, I would never be able to bring in large sums either.
This isn’t to say you can just throw money at your business and it will automatically thrive, but that as your income grows, so will your outgoings. It’s all relative and you have to suck it up that seeing a lot of money go out each month is something you will just have to get used to.
You can’t be everything to everyone