You probably started your own business ‘by accident’. Things happened, buttons got pushed, you got the nudge (or push) you needed to take that leap and do it.
But nobody taught you how to do it.
You are learning along the way.
Last week I was staying at a hotel in Chile, when one morning I was at the front desk and noticed two young women in training.
And it dawned on me that as small business owners we don’t get this help. We have to do it on our own.
Chances are you can do ‘what you do’ almost with your eyes shut. But being a small business owner, a solopreneur in most cases, means you can’t just do ‘what you do’. You have to do all the other stuff involved in running a business. And that doesn’t come naturally.
I went to Business school and then entered the corporate world where I stayed for 14 years. This has actually been a great help now as a business owner. Although I didn’t love my job, I don’t regret having all those years of experience. It gave me structure and has helped me enormously. Spread sheets don’t phase me in the slightest. Goal setting, tracking budgets, setting up processes and realising how important these things are without agonising about them.
Later, I did my coaching certification and learnt how to be a coach. It was a very rewarding experience: I learnt heaps, got tons of practice and had to do a lot of things out of my comfort zone, BUT what they don’t teach you is how to set up your business, how to run it, how to get clients. Fair enough, it isn’t their job. Their job is to make sure we know how to coach. But once I had my diploma in my hand, I was out there in the big wide world and thought ‘now what?’
I was lucky enough to have my own coach.
I was lucky enough to search and find online programmes that did just that and which suited ‘me’. And I met some wonderful people.
I also worked with a fabulous business & marketing coach for that one-to-one I value.
That’s how I did it.
You don’t have to have all the answers.
You aren’t expected to. It’s ok to make mistakes and have doubts, but don’t struggle with them alone. It is so much easier and rewarding to have a support group to share your challenges (and celebrate your wins) with. People who understand what you are going through, because they are going through the same thing.
That’s the bottom line. It is so easy nowadays to search and get that support online (search for groups of people who are going through the same thing) and locally (network groups) – why not create your own if you can’t find one that interests you?
Running your own business is an amazing roller coaster adventure, with ups and downs. But as a small business owner it is also a lonely one. And that can make it even scarier and mind-boggling. You might not understand the how’s and what’s of all of it. You might feel stuck and not see how to get unstuck. There is no boss or colleague to throw ideas around with.
So why on earth would you go through this journey alone?
My challenge to you is to find a group that resonates with you, that ‘gets you’ and get involved.
And if you are already part of one, take it one step further and connect more deeply with two or three people – you will know who – and make them your accountability partners.
It really helps. I promise!