I didn’t believe it could be done.
Even though my Dad is a tradesman and I was introduced to self employment at an early age, everyone I knew who was self employed wasn’t earning much money. It seemed to be something people did for the love. And many people told me that self employment isn’t about earning money, it’s about not working for the man and working in something you’re passionate about.
Many people told me about how hard it was to get a business up and running, and about how most businesses fail in the first two years and even if a business does succeed, they likely wont make any money in the first year.
As a young lady, it can be really tough to assert – “I’m not THEY, I’m not a statistic, my business will work.” It sounds naive to a lot of people, when you have unfaltering self belief about achieving something you’ve not done before.
I shouldn’t have listened to them, I should only have listened to people who already had a successful business up and running. But a little part of me did, it affected my confidence and in my heart, I didn’t really think it would work. After all, it hadn’t worked 3 times previously. (Yep, I’m on my 4th business.) My mistake was listening to other people who have not achieved the things I want to achieve in life.
I didn’t get a decent website.
When I first launched in marketing, I launched as an agency. It was a good website, and I had a good brand but I wasn’t getting and leads or enquiries from my website at all, so I thought that it would never work. I relaunched as a freelancer and had a small, shit website that I occasionally blogged from. I was getting most of my enquiries from social media and so I felt like a website just wasn’t for me. Wrong!
When I did take the time to create a proper website, brand and email for myself as a freelancer, and committed to it for a year, most of my enquiries came from my website and I got a lot more. I even have quite good SEO and appear on the first page of search results for many of my top kew phrases.
I was giving my clients the advice that marketing results don’t happen over night and you need to give it a year, and not taking that advice for myself. People don’t often make enquiries to businesses they’ve only just heard of. They need to see you around in the back of their subconscious for a while before they want to buy from you. My lack of enquiries in that first two years was because I was new. Trust the process.
I worked with the wrong people.
At first, I tried going after bigger businesses but failed. So I thought “this isn’t for me!” I managed to secure work with some smaller businesses which was a huge mistake. They couldn’t pay me enough money to make my business viable, and they were not used to hiring people, so they became “bad clients”. It made me think that my business wasn’t working, instead of adjusting my business to work with different people.
It takes patience and self-belief to start up.
If I’d have known what I know now, that my enquiries are pouring in, I can pick and choose who I work with and I’m getting bigger clients than I was at my previous agency, I’d have tried a lot harder. I’d have kept patiently doing my own marketing, not wasted time with smaller clients and not wasted time listening to doubters.
The first two years of a business can be really, really hard. A lot of the bad thoughts come from the idea that it won’t work. It effects your performance within your business. You start thinking that maybe it’s not for you.
This is why you really need unfaltering belief. If you entered a relationship with the same attitude, that most marriages end in divorce and this person might leave you at any time, the relationship would fail. You need the bravery to love, even if it might end in tears, even though a lot of people will be pleased to see you fail. Have the same attitude for your business.