We all have to learn things the hard way. That’s just part of life, right? But today I’m sharing a few of the lessons I’ve learned the hard way so that you can possibly avoid them yourself. Sound like something you want? Well then, let’s jump in to hard lessons learned in business.
Links for This Episode
Podcast Episode Recommendations
- #68: How to Choose a Project Management Tool that Works for YOU
- #60: Is Shiny Object Syndrome Preventing Your Business Growth? 3 Ways to Know
- #55: How to Design a Marketing Strategy That Works for YOUR Business
- #50: Don’t Feel Like an Expert? 3 Mindset Shifts to Eliminate Imposter Syndrome
Hard Lessons Learned In Business after 6 Years
Well hey there and welcome back to this episode of the Mama Business podcast. I am so glad you are joining me today. I don’t know about you, but I kinda love those little peeks into the lives of other business owners when they are sharing the things that didn’t go super great for them. Maybe that’s not a good thing, but I love learning what not to do so that – hopefully – I can avoid the same mistakes in my own business.
Kinda like seeing that car in front of you hit the pothole in the road, and then being able to swerve so you don’t ruin your tire as well? Wow…that was a decent analogy right off the top of my head.
And I’ve been in business doing what I do now for about six year now. But, I’ve been an entrepreneur since college. From selling homemade jewelry, chocolate truffles, and a myriad of other endeavors – I’ve been at this awhile.
So, today I just wanted to take a few moments to share some of the hard lessons I’ve learned in hopes that they might encourage better results for your business journey.
Join the Mama Business Blueprint!
But before we do that, I need to ask, have you ever wished there was a way to grow your online business as a busy mama without doing “all the things”. A way that doesn’t have you neglecting your family in the process or spending money or time on tech that just doesn’t work for you?
Because, here’s the deal – I know what it feels like to worry that I’d have to use every free moment of my day or become a slave to social media in order to build a successful business. To want a strategy that worked for ME, but have no clue where to start or which platforms or tech to use or even how to make it all work together.
But what if you had a step-by-step blueprint that gave you clarity around what to do and when to do it so that you could set up, connect, and automate your systems and tech, increase your visibility online, and, ultimately, create more impact – all without the guesswork?
That’s exactly why I’m creating The Mama Business Blueprint.
Where I’ll be teaching how to lay a solid foundation for your Mama Business without the guesswork.
You’ll have step-by-step, click-by-click tutorials to help you manage the tech you need, to set up your systems, and to ensure that your content marketing framework is ready to attract your ideal clients.
Ultimately, you’ll walk away with the knowledge you need to grow a successful online business AND you’ll have the systems in place to actually make it happen.
So if you’re ready for… a customized business framework tailored to your needs as a busy mama, without the confusion, overwhelm or guesswork…
Now is the time.
Hard Lesson #1: You Need a Hobby
You need a hobby outside of work. For most of us we started our business out of our passions. But there will be times when it becomes WORK and you need a break or refresher or escape. Make sure you have one.
I’ve struggled with this a lot over the last few years. Because the things I do within my business are the things I love to do. Problem solving, creating content, learning about new systems and processes – all of those things are things I love. And yet, there are times that I need a break. And…that I want my kids to see me do something other than focus on work, right? And wandering around the house aimlessly really just annoys my entire family.
So, make sure you prioritize a hobby ASAP.
Hard Lesson #2: You Need Systems ASAP
The second hard lesson I learned is that you have to have your systems in place sooner rather than later. It’s really easy to get caught up in how much something costs or how much time it might take you to get that system or that automation up and off the ground , but I really wish that I had put greater effort into getting those automations and systems in place from the very beginning. Because the truth of the matter is that the sooner you have systems in place, the quicker you will make money. Your systems make things fluid and consistent, which means you can show up with confidence, like a professional, and leave imposter syndrome behind.
My guess is that if you aren’t feeling like an expert in your industry right now, it’s because there’s something on the back end of your business, it’s not working fluently. It’s not that you don’t have the knowledge or the experience or whatever else it might be, it’s that you don’t feel like you can show up in a way that looks like your competitor shows up. So definitely definitely recommend getting your systems up and going as soon as possible. It’s definitely something that I learned the hard way and I know it impacted my income in a negative way starting out.
Hard Lesson #3: You Need a Clear Offer
The third thing you need is a clear offer. And this is some thing that a lot of business owners, myself included, don’t focus on right out the gate. If you are just starting your business, even if you’ve been in business for a while, you need a clear offer. It’s okay to do a few complimentary things when you are just getting started, but don’t do “all the things”.
And then you need the willingness to say no when somebody asks you to do something that’s not within your offer space. I learned this one really the hard way early on I actually took on a client who wanted me to do some work with him and I took him on because I needed the money at the moment. But it was not within my wheelhouse, and in the end I had to give him the money back. It was absolutely the most embarrassing thing for me, and it was super unprofessional of me to have taken the job to start with, and I just highly recommend being very clear on what you offer. If you are desperate for money, go find a job. Don’t offer somebody something that’s outside your wheelhouse.
Hard Lesson #4: Recognize Your Energy Levels
The next mistake that I made was not recognizing and working within my energy levels. We all know that we have times of the month maybe or times of the year or seasons of life that we just don’t do things well in. Or maybe we’re more creative at certain times and we’re less creative at other times and should focus on different tasks. Whatever it is I really wish that I had put this idea of working with my energy levels into place before I got very far into business.
This is especially important for moms in business because we have so many things that need our attention and energy, right? So it’s easy to keep pressing through and end up doing subpar work, missing things, or just plain ending up burned out or sick.
Recognize and work with your energy levels. This is something I didn’t do in the beginning but I definitely do now. If you know you’re exhausted – then take a break, fuel your body, work on something that gives you energy instead. Don’t fight against it. That’s what leads to burnout.
Hard Lesson #5: Leave Shiny Objects Behind
The next thing I learned the hard way is that you don’t need all of the shiny objects. Do your research, pick a tool, and stick with it for at least a full year. Every time you change, you waste time, money, and take your focus off what really matters.
And I love love love new programs and tech so this is a really hard thing for me, but it’s true. Choose one thing. Stick with it. This really does come down to doing your research ahead of time and then making sure you get the education you need to use whatever platform you’ve chosen. Because when you can seamlessly use a platform or a piece of tech – then you’ll be less likely to branch out to other things just because you can.
Hard Lesson #6: You Don’t Know It All
Embrace that you don’t know it all, but you do know YOUR thing. Take courses, join masterminds, get professionals on board. There’s nothing better than having something done well – and not spending a gazillion hours doing it yourself – especially if it’s something you are genuinely not good at.
On the flip side of this, know what you stand for and be willing to take or leave the things you need. Just because one person says something works for them, doesn’t always mean that’s the thing for you. You are allowed to say no. You are allowed to take what you need and leave the rest behind. In life and in business. So don’t get bogged down in this.
Take Action to Avoid Hard Lessons Learned in Business
And that brings us to the action part of this episode. And we all know that action is where the dreams turn into the reality. And today’s action step is this:
I want you to consider your business systems. Are they fully set up, organized, automated and easy for you to use? Because – here’s the deal – your systems will make or break your business and, ultimately, the life you have around that business. If they aren’t working for you, you won’t have the time and space you need to embrace a hobby. You won’t be able to clearly communicated and execute on that clear offer. You will want time to rejuvenate and work within your energy levels, but you might not have that flexibility if you are always chasing down the things you need to do next or having to troubleshoot something that isn’t working properly. So, it really does come down to those systems.
And…if this is something you are struggling with at the moment, I want to extend the invitation to come join me in the Mama Business Blueprint. The six week course will help you lay a solid foundation for your Mama Business without the guesswork so that you don’t have to do all the things. You’ll find step-by-step, click-by-click tutorials to help you manage the tech you need to set up your systems, automate them, and design a content marketing framework that works for you. AND, I’m also giving you my project management hub that I personally use within my business as a bonus for joining. So, register today at sarahbrumley.com/blueprint. Our first round starts May 1 and I can’t wait to see you there. Once again, that’s sarahbrumley.com/blueprint.
No matter what you decide, though, mama, just know that I’m cheering you on. You’ve got this. Have an amazing day and I’ll chat with you next time.