Recently someone asked me what key things I'd learned since I began my first business twenty years ago. It got me thinking!
Of course, I have a massive list of things I'd advise you not to do or to do when either starting or re-thinking your business, so to keep it shortish I decided to focus on key mistakes I've made along the way. (Just so you know, I think mistakes are life's gifts!)
Having started my working life in a 'job', as you probably did too, I soon fulfilled expectations and rose up in a corporate career, but in 1996 health "issues" scuppered my plans forcing me to become unemployed and unemployable.
Suddenly the safety net of my regular salary was gone and the physical stamina I'd always trusted to be there wasn't. Fear kicked me down big time, and the confidence I'd always relied on dissipated into very thin air...
I grabbed the nearest rope I could find and hung on (read 'made it work'). This was a partnership with an enthusiastic friend. Her 'let's do this' attitude felt good. She'd go out and bring in clients. I'd do the work behind the scenes at my own pace. It seemed a perfect solution.
Tip 1: "Never make a decision or choice when you are inhabiting the diminished version of yourself, when you are focusing on options through the lens of your lack, your fear. Those choices are doomed to fail because they are not a true reflection of your nature."
For all the failure of our friendship and subsequently our partnership, the experience made me realise what I had to offer and what I could do when I put my mind to it, including taking charge of my health.
In no time I had started two businesses, one for love of the product and another just because it brought in easy money.
I loved the first business, it was fun travelling to get beautiful home-enhancing products I loved, each of fabulous quality and workmanship, bringing them back to the UK and selling them at high quality or big shows and expos; but finding customers, getting them to commit to us and then keeping them happy, was hard work. The overheads of the business were high too. Still I ran the business reasonably successfully for 5 years before I handed it over to someone else so I could focus on my second business as it was bringing in the real money.
Tip 2: "Just because you love doing something doesn't mean you can make a successful and sustainable business out of it."
My second business was in property services. The work was fairly mundane but there were limited overheads and it was financially very rewarding, especially once I began employing others to do the work while I kept my focus on bringing in more clients and increasing profits. The problem was I was working long hours, 6 days a week. No time for my little kids, my husband, my friends or fun. (Key value of mine!) And I wasn't using my natural gifts and talents. I was simply chasing more clients, work and money.
Tip 3: "Just because it is easy to make money a certain way doesn't mean you should do it that way."
Have you created your own gilded cage, been the architect of your own prison, having to keep doing what you do but no longer enjoy, just so you can keep bringing in the money you, and those who rely on you, are used to?
That was me 17 years after I started that business.
Tip 4: "Focusing on earning more money, bringing on more clients and being successful does not make you happy. It doesn't fill that part of you that wants to make a contribution to the world, that wants to fully express and share your talents and passions, so your life feels significant. "
I knew what I was doing had to change but I couldn't imagine another option. I couldn't see a way forward. In fact I didn't really know what I wanted. I just knew that I didn't want to carry on doing things the way I was.
It took the death of a friend a family member to wake me up, to make me realise life is finite. I could keep seeing all the reasons I couldn't make a change and continue living like this until I died, or I could focus on options, opportunities, possibilities until I found a way to find and pursue my life with a sense of purpose and meaning, while still bringing in the income I needed to.
Tip 5: "Focusing on how stuck you are or how difficult a change may be, will keep you stuck longer. Feeling powerless, trapped, stuck, bored, in a rut or whatever else you want to call it leads to depression. Decide differently!"
All it took was a decision, an internal commitment and my life began the transformation it has since gone through.
I now help women in business find their life purpose and adjust their businesses to express their life purpose so that they earn a good income while doing something that brings them meaning and happiness.
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Want to know more?
There are articles about life purpose, business, fingerprint analysis, getting unstuck, natural brand, authenticity and more...
Also, there are a number of live video recordings on the Hands-on-Business Facebook page where I go into greater detail about different aspects of your life purpose, showing up, your business and what is in your hands and fingerprints.
WORK WITH ME
I'm Helen Elizabeth Evans, a London based life purpose coach and consultant. I work with women in business (and open-minded men!) to powerfully awaken their life purpose work, using a unique combination of scientific hand and fingerprint analysis, deep intuitive skills and practical business acumen running my own businesses for the last 21 years.
I'd love to start a conversation about whether we're a good fit to work together. Simply use this link to arrange an informal chat. There's no hard sell. Just a warm, down-to-earth conversation and a straight forward, honest assessment of whether working with me would be right for you.
I have been running my own businesses from a home office since 1996 and am passionate about business being the vehicle for our freedom. I am also deeply passionate about us each having a purpose on this planet and it's my job to help you find and live yours. I am known as the UK's No.1 Scientific Hand & Fingerprint Analyst as I introduced the system to the UK in 2010. It is the most accurate profiling tool I have encountered. I also have a masters in NLP and have studied astrology and psychology for years - getting your mind to work for you rather than against you!
My clients tell me I am a powerful kick-starter for their purpose, helping them clarify their focus and create an inspired vision aligned with their purpose. They describe me as a highly intuitive, deeply powerful, passionate, authentic and an extremely practical truth teller who makes them laugh, feel safe and free to be their true selves. I help them discover who they really are, find their true purpose, give them a spiritual blueprint for their life expression and help them create a business that is based on their life purpose, so that they can live happy, fulfilled lives without feeling like its all a struggle or just hum drum.