The longest I’ve ever worked anywhere is just over 3 years, but today I broke that record as I’ve been running Outshine Consulting for 7 – woohoo and Happy Birthday OC! So whilst I’m in reflective mode, about to run my first marathon, turn 40, and probably have a mid-life crisis (joking!) I thought I’d pen some of the key things I’ve learned over the last year to add to my Outshine Birthday Memoirs! Regardless of whether you’re a business owner or not, I think they’re relevant to us all…
Lessons I’ve Learned
My journey as a career changer and business owner has been a hair-raising adventure at times, but one that I wouldn’t change, even with hindsight. I’ve beaten those small-business milestones that are so regularly quoted, and feel confident that I’ll still be around to celebrate the 10 year mark. Best of all, I’m still doing what I love and that’s what’s got me to this point. So here are some of the things this last year has taught me which have given me moments of prickly discomfort and days of proud pleasure: –
- Collaboration is good – I love working on my own but every now and again you meet someone that’s got the same fire in their belly as you and being ‘in the zone’ with them is exciting. Embrace the power of collaboration and go out of your way to find people who inspire and motivate you – they’re bloody good eggs to be with!
- Warts and all – I wear my heart on my sleeve and probably tell my clients a little too much from time to time, but you know what – it means they know who I am, and it’s paid dividends. My clients return, they refer their friends and family, and I’ve also made some very special friends along the way – that, to me, speaks volumes. Don’t be afraid to let people know who you are. Of course, protect your personal brand and don’t advertise being a drunken sloth (that’s not me by the way!) unless that’s how you want to be remembered, but don’t be afraid to open up and be human either.
- Find your sense of direction – whenever I don’t have a goal to chase I end up plodding along and achieve very little. However, if you stick a roadmap in front of me and ask me to draw up some lofty objectives, exciting things happen! Make sure you know where you’re heading and what you want to achieve … it’s OK to take a detour, change direction, or get a little lost, but a roadmap will always help you get back on track and moving forward. Unless you want to plod along aimlessly, embrace goal-setting and fall in love with the process because it works!
- Trust yourself – When you feel at peace with your level of expertise and knowledge, and trust that you are an expert in your field and are perfectly equipped to do your job to the best of your ability, then your confidence can take you to places you hadn’t imagined. I’m not talking about being cocky – more self-assured. There’s always more to learn, and better ways of doing things, but trusting your abilities allows you to calm your mind and act in a completely different way. This has lead me to take on projects I didn’t think I was capable of, smash client meetings that I felt incredibly nervous about, and continually elevate my career and business.
There are a tonne of other things I’ve learned over the last 7 years, but I’m not ready write War & Peace III just yet! You can however check out the last 7 years of anniversary blog posts if you’re looking for some career change and business building inspiration – here you go, enjoy! :-
And if you’d like to be the first to christen my shiny new website and post a comment on this blog go for your life (below) – I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas and experiences.