Blog about 15 Things You Need To Hear If You’re a Business Owner In The UK
OK. Here’s the thing – this isn’t one of those “five simple steps to magically make 6 figures” articles. I’m known for my ‘on the nose approach’ and after reading this post, you will still have to do the same hard work to overcome the barriers you face in your own journey if you want to move forward.
What you will find in the next 700 or so words is an honest look at what it can cost to persevere when things get terrifying and difficult and what I’ve learned that actually matters – because if we don’t start there, nothing else we get right will really matter. And right now the business world of the UK is a very difficult place (despite what you see on LinkedIn and other social media platforms) and could well get harder, not easier as the ripple effects of the global pandemic are felt.
When I first started on my own journey as a business owners ( or as they prefer to call it now, an entrepreneur), I was totally taken by the idea of being a business owner and told myself I could build that business in my spare time without giving up who I was at the time. I mean how hard was it? I’d made hundreds of thousands and millions of pounds for corporate businesses. I believed I could become a successful entrepreneur on my own terms.
But there was this moment when I decided that what I was doing mattered – and that it mattered enough for me to go all-in. I saw clearly the potential to empower the lives of others through our coaching and believed in that bigger purpose enough to get braver, work harder and sacrifice more.
It was in that moment that I stopped playing at being a business owner and got serious about building a business with an incredible team who were just as committed to success as I was.
Far too often, I think business owners fall in love with the idea of being a ‘someone’ instead of falling in love with solving a problem. We say instead of do, and we don’t commit fully to riding out the more difficult emotions of fear, self-doubt, worry, disappointment, frustration and anger when things get really hard and go wrong.
Here are a few things I’ve learned so far both myself and through the challenges that I’ve helped business owners like you through, (although, and here’s the ‘on the nose’ bit, I am far from finished with my own journey. (And if anyone else says otherwise, they may well be being a ‘someone’.))
- Go all-in. There is no playing at running you own business or entrepreneurship.
- Don’t settle for the feel-good emotion or fool yourself into believing that visualising something greater is anything other than planting a seed; dig deeper and get serious about moving forward. (Deep breathing, crossing your fingers and toes really doesn’t work)
- Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes – learn from them, but ffs move on.
- Don’t quit too early because you mistake learning for failure. (Cue that cartoon of the diamond digger you see on Instagram)
- Attention is not success. Facebook fame is not success. Instagram (insert other social media platform here) fame is not success. Investors are not success. Revenue and customers are success. Never, ever forget that!!
- Avoid the tendency to celebrate failure – it leads to mediocrity and giving yourself an easy out when things get hard.
- When you hit a barrier, be sure you’re solving the right problem – both in your business and within yourself.
- Be willing to sacrifice. And sacrifice some more. (Be honest with the nearest and dearest about what, why and how with this)
- Understand your limits – and whether your limits are setting you up for failure. Don’t think you can do, make, build, create everything. You can’t. And some people are better at it than you anyway.
- Be sure your loved ones are willing for the journey, or you will pay the price of losing relationships or failing at your business when you’re forced to choose. Get a team around you that will ride the bus with you when the Limo breaks down.
- Assess your motives. If you want to be famous instead of solve something important, do something outrageous to get your five minutes of fame. Plenty of business owner are never famous but build incredible companies that are successful and change peoples lives.
- Don’t believe the lies you tell yourself that hold you back. Have an honest chat with yourself regularly.
- Be fearless but not foolish.
- Understand that the price will be higher than you imagine – emotionally, financially, physically, mentally. No sugar coating here…it will be tough.
- Seek advice from people who have made it to the other side of what looks like impossible – and be willing to hear their hard truths. And do what they did…why reinvent the wheel when they’ve already done it?
There is no easy path to becoming a successful business owner, but what I will say is that the difficulty of the journey is, in itself, worthwhile. It reveals our weaknesses and insecurities and, more importantly, our resilience and courage. The sense of achievement wether publicly or in moments of quiet are quite simply something money CAN’T buy.
I’ve had to let go of a lot of things that used to fill my time – but I also know that it was in letting go of those things that I gained the bandwidth to focus on what needed my attention and time to move forward.
It’s good to remember that succeed or fail at building a business, the journey through the proving ground can be invaluable if we’re willing for it.
I wish you the best of success, and if I can help you in anyway to move your business forward, just drop me a note and we’ll see what we can do.