Five things I’ve learnt about running a successful business

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Successful business

This is a special month for me and the Redefining Communications collective, as we celebrate five years since we launched!

A lot has happened since 2017 – a year when Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You was the biggest song, Star Wars: The Last Jedi topped the box office and the iPhone X was released! During this time, Redefining Communications has impacted over 60 clients, and I’ve shared my thinking through books, blogs, articles, podcasts and events.

It’s been a productive and exciting journey. And, as with any type of milestone, it’s a great opportunity to reflect. So, I wanted to share five things I’ve learnt in the last five years of running a business to help you if you’re starting out or are in your early years too:

  1. Be flexible – don’t be too rigid about what you’re doing when you first start. I originally had a clear three-part offer and that’s evolved over the years. It’s changed in terms of what I do but, as the business took off, I realised quickly what I liked doing and what I didn’t. I wouldn’t have known that without trying things and learning along the way.
  2. Have a clear purpose – know why you’re doing what you’re doing. I wanted to enjoy my work, tackle some interesting challenges, and really make a difference for clients. I never wanted a business where I worked weekends or evenings. In fact, I have intentionally avoided that for the most part. I wanted to have more balance, and to see my family and friends more. Yes, there are times when I do some work at weekends; but it is by exception, never the rule.
  3. Get the right support – admin is a time sucker! No one tells you about the stuff you have to do to run a business. Investing in a virtual PA in my second year was the best thing I did. It’s helped me focus on the things that help me grow the business. And I’ve built a core team to help me achieve this too.
  4. Seek out positive people – not everyone will celebrate your success or your journey; it’s important to move away from people who bring you down. Some people will make you feel bad for the choices you make. Spend less time with those people; their negativity is not helpful when you’re already doing something vulnerable by going it alone. Instead, nurture more positive and supportive relationships.
  5. Try things – nothing bad will happen. Don’t feel like everything has to be perfect. I’ve tried a lot of different things over the years – from how I grow my team, to investing in videos that I’ve never used! Sometimes ideas become reality and they just don’t work and that’s OK. We learn and we move on. Being afraid to try means we will never grow and move forward.

I hope you find this advice helpful! If you’re on this journey too, I’d love to connect. And if you have any questions about evolving your business or are experiencing any chaos as you grow, please do get in touch, I’d be happy to chat.

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