If I had my time over I would have got a business coach from the start of my business journey.
I am now almost 18 months into my business journey and I can whole heartedly say that if I had a business coach my business would be ahead of where it is today. In the 18 months of trading we have gone from 1 to 4 team members and from 1 to 35 clients and it is only now that I have made the conscious decision to stop taking on board clients and work on my business instead of working in my business and let me tell you there is a vast difference in working IN vs ON your business.
In the early days I was so overwhelmed with the support of referrals that I wasn’t ready for the steep and rapid growth that transpired in the first 6 months that I was reactive, always playing catch up and working an unsustainable amount of hours to keep up with the workload demands. I lost touch with most of my friends, was too busy for my family and was single living in a share house with someone who wasn’t on the same page as I was. I became a recluse, a serial work a holic.
New clients were coming in every week and I also have a problem with saying no, coupled with my work-a-holic ways and determined to make a success of my business I was doing what I thought was needed to keep my head above water, clients happy and money coming in the door.
During this time I neglected myself as a person as I felt guilty any time that I did something for myself because I had too much work to do and I didn’t ‘allow’ myself to enjoy life. There was no work/life balance, there was just work. As someone who is generally quite active and on the go all the time I need my hour of fitness every morning as a stress release and also to give me time to ‘love myself’ I have always had an ok figure and I needed to keep active to maintain this.
My social life was the first victim, then it was my family, and then my fitness – all overpowered by work being more important.It goes without saying that I burnt out reasonably quickly although I wouldn’t admit it at the time as everyone saw me as this huge success and one of the chirpiest and happiest people they knew. How could I disappoint them and tell them I am drowning in work and life was just so overwhelming and not in a good way. As much as I don’t like to admit this if I said I didn’t care what people thought of me that would be a lie…so I won’t say that 😉
Where am I going with this?
With the value of hindsight and utilising a business coach I am now able to see just how close I was to loosing the plot. I had very minimal support surrounding me as I have such a strong stubborn personality that I pushed everyone away and my family thought I was fine just because I said so (and I probably would have bitten their head off if they pushed any further), I had no one to talk through the business decisions I was making, only the experience I had gained in my previous jobs was guiding me and the business and I didn’t think I could afford a business coach even though I liked the idea of one.
Now at 18 months in I am able to say confidently that I feel like I am starting my business again and how I wanted to the first time around and with the help and guidance of a business coach. We are undertaking a re-brand to really establish our culture, work ethic and slightly quirky nature. Procedures are being put together for everything and anything that can have a procedure made for it to create consistency throughout the business and client base which I should have made time for in the beginning of my journey. Mistakes are being made and I am now paying for these errors and shooting myself in the foot that I didn’t make myself give the business the time it needed to grow properly rather than just accepting client after client.
The important message I want to address is that even though I have made it to 18 months trading I am learning every day about what I should have done in the infancy of the business yet we are still young enough to fix procedures and make Booksmart what it is today.
Having someone who isn’t your family, partner, friends, old boss or know it all neighbour to guide you on the do’s and don’ts, setting up a website, social media and marketing strategy, having someone to run an idea past or even just to call when you’re having a crap day to keep your spirits upwould have helped so much.
I am in the process of setting up another website as well as the re-brand and so this is now costing me twice as much as it should have if I made the smart move and used a business coach to help me navigate my way through the first 12 months of my business journey (another learning curve!).
I now feel that I am gaining control in the direction that my business is growing. With the help of my business coach I wrote a full business plan and a detailed 5 year plan, already I am starting to mark some of these goals off. Without the commitment and guidance from my coach, I would not have been able to effectively work towards these goals. I know the business journey that Booksmart is now on is a good one and I endeavour to stay committed and follow the guidance of an expert in the coaching field.
Disclaimer– This information is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking into account your particular financial needs, circumstances and objectives. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, it is not guaranteed. You should obtain professional advice before acting on the information contained in this publication.