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What I Learned In My First Year Of Business...

What a year it has been!

It has been a strange one for us all. One full of ups, downs and lockdowns..


And that's probably why I'm so excited to say that MVA turned one year old on Saturday!!


Did they think I was crazy to start my own business? - Yes!

In the midst of a global pandemic? - Double yes!!


But I knew what I wanted to do and I was determined to get there!


I feel like I've learned more in this past year than I have in my whole life! (entrepreneurship will do that to you!).

And I want to share the most important lessons that I learned in my first year of business with you.


Full disclosure, I learned some of these lessons the hard way..

I'm hoping that by sharing them with you, it might help you in some way or, in the very least, that you can relate to them!


Let's do it!

1. Just Because They Don't 'like' Your Posts, Doesn't Mean That They Don't See You


Sometimes people read posts and just don't think to double tap.

I've noticed myself do it at times, we scroll scroll scroll.


I've had discovery calls with people who said they felt like they 'knew me' because they had been following me for so long.

People mention that they heard about me from a family member or a colleague.

The strangest one was when someone told me that they heard about me from their reflexologist. And I don't know any reflexologists!!


None of these people actively 'liked' or interacted with my posts.

While people may not be actively liking your content, believe me they are taking note!


2. Community Is Key


Nobody understands your wins, struggles and experiences like a fellow entrepreneur. Simple as!!


Having a community of like minded people in your corner will help you get through just about anything.


Reach out to people, start conversations, join communities or networking groups.

It's important to have people that you can talk to and relate to, especially if you are a sole trader working on your own.


3. Give It A Go!


Don't hold back on giving something a bash because 'you've never done it before'.


There is a tutorial for just about anything these days.

You could also reach out to your community to ask for advice on what you are doing.


If you don't try, you are limiting yourself!!

Get out there and expand those skills!


Most of the things I do now, I didn't know how to do this time last year.



4. Don't Wait Too Long To Get The Hang Of Scheduling Your Content


I resisted scheduling my content for a lot longer than I care to admit!!


Suddenly I was busy, very busy and I didn't have the brain capacity to think about

my social channels. It was only then that I invested in a scheduling tool.

And I'm still finding my rhythm with it.


I envy those who batch create once a month and don't have to think about it after that!!

Be like those people :)


5. Tweak & Change As Required


As your business grows, you learn and develop new skills.

You figure out what works and what doesn't.


Don't be afraid to use your new knowledge and skills to make tweaks and changes in

your business!


Over the past year I've had three different logos and three different websites!

Each time I made a change, it only benefitted the business.

I even started out thinking I would specialise in a services that I don't provide at all anymore!



6. Free Resources Are A Lifeline In The Beginning, BUT...


Before your business starts bringing in real money, it's hard to fathom paying subscriptions for things like software's, tools, coaching or mentoring.


We all start off with the free versions/trials and most of them, are pretty darn good!

BUT as your business grows, you'll soon realise that they just aren't cutting it anymore and that it's time to start investing in your business.


Whether that's investing in support or software that packs a little more punch, the investment will only benefit the further growth of your business.


7. Make Sure To Schedule Time Off


But the beauty of running your own business means you can take off whenever you like, right?


In reality, if you don't schedule real time off, you might end up not taking any at all!


And there's no Boss around anymore to tell you that you need to take your annual leave.

It's on you!



8. Don't Stay Silent Because You Think 'Everyone knows that'


I have done this my whole life.

"Sure everyone knows that, so there's no need for me to say it. I'll only sound silly".


SAY IT ANYWAY


Whether it's an idea that you have in a meeting or a topic you were thinking of posting about, chances are there is at least one person who hasn't heard it before.


Don't hold back on making valuable contributions because you think you'll sound silly.


The first time I challenged that little voice, was in a meeting.

And guess what? Nobody else had thought of what I was thinking of!

What I thought 'sounded silly' ended up being the solution.


9. Don't Take It Personally, It's Business


As a sole trader, you might need to make the extra effort to separate 'you' from 'the business' because yes, essentially the business is just you!


But when someone doesn't take up your offer, reply to your message or interact with your content, that's not about YOU.

It's just business.


10. Stop Waiting!


We’re always waiting for things to be ‘just right’.

The right time, the right place, the right opportunity.


That was me pre pandemic.

I had my business idea safely tucked away in my back pocket waiting for ‘the right moment’.


If Covid 19 hadn’t given me the "gift" of job uncertainty, who knows,

maybe I’d still be waiting!!


It feels like I’ve been in business much longer than 1 year.

So much has happened, changed, developed and evolved.


And I guess that's because, for much of my journey so far, we have been in level 5 lockdown.

That meant that I had a lot of time to dedicate to my fledgling business but it also means that I didn't have much of a work/life balance,


So I am now looking forward to starting the next chapter with a little more balance and freedom ( we all are, am I right?!).


Until next time,













Want to start a VA Business of your own?

Come and join us at the SVAI!






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