Lessons learnt - the early years of business
We’ve been home from the Alps a little over 3 weeks now, and I’m only just starting to feel like I’m really home. My mind has stayed in holiday mode despite getting straight back to work only a few hours after we got back.
I use the word work here fairly lightly. As I’ve mentioned before my work now doesn’t feel much like work as I enjoy what I do, and what I came back to was caring for a house full of animals.
In the last 3 weeks I’ve spent 2 nights in my own bed and otherwise been engaged staying away pet sitting, alongside various lessons and horse care. Not a bad way to coin a living and being an animal lover it’s something that comes easily and naturally to me. There are stresses involved of course, as I’m caring for someone else’s beloved family members, I want them to be happy and healthy, with the love and attention they are used to.
This year I have realised the first stages of my dream. My work now fits in around my life instead of the other way around, and although it still needs a little adjustment to get things the way I want them, I’m in a much better place than I was 4 years ago. I don’t make any grand earnings (yet) but I’m now at a point where I’m getting by. A few more years perseverance and hard work and perhaps I’ll be truly standing on my own two feet, and my business should be well established.
It’s now I realise just how much effort I need to put in ‘behind the scenes’. In the first couple of years I didn’t have much more than a rough idea of the sort of work I wanted to do, and just took on anything that I could get. I’ve SLOWLY worked out a clearer vision for what I want my future to hold, and just as slowly started to piece together a plan for how I will actually get there. It’s still not a solid plan and I’m determined to work on it. I’m held back mostly by the fear of the unknown. The fear of failure. I must be more positive and proactive in making plans and sticking to them.
I now have an active facebook page, an instagram account and a full ‘professional’ looking website, alongside this blog. I try to keep these updated and relevant as much as I can, and I’m gradually getting my head round how it all works. I’m sure I’m still not using it fully to my advantage but I’ve not used the internet for much more than searching and general social media in the past, and I don’t understand computer lingo.... so not only am I always trying to keep my knowledge and experience up to date and growing, to be able to offer the best service I can, but I’m also learning new things that are more like work again... a necessary evil to create the life of my dreams!!
What I’ve learnt from my first few years...
- Work can fit around your life. You don’t have to fit life around your work.
- Enjoy what you do, or you spend your life waiting for the weekends.
- It’s not easy but it’s worth it.
- It takes more effort than getting the job and showing up for work every day, but you’ll find you don’t mind so much!
- It takes time. Don’t give up.
- Stand by your guiding principles, and do work you are proud of. Sometimes this means turning down a job or a client. If it doesn’t fit in with your plan or goals, and how you want to be, don’t do it.
- Money isn’t everything (but it helps)
- You are worth more than you think you are!