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If I had a do over, how I would start my business again – lessons a year in…

If I had a do over, how I would start my business again – lessons a year in…

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This is a transcript from the masterclass.

What is covered:

Reflections on the past year in business.

The essential investments I should have made in day 1 

What I would definitely focus on from day 1

What habits I would form from day 1 .

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2020 is coming, 2019 is almost gone so it’s a good time to look at the past year, review your goals, see whether you are on track and then look to the future, 2020 and set up your vision and goals for the next year.

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QUESTIONS

For those of you who are a year or more in, let me ask you –

  • What would you differently if you had a do over?
  • What would you spend money on?
  • What would you invest in?
  • What would you focus on?
  • What habits would you form from day 1?

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REFLECTIONS ON MY PAST YEAR

I’m a year into my side hustle and I’ve learnt so much. Given it’s the end of 2019, I thought this would be an opportune time to reflect on my past year, what areas I need to focus on, my mistakes and what I would do over.

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It’s good practice to look back at the past year, no matter where you are right now.

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A year ago, I was starting out and I went in with a completely different model to where I am today. I started off with a 1:1 model, so service-based consulting. Today, I’m moving towards a 1: many model, so with online courses, I’ll be moving into podcasting, and scaling my business to reach more people.

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Of course, your business will change over time, your model, your strategies, but it’s really important to be clear from the outset to give yourself direction at that time.

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BUDGET

A year ago, I didn’t know where to place my money. I didn’t know what to prioritise. Today, here is what I would have done:

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I would hire someone to do my website build. I did this at the time, and I spent money on SEO – that was a good call. Having an optimised website will always be important. I use WordPress, and from day 1 I dived in to learning all about it so I could keep it up to date, change it, and make edits myself – and not have to rely on anyone to do it for me.

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I would pay for an email service provider from day 1. Building an email list is important, we already know that. I started using Mailchimp because it was free but I didn’t vibe with it from the get to. I didn’t understand how to create sequences and automate on it, so I never really got the benefits from it. I didn’t really give it a chance because I was frustrated with it, which was my bad. I have now moved to a paid provider – ConvertKit, and I find it so user friendly. That is something I wish I had done from day 1 as I had to migrate everything over and relearn a whole new system.

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I would get an all in one marketing tool from day 1. Today, I use Kartra and it does everything – memberships, lead pages, payments, emails, video hosting. There’s more than that even. It’s an all in one system. It’s a little finicky but if I had started at day 1, I would be in a much better place today in my knowledge of it.

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What I did was try out new things, get recommendations, test things out, and really it was a waste of time. I think I should have just stuck with one thing and given it a good chance to learn. If, after a few months, it’s not working for me, then change.

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WHAT I WOULD START ON DAY 1

I went into my business not having a clear strategy. I admit it. It was stupid, given I knew how important it was. But, I just wanted to start! So, I went in blindly and hoped for the best and thought that something would stick. Today, if I was giving advice to my past self, I would tell myself to put in the time to build a strategy first. I don’t mean something difficult, I literally mean this:

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CLIENT AVATAR. I would have spent more time getting to know my ideal client in detail. I would have put in more work to find out more, their interests, their pain points, their struggles, what makes them happy, where they want to be. The whole point of knowing your client is to learn about them so that you can service them better and provide them with the best offerings, targeted content that helps them.

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CONTENT. Creating content consistently – with blogs, social media posts, video or podcast… That way, I would have been getting my message out straight away and I would be adding value from day 1, rather than the fluffing about I did. The content you create shows who you are, what you’re about and it helps to define you. I would say things like, you know, I don’t know what content to produce or what freebies should I be creating, what products should I be offering – if I knew my clients from day 1, then I would know those answers. Today, I understand just how vital content is to building my brand and how it sets the foundations.

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VIDEO / PODCAST. I would have started making video or podcast from day 1. If only, I would be in a much better position today. #somuchregret! I would be much more comfortable, a year on, talking to video and people would have gotten to know me on a deeper level from the get go.

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I would have been clearer about my products and service offerings. I wasn’t a year ago, and I now know that if I don’t know my own services well enough, how will my ideal clients know?

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FOUNDATIONS. I would have set better foundations. I didn’t really set any when I first started, but if I had a do over I would place a lot more emphasis on building the foundations from day 1. So, building the business framework, the social framework, have better strategies, and create a content framework.

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WHAT HABITS WOULD I FORM FROM DAY 1

I’m a lazy person by nature. What gets me moving is structure, deadlines and checklists. I’m a procrastinator so I need a plan and a deadline and I will work to it. Without that, I know I wouldn’t get anything done.

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Habits are SO important to me. If you’re the same, then you should consider adopting these habits as well.

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CONTENT PLAN. I would have created a weekly content plan so that I would be producing weekly content. Social media posts, blogs, videos, podcasts… Choose the content that you are focusing on and then create a content plan that sees you producing content weekly. Batch your content and produce everything for the week, well most. All of the content that you can produce, get into the habit of sitting down 1 day a week and doing it. Of course, there are exceptions such as some Insta Stories and Lives that may be more spontaneous, but all other content should be done and dusted and then out of the way. Now, I do my Sunday Sessions where I prepare all of my content for the week. But, I only recently started doing that so it’s not yet a habit. If I had started this a year ago, I would be so much better at it!

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WEEKLY CHECKLISTS. I would create a checklist for the week and the weekend. All of the things I need to do for the week ahead – again, I work well to structure so I know I’ll get through it if I need to. Then on Friday, I would have another list for the weekend. Without a weekend list, I realised that I would fluff about a lot and my weekends wouldn’t be as productive as they should be. Being a side hustler, it’s so important to make the most of my weekends because I have 2 days, potentially uninterrupted, to get my stuff done.

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These habits are about productivity and working smarter, not harder.

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When I first started my business, I would become overwhelmed quickly, deflated and easily distracted. To overcome this, I read something interesting – to start your day pumped up. How do you pump yourself up? By listening to music that gets you going and kicks you into gear, and also read, listen to, or watch something that educates you and is perhaps by your mentor or someone you look up to for guidance and would like to model. I listen to Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris, Amy Porterfield, Stevie Says Social, Ruby Lee. I’m a podcast listener. So, in addition to listening to my crime podcasts, I would listen to these educational podcasts that would motivate and provide me with guidance.

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This one is a no-brainer – exercise. I mean, today it’s a no brainer. At day 1, I was spending so much time on my business, I wasn’t exercising as much. So, I would feel low, crap, my energy wasn’t there, and my mind wasn’t as sharp. Today, I would tell my past self to just exercise.

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That is what I would tell my past self, a year on in my business, to do at day 1.

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Finally, I would tell myself to set my myself a mission to complete. Finding the core things to get done, and then do it. Everyone wants to be successful in their missions. That’s what will keep you moving forward.

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