The Blog

8 Lessons I Learned About Entrepreneurship & Building A Business You Love

blog tour

A few weeks ago I received an email from the amazing Racheal Cook, founder of RachealCook.com, and she asked if I wanted to be involved in her 30 day Business That Loves You Back Blog Tour (I had never heard of a blog tour before, but they’re really cool, so you should check Racheal’s out more here & even do your own!). The tour consists of 30 posts written by 30 entrepreneurs, yesterday’s post was by the go to gal for systems, Natasha Vorompiova, and tomorrow’s post will by Brittany Becher, definitely check them out.

Anyway, the reason I wanted to get involved in this particular blog tour was because of something Racheal wrote in her email to me…

“As women entrepreneurs, we constantly hear big promises about creating a business and life you love. But while our to-do lists runneth over in biz building tips and tricks… we never get any clear insights into how you can love your life, right now, as you grow your business.

While the stars in our industry seem to always be frolicking on the beach or tossing their shiny locks during professional photo shoots, for the rest of us, that’s so far from our reality that we’re left wondering what we’re doing wrong.”

I’ve definitely felt like that before. As entrepreneurs we’re often going after our dreams alone and it’s hard. There are so many ups and downs and it’s so easy to take a look at what other people are doing and wonder…

“What is wrong with me? Why is it taking me soooo long? Will I ever be able to get to where I want to be?”

That’s why I was compelled to share my 2 cents, because the more honest and open we all are about the reality and truth of entrepreneurship, the more we will empower each other to succeed.

So I’ve made a video for you with the top 8 lessons/tips I’ve learned throughout my journey, including:

  • How to actually live a life you love
  • The truth about how long it really takes (even if you think you’re special)
  • Why you’ve got to pay to play (this is how I’ve built my businesses)
  • + much more!

There were some bonus lessons/tips thrown in along the way!

I started the Female Entrepreneur Association because I felt so incredibly lonely running my own business, and was so fed up of feeling like the only crazy person in the world (when I knew there had to be more crazy people out there, like me). That’s why I built it as a platform for people to share stories – stories are so powerful, we all have one and we should all share them, because that’s how we can spread our light to others.

So make sure you leave a comment and share YOUR story, tips and experiences for us all.

I hope you enjoy this…

LINKS & MORE

The Business That Loves You Back Blog Tour >>

TEDx Talk: How to become more confident (comfort zone challenges) >>

breakdown

Here are my top 8 lessons/tips for anyone on the entrepreneurial journey…

1

DO WHAT YOU LOVE

When I started my first business back in 2005 my motivation was money, because I didn’t have any. So I built a business, which became incredibly successful, but after about 4 years I felt totally miserable.

I remember re-reading the E-myth, by Michael Gerber, and in it he gets you to think about your own funeral and then asks, “what do you want people to be saying about the kind of life you lived, the kind of things you achieved and the kind of person you were?”

Those questions made me realise that I absolutely did not want to be remembered as the girl who had a great phone unlocking business (which is what my business did). I felt so off track with my life and miserable and a lot of that came down to the fact that I wasn’t doing anything that really meant something to me, or something that filled me with passion.

So I vowed to spend my life living with heart and soul, doing something that I LOVED… and so the Female Entrepreneur Association was born.

If you want to live a life you love, do something that you love, something that lights you up. 

I would like to add an important note: even when you’re doing something you love, you’ll still have days when you hate it all, because it’s hard. Don’t let this confuse you into thinking that you’re doing the wrong thing. Always listen to your instincts, because they’ll know deep down that you’re on the right tracks. (Watch the video for more on this point).

2

IT WILL TAKE TIME

This was a big lesson I learned.

I remember when I was starting FEA, someone said to me, “it takes 7 years to build a successful business”.

I laughed it off, “It’s not going to take me that long!”

Okay, so it didn’t take me 7 years, but it took me a good few! We live in a world where we want to achieve everything now…

We want 10,000 subscribers now, 100,000 website visitors now, lots of sales now. And so often we get caught up looking at what other people are doing and then think, “why is it taking me sooooo long???????”

But as the quote goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

It takes time (and LOTS of patience, faith and hope!).

Once I started to be okay with this, it was like a weight had lifted. I stopped beating myself up about how long it was all taking and began to enjoy the journey more, because that’s what it’s all about anyway.

So, if you ever think to yourself, “why is it taking me so long?” just remember that it does take time, stick with it and be okay with it, because it’ll help you to enjoy your life right now more.

3

YOU HAVE TO HAVE MENTAL STAMINA

This follows on nicely from lesson #2, because entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint and in order to keep on going, you have to have mental strength – that’s what will get you to the finishing line (not that there’s really a finishing line in business, the line is always moving!).

I talked quite a lot about this in the video above, because I think it’s one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned.

Success begins with YOU. It’s an inside job and it’s something that you have to do on purpose, day in, day out.

When you’re trying to achieve something you’ve never achieved before it often brings up lots of fear, and with fear comes excuses…

“I don’t have the time, the money, the knowledge, I’m not ready yet etc.”

You have to condition yourself to overcome the fear, to tell the excuses to go away and allow yourself to step up and be the person you need to be in order to make it happen.

When the challenges arise, when things go wrong, when everything feels like it’s taking foreverrrr, you have to have the right mindset to be able to deal with it and keep moving FORWARD.

This will be your BIGGEST asset in life, because the right attitude will help you to start manifesting a life you love.

4

YOU’VE GOTTA PAY TO PLAY

This is a lesson I learned early on.

When I started my first business I had no idea how I was going to get in front of my target audience, so I asked some people who I thought could help me and one suggested that I try using Google Adwords (it was before Facebook ads existed!). So I figured it all out and with a credit card and a small spending limit a day, I was able to get my business and my offering in front of my audience from day one.

I think so often we build a website, create a product or service and think that somehow people will discover us, that somehow miraculously we’ll be able to build a big list and make lots of sales.

Or we look at people who have a big audience or are really successful and think they’re doing something magical and we fee like the magic eludes us.

It’s not true.

The truth us that if you want to want to grow faster (get more traffic, more subscribers, more sales) you have to pay.

That’s largely how I’ve built such a big network for FEA. I didn’t magically draw my audience to me, I used Facebook ads (and they magically drew my audience to me). 

YES, there were other things I did and there are lots of free things you can do, but paying to put yourself in front of your audience (in the right way), will help you to grow so much faster.  

And I’m not talking about spending thousands… you can start off with an advertising budget of a couple of dollars a day.

5

FIND PEOPLE TO PLAY WITH

Make friends with like-minded people, who get you and want to help you along your journey. This is one of the most valuable things I’ve ever done, not just in terms of my business, but in terms of my sanity!

Knowing that I have people I can turn to to talk about my experiences and challenges and get perspective and advice, and people who are there to celebrate with me when I have a win, makes such a huge difference. I would go insane without my business friends, who are actually scattered all over the world.

Entrepreneurship can be so lonely, if you let it be… so don’t.

There are so many people out there who are just like you, and when you find those people and come together it helps with inspiration, motivation and support.

Start getting better connected by reaching out to people who you resonate with, send an email, join Facebook groups, go to networking events, attend conferences – hang out where other like-minded people hang out and start building friendships.

6

BE CONSISTENT & FOCUSED

I actually learned this lesson when I was learning to play the clarinet (a long time ago).

If you want to be great at something you have to practice being great at it consistently and you have to stay focused on it. That’s how I went from making a squeak on the clarinet, to playing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto… I consistently practiced (even when I felt like throwing my clarinet at the wall, because I was so fed up with it all!!).

It’s exactly the same in business, if you want to be great you have to practice being great every day… even when you have no traffic, even when you feel like you keep doing things wrong, even when you have hardly any followers/fans/subscribers.

When I was building my first business I focused on being great at growing my business using Google Adwords. I consistently practiced getting better, once I got really good I began to explore other ways to grow (SEO, YouTube, affiliates etc.)

When I started building FEA I focused on being great at Facebook and consistently practiced getting better.

It’s sooo easy to feel the need to hop around from one idea/strategy, to the next, but this often leads to inconsistency. You start doing one thing and before long, you’ve moved on to something else… never allowing yourself the chance to become really great at it.

So instead of doing a million things, just focus on being consistent at one thing (or a few), and then once you’re great, keep up the practice and, if you want, move on to something else too.

This leads nicely into lesson #7…

7

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Business becomes so overwhelming and chaotic, because there are a million and one things we need to be doing. It’s exhausting.

The only way I’ve found to deal with this is by making things simple.

Focus on one thing at a time and make life easy by planning out the what and the when. 

When you know what you need to do and when you need to do it, it makes life so much easier! I always create a daily timetable for myself, so every single day I can see what I need to do and when I’m going to do it.

This keeps me on track and reduces the overwhelm. Whenever I get out of the habit of doing this I go insane. I literally turn into a headless chicken, which is not fun.

When you get intentional about your day, keep things simple and plan things out you’ll feel so much happier and make lots more progress.

It will also give you the chance to prioritise the things that are really important and meaningful to you. Schedule those things in.

If you want help with this, download our Focus On One Thing Printable here >>

DOWNLOAD-THE-PRINTABLE-FOCUS

8ALLOW YOURSELF TO RECEIVE & ENJOY

Following on from #7, you have to open yourself up to receiving what you want and allowing yourself to enjoy where you’re at now.

So often we get stuck thinking things like, “when I achieve X I’ll be able to enjoy things more” or we end up feeling guilty for allowing ourselves to do things that are important to us, like taking time off or working out, or just relaxing and reading a book.

We put off doing the little (and big) things, which actually create more happiness in our lives.

A big lesson I learned from Racheal Cook is that when you up level your life (and make time to do the things that you want to do), you also up level your business, because when you’re at your best, your business will thrive. 

Open yourself up to receiving the abundance you want, to being happy right now, to enjoy the journey. It’s a conscious decision you have to make to feel those things and to welcome those things into your life with open arms.

This is something I’ve started to practice daily and it’s made so much difference.

At the end of the day we’re all building businesses to live an incredible life, so allow yourself to live it NOW. 

~

So there you have it, the 8 biggest lessons I’ve learned about building a business and living a life you love (with a few bonus lessons thrown in the video, like gratitude and adding value).

We’re all here on this planet to do amazing things and to live an incredible life – not doing so would be a waste.

Q&A

Make sure you check out the rest of The Business That Loves You Back Blog Tour and I will see you next week… I’m going to be changing things up, so keep a look out and make sure you subscribe below so you don’t miss what we have in store.

Carrie xx

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