Experience as a business owner:
Here I am running a successful business. Ooh that sounds funny, I still don’t feel grown up enough to be saying that (I am though, don’t worry, I’m 33 years old) It hasn’t been without its ups and downs though. I have learnt many valuable lessons over the past 5 years and I wanted to share some of those with you, I was about to say, so you don’t make the same mistakes I did, however:
Lesson number one: Mistakes are good!
I know, crazy right? But it is true. As long as you only make that mistake once, it is a lesson, and we need these lessons to perfect our product or service and streamline our businesses. I think all of us worry about making mistakes and are terrified of failing, not only because the impact it will have financially, but other things too, like our pride! It is embarrassing to admit you were wrong. No one likes to be proven wrong yet no one is perfect either. If we gave up every time we failed then we wouldn’t have half of the inventions, medicines, practices that we take for granted today.
So in order to progress, we have to accept that we will make mistakes, we will fail, and that is ok.
So go on, go and do that really scary thing you have been putting off for fear of failure and I bet it is nowhere near as bad as you think!
Lesson two: Money matters.
Yep, that’s obvious isn’t it? Who would run a business without paying proper attention to every single penny that came in and out? Who would continue to sweat blood and tears over something that they weren’t 100% confident was making a proper profit? ME! I spent a good few years shying away from the true cost of my business, it was something I found boring, I hated the paperwork, and I almost felt embarrassed to be money driven, however, if a business is not profitable, it is a charity and I am pretty sure I wasn’t running a charity. So I learnt from my mistake, I took that cringy step and admitted to myself that if I didn’t sort something out, my business was going to end up costing me money to run. I now knew exactly where I was starting from financially and I have put steps in place to become a healthy profitable business now. I am by no means sitting here typing this in a gold encrusted chair watching my bank balance multiply, whilst someone massages my feet and feeds me grapes, I am still working hard but my efforts seem to be having a better result nowadays.
Lesson three: Work life balance.
We have all heard this phrase and it used to be something I dreamt of having. It can be really tough to find the right balance when you are self-employed as it is so hard to say no to work or turn people away, throw a few children into the mix too and it gets a whole lot harder too, what takes priority? Do you say no to the work or to your peanut butter encrusted child who is desperate for you to come and play? Neither. Set time aside for both. I used to have both my children with me on Fridays and if the phone rang or an email enquiry came through I would try to answer, waving frantically at my children to stop throwing toy trains at each other as I had a meaningful conversation with this poor person at the end of the phone. It just wasn’t working. I was being unfair to everyone (including myself) Although I pretend to be sometimes, I am not actually superhuman. Something had to give. So quite simply, I did not work on Fridays. Suddenly, a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders, I wasn’t trying to do it all in a half-hearted and really stressful way, I had gained proper quality time with my children every Friday and suddenly I was much more productive and motivated on the days I was working.
So that’s where I am at right now. I hope you have enjoyed reading this and you have found some use out of my experiences *lifts glass* cheers to us incredible women here’s to the next mistake!
About Your Guest Blogger: Jo Partridge has been running Pyjama Drama in South Wales, UK since 2012. Pyjama Drama is an international franchise, started in 2008, by Sarah Owen, experienced teacher and mum of three. We provide drama and imaginative play classes for babies and young children up to 7 years old. We encourage children to use their imaginations to create and explore the most magical adventures to help them develop key skills such as confidence, communication or concentration. Where else can you swim through jelly, zoom to the moon or have tea with a tiger?