Digitalie exists for more than 8 years! Quite a feat I must say. And this isn’t my first business. I had one before, with my ex (So you can guess what happened when he became my ex 🙂 )
All these years in business have taught me a few things and since it is the beginning of the year I decided it was time to share them with you.
- Know yourself – The better you know yourself, what you’re good at, what you’re bad at, what you could use help with, the better! Being in business is hard enough without you trying to do something that is totally not up your alley.
- Take time for you – Being an entrepreneur is something for the long game. At least if you want to keep doing this and not get another job. That means you got to take care of the 1 thing that keeps this business going: you! I know quite a few people who started out working 50 / 60 hour work weeks because they feel like they had to… and then burned out. Sometimes you have got to dig down and go, yes, but please make sure your general schedule is a more lenient one, that leaves time for you, relaxation, your favourite past-time. I take between 1 and a half and 2 hours lunch in the afternoon so I can eat and walk my dog. That is good for her and me, as it clears my head and leaves me refreshed. I also take time to craft, read or watch something on Netflix in the evenings.
- Review, reflect – You grow; you learn, you adapt, you achieve. You might not notice it day to day but you grow so much in business. Each day you learn things, big and small, you change things and you achieve things. Write it down daily and then look back over last week, last month or last year. You will be amazed at how much you have grown! I did not use to do this in the beginning, or I would try to reflect without writing daily. I would have no clue what I would have achieved and felt like the days were slipping by. Now I write each morning what happened the day before. Really short, just a few words, but it helps me so much to see what happened.
- Celebrate your successes AND your failures – There is always something else to do, to achieve, and so we are very likely to not celebrate what just happened. Because we want the next thing to happen. But you need to celebrate! Whether it is your first 100 Instagram followers or your first 1k month. It is worth celebrating! But also celebrate your failures. Yes they are painful, yes you might want to hide, but they teach you so much. I still remember when I thought I would help a client out about 6 years ago. I was asked to do social media for an event. And hey, since I would be at the event I decided to also offer a movie of the event. I did have a camera and I know a little bit about editing but I am not a videographer in any way… Long story short: I struggled to make the movie, it did not look professional, I did not communicate well with the client and we both ended up not being happy with the end result. Lesson learned!
- Keep your admin up to date – Yes, not the most glamorous of things to start with but it is so darn important! Keep your administration up to date to know who you can send an invoice (yeey money!), what you need to pay, how much is coming in, etcetera. Seriously. I do my admin every 2 weeks and it goes quicker and easier because of it.
- Pay yourself – Don’t forget to also pay yourself. I also pay myself every 2 weeks. Before I learned about Profit First 2 years ago I might pay myself a huge sum one week and then not pay myself for weeks or maybe even months! Now I get the same amount every 2 weeks making my own finances a lot better. I can’t recommend Profit First enough, it really changed how I do business!
- Stick to your genius – This one fits in with my story about mistakes. You know what you are good at. And you should definitely try and learn even more about that subject and become a real expert. But stick with what you know (or thereabouts). Don’t go making movies if your expertise is online marketing. They are just too far apart 😀 Don’t fall in the trap of being everything for everyone.
- Get amazing branding – A lot of times people think a brand is just a logo, fonts and some colors but a brand is so much more than that. It is the kinds of images you pick, the words you use, the vibe you want to give off. And it is exactly that which will make all the difference when it comes to you standing out in the online world.
- Learn from other people – I am in a mastermind right now with a few other ladies. We co-work through Zoom and have a Facebook Chat. The last 2 years I was in a productivity course that had a Facebook Group and Zoom Room attached. I learned so much from the course but I might have learned even more from the other ladies. Seriously, we are all so very smart and we have all learned so much. Let other people teach you things and don’t try to do this whole business thing on your own.
- Be picky on what courses you buy – So confession time: I bought A LOT of courses over the years. Quite a few of those were ‘only 99 dollars’ and I wanted to learn about that topic so yes, going for it. Guess what, you get what you paid for. I have had a few courses that were cheap and REALLY good but a lot of them I hardly touched because they just didn’t live up to my expectations or what I needed to learn. And yes, all those small amounts added up. But even worse was when I bought an expensive course that said it was about A but turned out to be all about B… I did not get much out of it and I really felt bad for breaking the bank to pay for it. Also;
- Finish one project before you start the next – Whether that is a course you want to do, making your website, changing your client management system. Do them one at a time! I did my review for 2018 and came to the conclusion I had fallen into this trap again… It happens quite often for me. I had 15 half-done projects and about 20 projects I wanted to do!! I took the first week of January to hone down, I finished 3 projects and prioritized the rest. I am now taking a few hours each week to work on the project that is on top and nothing else. And it really is helping. So please please just finish one, before you go on to the next.
So this is what I’ve learned over the last, well, 15 years or so of being an entrepreneur. There are probably more lessons that I forgot and there are definitely lessons here that I need to keep reminding myself of. So let’s help each other out; if you have any other business lessons you’ve learned over the years, email me and I will add them here!