My wiggly first year of business: work & life intertwined

marketing consulting mindset coaching Nov 11, 2021

It’s now been a year since the hardest personal challenge I’ve faced. 

As a small business owner, your work and life really are intertwined, your identity, resilience, motivation tested. 

My first year in business came and went (March 2020-March 2021) so I wrote the below summary in the hope to reflect, learn and grow from the experience. 

Life and its challenges affect us all, to different degrees but all relative to the individual. 

More and more I not only believe, but can also feel, the power we all have to determine our lives. We can choose to go with the current or find our own route to success - whatever that means for us. 

My wiggly first year in business journey

After a couple of years studying, side hustling and then part-timing, I was ready to go full time in my own business as the Covid pandemic hit. 

After almost 10 years in marketing, supporting businesses of all shapes and sizes, I was ready to help individuals with great ideas and their desire to change their lives but combining the marketing with my skills in mindset coaching. 

Like many of my clients, I was looking for more choice and time freedom while working on projects that fulfilled and energised me. 

The first six months were exciting, nerve wracking, involved a lot of trial and error as well as moments of ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’! Overall…. I was succeeding. My business was growing, clients were happy, I was learning and having so much fun doing it! 

But as many of you will know, being an entrepreneur means your business life is closely connected to your personal life.

We became pregnant with our first. After five exciting and hopeful months, we were told our baby was very ill. In November 2020, I met and had to say goodbye to our baby girl - briefly held in between worlds, forever loved. I have never been so grief stricken. Over the next month, I lost a further three family members to old age and illness. 

I put my work affairs in order and took a couple of months off. My 121 clients and business partners were so understanding.

While I needed the time away, I was getting increasingly nervous about the growing mountain I would have to climb to get back to where I left off in my business. It felt daunting.

New mindset, new hurdles 

What I found easy before now felt like a challenge… 

The idea of talking to groups of people, staying on top of emails and being productive and organised felt uncomfortable, I wanted to hide a little longer from the world.

At the same time, we were selling our home and buying a new one. This meant all our savings were siphoned off and I knew it would take a little while to find my feet again and start bringing in new clients and money – I wanted my security net back!

So, I decided to coach myself like I have never done before! 

I set time aside during the first weekend in January to do some serious planning and goal setting.

  1.   Find a three day a week marketing consulting role to build my savings back up while allowing my business to tick along and look after existing client work and projects.
  2.   Secure marketing and mindset clients each quarter to bring money into the business and build my confidence back up.
  3.   Connect with a networking group to help get back into the working world and build useful connections.

My business had taken a back seat but, I couldn’t believe it - Within a week I had put in place all three goals!

Fast forward six months…

  • Regular networking created new opportunities.
  • Savings pot target was reached (helping me feel ready once again to take calculated risks in my business).
  • Handed in my notice at the marketing consulting role so I could focus 100% on my business once more

 Meanwhile…. Spring-Summer 2021

  • Once more we were moving to a new house – this time from London to Wales!
  • Once again, I became pregnant. We felt excited and a little cautious… 

I now had about 4 months to ramp up activity in my business and create and deliver extra value to you and my community of small business owners and entrepreneurs before I headed off for maternity leave…. I hoped I could deliver!

Looking forward

The last 18 months have taught me to be PATIENT with myself and my business. I don’t have a full team like I did in my 9-5 job so things take a little longer. 

Getting CLARITY on what you NEED, WANT, LOVE and setting clear GOALS to achieve those things, really does create progress and builds a sense of confidence and empowerment.

Life can be SHIT at times but we ALWAYS have a choice. We choose how it defines us, what we learn from it, how we grow and move forward. 

Our life and businesses are not linear, they are a little WIGGLY and I’m looking forward to finding out what’s around the corner! :)

 What has your business journey taught you so far? 

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