There will always be lessons to learn when you’re running a business, and after almost 8 years, I’m still learning lessons.
Or honestly, this year they’ve been things I’ve learned but didn’t really learn, if you know what I mean.
This year, there are 4 business lessons I’ve learned:
There’s no one way or “right” way to run a business.
Each one of us operates our business differently—there are different tools, softwares, leadership styles, goals, and even strategies to reach them.
Just because you’re approaching your business differently than a “competitor” does, doesn’t make you any less than them.
After running my business for as long as I have, as well as helping my clients run their businesses, I’ve seen a lot of ways to do it. There’s an infinite number of factors that help you decide on the how of it. The key is to focus on yourself and less on how everyone else around you is doing it.
When I first started out, since this was my first business, I needed help figuring out some kind of baseline. So I looked at how other businesses were run; what tools and software were they using, when did they start hiring team members, all that jazz. But as I started to ask myself questions about my business and goals, I stopped focusing on how others ran their business. I had quickly realized that we simply weren’t running the same business—we didn’t have the same goals or lifestyle, or even financial needs. So why compare my business to theirs?
Which brings me to my next lesson from this past year:
We all encounter different seasons.
Seasons of growth, challenge, reflection, and rest. These seasons come and go, some are short, some are longer.
Sometimes, you just have to get through it. Other times, you get to truly, deeply enjoy it and thrive in it, like I’m doing in my “low lift era.”
During my low lift era, I’m focused on NOT scaling my business because that’s not what I want to be doing during this season.
And you know what, in case someone hasn’t told you recently, scaling isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay!
As an OBM (online business manager), I talk a lot about teams, growing your business, and hiring, because that’s part of the reason for having an OBM (to manage the business), but it’s not for everyone.
Your business can be just you, or just you and one other person, and it’s still a valid business.
Come at us petty family members who call our businesses “little,” we dare you. 😉
Ultimately, you don’t have to do what everyone else around you is doing.
There’s no rulebook you must follow, no predetermined route to success. You only ever miss out if it’s something you actually wanted to do, not if it’s an arbitrary thing everyone and their business coach is saying you should try.
For example, I significantly reduced the time I spend on social media (I even moved to a static 9-grid at the beginning 2023) because I rarely ever post, despite being told it’s so important.
To be honest, I don’t feel like I’m missing a thing, and I actually enjoy my business again because I removed a stress point.
Finally, one of the biggest reflections of this year was reminding myself (and now you) that you can change your mind about anything at any time.
I had big plans for 2023. I wanted to grow my business by a certain amount, have a bigger team, put myself out there more, be more of an authority in my space, and more.
And then, I changed my mind.
I decided to scrap all of those plans, get solid on what I was already doing, and focused more on my life outside of my business.
Do I have days where I want to kick myself for it? Sure. But the next day, I’m glad I changed my mind, at least for the season I’m in.
So, if you feel guilty or stressed about suddenly not wanting to do everything you’ve been building up to, stop it. You’ve changed your mind for a reason, and the beauty of it is that you can change it again.
Your journey is unique, and it’s filled with twists and turns that are entirely your own. Embrace the freedom to carve your path, honor the seasons of your life and business, and remember that you can always change your mind.
You’ve got this.