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Getting into the Groove in my First Year of Business

Written by: Andrea Ryan, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

On the day of lockdown last year, I landed on the shores of Blighty after 10 years in Australia. I had no networks, aside from close friends and family I had kept in touch with, I had a table from garden furniture in the corner of a rented house, as all our belongings were yet to reach land. I had no idea where Generation Wellbeing, a company I had set up 2 months before I left Australia would lead me.

Having just been in business for over a year now, I have learned a lot! So with a little help from Madonna, I thought I would take some time to celebrate and share those lessons with you.


1. Keep It Together. You’re on your own.


Just because in a previous life, you led a team that consistently achieved outcomes, it doesn’t mean that’s a transferable skill. Being in the throes of a new business is a League of Your Own. There are no teams, no camaraderie, no CEO or colleagues to check in with, and no pre-agreed business strategy with the Senior Management Team to run with.


You are flying solo. It's just you, a business plan if you’re lucky, four walls, a computer or your phone, and an idea of what you want to sell. These are the moments we need to keep it together and act like your own CEO, your own team, pass the hat around until the last ones standing.


2. Get Together. Tell everyone what you do.


I relocated back to a village I had only visited in the past. Aside from my brother living not far away, I knew no one. In those early days, it’s important to find a way to connect with your ideal client. In lockdown, that’s a challenge but one I accepted.


Don’t underestimate the power of community. It’s taken a while, but I sought out the local gym and made suggestions of ideas for collaboration with the owner to engage weekly with the members. I went to coffee shops and left flyers, and sought out business owners with studios that I could align with.


I leaned on my sister in law who introduced me through her circles. I joined local women's community groups through Facebook and offered to speak in their networking sessions and the FSB through LinkedIn to attend networking events. I have and will continue to build relationships as they are the secret ingredient to building a business.


3. Express Yourself. Don’t repress yourself.


This first year, I have revised, tweaked, rewritten, added, and refined my service offerings.


As one of my values is advancement and expertise, I continually invest in myself through education, my own coach, reading, and researching. I want to be the expert in what I do, and the person recommended to go to for advice on Imposter Syndrome and Female Leadership.


To be that person, you have to believe you are that person, build your platform around who you are and express yourself through all your different mediums. You want to attract your people to connect with you, who will become part of your community and ultimately buy from you.


The more I have refined my business, the more I understand that my ideal clients are like me, believe in what I believe, want what I want, and aspire for more.


If you don’t shout about what you’re good at and why, then how will they know?


4. Deeper and Deeper. Are you all in?


At some point, you have to stop saying and start doing. You have to ask yourself, am I dipping my toe in to make a few pennies, or am I diving in fully clothed to search for the deeper hidden treasures? If you favor the latter, you’re going to need to make sure you know ‘why’ you’re doing what you’re doing, your purpose, as this is the driver for everything.


There will be days you aren’t going to want to face things, technology, people's opinions, feedback, a project you have to deliver. There are going to be days when you feel overwhelmed — you procrastinate or think you’re not good enough. There will be days when you feel stuck — you can’t understand why you’re not making any money or getting any traction. You’re going to want to give it all up.


The secret to not giving in to that temptation? Knowing why you’re doing this.

If you know the why, then the what, and the how-to become much more than you ever imagined.


If you are thinking of setting up your own business and taking the plunge, firstly, congratulations, and secondly, here’s a little download for you on the basic essentials to just starting.


For more information, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit my website!


 

Andrea Ryan, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

I'm a transformational life and business coach for women. I support women to enable their journey of self-discovery and drive change through their personal journeys. Professionally I help female entrepreneurs align their mental and emotional journey with business guidance and mentorship. I have had a 15-year executive career, heading up business and marketing strategy, brand management, and leadership in the disability employment sector, sport, and award-winning business development director in a mental health Not for Profit. Spending three years on the Australian National Committee for UN Women as a Committee Member and as a consultant to Human Rights start-ups, I am constantly seeking board and volunteer roles that offer me the opportunity to utilize my skills to give back and contribute to the wider community. Quoted in Marketing Magazine Australia as the 'Accidental Marketer,' I have a flair for the creative, which fuels my passion for supporting women to step into their power, thrive in their careers. I become leaders who will instigate change to make this world a better place.

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