Having decided to start my own coaching business, I very naively thought I would just go out and coach, simple. But, hello, welcome to the world of being an entrepreneur.
So now, some of my lovely new titles are ‘head of sales’, ‘head of finance’ and ‘head of marketing’.
It is the head of marketing role that I have grappled with the most over the last few months. Without any formal training or experience, I have developed my own logo, website, social media profile, email list, conducted and analyzed market research, defined my ideal client and honed in on my marketing message. I am also using words like ‘lead magnet’, ‘sales funnels’, ‘canva’ and ‘email content marketing’. Who am I??
I said ‘yes’ to everything in my path. Every request for advice, every support programme for new start-ups, every webinar, every 5-day challenge (to get me that monthly 6 figure income, hmm), subscribed to newsletters and took on mentees and bought the books that continue to pile up and remain unread.
Luckily my husband comes home at lunchtime and feeds me, while urging me daily to step away from the laptop and go for a walk, confiscating my headphones, knowing I would put on a podcast.
While I have been very lucky to have been surrounded by better experienced entrepreneurs than me and learned so much from a number of mentors, no-one told me this was the future. Thus the fall-out from all this is that oft cited word ‘overwhelm’ which I had never experienced at such levels until now.
Luckily, now on the other side of it (although it’s a cliff-edge some days), I had the external support and the inner wisdom to know things had to change if I was in this for the long run.
So with a little hindsight, and in an effort to help other aspiring entrepreneurs here’s some advice:
1. Seek out and work with a mentor – they will fast-track key learnings having walked the walk, keep encouraging you to take the next step and hold you accountable when you falter.
2. Ditch perfectionism – just get it done, as my mentor often told me ‘done is better than perfect’. You may think that your drive for perfectionism gives you the edge in the pursuit of success, it’s simply the enemy of progress.
3. Ignore judgement – if we really narrow down the reason for our fear, it is very often the fear of being judged. You can’t control what other people think of you, in fact, this is none of your business. You can only control you. This is so freeing when you can master it.
4. Have a plan and a goal – it took me a while to warm-up to this one, but now I know why so many hammer on about it. Back to the control, it allows you to feel on top of things and helps manage the overwhelm.
5. Act like you are already in business – this is the perfect time to think of a name, a logo, develop a website, conduct market research, define your ideal client, network, network, network.
6. Remember your ‘why’ – on the days you ask yourself ‘is this worth it?’, you need to call on your inner coach, give yourself a talking to and remember why you started this and what results you ARE going to get. Keep the end goal visually present with as many triggers as you can, e.g. your screensaver, vision board, a song associated with your goal, a countdown timer etc.
If you need help in any of these areas, I would be only too glad to assist (if I can fit it in!).