A decade in business – my story and how I did it.
This week I am officially ten years in small business! One decade!
So today’s blog is a bit of my story and the HOW behind my success.
If I look back, the journey has been nearly 18 years. How can that be when I clearly look 21? Weird, I know…
Yes, I have always done something even before my girl was born. In fact, I was preggers when I became a team leader in Nutrimetics. Then, when she was a toddler, I ran a market stall at Coledale Markets selling clothes my mates had at 70% commission.
Then came the wedding dresses that I sold online, this is where I learnt my technical skills and web design. Oh, and a shit load of marketing WAY before social media was on the scene.
I did have to let that business go – due to working full time, being a mum to a little one and my marriage breaking down.
I then re-trained (over 18 months of online and face to face training at night) and did my Fitness cert 3 & 4 and starting Personal Training friends and colleagues. I found this was fun!
Then came Zumba! I was watching what was happening overseas and took the leap to learn…even though I couldn’t ‘dance’. It was scary, and I was incredibly intimidated by other trainers…but I made myself very accountable and organised a venue, and the first Zumba session was for charity. No getting out of that!
This was the start of something very exciting, and I took Zumba to high schools, old peoples homes and in my own regular classes. At one point I had 90 people in my class and at $10 per head…do the maths…! Plus I had an absolute ball running the 50 min class…I realised that I could never ‘work’ again…unless it was super fun!
After also bringing in boxing classes, boot camps and more PT…I had already left my job and was off and running! (Literally). I had several trainers running classes for me as the business was expanding fast..and one trainer approached me with the idea of getting an indoor health studio in Corrimal. So we did! And it was so good we had to move to a larger venue to cater for more clients, so we moved to a warehouse in North Wollongong.
What I absolutely adore about this part is that this was also before social media and word of mouth was our marketing plan…plus sending the odd email out. We ran around, dropping flyers into shops and gaining business from our awesome classes/concepts.
Then I got sick. Burnt out? Yes.
I had to have an operation and healing was very slow. So slow that I had to pass the gym over to my business partner (who incidentally still runs a great business herself).
This led to me studying Life Coaching and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) in Melbourne. Then I was a coach and still ran my early morning boot camps…as really…? I loved it and my clients too much to not train them.
I coached ex-biggest loser contestants and others in the health arena. I built online courses that utilised the emerging social media platforms and started creating income streams that wouldn’t burn me out physically. I worked way smarter by now and was able to take overseas trips with my girl and not worry about losing income being self-employed.
In saying that, there were times where I wanted to chuck it all in and just work for someone else. The pressure and responsibility can be hard as a single mum too. So, at one point in all of this, I was offered a Business Development Manager for a high profile bank – with my own hours. I did the job very well and still maintained coaching clients and early morning boot camps…as let’s be honest – I loved it! Yet, my kid suffered the consequences, and I wasn’t home much at night time, and she had just started high-school. So I let the job go and focused on my business/and child even more.
Over the years, I have run and organised networking events in my area, designed and delivered my own workshops and continued to coach people. After going to a Tony Robbins event (3 actually), I changed my direction once again and started to write books. Eleven books later and more to come, I still can’t believe that ‘little ol’ me’ has achieved this. I still pinch myself!
I gave up the early morning training sessions just a few years ago, and I am proud to say that most of my friends are old clients of mine.
The last couple of years have been quite consistent in what I do – coaching small business owners, building tech stuff (websites/email marketing/chat-bots), consulting for small-medium sized businesses, writing books and coaching unemployed youth in my local area through a sub-contract that I love to do. Oh, and I’ve also won some cool awards, which is always nice to get some recognition…wouldn’t you agree?
I have an amazing life, and the most awesome opportunities always present themselves to me. Why? Because I now expect them to. I expect to see opportunities daily. I also focus on what I CAN do…not what I can’t.
Note: this is far from being in a wanky way. I just know and have a shit-tonne of proof that you get what you focus on. Where your energy goes, it flows.
I show up on days that I don’t want to.
I look after my mental state with great self-care routines.
I recognise ‘signs’ that I need to re-calibrate and do them.
I recognise my worth.
I know and see the value in what I contribute to the world, and this will keep on growing as I do.
I know that I am a ‘work in progress’ and that there are no ‘fixes’ — just growth and flexibility.
I no longer beat myself up for not achieving something and failing. In fact, I like to fail these days. #lessons
I fixate on the present moment more than my past.
I visualise my dreams and write them out.
I laugh a lot.
If I feel angry, I feel it, then let it pass.
If I feel like I am too much in my head (not so often these days), I reach out to someone else and help them.
I talk shit out with friends and am always an ‘ear’ for them too.
I surround myself with amazing friends who lift me up, support and love me. Oh, and yes they call me out on my bullshit (you need these people too)
I remind myself how awesome I am and how far I have come.
I celebrate the moments that need celebrating.
I care less about people who don’t support my ideas and ‘people pleasing’ is no longer in my demeanour.
I love saying ‘yes’ to things I wouldn’t normally do. Magical things always happen as a result.
I meditate daily.
I get to nature daily.
I sing in the car. Loudly.
I talk to myself — a lot.
I say ‘no’ to clients/events/things that don’t align with my values.
I read four books at a time.
I listen to podcasts and audiobooks in the car.
I no longer watch TV, listen to the news or read the paper or a magazine.
I practice gratitude the moment I open eyes from sleep.
I am nearly 12 months vegan and have conscious-free shopping trolleys worth of food.
I still eat chocolate (vegan).
I still binge watch Netflix series.
I get hormonal, and you will know it!
I am human.
I have a purpose – This one is a biggie. Without purpose, you can find yourself going around in circles blinding doing things that waste energy. Get your purpose clear, and you no longer think about irrelevant shit, and you just DO IT.
To summarise, I feel immense gratitude for the last ten years. And I am excited about the next 10. I feel things are shifting and that things are starting to change again. Do I know what it is? No! But I am curious and have butterflies in my tummy for what is coming….! I say ‘bring it baby’!
Thank you to everyone who has been on me with this journey so far – These are friends, colleagues, clients, ex-boyfriends (yes I know right?) and ex-clients. I also thank the no-so-good times for teaching me lessons and patience.
Most of all, I thank my darling girl Chloe who teaches me more lessons than I thought I could learn. I am incredibly proud of your work ethic, values and love for everyone. You make me a better mum every day. And yes, I will continue to embarrass you as that’s my job.
Over and out (for now).