A Year In Business - 10 Things I've Learned

To think back a year ago... I was taking the first steps to leave the security of a corporate marketing job to pursue the freelance/solopreneur life and set up my own digital marketing agency, Socialike.

It's crazy to think that it has been a year and just as crazy to know how far I've come in that time.

I've learned more than I could have ever imagined and I continue to learn, it comes with the nature of running a business and being in an industry that doesn't stay still.

10 Things I've Learned In the Last Year

Some things take longer than you expect them to

My timeframes and priorities aren't always the same as those of the businesses I'm working with.

You’re in control

I've had times of little momentum and it can make it hard to be motivated but, if you're not doing anything to grow that momentum, you'll come to a stop. You have to get out there and use the momentum you have to keep things going. Push through the barriers and grow that momentum to get the business moving in the right direction.

There’s no one size fits all business systems and processes

Yes you can get done for you Trello and ASANA templates and buy templates from others in your industry but that doesn't mean they'll be the right fit for your business.

I've tried systems and process from other agencies of various sizes. Some aspects I liked and others I didn't.

Because I wanted Socialike to be unique and efficient in its processes, I had to discover the processes and systems that work for me and Socialike. I’ve drawn from my experience in other industries to build my own systems and processes that fit with the AdTech, MarTech project management tools I use and of course my client needs.

It’s a process of discovery and learning which helps make your business unique.

People will try and sell to you

You’re trying to sell your product or service so it should come as no surprise that other businesses are going to try and sell you their products and services.

There's been tools and services I wish I hadn't said yes to but I know now what to look for and when the when the right time to say yes is.

Understand the products and services you really need like an accountant and the ones that aren't as essential like the online courses and coaches.

People will say no

Most of the time, people will say no to your product or service. It might be because they don't have a need for it, it's not the right time, they don't have the budget or perhaps you haven't convinced them that they have a need for it.

Don't let these moments get you down. Work out why they said no and what you can do differently in your approach to get a YES from the next lead.

You’ll always find a way

Bringing on my first client, I wasn't sure how to do the onboarding and I doubted my ability to deliver the service which I think is only natural when you're starting out.

I surprised myself and was able to both onboard and deliver the service in a way that both myself and the client were happy with.

This helped to create the start of my systems and processes.

Stick at it

When we stick at it, we continue to grow, learn and progress.

When we give up, we go down the easy path that will have us always questioning how things would be if we had stuck at it.

There’s always enough time in the day

I can't remember the last time I worked a standard 9 to 5 day let alone Monday to Friday.

I now put in work every minute and every day I have the opportunity. 3 hour layover between flights, I'll be working.

I make the most of every minute of every day. There is enough time, I just have to use it wisely and efficiently.

Networks are great

Naturally we go to our network first when we start selling a product or service.

I found that the majority of my network wasn't in the market for social media and digital marketing services which made things a little bit harder.

In talking to prospective clients, I learned to identify what their roadblocks are and quickly connected who in my network might be able to help them with the things that I can't.

Owning a business becomes a lifestyle 

Whether it’s the early starts and late nights or scheduling trips around meetings and conferences, owning a business becomes a lifestyle and one that you can in some ways design to fit your needs.