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February 12, 2018

How Being Unprepared Saved My Business

business copywriting

Wind in my hair, sun shining and views to die for…what’s not to love?

 37 Kms of cycling to be exact!

It wasn’t until I’d been peddling for an hour that it dawned on me that a Pump class once a week may not have prepared me for this feat of peddling endurance!

As the warm glow of excitement turned to warm sweat, I got to thinking about how much this bike ride was like my journey in business. I was totally unprepared for both!

If I’d known then what I know now, would I still have set-off?

Truth be told, the answer is NO! Why? Because ignorance is bliss!

I didn’t know what I didn’t know and had you told me, I would have had serious second thoughts. You see, I’ve been thinking on my feet for the last 2 years. But as I enter my 3rd year, it time to share…

5 Important Business Truths 37Kms of Cycling Taught Me:

 #1 – Blind optimism only gets you so far…

When I started my business, I imagined myself nursing my clients copy back to health, mopping their fevered brow as they sweated over their blog writing, dishing out insights like pills and curing their copy pain!

Ha!

Stumbling block number one… I had no idea who I was helping or how I was going get in-front of them. It’s pretty hard to be the Mother Teresa of copywriting without any clients.

Stella Polaris Copywriting's Mother Teresa

 #2 – Without a map you get lost…

I bet I’m not the only one who bounced into business with good intentions, enthusiasm and not a business plan in sight!

It’s no surprise I got lost!  

And worse still, when you don’t know where you’re going, it’s too easy to take wrong directions from others, like spending $4k to find your way (via their course). I was an easy target and fell hopelessly into some unethical funnels. Ouch!

#3 – Sometimes you run out of road…

Or more precisely, the path turns to sand and you find yourself on a beach!

In business (and biking), the trick is to keep your end goal in sight, (even if that means pushing your bike for 1.2kms across the beach).

And don’t give up!

I’ve had times when going back to teaching seemed so appealing. Last year I even took a 2 week relief position. It was the best thing I ever did, because it reminded me of why I left.

Never lose sight of your why.

#4 – You never know who will stay with you for the journey…

Many-a-time I’ve been convinced the person in my corner will always be there. And many-a-time my shrewd husband has told me to stop wearing my heart on my sleeve, to be more suspicious and cut-throat!

After 2 years in business, am I more cynical, jaded or mistrusting?

No way! But there have been some bumps along the way. I’ve felt disappointed, angry and outraged. What keeps me open hearted? I learn a bit more about myself every time.

So now I look to find gratitude for the lesson.

(Wondering how this relates to my bike ride? The kids ditched us…!)

#5 – Choose the path of least resistance…

I took the scenic tour in business.

And I did exactly the same on the bike. Having hugged the coastline all the way to Mandurah, I was over it. After briefly considering an Uber home, I decided to take the path of least resistance – wind behind us, least Kms and pavement all the way. What a relief!

If only I’d done that in business!

It sounds easy but choosing the path of least resistance is a mindset thing.

I’ve spent most of my working life in professions that encourage long hours, personal sacrifice and reward you with a warm inner glow (nursing, teaching). And guess what…I recreated this perfectly in my own business.

Since the day I opened I set out to help people.

What I’ve learned is that I don’t have to flog myself half to death to achieve this! There is a sweet spot, a place that feels effortless but adds huge value to clients. I’m giving myself permission to get comfy there and stay and play.

So, what have you learned in on your business journey? (Or have you got any advice for a novice cyclist?)

1 Comment

  1. […] that best describe what you’re saying. These don’t have to be in a sentence, so for example, last week’s post can be summed up as: UNPREPARED; FUNNY; HONEST.  How does this help? Take these concepts as a […]

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