In February 2014, I realized that I had the ability to support my friends in small business by teaching them what I knew about the psychology in social media. I ran live events, wrote blogs, live streamed, consulted. Business was great.
By January 2015, I mapped out my growth in my business with the numbers from the months and I was looking to crack the need to charge GST in my second year and the illustrious 6-figure business by my third year.
In September 2016, I did a Facebook Ads course with a well-regarded and successful coach and started to plan how I was going to retire my husband to work in my social media consulting agency. He would run the ads and I would consult on the psychology of engaging organic content.
In February 2017, I closed down my first and other business of 6 years to concentrate solely on consulting. I had also realized that my clients needed information on running a business. I had a number of ongoing business coaching clients and I had to close my books to new social media marketing clients.
In September 2017 I attended my first international conference that was paid for by my business. I attended my second in March 2018.
February 2018, I relaunched my organic Facebook Course as an online drip-fed course.
Looks pretty good huh?
What if I added in the following:
September 2015, I had my first session with a business coach who I knew and trusted and they told me not to focus on the psychology of social media because no-one understands it and just to focus on organic Facebook because I was good at it.
January 2016, my Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme, an aggressive and terminal brain cancer, and so began my time supporting my parents through his disease and treatment.
March 2016, I put myself under the care of a psychologist.
August 2016, my Dad’s cancer metastasized to his spine.
December 2016, my Dad passed away.
January 2017, I realized that I didn’t want to run a Facebook Agency as I didn’t enjoy the repetitive work.
June 2017, I had a meltdown about my business. I hated it. I realized that the work I was doing on organic Facebook wasn’t being true to myself. I was competing with other businesses and I bringing on new clients was difficult because they had been burnt by other social media consultants who promised the stars but didn’t deliver. I had to get back to the psychology of social media and neuromarketing (not that I knew what that meant then).
September 2018, I was away on a business retreat and I again realized that my business still wasn’t where I wanted it to be. I needed to start to look harder at what I actually wanted my business to be and that I had to undo the damage done by confusing my audience with the bad advice I’d received in 2015. I knew that I didn’t want to offer social media marketing services, the main part of my business and what gave me ongoing income.
October 2018, I put my home on the market in preparation to build a new home and moved my family in with my Mum. What I didn’t know was that this would be for 2 years and would see me supporting my Mum through a number of health issues.
January 2019, my son had a series of accidents that saw him hospitalized.
June 2019, I realized that I needed more tailored and focused support for my business and I had to seek support outside my existing network.
January 2020, after 12 months of planning and issues with our builder our house build started.
That brings us to today where:
– my income is still where it was in 2015
– I’m in my new home
– I’m still supporting my family through health issues
– I have fewer clients
– I’ve moved to more speaking events to lead to consultations
– I’ve turned my back on the hype of social media coaches
– I’ve had to differentiate myself on psychology and become ok with being on my own in this space as it applies to social media and business
– I’ve had to challenge my mindset about how psychology in business is becoming popular and those without qualifications start to see that it’s a growth market
So why am I telling you all of this?
All is not what it seems when it comes to business growth
If all I’d told you was what I had outlined in the first list you’d think my business was an incredible success. If all you’d seen was my financial growth you’d consider me a failure.
Many years ago, when listening to an influential Australian business coach, I realized that not all was what it seemed. Her 7-figure business was built on debt and 6-figures of advertising costs.
Small business growth is personal
As small business owners we are so much of our business.
So why is it that we ignore the importance of personal growth in business growth?
Financial growth isn’t all there is to small business growth
I have two money quotes that stick in my head, “rich people don’t get there by spending carelessly” and “you need to spend money to make money”. You might think they contradict each other, but I think they are complementary.
Every overseas business trip I’ve taken, I’ve grown. I’ve learnt more about my chosen field, I’ve learnt about which field I want to be in and I’ve learnt the most about myself.
Both travel and coaching have been large expenses to my business and have provided me with great personal growth and allowed me to position my business appropriately so it can grow.
While all of my growth has been an inside job, using my skills and working on me, I do appreciate that it’s not always.
What I do know is that my clients who have broken glass ceilings have done it on the back of personal growth. And that’s where I come in.
So how do you account for personal growth when it comes to being part of your business growth?