After 2.5 years in the business with The Best Possible you, I reflected on what I have learnt along this rewarding but also sometimes challenging journey.
Entrepreneurship is a tough game. It requires a lot of consistency, will power and vulnerability. And a clear vision and reason why you are doing what you are doing.
Below I will share 5 things I would do differently if I started from scratch again with my business The Best Possible You in the professional services space.
You might find one or the other point useful when embarking on your entrepreneurial journey or apply them to your career.
Get an accountant onboard early. And one that is not just filing your tax, but can help you with cost controlling, give book keeping advice and supports you in making strategic decisions based on numbers.
When starting off it's easy to just put things off as it is only a couple of hundred or thousands euros you are taking about. And just a handful of clients.
However, once things start to seriously take off, you will not have the time to suddenly pause and easily implement things back datedly.
And thinking through your business and financial model will help you to take off into the right direction and plan your business development and sales activities.
Focusing on hiring the right people.
One of the mistakes I made looking back was to think that I could do it all by myself. A very common mistake that I see with a lot of other entrepreneurs and business owners as well.
And the jump to actually outsource parts of your business and giving your baby into somebody else's hands is a big step. This one did not come easy for me either. Although I was managing people in a corporate environment and hired people on a regular basis.
Another one is on top of telling people what to do, I also had to tell them how to do them (while paying them to do so). I only realised at a later stage that the main point of getting somebody onboard is that they can tell you how to do things better.
Hire for future skills and your vision, not only your short term requirements. And yes, you do indeed deserve such (a) resource(s).
And this not only counts for people who can help you to work 'in' the business. Which also leads me to next point, to make sure you work also 'on' the business.
Get the right coach(es) and mentors onboards.
You don't know what you don't know. It's easy to start off and embark on a trial and error journey. Leaving you wondering if you could or should have done things differently.
You will slowly start to realise that you are not the only one having faced those challenges and decisions earlier on the business.
And it can save you time and money to figure certain things out earlier with external support. I am actively expanding my support network further to learn from people who inspire me.
It's not always easy though to find the right coach or mentor for yourself though. For myself, it is always important that somebody can relate to my vision and goals.
Plus, they should have similar values. Although coaches are not meant to 'have opinions' or consult you, I have seen
prejudices coming up when being coached in the past. This can get in the way of a good coaching relationship.
Also, look for somebody who could potentially support you in the medium and long term as well. If you are a corporate employee trying to figure out if you would like to move into management or start your own business, ideally look for somebody who can support you in the next step of your journey as well without having to start from scratch again.
Don't be afraid of showing up.
I am still reluctant today to put the word out there to my extensive network that I built from my roles in the corporate world and beyond. And that's after 2.5 years of building a successful business.
Sometimes, it can seem strange to leave 'the other side' behind among only a few ones doing 'something different' and embark on your own venture. You feel almost 'different' now. No longer part of it sometimes.
However, you might be surprised how many people actually admire what you are doing. And how many secret followers and supporters you have.
Although they will never tell you, admit it or give you a single like on social media when they are closely following what you are up to.
And even if people either don't approve of or take no interest in what you do now - so what?
It's all about finding YOUR tribe. And the rest does not matter as YOU create your own reality.
And never forget: You are here doubting yourself while others out there are intimated by your potential.
Less is more. I have found myself in a constant trap and race of filling events, creating new programmes, filling those new retreat dates and so on and so - especially in the beginning and I am now getting slowly but surely better at it (with still some progress to make).
Things DO take time. And often less is simply more. Focus on THE one thing and get it right. Then move on to the next thing.
This is another common mistake when starting out. And it is very tempting as you are still trying to figure out what it is you really want to do, offer and whom you ideally want to work with.
"You are here doubting yourself while others out there are intimated by your potential."
It actually helped me to figure out all of those things. However, looking back it only distracts you. And don't feel bad for cancelling or postponing things if you feel that it either does not attract the right or enough clients or simply if you feel that it is not for you.
It took me a while to get this one too. As reliability is one of my top values. But dropping things early and quickly, if you feel they are not right for you, don't work or simply don't make sense from a financial perspective is key.
What are the things that you would differently when starting all over again with your business or career?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katrin Sturm is the Founder & Chief Empowering Officer of The Best Possible You and a leading Personal & Business Growth Coach as well as Startup Mentor & Scale-up Advisor.
She draws on her corporate experience of more than 10 years in senior sales and leadership positions mostly in the Tech/SaaS industry as well working with over 1000 startups & scale-ups being an entrepreneur herself for over two years now.
Helping her clients to improve their growth & sales mindset as well as leadership skills to advance their career and businesses further while keeping a strong focus on personal growth and wellbeing, she founded her own business in 2018 with The Best Possible combining her strengths and passion.
The Best Possible You is a company that helps highly-driven leaders and entrepreneurs to take your career and business to the next level by
- providing you the right insights, tools & expertise
- personal guidance in form of 1:1 and group programmes
- a community of like-minded people as well as the right environment and space
to help you become the best possible version of yourself on a 360 degree level keeping your personal growth and wellbeing in mind.