As 2020 has wrapped up and we begin a fresh new year, it felt only right to launch this blog with a post of reflections from the last year. As some of you may know, 2020 was the year I graduated from college, started an aligned, Social Media Management business, grew my team (during a pandemic!), among other things I can honestly say I am really proud of. 

This pride doesn’t necessarily come from the accomplishments themselves, but what it took to make them a reality. In this instance, I’m talking about making a lot of mistakes. I’m proud that I had the courage to make mistakes, because they ultimately led to me finding success in my online business. So today, I’m sharing with you 7 of the most valuable lessons I learned while growing my business in 2020. Let’s dive in!

Put up your blinders

When you’re first starting out, you have your eyes on everyone around you (or everyone on your Insta feed). Hey, you’re new around here and want to soak up all of the strategies, ideas, tactics, etc.! It seems that there is a new trend every other day, and you want your new business to adapt and grow like everyone else’s. 

While social media can be a great source of inspiration and connection, if I learned anything about that little pink and orange app last year, it is that having tunnel vision while on it is beyond necessary! Getting sucked into the consumption scroll can become super hurtful for your business, as it causes you to over-think and second-guess yourself and the strategies that feel right for you. Setting limits for yourself on how long and for what purpose you get on socials will help with this, too!

Systems will be your new best friend

As your business begins to grow, so do you! I mean, didn’t you grow an extra few arms and another head that takes care of all of the administrative and behind-the-scenes parts for you?…

I’m guessing that would be a “no”, right? So let’s say you’re an actual human being (not a robot), and this didn’t happen to you. So your business is growing and there’s more to do than ever. Do you add more hours to your already-busy days? Take my advice, and say no to overworking and burnout, and yes to systems and automation. 

Setting up systems sounds intimidating to many, but believe me when I say, they are well worth the effort in setting them up! Imagine having your clients seamlessly walked through your entire onboarding process with just the click of a button. Or, what about never missing a peak posting time on Instagram because you were able to schedule it to be posted way ahead of time! Systems have done so much good for my business this year, and if you’re interested in which ones I use, stay tuned for next week’s blog post!

Delegate tasks instead of spreading yourself too thin

On that note, systems will make the back end of your business much less of a pit in your stomach, but at the end of the day, you are still only one person. When I was beginning to pick up traction in my business, I quickly realized that if I was going to continue growing, I was going to need an extra few sets of hands. 

Deciding to hire a team I could delegate tasks to not only saved my sanity, but this investment has helped me to grow more than I could have imagined! With the extra time on my hands, I can work with more clients, brainstorm and implement new ways to serve, and keep myself focused on the parts of my business that truly light me up. This was by far one of the best decisions I made for my business in 2020!

Not every client will be your match made in heaven  

The dreaded “bad” client experience. It happens to everyone, but even though we all know this, it still feels a bit soul-crushing when it is happening to you. If you work with people in any way, shape, or form, you are almost certain to encounter at least one client that you… let’s just say, that you wouldn’t agree to work with again. 

This experience does not, however, define you or your business. For every bad match, there are 10 amazing matches who will remind you why you began this business and why you want to keep going! Learn from the “negative” experience in any way you can, make adjustments to help yourself avoid it in the future, and continue to do your thing!

There is freedom in finding a good routine

I’ll openly admit that a perk to owning my own business is having full ownership over my schedule. At first, I felt like a kid who just reached their summer vacation! There was minimal structure to my schedule, and I did things as I felt like doing them. I quickly realized though, that “freedom to decide my schedule” didn’t necessarily mean “no schedule at all”. 

Finding a routine that you like and that you can stick to will help keep you focused, on top of deadlines, and help to avoid procrastination and putting off important things. If you want your business to grow steadily, a routine can help make sure you are staying on top of things and that you’re getting everything done! That way, in your free time, you’re not worried about tasks on your to-do list. You already know there is a time for them to be completed and you know they will get done!

Breaks are as necessary as your to-do list 

Burnout is as bad as it sounds! When trying to grow your business, it is super easy to fall into the trap of “always being on”. It only took being completely exhausted, before I realized that this was not benefitting my business in any way. 

If I didn’t have the energy and fire to show up for my clients and my business, I knew it would all quickly die. Scheduling breaks away from “work” and giving myself ample time to recharge allowed me to have the energy my business needed from me at other times. 

Enjoy the process stop always thinking about the next step

Can I let you in on a not-so-secret secret? Owning a business is not a destination, it is an ever-evolving journey. When I finally let go of the idea that a certain number of clients would mean I “made it”, it opened up so many other opportunities for me to find joy and success in my business. 

When every day is part of the adventure, it is so much easier to celebrate all those small wins that later add up to the big ones. To me, finding happiness in my business every day inspired me so much more than constantly waiting for the next big milestone. Happier business owners tend to make more successful business owners, don’t you think?

So going forward into this new year, how can you set yourself up for success in your business? My answer: goals. Take the time to list out what is important to you and what success looks like to you. What exactly do you want to achieve? Whether that be a number, or that you don’t want to have to work before 11 am, it is up to you. This answer will be different for every person, but as long as you know the direction you are heading in, the steps needed to get there will only become more clear. 

Let me know if any of these lessons resonated with you, or if you’ve learned a similar lesson yourself! Being honest about the behind-the-scenes is so important for maintaining our authenticity has actual, real people, let’s keep the conversation going! Leave a comment below, or tag me on Instagram sharing your most valuable business life lesson from 2020!

Finding Success in Online Business: The lessons I learned in 2020

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