Zero to one: 7 Lessons learned in the first year of building a business
Updated: Feb 1
Celebrating one year of Mistry of Words!
What a thrilling roller coaster of a journey it’s been. From something that started as a side-hustle to fulfil a passion and generate extra savings; to something that’s blossomed into a successful small business.
A moment of reflection
As I approach the first-year anniversary of Mistry of Words and take a moment to reflect on the highs and lows of starting a business, I can’t help but reflect upon the final few months of my corporate life. I guess those were the months in which I grew the most, learned the most, and prepared me for the journey that lay ahead.
From hearing the term ‘upskill’ one too many times, which led to more work and no progression to a shift in corporate culture, it was time to bring an end to that chapter in life.
18TH January 2022 marked one year since I walked out the office doors of a company that had been my second home for over seven and a half years. Just short of a decade. I had enjoyed the joys of a marketing career that allowed me to make a significant difference in the lives of many.
As I entered my first few days of unemployment during COVID, I decided to use my time wisely. After submitting my resume for the handful of marketing roles that appeared suitable, I spent the remainder of the time completing the website that I built for a side hustle. Why not give it a shot, I thought to myself? I then began marketing my services and pitching for work and the rest as we know it is history.
A year of copywriting
Fast forward a year, and I can safely say embarking on this journey has been the best decision I made for my career. It’s been a year of intense learning and growth.
Writing for numerous industries and a variety of marketing has not only broadened my knowledge and given me the opportunity to educate myself but it’s allowed me to do what I love doing best – writing (along with reading of course).
Having no knowledge or experience in running a business, I had no idea how this would work out for me. But as the saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way.
Here are a few lessons I have learned along the way.
Block out self-doubt and doubt from others The first roadblock to taking the initial step is self-doubt and doubt from others. Instead, have faith in your decision and allow the path to form. Self-doubt doesn’t just end there. While you may have conquered the very first step (and well done to you!), it has a habit of cropping up every time there is a low. Remember, in business, there will always be ups and downs, so keep level-headed through the ups and downs and work through those quieter days.
Be consistent There may be moments you feel like nothing is working and no work is coming your way. Instead of throwing in the towel and giving up, continue to work every day on your goal. You may face rejections and face failures; these are all part of the process and learning curve. Small efforts each day will lead to results.
Pitch for work While marketing your business is a good idea, don’t wait for the work to come to you. Instead, reach out to the business owners and decision-makers. During my marketing career, I noticed higher conversions through phone conversations. So, pick up that phone and make a few phone calls. You’ll be surprised to learn how many are seek someone with your skills but simply don’t know how and where to find someone.
Network You’ll hear this time and time again. And for a good reason. Being an introvert, this was one that I avoided initially but, I’m glad I bit the bullet and attended a few local and virtual networking events because it sure helped raise brand awareness and drive in some business.
Join a support group Sometimes just having someone in a similar boat listen to your woes or turn to for advice can be the best thing in the world. Find business groups and communities within the same arena as you to turn to when you need some advice and clarity. As a copywriter, the Clever Copywriting School community has helped me through the odd tricky moment, and likewise, Business Chicks is a great platform for women in business.
Step out of your comfort zone This is easier said than done. Whilst I may have already stepped out of my comfort zone by beginning a small business, there are a few hurdles that I am still working to conquer. For instance, I am camera shy, so my next goal is to get behind the camera and knock out a few videos. However, being an introvert, public speaking and large gatherings are a weakness. Nevertheless, I have pushed myself by attending networking events and striking up conversations.
Don’t give up Most importantly, through all the ups and downs, moments of self-doubt and fears - don’t give up! No matter what the imposter within you says and what others may say, have faith in yourself and the path ahead of you.
Hopefully, some of these learnings will help those of you who are on the edge of taking that first step towards starting out on your own.
A note of thanks and gratitude
I wouldn’t be where I am today If it wasn’t for a couple of my nearest and dearest, and the clients that put their faith in me.
Looking forward to another year
Here’s to another year of writing, learning, meeting new people and businesses and making a positive difference through the magic of words.
If you’re looking to boost your content marketing and attract, engage, and convert your consumers get in touch today.