1 year in … what I’ve learned so far

This January Marketing Mixology turned one!

I naturally celebrated with a Gin & Tonic and a little happy dance. Reaching this milestone also made me think of all the things I have learnt over the past twelve months.

I can’t cover it all, without writing the longest blog post known to man, so I just wanted to share a few things that I have learnt along the way which might help if you are thinking of taking the plunge in to the world of working for yourself.

Be yourself 

This might sounds kind of obvious, but if you have worked in a corporate environment for a while or in a place where you haven’t been able to show your personality it can be a bit of an adjustment to just be yourself.

The thing is being yourself is the one thing that makes you different and if people get on with you and like what you’re about they are more likely to buy from you.

Collaboration not competition 

Unless your offering is super unique or a new product chances are that someone is going to have the same business as you. This doesn’t need to be a bad thing, there is plenty of work out there for everyone and lets face it who is going to know the issues you are facing better than someone who does the same or similar thing?

If possible find someone who does something similar to have regular catch ups with and share your stories, plus there might be projects you can join forces on to deliver.

Listen to podcasts 

I’m a bit late to the podcast party but now I have arrived I love them. There are so many different subjects covered and sometimes it’s nice to just have a voice on in the background whilst you are working.

There are lots out there that focus on working for yourself and entrepreneurialism with great advice and inspiring real life stories.

I also really enjoy listening to podcasts about metal health and mindfulness as its also really important when working solo to look after yourself and your wellbeing.

Keep the PJ’s for duvet days 

So this more personal preference, however I really do believe that getting up and dressed in ‘proper’ clothes (i.e. not joggers and old t-shirts) makes me more productive.

I’m not saying wear a suit or pencil dress at all times (unless thats your vibe) but the times I have decided to work in my PJ’s I’ve spent more time procrastinating and thinking about taking a nap – not ideal!

For me clothing is also an important part of personal branding so even if the only journey out that day is to the shops I make sure I’m in an outfit that reflects who I am.

Fresh air …  

When you have a lot of work on it’s sometimes easy to stay at your desk all day, but this isn’t great for your wellbeing and also can hamper your creativity.

Head out for at least half and hour each day for a wander around, leave your phone at home so you can truly switch of and take a break, you’ll be surprised at how much more productive you are when you get back.

Outsource things that make you go urgh! 

So this might not be possible straight away due to budgets etc but if you can afford it I would recommend outsourcing the things that don’t make your heart sing.

Admin getting on top of you? There are lots of VA’s out there that can help you. More Rachel Green that Rachel Riley? Outsource the financial side to an accountant, after all they love numbers, tax and all that finance-y stuff. Does marketing seem like a mystical artform? Get someone involved that can help.

Find your tribe 

Everybody is different and approaches business differently, but whats important is that you find your tribe.

If an event where you have to eat in front of a room of strangers or pitch for 5 mins leave you in a cold sweat look at alternatives there are plenty out there.

One fabulous alternative is Girl Tribe Gang, their meet-ups are all about collaboration, supporting and empowering women and sharing inspiring stories. I loved their concept so much that I have joined forces with them to launch my own tribe in Cambridge this February.

Hope you’ve found this blog interesting / useful, if you’ve recently started your own business and have any tips /advice you wanted to share pop them in the comments.