I’m not big on my work anniversaries or making much noise about milestone events – even though I recommend that clients do! I’ll tell them it gets you noticed. It’s free PR. It rekindles past conversations and sparks new ones.
This week LinkedIn has reminded me that I’ve been in business for 14 years. I almost let it pass without a blink. However, ‘congrats’ messages from others have made me think twice. Has it been a successful 14 years and worthy of celebration? Of course, that depends on what I set out to achieve. Has it made me millions? No! But that’s ok because my goal was to earn a living doing what I enjoy, with plenty of variety and challenge and my motivation was the freedom to be around for my 2 growing daughters. The last 14 years have certainly delivered that.
As many small business owners will recognise, the peaks and troughs of business and income when you are your own boss can often push you between ‘this is great’ and ‘I need to get a proper job’. What helps enormously in dealing with those thoughts is a clear view of why you’ve chosen to run your business – and what your version of success looks like. Motivation on its own is not enough, you need measurable goals too.
Key events and milestones can be catalysts for new initiatives.
Last weekend I dropped my elder daughter off at Uni for the first time. I’d prepared myself for weeks, rationalising that it would scarcely feel different to our normal home life as she was always out and about with friends or at work. I was wrong! The emotion hit me like a punch. This was the beginning of a whole new era – for her and for me. I love a fresh start so I’m choosing to see this as one.
Part of this new era is a new venture. I wanted to create an online service that would work alongside my face to face business coaching and training.
I have joined forces with Vic de Smidt, a digital coach and all-round expert in things digital. Vic became a friend through networking and Nordic walking – another good discovery through the freedom of business ownership. We have set out to make the early days of a new business smoother and less fraught and to help people get the results they need quicker. We want to reduce the randomness and risk that goes with not knowing what to do first, then second, then next. And we have decided that our focus is on helping new Midlife business owners. Midlifebusiness will run alongside All About Results – and, for Vic, alongside vicdesmidt.com
How will I know if I am successful? Well, I do know my measures of success – financial security is one but also a sense of achievement from creating something tangible and enduring. My motivations have changed little in the last 14 years – freedom in terms of time to be around for my younger daughter at a key time in her education, enjoyment, new experiences and new business challenges – and under my terms! I’ll report back!