This is my forth attempt at running a business - and the only one that's succeeded. Today I want to share my biz journey with you, and the four key reasons why my past attempts at growing a financially successful business failed.
I started my first blog in 2012. I was sitting in a villa in Bali when the idea to start one popped into my head.
I have no idea why I wanted to do this. Heck, I didn't even technically know what a blog was, let alone what I wanted to share.
I used to follow Jess Ainscough's work religiously during that time, and one person I knew through a friend had her own online business. That was the extent of my exposure to and knowledge of the online world of biz.
I didn't start a blog because I wanted to leave my day job, I just felt called to do it. And my intention at the time wasn't to make a career out of it, I just loved to write and wanted to share my ponderings. My mindset around this began to shift in 2013. In 2013 I started wanting to make money from doing that I loved.
So, at this time, I started a new blog and sold D.I.Y at home retreat packs. They were wonderful, but never really took off. I also tried to run events, but never sold enough tickets.
In 2015, I took off overseas for 16 months. I knew I still wanted to write and share, but felt disillusioned by my lack of success.
In 2017, upon my return to Australia, I started a fresh biz that promoted wellness events in Brisbane. I also started to run events (unlike my first attempt in 2013, they worked this time!) This business was far more successful than any I'd tried to start up in the past but it still wasn't bringing in the kind of money I wanted it to. By this time I'd decided that the world of working for someone else in a 9 til 5 job was DEFINITELY NOT for me, so I needed a viable out.
Though this biz had potential to grow, if I kept running it the way I was, it was never going to be successful.
The issue though, was that I lacked the passion it needed for me to change things up and make a success of it.
In 2018, I started this space you find yourself in now - my self titled biz, Che Johnson. I now support myself financially as a Content Creator, Biz Coach and Virtual Assistance for heart centred babes in biz.
Work now comes to me easily, it's enjoyable and I have the creative and physical freedom I want and need in my life.
Just the other week, I had a biz heart storming sesh with a biz babe who started out in biz around the same time as me. We had a great time reminiscing about our past mistakes, revelling in our learnings and making strategic plans for the journey forward. My time with her got me thinking A LOT about why my past attempts at starting businesses failed, and why my newest biz has been successful (and easy!)
I hope you enjoy my reflections and learn from them in your own biz.
HERE'S THE TOP 4 REASONS WHY MY PREVIOUS ATTEMPTS AT STARTING A BUSINESS FAILED!
I talked about anything and everything, because I had no idea who the hell my ideal client was!
Actually, scrap that, I did know who my ideal clients were - women. Uuuuuuummm! Broad much? The most incredible thing I witnessed in my current biz was how EASILY clients and work came to me once I knew who I was serving! For many years I was talking to anyone and everyone with a vagina. And anyone and everyone with a vagina was not listening to me, because apart from our shared genitalia, they had no idea how I could serve them. I'd go from talking about relationships, to good food choices. From same sex marriage, to mediation. It was a right sh!t show.
Many women avoid getting too 'niche-y' when it comes to identifying their ideal client but I've ALWAYS seen beautiful things come to fruition when they have been courageous enough to do so. It's too broad to be a generalist yoga teacher, relationship coach, business mentor, careers coach - you need to get into the nitty gritty and hone it down EVEN FURTHER! Who exactly are you speaking to?
I had no plan. I liked to fly by the seat of my pants a little too often!
"Content plan? No way - f!ck that! I'm a Creative baby! I like to write when I feel inspired to, not when I have to". Hhmm, yeah that way of thinking got me R.E.A.L far - NOT! If you can't write a content plan it's likely that you don't have a vision for your business (or you don't have the skills, in which case let's chat). And if you don't have a vision for your business, you can't take baby steps to get there ... because you have no idea where you're going. With a plan, you end up writing about things that are interesting, but more often than not, not so relevant to your ideal client. And when we're not talking to our ideal client, we're just wasting time and energy. It sounds harsh, but it's true honey!
Don't worry if you're not a planner, neither am I. Your plan doesn't have to be firm and rigid , but there does need to be some structure. My goal over the next six months is to get more writing clients. I have a whole list of articles I want to write, that I know will be relevant to the women who I want to employ me. Each week I put time aside in my calendar to write and create - when this time comes, I consult my list of articles, see what resonates with my heart, and go from there.
I didn't enlist support.
If I'm to be honest, this was mainly because I didn't want to spend any money. I used to book one off sessions with Business Coaches which was awesome, but didn't actually help keep me accountable and on path. I resisted getting a Virtual Assistant because, 'don't you only have one of those when you're making a tonne of money?' (I now have one though and she is a god send!) I didn't get help with tasks that weren't in my zone of genius - instead, I wasted time trying to figure out how to do them (but never could!) These days, I'm far more open to INVESTING in my biz (because that's what it is, an INVESTMENT!) I hand over tasks I don't love doing, or am just plain sh!t at because 1. I'd rather be doing the things I love and that gift me energy and creativity, not drain me, and 2. I truly believe that investing in my biz will come back to me ten-fold.
I'd like to say, that this too goes for investing in self. I invest quite a chunk of money into self care and my health AND the way I show up in my biz is all the better for it!
I wasn't consistent.
Not only was I talking to no-one, I wasn't even consistent in doing so! I'd share like a crazy person on social media, my blog and in newsletters for four weeks, and then drop off the face of the earth for the next four weeks. People need consistency because it helps them to build trust and a relationship with us. If we don't have these two key ingredients, people won't ever invest in us and our products/services (I mean, would you?! No way!) You don't need to go OTT, but you do need to show up consistently (and intentionally, with your ideal client in mind).
Yes, these teachings are very simple, but that's the beauty of all this honey! If you're currently struggling in your business, some simple tweaks WILL make the world of difference!