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Lessons Learned with Hindsight

 

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I love working with new entrepreneurs, there’s a fresh passion, determination and optimism that their business will succeed no matter what.

My role as a coach is make sure that bubbling positive energy isn’t extinguished by ensuring they’re prepared for the challenges along the way; and that they not only have the necessary tools they need to make their business succeed, but also know how to use those tools.

Anyone who has a business, no matter how successful will tell you it’s incredibly hard work; especially at the beginning.  There are a few things I’ve learned, either from my own painful experience or those around me – clients, family and friends. For those who are either thinking of starting a business or are already in it, you may find these useful:

Live well Below Your Means.  We all want to look fabulous (my favourite word 😊); it’s easy to be seduced by the Jones’s and want to keep up with them.  But if you want to start with a good foundation, simplify your life and do try to live as inexpensively as possible.

Always, Always Have Savings.  If you don’t already have savings, please try and start, even if it’s £5.00 a month and it’s increased over time.  Start with any amount you can consistently afford.  But the key word is CONSISTENT.  Whatever amount you can start with, it must be done regularly, i.e. monthly.

You may want to have three savings for the following:

Financial Freedom/Your Dream – to clear your debts or and your business website, marketing, etc.

Short-Term – for car, furniture, etc.

Golden Goose – towards your retirement (no matter your age).

Education – for books, courses, events for your self-development.

Never Eat Your Golden Goose.  Don’t spend the money you’re saving for retirement.  Not everyone agrees with me on this one, I know people who have used money in this account, given themselves a deadline to pay the money back and paid it back with interest…and I know people who have not yet been able to pay all the money back.

Never Spend Your Tax. I know it’s soo obvious that you shouldn’t spend the money set aside for your tax; but it’ll look very enticing when there’s an emergency.  Don’t touch it!  Do not do it!  You’re better off getting multiple jobs to get the money you need.

People will Disappoint You (including friends & family).  There’s nothing you can do about this one.  Sometimes people do what they say they’ll do, other times they’ll disappoint you. They may not mean to, but it’ll happen. Saying ‘Be prepared for it’, sounds pessimistic; so, I’ll just say ‘There’s a lesson to be learnt from it.’  C’est la vie.

I know there are many more, these were the ones that seem to be the most painful.

Having a business is still 100% worth it, but it’s always much better to be prepared. 😊

What lessons have you learned from your entrepreneurial journey?

 

Monday Blues

It’s now scientific to have Monday blues. Yep, you know have a legitimate reason to feel like crap on a Monday, irrespective of how your day is like.

But really, why do most people hate Mondays?

According to scientists, there are numerous reasons why people hate Mondays; the obvious ones are that Mondays reminds us how we were less than healthy at the weekends – we tend to over-indulge – so we ‘face the music’ on Mondays; also the day reminds people how much they hate their jobs.

Personally, I think it’s a waste of time beating myself over the foods I eat.  I must admit, my weekends are for indulgence, I eat less healthily on weekends and I make sure I enjoy every mouthful😊 and if I go overboard, I make up for it during the week by exercising more and eating more salads and vegetables.  Whatever happens at the weekend, stays at the weekend.  End of. 😊

There’s a quote that goes ‘If you don’t like your life, change it’.  That saying might seem simplistic because you have bills to pay and responsibilities, but it’s very true.  You are responsible for your own life and the decisions that you may.  Don’t give that power to anyone or anything else.

If no one is holding a gun to your head to stay in your job or your career, then you CAN change it.  It may not happen overnight, it probably shouldn’t happen overnight, you should take time to make your plans to prepare (but not procrastinate).

So, what do you like doing?  What brings you joy?  What are you passionate about?  Who can you serve and bring value to?  How can you make it a career or business?

Who has done it before?  There’s nothing new under the Sun, so it’s very likely that somewhere out there, someone is generating income from it.  It may mean you’ll need to do research, study or take a course, but there’s always a way.  If you take time out and start planning.

You’ll find that once you plan and taking small steps towards making your dream a reality, you’ll feel better.  It won’t be easy but it’s definitely NOT impossible.

If you want to make money, you have to serve people, bring value to them.  The more people you serve, the higher the value they place on what you have to offer, the more money you make.

I know of someone who’s job is to taste chocolates; yes, chocolates!  I also heard of another person whose job it is to check the quality of hotel resorts.

So nothing is impossible.  Your life is too precious to be controlled by Monday Blues.

Can you imagine what your life would be like if you’re living your dream; jumping out of bed every Monday, every day rearing to go?

I am living my dream; yes, there are challenges but I’m loving my life and you can too 😊

Have a fabulous Monday, whatever you’re doing.

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Back to the Drawing Board

 

Starting-Over

There’s nothing wrong with going back to the drawing board.

Nothing wrong in admitting to yourself that maybe you got it wrong; that the results you were expecting didn’t quite pan out; or that maybe you didn’t take enough time to figure out what you really wanted, what direction your life, your project, your business should take.

The fact that you’ve spent a substantial amount of your time and money working on something that either didn’t work out, or is no longer something you want to do, should be punishment enough.  Mentally beating yourself over and over again accomplishes nothing and ends up being counterproductive, because it prevents you from learning the lesson(s) you need to learn and move forward.

You must look at the positives in every situation, the lessons that can be learned.  At least you now know what isn’t working or rather that something isn’t working; this means that you can now focus on turning things around.

Being afraid of being called indecisive or even a failure isn’t enough reason to continue on a path that you’re not 100% committed to.

Starting over can be a blessing, you know what to look out for, what works and what doesn’t.  You know better.

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Goals…Who Needs Them?

 

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Goals…

‘So, I’ve written down my goals, now what?’’  This is one of the first questions my clients ask me after their initial consultation.

They normally vocalise their goals in the first consultation, and then I tell them to go back home, in a chilled and relaxed environment, no TV, no distractions; maybe after the first sip of wine, take a paper, a pen and dare to dream.  I ask them to think about what their business and life goals would be, if money was no object.

I find that asking this question and getting clients to write their true ‘dream’ goals in a relaxed, non-judgemental environment, releases them from an invisible chain or mindset that seems to hold people back.

When doing this exercise, I remind clients to, for the moment, not think about how they can achieve their goals.  The aim of the exercise is to make them bring out the dreams they hide from others, or even themselves.

There’s a lot of talk about doing what you love, following your passion or purpose; whether it’s starting your own business, changing careers, or even taking your business to the next ’scarier’ level.

Some people might roll their eyes and years ago I was one of them, but I’ve come to realise that it’s a valid statement.  As humans are living longer, we’re working longer and these longer years should be spent doing something you love.   Doing something you don’t love makes for a shitty life, I should know, I use to hate my well-paid corporate job.

Life, as they say, isn’t a dress rehearsal, you can’t afford to not do something you love with it!

So, avoid a life full of only daydreams and wishes, give yourself permission to have goals and achieve them.

Your Why

Now, write down your goals.

Have you done it?  Good.

Why?  Yep, I asked the question.  Why do you want to achieve those goals?

Writing your goal is great, but you must have a ‘WHY’; a reason.

A reason which becomes the propeller that makes you find a way no matter what; come rain or shine, to achieve your goal.  A reason that keeps you going when you’re knackered and feel like throwing in the towel; when the long hours and challenges seem to overshadow the joy of working towards that goal.

No matter what your goal is – starting a small business, leaving your job for your side-hustle, or even taking your small business to the next level; your ‘WHY’ must be BIG enough to cross the Wilderness of Challenges to get to the Promise Land of your Goal(s).

Because once you can do that, then the fun begins…😊

So…whats-your-why

Are there any business goals you want to achieve but don’t know where to start?

Do you want to start a business but you’re unsure how to begin?

Or, if you need help with your goals, finding your ‘Why?’, make sure you drop me a line and I’ll tell you WHY. 😉

 

Back in London, But Catch Me Worldwide

No Excuses

I apologise to my readers for taking this long to update my blog.  I constantly tell my clients that their blogs and other social media must be active and updated, so my blog shouldn’t be months old!   I don’t accept excuses from my clients for not updating their blog (I may allow personal or family health-related issues); so I won’t give one. 😊

A very short back-story for new readers, I decided to go on a business adventure to Nigeria to set up a new business and an office base – previous posts will update you on my experiences, such fun!!

Nigeria – Only the Brave

The past few months have been quite intense.  Setting up business in Nigeria is only for the brave, especially if you’re self-financing like I am.  Remaining sane while putting deals together is a real testament to the human spirit, hats off to all of us who do it!

That said, although the country is tough, the rewards can be HUGE, more so than most countries in the West.  Well, that’s one of the reasons I’m doing it – I’m not completely crazy.😊

Doing business in Nigeria has taught me a lot, namely, patience, perseverance and focus.  It’s so easy to be distracted by the ‘next best thing’ when the results you’ve been working towards seem to be taking too darn long; but I can attest that if you keep your eyes on the price you will achieve your goal(s).

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Same Services More Global

Since I started my business I’ve been fanatical about providing a more personal and tailored service to my clients, which has included a lot of face to face meetings.  Unfortunately this has meant that my clients in other parts of the world may not have received the same level of service when I wasn’t physically available; not something I would ever want for them.

My time around different parts of Africa while dealing with my African-based clients has taught me to think bigger and more global, ensuring I find ways to provide the same level of service to ALL my clients around the world.

Too Close To See

As a business coach and consultant, I pride myself on knowing how to help my clients navigate the labyrinth path to success in their businesses and somehow it’s taken me a bit longer to find a platform where I can provide value to all my clients at the same time!

Working closely with my clients has shown me that irrespective of where you are in the world, as long as you’re in business – whether you’re an entrepreneur or career professional – you’ll have similar challenges in the areas of marketing, business growth, increasing customer base, etc.

So, to put what I’ve learnt into practice and cater to you, my wonderful clients, even better; I’ll be offering bespoke courses, videos and webinars to address the challenges that you all face in your respective businesses.

You’ll find the videos and other information I’ll be uploading on my site to be useful for your business and of course, fun.  While we all know that business isn’t easy, there should be some fun added to the mix…otherwise, what’s the point, right? 😊

So how about you?  What experiences have you had in your business, where you had to change strategies?

How long did it take you to change strategies?

Please feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts on this new avenue I’m using to reach you.

You can send an email to me on aydaonthego@gmail.com

Remember to subscribe to my blog!

Sow those Wild Oats

A friend of mine, a lover of chick flicks, Mills & Boons, finding ‘The One’ and ‘happily ever afters’, is getting married.  I am thrilled for her, will obviously be attending the wedding and I’m looking forward to my trip to Selfridges Shoe Hall and wearing my slinky Herve Leger bandage dress. 

She has already been hinting about my current marital status or should I say the lack of it and how she ‘so wants me to find ‘The One’ just like she has done’….I held back my reflex action, which was to spit out my recently sipped scrumptious red wine. 

Could have been me!

Could have been me!

Oh hell, the torturous matchmaking has already started!  Please God, let her not put me on the singles corner table on the day!

I used to think my friend was sensible and she normally is on other things; however, when it comes to romance she lives by chick flicks and romance novels.  I use to love chick flicks like ‘Dirty Dancing’ ‘Love Actually’, and ‘Pretty Woman – a movie I’m convinced made prostitutes work that much harder.   I just believe that real life is nothing like chick flicks. 

Personally, I think chick flicks are made to deceive us, they make us think that being in a relationship, any relationship is easy and better than being single…news flash, it isn’t!  They convey the message that your life is empty and lonely until you get the guy or girl, and then once you get ‘The One’ all your problems cease to exist….it doesn’t. 

Real life isn’t that straightforward and I can happily tell you that being single is an absolute blast and your life is as empty and lonely as you choose it to be.  Come on people, we live in one of the greatest and most vibrant cities in the world! 

Single and fabulous!

Single and fabulous!

If you’re miserable as a single person, you will be miserable as a ‘coupled’ person, even worse you’ll likely make someone as miserable as you are 🙂

I can’t tell you the amount of parties, events and functions that I’ve been to, jokingly flirted my way round people I’ve come in contact with, stayed up partying all night, and travelled – admittedly not as extensively as I would like.  I may not have been able to do all of these things… and more 🙂, if I was coupled up.

Cocktails, anyone?

Cocktails, anyone?

I have childhood friends who got married very early and who admit that they’re not the same person they were when they got married.  They read romance novels, watched chick flicks, dreamt of happily ever after but were not prepared for the reality of being married. 

I’m not saying having someone is bad or boring; I’m just saying being single is not a bad thing and can be great, especially if the alternative is settling for second best.

Personally I think everyone should figure out who they are and what they want as individuals before getting seriously coupled up.  I believe that the ‘single’ period is when all ‘wild oats’ should be sown, get it out of your system, unless you both believe in Polygamy – well that’s a whole other blog 🙂.