Insights from my own business growth.
It's January 1st 2021
Today, I woke early, made myself a lemon tea, sat on the veranda and reflected on the year just gone, while idly dreaming of what's to come.
There's something about this time of year where we hold precious space to reflect and to dream.
As I look back over the past twelve months, so much changed. Oddly, more than I'd thought and yet pretty much exactly as I'd imagined. Paradox I know.
2020 for many was a tough year and whilst we had some significant challenges of our own (that's for another time), I stayed focused on doing the important work within my business.
And so, after much contemplation, I thought I'd kick off the new year, by sharing with you what worked for me last year in the hope it'll help you in 2021.
But first, let me paint the scene (for context). On a wet, Autumn Sydney day back in 2017 I sat down and wrote my business plan. I remember it as if it was yesterday, I was on sabbatical from work and whilst I wasn't ready to launch at the time, I needed to get the whisper (that had followed me for a couple of years) out of my head and on to paper. I sat and designed a business that leveraged my strengths and experience, but more importantly supported Small Business Owners reach their next level of success.
Fast forward to 2019 when I moved from Sydney to Brisbane, the whispers turned into a big shove (slap even), by way of change of circumstances (again, will share more on that another time). I handed in my resignation as Queensland Sales Manager and launched my business. Except.... It wasn't the business I'd planned, it was completely different, I took the "safe" avenue. And whilst I had incredible growth early on, I hated it. I didn't enjoy the work I was doing, much less aligned to my real strengths.
You're probably thinking what on earth...?
You see, I wasn't strong enough to go all in from the beginning, And despite two decades of experience I still didn't feel "ready" to chase down my dream.
In early 2020, I met a dear friend for a coffee and she helped me see that I needed to get out of my own way, to be brave and own my strengths, my experience and my journey.
So I did. I went all in. I pivoted my business (ironically not for the usual 2020 reasons, this was just before the pandemic hit). In February I transitioned to a personal brand. I'm sure from the outside it all looked pretty effortless. But for me, it was anything but. On one hand, this whisper, that was in my ear for years was propelling me forward, on the other hand, fear was trying to pull me back....
What would people think?
Who am I to?
In spite of the fears and feelings of discomfort. I did it.
And you know what... It wasn't as bad as my lizard brain had me believe. No lion came to eat me. Seriously though, whilst I've been working on myself for years through personal development, intellectually I understand fears and resistance - yet, up until this point I had let the fears steer my decisions. When you're experiencing fear, it seems like truth and so we look for ways to validate our fears. But, once you decide to move forward and take action through the discomfort you soon discover the fears are simply lies your brain tells you to keep you safe.
And it was through one action at a time my 2017 plan began to fall into place. My business started to become the business I had designed all those years ago.
Through taking focused action, circumstances change.
And so, that (giant) first step, set the stage for the rest of my 2020, in today's post I wanted to share with you the things I focused on last year that took my business:
| MY IDEAL CLIENT (ICA)
Early in the new year I revisited my Ideal Client Avatar with fresh perspective, I peeled back all the layers of this person. I explored every aspect of who they are and why I'm the person that can help them with their challenges and transformation. I think about this person every single day, what are they thinking, what are they struggling with, what do they need help with and how I can serve them in a bigger way.
Every. Single. Day.
| THE PROBLEM I SOLVE
In addition to intimately knowing my dream client, I've become obsessed with understanding their problem and trying to solve it for them. I ensure that everything I do in my business relates to this problem (from the services I offer to the content I create). If it's not going to help this person get closer to where they want to be, I don't cover it.
This is hard for me as I'm interested in so many different things, and I'm obsessed with every stage of business, but this year, I've activated restraint by lasering in on the EXACT problem I solve, rather than all the problems I CAN solve.
Saying no is hard at first, but trust me, that no turns into ten perfect yeses.
| MY STORY, MY EXPERIENCE, MY STRENGTHS
I stopped looking at others and dived into my story, my experience and my strengths. I'm awesome at identifying what makes other's unique, but really struggled to figure this out for myself. And with gratitude to the friend I mentioned above, she helped me to understand and respect my unique gifts and how I'm equipped to do what I do. Knowing this, believing this, aligning to this has had a MASSIVE impact in how I show up and in turn in the impact I create for my clients.
| TRUSTED MY GUT
I thought because it came "easy" to me that it couldn't possibly be the right answer. I was SO WRONG. I stopped looking at other peoples methods, believing that their method was better than my own. Instead, I started listening to myself and my intuition. This has played a HUGE role in my business growth this past year and is also why I'm so determined to help amplify this in my clients. Muting the noise and listening to oneself is an essential ingredient to creating a business that's sustainable and on your terms.
| ALIGNED FOCUS
I've talked ad nauseam about the importance of building your business from your vision, mission and values and I've doubled down on it this year. I have ensured that my overall business goals and strategic priorities line up with the bedrock of my business. This means when it comes to working on my business, I take intentional, focused action to bring me closer to where I want to be. - Kristy Robinson
| BUSINESS INVESTMENT
I invested in my business in so many ways this past year. I've made careful business decisions to ensure that what I invest in is going to get me closer to my goals. And whilst investing was scary at first, I can align my investment to growth in my business. Investment is essential. Every successful CEO invests in their business.
Of course there were other tactical initiatives I implemented in 2020, I believe that the above had the biggest impact on my overall growth in 2020.
The amazing thing about being a business owner is YOU get to decide what happens next. And the best way to create impact in your business is by your actions. So, as you enter this new year, take time to reflect on the year that was and what you want for the year ahead.
Move through 2021 with intention, be brave in the face of fear, double down on doing the work you love and do the necessary work to achieve the goals you set for yourself and your business.
And, remember this 👇🏽
When you align your actions with what you want to become, you become what you want to be.
If you haven't yet done your 2021 planning, I highly recommend taking a look at my planning series on instagram, The feedback from this series has been overwhelmingly positive - believe me it's a process worth undertaking.
I’m a business owner, small business consultant, coach and mentor with over two decades of business experience spanning state level sales leadership, marketing and corporate business support. I've also founded and grown two small businesses of my own.
I partner with and help YOU turn ideas, into goals and your goals into a plan.