OK I know this one is a little left field, but I was recently asked to submit a piece for ‘This Woman Can’ magazine to help and encourage women in business. I’ve been running this nutrition show for almost a year and have definitely learnt a lot of lessons, especially from my mistakes. These tips apply not only for biz chicks, but for all women in general. Enjoy!
When I started my nutrition business, I had all my priorities mixed up. I was neglecting my family, withdrawing from social connection and, ironically, was not maintaining the healthy lifestyle I so righteously preached. And guess what happened? I imploded and my whole business, along with my health crumbled to the ground. It was not pretty. But the good news is I recovered and learnt a very valuable lesson. My physical and mental wellbeing is the number one priority. Eating a nutrient-dense diet, exercising regularly and participating in fun and relaxing activities (ideally without the phone/tablet!) is conducive to better output in your business, which equals more creativity, productivity and essentially, profitability.
I often read in entrepreneur and start-up business books that networking is key. So I joined a network marketing company and quickly learnt that’s not what they meant [insert awkward emoticon here]. Building your circle of influence extends beyond family and friends, customers and clients. It means finding meaningful relationships and seeking to add value to everyone in your local community. For me, it was key people within allied health clinics, gyms, colleges, churches and even in the workplace. Everyone leads to someone, but remember the exchange should be mutually beneficial for all parties involved, not serving your best interests.
Yeah yeah, we all know that business planning is king. But when you get so caught up in the day-to-day operations, it’s hard to find a spare minute to even think about what you’re doing and why. I learnt from the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur to have three levels of planning: Top level of what you want your life/business to look like, where you want your business to be in one year, and a quarterly plan filled with tactical activities. Some struggle to sway in the direction of over-planning, some sway in never planning. Find the happy medium. Set your goals, write it down and keep it pinned up somewhere to remind you of where you’re going and keep you on track.
Though we live in a society that is driven by consumption and material possessions, the timeless principle of ‘sowing and reaping’ will never grow old. Do you ever notice the tighter you hold onto something, the quicker you lose it? This doesn’t just apply to money, but also relationships. The more demanding you are, the more that friend is going to pull away. So in general, seek to be a generous person. Be generous with your money and find a charity or NFP organisation to donate a percentage of your revenue to. If you have a spare five minutes, call a friend and ask how they are. If your employees are performing well, reward them with a team dinner or gift. I guarantee you, everything that you give, will be returned to you in some form of kind gesture, good will or even client referral.
Now we all know about Resting Bitch Face syndrome, and not only how unpretty it makes you look, but unapproachable too! Don’t forget to lighten up! Incorporate a sense of fun and humour in what you do so you attract more clients and prospects. Generally, people want to do business with those who make them feel good and humour (in good taste) can be a great barrier breaker. Of course, this must be sincere. Stay professional, but never lose that sense of fun in your business and in your life!