Oh, the things we could accomplish – right?

Well, that is the inspiration for this collaborative post.

I asked my business girlfriends what do they know now that they wish they knew then (when they first started in business)?

The goal is that our hindsight can become your insight.

After you read the wisdom below please do share in the comments ok! Which nugget of insight do you resonate with the most? How would YOU answer this question?

P.S. A collaborative post like this is a simple and fun way to partner with others and collectively increase each other’s visibility. I would normally include a photo of each expert (and recommend that you do too) but the app that I originally used to compile these tips with images is no longer active.

1. A Job Disguised As A Business

Oh how I wish I would have known when I first launched my business that strictly trading time for money is owning a job! The true definition of success is having financial freedom, time freedom and mental freedom.

In order to be successful every business owner can and should leverage their expertise to create multiple streams of recurring revenue with a combination of information products and group learning programs. Save the one-on-one work for only your highly qualified, ideal clients and charge a premium for your time.

Thanks to Summer Alexander of The Effortless Business Plan

2. How To Leverage Social Media And Joint Ventures For Maximum Growth

As a Mom Solo Entrepreneur with a corporate career, I was challenged not only by time but lack of awareness of the internet and how to use it effectively to grow my business.

I used social media to talk to friends and family, that is until I realized it was exactly the tool I needed to master in order to grow my business in the tiny pockets of time I had. For the first 6 months of my business I added one subscriber to my list at a time. It wasn’t until I started partnering with other solo entrepreneurs and began Joint Venturing did my business and my list of ideal clients grow.

Now I teach my clients, those trying to grow their business while they’re still employed, how to leverage the internet, their time and make connections to grow their business quickly too.

Thanks to Jeannie Spiro of The Employee to Entrepreneur Marketing and Mindset Breakthrough Mentor

3. Make Room For Your Ideal Client

When I first started out, I would work with *anyone*. I ended up with a few clients who were absolutely a very bad fit. I was stressed out and miserable all the time. Everyone told me to “fire them” but that was scary – what if I didn’t get a new client to take their place?

Finally, after sprouting 16 new grey hairs from the stress, I “weeded” my garden and got rid of the clients who weren’t good for me. I referred them to friends who I thought might be a better fit. Within a month, I had filled the space with clients that I love to work with.

Now, when I start working with clients, we always have a short trial to make sure we are a good fit. Lesson Learned: Don’t settle – your ideal clients are out there for you.

Thanks to Meredith Eisenberg of Tame the Internet Monster

4. Know Your WHY And What

After meeting many women that felt stuck or unhappy but fearful to change their lives, I decided to share my insights, inspire, and empower other women. It felt exhilarating to embark on a new career of coaching. I started with building a blog site and writing about “things” that were helpful and timely… according to me.

Being a diligent and responsible entrepreneur, I did “whatever it takes” and felt exhausted but unstoppable. Not having much support from my family and friends, I started to question my decision… I am confident now that writing down my WHY that clearly describes my reason for becoming a coach and knowing WHAT my clients want by using Polls or Surveys of my clients’ “pains” and “wants” would make me more confident about my decision and more prepared to SERVE my clients.

Thanks to Millen Livis of Dare To Change Life

5. It’s An Inside Job!

I spent a lot of time learning the ins and outs of business, BUT it wasn’t until I learned the ins and outs of my own beliefs around business that I made a shift.

Being an entrepreneur requires us to be our best – mentally, emotionally, physically & spiritually. Without taking the time to know ourselves, our priorities, and our reasons for taking the road less travelled, we can easily veer off course when the inevitable bumps in the road come our way. But when we have a strong sense of self-awareness and self-understanding we approach our business with confidence and integrity, knowing that the bumps in the road are just part of the course and in fact build strength and wisdom, which are both vital in creating a thriving business.

Thanks to Trisha Savoia of Absolute Awareness – Be the Best Mom By Being the Best You

6. Avoid Desperation!

When I started, I was having a hard time getting clients. Because I was desperate for clients, I took the first person who came along. She was nice, but she wasn’t my target market, nor did she have any interest in buying any of my packages. In fact I let her talk me into hiring my services for HER specified dollar amount. What?!?!?!

It went fine the first month, but then the second month she didn’t pay on time. Why? Because I’d already let her know that she could walk all over me. I’d proven I didn’t even have respect for myself. The following month, I wised up & let her go. I wanted her, because I wanted the money. But a quality reputation isn’t built by taking any client that comes along. It’s by taking the right clients, and providing quality work in a mutually respectful relationship.

Thanks to Amanda Howell of Help In A Hurry, LLC

7. Your Highest Value Offering May Not Be What You Think

What comes most naturally and easily to you? You know, that thing you adore doing, that you do all the time anyway, just because you can, and it’s fun?
That, dear reader, is your highest value offering–the thing you should be charging the most for. “What?” you may be thinking, “How can that be? It’s so easy!”
For you, yes, but I guarantee it’s not easy for everyone. And a lot of people may be looking for help with–and willing to pay for–exactly the thing that’s easy and fun for you.

Understanding this has been a game-changer–I only wish I’d understood it years ago. Not sure what that thing might be for you? Not a surprise–you probably take it for granted and don’t even see it. But pay attention. Ask your friends and family what they notice. It could be a game-changer for you.

Thanks to Melissa Dinwiddie of Living A Creative Life

8. Stop Pushing Ropes Uphill

One of my clients once said, “I feel like I’m pushing ropes uphill!” It was like a revelation for me and I immediately started making changes in my own business as a result. When we start our business we are passion-filled and will-driven…until we start to realize not everyone else is as pumped up as we are about what we’re doing! Sometimes the Universe is trying to give you a message that you’re heading in the wrong direction, sometimes it’s that you haven’t flipped your thinking to the ‘whats-in-it-for-my-client’ perspective, or perhaps its simply not the right time for whatever you’re trying to do. Whatever it is, if it feels like you’re trying to push ropes uphill, STOP! Let people know who you are and what you’re doing, then allow the process of natural attraction to do it’s thing!

Thanks to Trish Bishop of The Question Journey

9. Solo – But Not Alone

If only I had known 10 years ago what I know now, life would have been so much easier, and my business would have grown by leaps and bounds. Business back then was conducted in a much more guarded fashion. You knew what you knew but you were afraid to divulge your ‘secret sauce’; the components of which were considered gold and not to be shared. I worked in isolation, I was a solopreneur.

Today I know that sharing my knowledge with others is the key to growing my business as the days of guarded secrets are over; the internet has made that concept irrelevant. Because information is so readily available it is indeed wise to collaborate with others in the same or complimentary businesses to put forward events that would benefit far more people than I could reach on my own.

Ten years ago comic books and sci fi movies demonstrated a technology that seemed light years away; today we can communicate in minutes with clients around the globe. We can conduct teleseminars and webinars for clients we will more than likely never meet. We can use Skype to conduct workshops in which participants from around the globe can participate. Because of the internet the world has become a global village or an international class room in which we can all share our knowledge and expertise.

Had I known how to integrate these ‘tools’ ten years ago – social media, face book, teleseminars and webinars – my life and my business would have been internationally known and much more lucrative. But as the old adage goes, better late than never; so I embrace these opportunities to reach out across the oceans and interact with people who want to learn how to improve their personal and professional presence, and thereby increase their potential for an easier climb up the ladder of success and as a result their financial standing.

My mission has always been to help as many individuals as possible to achieve greater success by enhancing their image and improving their interactions through proper protocol. By joining other like minded professionals I will no longer be isolated – my message will reach a much wider audience, and I will have the support and additional tools to make a more profound impact.

Thanks to Joanna Parris of Joanna Parris Image & Etiquette Expert Management

10. The Real Truth About Who’s In Charge

As I look back, I realize I was actually sacrificing my personal life for my business back in the early days. I set unachievable expectations of myself and then got paralyzed by the trap of needing to get everything perfect. The change? It started with a decision. I DECIDED to do things differently. I stepped into the driver’s seat of my business, put on my CEO hat and decided I am the one and only one who’s in charge of my precious time and energy. I got clear about where I was going, who I best work with, what gives me energy, what I’m here for and what I stand for. I finally understood what it means to say “let the journey be the destination” because success as an entrepreneur IS a journey of oneself. These mindset shifts all liberated me and set me free, essentially from myself.

Thanks to Nadine Nicholson of www.NadineNicholson.com

11. Clarity Is A Process, Not A Destination

I wish I had known that clarity is a process. I spent many dollars, hours, and tears trying to determine things such as my niche, target audience, and main message. It’s important to know these things. Sometimes, it can really hold you back if you dwell there too long. Get out there and do your work. In doing so, you will gain more clarity. As you grow and learn as a person, allow your business to evolve. If I had known these things, I would have reduced my overwhelmed feelings and procrastination, trusting the process and myself more. I wouldn’t have held myself back as much, saying that I wasn’t ready. Often, your specialty and clientele will come to you naturally. Notice who is drawn to work with you and why. You can carve out your own niche and target audience without so much effort.

Thanks to Lisa Selow of lisaselow.com

12. Coaching Is Queen

If there’s one thing I wish I had listened to two years ago it would be the advice that every coach needs a coach. I was participating in a coaching course training in spiritual life coaching at the time and life was full on. I was building a website, writing blog posts, practicing, fulfilling case study requirements and trying to build an online business. A lot going on.

The thing is, I had no real direction. I had no specific outcomes or goals, not a great idea of who my clients were or where they were and definitely no idea about social media and marketing. I was hiding behind that website feeling really busy and achieving practically nothing.
All that changed when I hired a coach, I now have

Support
Clarity
Guidance
Direction
Accountability
Connections
Time
Energy
A Business

Thanks to Eleanor Ross of Eleanor M Ross

13. Focus On Your Fabulous Future

Before stepping into your business adventure, define yourself, your business and your clients. No one can cover every aspect of an industry, therefore, find your niche and make it unique. Focus on where you want your business to be and create that reality.
If you have already embarked on your business journey and feel stagnated, redefine yourself and find a network of people who are already achieving what you desire.

The best way to achieve what you truly crave, is to focus on your aspirations. Many times our thoughts drift toward what we don’t want, but what is truly needed, is to get clarity on what we desire. Make a dream list of everything you truly want but never thought you could have.
Create your fabulous future and keep your focus on the dream!

Thanks to Suzette Mariel of Zette Media

14. Get Your Head Out Of The Way!

The most important thing I’ve learned is how critical it is to your business to get your head in the right place. Countless times during my years as a business owner, I’ve found myself stuck – creative blocks, not attracting the right clients, not feeling inspired – and hands down, the most crucial element of my breakthrough every time was shifting my beliefs about the situation.

You can’t attract profitable clients when you don’t believe you deserve them…or create an amazing end product when you’re cursing the process (or the client!). It took a number of instances before I realized the impact my thoughts and beliefs had on my external circumstances, but once I caught on, I was able to adjust my thinking faster and get my head aligned with the results I was seeking.

Thanks to Tracy Dacko of MindClings

15. How I Expanded My Community By 464% In Nine Months

When I first started my business I bounced from one idea to another trying to grow and expand. If there was a mistake to be made I made it! But then there was a happy accident! I learned how to successfully joint venture and believe me when I tell you it changed everything! Once I figured this out I expanded my community by 464% within 9 months!

Now there are two main methods that have become the cornerstone of my marketing: teleclasses and gift giveaways. For teleclasses I look for support from 3 to 5 partners who support me by sending solo emails to their community. I do this monthly. Gift giveaways are a great for list-building. I participate in these three or four times a year. With these two marketing methods in place I am always welcoming new members into my community.

Thanks to Lynn Smith of Joint Venture Women

16. A Brilliant Moment: Discovering Essence

Knowing and embracing my essence is was what took my business from ho hum to blazingly brilliant! Once I discovered my essence, it felt like the light bulb went on, a light bulb as bright as the sun.

When I was lacking clarity, I circled back to my essence and I saw things clearly.

When I was unsure of what I was doing, I drew little symbols that reminded me of my essence.

And when I was at my wits end, ready to throw in the towel as a new entrepreneur, I recited words aloud that symbolized my essence…And every single time, without fail, realigning with my essence brought me back to myself. Knowing my essence and putting it into play every day was, and continues to be, a brilliant life and business moment. Do you know yours?

Thanks to Blaze Lazarony of Blaze A Brilliant Path

17. Ask And You Shall Be Supported!

Joining forces with other Solo Entrepreneurs has made a huge difference in how I now help stepmoms. My list of resources has vastly grown in that I can provide higher quality service to the women I serve. Whenever I need support or even exchange ideas, I can now turn towards my JV partners. I no longer feel alone or isolated but rather energized by the camaraderie of others and collaborative programs created.

Had I partnered with like-minded people earlier, I wouldn’t have lost so much sleep in the beginning of my practice. JV partnership creates better and stronger businesses that makes a difference to the world around us, one step at a time.

Thanks to Claudette Chenevert of The Stepmom Coach

18. This Could Sabotage Your Business From The Start

Offering to do work or share your expertise for free to gain experience, testimonials or visibility when first starting your business can be extremely destructive for you and your business. Offering a discount you are comfortable with is a better option if you don’t want to charge your full fee.

I would also caution anyone on the trading trap – make sure that if you trade products or services that it is of true equal value and if your time is involved ask yourself if it is really worth it when you could be using that time to find paying clients or customers, creating new products, or engaging with the clients or customers you already have.

Thanks to Erica Rueschhoff of ECR Marketing Group

19. Let Your Business Be An Infant

Stop comparing your business in its infancy to those of “full-grown” businesses. You wouldn’t compare your 8 wk old infant to the motor skill level of a 5 year old. It’s OK to grow a business slowly. It’s ok to take the time to learn the behind the scene things and have days where nothing seems like it will ever be accomplished.

I took the anxiety and overwhelm out of my business by taking a social media break and I allowed myself time to nurture and grow my business. Realistic deadlines have made all the difference. Know that it’s ok to feel like your learning curve is straight up and backwards. Stop looking at someone else’s’ finished product finished product and appreciate your business for where it’s at. Take the time to enjoy it and savor those moments. Celebrate the small things.

Thanks to Amy Deagle of Expecting Success

20. Keep Your Energy Up!

Surround yourself with people who “get” you and what you’re doing. The less you have to explain to the “wrong” people, the more time you can spend connecting to the “right” ones. Spend time on the people and tasks which energize you, not deplete you!

Thanks to Lana Phillips of The Sad Cafe Community

21. Take Out The Trash

What I know now that I wish I had known when I started my business is to not let other people take up space in my head. I spent too much time thinking about people’s negative opinion with respect to my business. It kept me from moving forward because I didn’t have enough confidence in myself to let it go. I now have discovered that people, including friends and family, do not always want what is best for you and it is best to let them go or they will weigh you down. Every night I “take out the trash” so I can start fresh the next day. Rejections now is a lesson that makes me stronger and therefore a better person.

Thanks to Carolyn Rose Siermine of Melaleuca, The Wellness Company

22. Lead Don’t Follow!

Over the years I have learned from and been mentored by many amazing people. I can’t even put into words the impact of this knowledge and experience has given me. Even today I seek out wonderful people to learn from and growth with.

But my business did not start to shine until I decided to create my own path. Take all those exciting bits of knowledge, mix in my authentic self and stand back to watch the fireworks. Every time I do something new and wonderful, it is like lighting sparklers with the light growing brighter every day.

So If I could go back to 8 years ago and give myself one piece of advice, it would be “lead don’t follow, create your own exciting passionate foundational path”

Thanks to Lori Lynn Smith of Sacred Earth Partners

23. WOW! Social Media Kicks Boo-tay!

When I started my first company two years ago I knew nada- not.a.thing. I thought I would be spending my days chatting with customers and filling orders. Wrong. I quickly realized that my job was marketing my biz 24/7 and NOTHING would grow my business faster than utilizing social media. I jumped on that train and whoa baby!

Within a couple weeks of implementing a social media campaign my biz went international. I had orders from South America and Australia at my online shop. That would have been unheard of in the old days of business. Now that I’m starting another business I know to get on it right away!

Thanks to Monica Juliana of SHE ROCKS! International

24. Stand Out To Be Profitable

It’s so easy to get sucked into the drama of comparing yourself with your peers – you never quite measure up and feel like you’re falling behind and falling short. You’re competing with people you can never compete with. Why? Because you’re not them and they’re not You!

When you realize that by being yourself, by OWNING your value, you stop comparing and no longer have to compete.

Get clear about who you are, what you stand for, your bigger message and get intimately connected with the impact you have on your clients lives. By declaring who you are, in all your moxie, you will stand out. Then get profitable by creating solutions that get results.

Being you, and standing in your own power is an irresistible magnet for your right clients – and a huge business-changer. Dare to be You!

Thanks to Miki Strong of Miki Strong International

25. Believing In Myself. Really.

In the beginning when I had an instinct about something, an intuition about a client or event or about a decision in my business I sought the advice of 2-3 other friends, business owners and let their ideas, values and judgments impact the choices that were mine to make. I wasn’t fully trusting my gut and didn’t believe that I was capable of making those tough decisions alone. In hindsight I know now that if I had followed my heart, trusted my gut and believed in myself more then, I would have saved myself a lot of time, energy and pain. I now receive others ideas respectfully while always coming back to my inner awareness of how “I feel” about the decision and making a conscious choice based in love, trusting my gut, believing in myself and who I am. Because I’m quite alright. Really.

Thanks to Richa Badami of Anahatha

26. Look Inside To Break The Self-Sabotaging Agreements That Are Running Your Business.

When I started my business, I didn’t know that my desire to help transform the lives of thousands of women was completely out of alignment with my deepest, unconscious beliefs and fears. As I helped women entrepreneurs create fabulous income with their business, I was experiencing internal conflict. I was challenging them to let their light shine to transform lives with their message, while I found myself constantly shying away from the high visibility opportunities I was continuously attracting. I was running my business through filters of self-sabotaging beliefs and agreements. When I finally addressed what was going on inside, I was able to breakthrough and live out my message with integrity and my business skyrocketed. What beliefs/agreements are holding you back in your business?

Thanks to Karla Sanchez-Pacheco of Accept Success

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I LOVE to work from home and my smartphone! I’m a Freedom Catalyst, Internet Marketing Strategist and Author of the #1 Best-Selling book Success Rituals 2.0 – Winning Habits of High-Achieving Women. I love to teach ambitious entrepreneurs how to grow a successful home business using simple, laid back and tech-free relationship-based strategies online. You'll find my #1 resource at http://ginabellinc.com/my-trusted-system