Hindsight is gained through experience. Over the past two years, while starting my online business, I have experienced many ups and downs. I’ve come a long way, but it has not been without it’s challenges. So today, I decided it would be fun to write a letter to my “younger self” – this is what I wish I had known when I first started my online business. Hopefully this open letter will provide some value to those who are just beginning their journey in online business. But first, let me give you some context about where I was when I started out two years ago.
When I made the decision to start a new online business two years ago, I already had my own business, which was a digital agency. I was doing huge amounts of client work, staying up until all hours of the morning to meet deadlines, while raising 3 young children. This was not freedom. And after two decades of burning the candle at both ends, climbing to corporate ladder and then building a family and business I suffered a health crisis.
So two years ago, just before my 40th birthday, I realized that to be happy and healthy, my life needed to change. In this open letter, I have recorded some insights that I have gained over the past two years, trying to change my life by building a business to give me freedom, while being mum, wife, daughter, sister, friend and everything else I am.
Here is the letter I have penned to my younger self.
This is me, two years from where you are now.
2 years ago, I made the decisions to change my life by building a new online business.
I wanted to live life on my terms. To be there for my family with flexible hours
I wanted my input to dictate my output
I wanted to do what I love and love what I do.
These are the things that I have learnt over the past two years.
First up, number 1. This is about health, because without your health, you will have no business or nor will you have a life.
You are feeling exhausted and grey, and your head feels like it is full of cotton wool.
This is not normal. Don’t brush it off as stress from your busy lifestyle.
Get to the doctor, and get to a natural practitioner too.
You need to make your health a priority. Don’t put it off.
Number 2. You are the lynchpin of your family. You have children and a partner who are dependent on you.
You are constantly giving your time and energy. But you need to give to yourself too, because if you don’t nourish and care for yourself, you will be drained and unfulfilled.
And I’m not just talking about doing your work. That is not me time.
You need to give yourself at least 20 minutes of me time every single day. Whether it be taking a bath on your own, going for a walk, or just lying down in a quiet room without distractions.
Number 3, you need more sleep. You need to get at least 9 hours sleep a night. I know that night time is pretty much the only time that is child free, but staying up until midnight and beyond to work on your pc, or read and research on your tablet will only serve to steal your sleep time and will results in poor quality sleep.
You are better off going to bed at 8:30 or 9, and waking up before everyone else to get your work done then.
Next up, number 4… this one is about business. One of the most important virtues that will help you succeed in your online business is patience. I can tell you now that nothing will come easily. Anything of value in life takes time. Over the coming years you are going to need to develop skills, build a relationships, and build assets.
Also know that building an online business takes hard work, perseverance and constant realignment
You will need to remain calm through all the twists and turns and believe in yourself.
And through all of this, if you have patience, you will weather the storms.
Number 5 – you need to be laser focussed in order to succeed. You will wear many hats and will often become scattered and distracted. It’s important that you quickly develop strategies to overcome feelings of overwhelm so that you can pull yourself back to centre again.
Train yourself to ignore the shiny objects. Everyone will tell you that they have the next “Best Thing” New fads will emerge, and people will scream Become a Bit Coin Billionaire from every corner of Facebook. Ignore it all and focus on your end goals, or you will get stuck in an endless cycle of never getting anything accomplished.
Number 6. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone has different circumstances. They have a different background, different life circumstances and different abilities. Just focus on improving yourself compared to yesterday, and moving forward to the best of your abilities, and as much as your circumstances allow.
Number 7. Don’t be too critical of yourself. Understand that when you are starting an online business. There are so many things that are foreign to you, and that you are not going to be good at straight away. Make sure your inner voice is kind to you. To succeed, you need a coach, not a critic.
Number 8. There are going to be people around you that do not believe in you and in what you are doing. They do not understand that you can create your own freedom by building an online business. They think it’s all smoke and mirrors. We are in the midst of a revolution. The internet and smartphones have created opportunities for people like you and me to make money on our own terms, doing what we love.
Many people fear what they do not understand. They immediately dismiss things without taking the time to research, and understand. People like that will not understand the path you are on. Avoiding their scepticism will take turning them down a bit, by seeing less of them, or just avoiding discussing your lifestyle choices with them altogether.
There will be some people who you can share your business ups and downs with, and some that you can’t. Oh and by the way… there a millions of like-minded people in Facebook groups that you can chat with… so you won’t lack opportunities to talk about your business.
So these are the insights that I have gained over the past 2 years, since making a decision to change my life.
Now I know that you like checklists, so I’ve left a link down below to one that includes everything that I have discussed in this video.
And the final thing that I want you know is that I believe in you, and you can do this. And I’m not just talking to the younger Prue here. I’m also taking to you. You’ve got this.