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What does it mean to be ‘in business’?

What does it mean to be ‘in business’?

An uplifting thank you card received from a client.

Everybody employed within business and those who run a company will have heard the phrase ‘to have a business mindset’, but what does this actually mean?

Sure, we all have a mindset, but how do we switch between our everyday thinking about our personal and family lives into a thought process that focuses solely on business? Are they indeed mutually exclusive? I would argue not. To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week (14-20 November), join me as I divulge the key ingredients that have helped me on my journey to date, as well as detailing the kinds of people I continue to learn from.

Learning from those more experienced than you

No matter how long you have been performing the tasks you do on a daily basis in business, there is always room to learn. The notion of ‘the complete package’ is nothing but fiction. In my mind, we are forever on a learning journey in whatever we do in business and life. To be of the belief that learning stops at a certain point in your career is detrimental to personal development and future performance.

Having had my own business for a little over two years (just typing this feels odd after such a long time working for several organisations), I’m very much still at infant school compared to the well-established, well-versed business professionals out there. Yes, I may have been editing, proofreading and copywriting for over 25 years and I’ve consumed and banked some fantastic information over this time, but there’s always head space for more. I’m always able to learn from fellow editors, proofreaders and writers in every conversation I have, each item I read, or webinar I view. This continual thirst for learning makes me tick!

To add business tools to my knowledge bank requires tutelage from those more experienced and established business owners, which is something I am unbelievably grateful for. The detailed conversations, inspirational one-liners and the sheer presence of individuals and their businesses at meetings attended provide significant help as I look to move CRS Editorial forward and continually develop (the business and me). If you are reading this and are wondering where to turn to benefit your business, please get in touch and I will happily refer you to those who I know can help.

Home alone?

As a sole trader and home worker, times can get lonely. Now, I’m not asking for any violin treatment here, far from it. Being fully focused on a book edit or proofread, or the writing of a website or blog, is time well spent in my own company, deep in thought and word flow. It would seem this is a recipe for success for me personally, revelling in quiet time when engrossed in a project.

Though what about those times in between jobs when the only thing you see in the day is a friendly magpie who has come to sit on the window ledge? (Working very close to a window meant I jumped out of my skin when this happened!)

Co-working days, social media interaction, face-to-face and online networking opportunities and working ‘on the business’ soon fill the days. After all, as every business owner will tell you, there’s always something to do! What’s more, it can be quite satisfying when you are able to tick off something that has been on your business to-do list for a long time.

You’re winning all the time

The irony of this subhead is not lost on me, given I need to get better at celebrating my successes, but here goes anyway…

It is all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day involvement of running your business. Times that should be celebrated are not, as the next task or target comes into sight.

Learning never stops and this has certainly been the case in the chats I have enjoyed with fellow business owners and business coaches. This time spent talking with – and learning from – these professionals is a win in itself!

As the calendar year draws to a close, maybe it is time to take stock and celebrate our little successes together. (Note to self, take your own advice!) Each small piece of success feeds into the bigger jigsaw and promotes enjoyment, satisfaction and fulfilment.

This week (14-20 November) is Global Entrepreneurship Week. Let us embrace this time and celebrate the things we hold dear in our lives. Whether you are a start-up, sole trader, limited company or partnership, every SME is bound through the collective desire for success. Each of us is a link in the larger business chain. We are connected to help and support each other, and celebrate success. Nowhere is this more true than in the #SBS community, as I have come to find.

So, what support is out there?

Networking, netwalking, webinars and attending conferences are all proactive ways to feed your business. A lot of events are free too, which makes it even better!

Use your social media platforms and contacts to connect with people who are on your wavelength; the people who understand where you are. The profound knowledge of business coaches transcends sectors. The crucial information provided by marketing specialists and those concerned with your personal development can help you plan out your future business targets and, subsequently, achievements.

If you are unsure where to turn for help and support for your business, scan your phonebook or browse your LinkedIn connections. If you see someone you would like to connect with but are yet to establish that link, send them a request and begin communicating. Supportive groups within your industry may have already been formed on LinkedIn, or possibly in-person in your area. Connecting with like-minded individuals will not only enable discussions with these people but may also serve as a conduit to wider groups.

No matter how well connected we might be, most of us will experience a dip in confidence from time to time. With TED talks focused on imposter syndrome, it’s clearly a prominent occurrence.

In conclusion, I relate to my experiences of starting a business just over two years ago and revert to a saying that resonates with me as much today as it did in October 2020.

The saying?

‘You are in business for yourself, but never by yourself.’

This, plus the fantastic card I have on my desk that a very thoughtful client sent me, which serves as a reminder of a job well done.

I’d encourage you to think of the above business mantra and the words on this card when faced with your next business challenge.

#GlobalEntrepreneurshipWeek #BusinessSupport #BusinessOwner

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