Episode #112: 5 Lessons from 14 Years In Business

It’s my 14 year online business anniversary and I’ve got 5 key lessons to share with you in this episode, from what it takes to run a business you’re madly in love with to the way’s I’ve experimented and what I think about the moments that feel “too hard”

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It is my 14 year online business anniversary. So in this episode, I have got five key lessons to share with you that I have learned throughout my 14 years in business. You’re listening to quietly ambitious with conversations about how it really feels to build a business that honours your whole self unapologetically. And that includes who you are, how you feel, what you really desire, the impact that you want to create, and importantly, the money you want to make. I’m your host, Ruth Poundwhite. And my superpower is supporting sensitive and ambitious humans to make more money by fully expressing and owning all of who they are. Let’s dive in. Hi, and welcome back to another episode of The quietly ambitious podcast. So I realised that it is my 14 year business anniversary on Monday Now at least I think it’s on Monday. I’m not exactly sure of the date. But I know it’s kind of early August. So 1414 years in business. That is amazing. And it kind of blows my mind that I have always been able to pay your bills with business, to be honest. But more than pay my bills, let’s be honest, as well, let’s own that fact. But yeah, I thought I would just come on and share some of my biggest lessons from the last 14 years because oh my goodness, has it been a crazy journey. So if you don’t know about my business backstory, then you can go and listen to some of the earlier episodes of the podcast. I’m not going to repeat it all here because I want to keep this episode short and sweet. But basically, I started off as a freelance copywriter, doing it all myself building up a team, realising it’s not what I ultimately wanting to do, quitting a successful business and then becoming a business coach and mentor to sensitive humans. So here are my lessons. Okay, so I think number one, and I don’t know, I have to be completely honest with you, I don’t know how many lessons there’s going to be because I have not planned this episode in the slightest. So number one, I would say, is about building a business that I was deeply in love with. And the lesson here is that I get to do it, like as simple as that I get to, and I deserve to build a business, but I am wildly, deeply, madly in love with. That is something that took me a very long time, especially in the early days to realise. And in the early days, really, when I was writing for absolutely, really tiny low rates, scraping by to pay the rent, wondering whether it was all going to work out, I really did not think I had any choice around building a business that I was madly in love with. But the more I got into the business, the more I got deeper into the personal development side of the business, the more I realised, you know, I have so many choices here that I didn’t realise I got to make. And as wonderful as that sounds, it was also really scary. Because when you’ve got all that choice, not only do you have to figure out okay, well, what is it that I even want? You know, I’ve spent a lifetime being told that I should work in a certain way that I should expect certain things, how do I choose differently in the first place? And then how do I believe that I deserve to have that? You know, and how do I make the bold moves, which because it can really feel like bold move sometimes to make choices in your business that align to, you know, the business that you will be deeply, wildly madly in love with, right? So yeah, biggest lesson is just knowing that I have that choice. But you know, we’re all still on the journey of going through the layers of what that actually means. I certainly am like, my business now is exceedingly different to how it was 14 years ago. And I still get to claim more of what it is that I love. I still get to do the work to get to know who I am more fully, that allows me to see what it is that I even want. And it’s a beautiful journey. And I’m really grateful I get to do what I get to do now. But yeah, there’s still more. Okay, so that’s Lesson number one, knowing that I have a choice. Lesson number two, I would say is being supported. So in my first business, I did not claim any kind of support whatsoever, like I very, I really didn’t invest in that business at all in the early days.

And I think that, you know, I understand why I didn’t back then. I also found it hard to find the right kind of mentors and strategies, courses and stuff that spoke to me actually, it’s not true to say didn’t invest. I did buy like loads of cheap little courses and strategies and stuff. But yeah, I didn’t have the right kind of support And it wasn’t until much later on in that business. And then when I started this business that I started to invest massively in support, and it basically continued like it did at first blow my mind in terms of like getting to know myself and all that stuff I was just talking about in lesson number one. But it continues to do that, you know, I am a coach myself, I know how to coach myself. In fact, I feel more effective than ever, at coaching myself through things like I feel like I can support myself so well at this stage of my business, and yet being supported. And it’s not just about being supported by the right coach, or in the right programmes. It’s also being surrounded by the right people. So that can look different it can be it can be programmes and courses, it can be like, I’ve got a mastermind group that we run ourselves, and yeah, all of that kind of stuff. But just being surrounded by the people who get it by the people who you even if it feels scary to be seen by them, you can allow yourself to be seen by them and who can reflect things back to you. I think that that support has been massive. And I I’ve said this so many times, but being supported is a non negotiable for me. So I like to have a coach at all stages. It varies depends like it could be a one to one coach, it could be a programme, and it does vary. But yeah, it’s absolutely non negotiable for me at this stage. Okay, So lesson number three, is that everything affects everything else. And I don’t know how clear I’m going to be describing this. But basically, what I mean is the things that I used to think that I had to focus on the ways that I used to think I had to push myself, what not everything that I made them out to be. So I think in the earlier days, I used to look for like, you know, I need to find the perfect strategy, I need to find the perfect way of being visible, even if it means being different to who I am, I need to find the perfect blueprint to make this all work the way I want it to. And like over the 14 years, my eyes have been open to how absolutely everything affects everything else. Like my foundation. My core is like how I’m feeling about myself and how I’m feeling in my body, my energy, my health, my mental health, it all contributes to the success of my business. And I think the reason I think that, you know, in some ways, this is so obvious, of course. But in other ways, we all have different ways in which our kind of doubts and fears and worries about the uncertainty of running a business can show up in the way that we act. And for me, a way that I have traditionally wanted to prove myself is in doing all the things pushing harder and harder, having a full schedule. I didn’t know that I absolutely did not know that in the earlier years of my business. But it’s very clear to me now. And

I talk about like having an ecosystem of offers in my business. But actually, there’s an ecosystem of factors that really support the success of your business. And so much of it is not just about the strategy that you’re following in your business. I mean, firstly, it’s about how aligned is that strategy to who you are? How much are you looking at who you are, and doing the work to uncover what you really want? And how much are you supporting your energy, your health, your feelings, your you know, all of that stuff. So that’s lesson number three, lesson number four, experimentation. I think that in the earlier days of my business, I think it would be unfair to say that I did not experiment because it was basically one big experiment. Like when I first started my business, I had no clue that there was a whole world of online business out there. I just found a forum where I could get a job and get paid to write and pay the bills. And I was experimenting in that sense. But I would say that I experiment massively now and the more I have leaned into experimentation, the more I get to find that strategy that works for me, because what I truly believe about business now, and obviously I didn’t back then based on my last lesson that you just shared is that if there was one magic strategy, then we’d all be doing it right. The thing is that we need to find the strategy for us. Now that does not mean dismissing strategies because we’re afraid like, Absolutely, it involves stretching our comfort zone. And I always talk about that. But there is a path of least resistance for all of us. There is a way that works best and that feels most aligned to all of us. How do you figure out what that is, though? You have to be willing to experiment. So if I was not willing to experiment, I would not be speaking on this podcast right now. Because I had a belief that podcasting wasn’t for me. I was willing to experiment and see how it went. And then I figured out that actually I absolutely love podcasting, and maybe it is for me, you know, my book wouldn’t be here if not for my podcast as well. And it’s not just about experimenting with different ways of putting yourself out there. It’s experimenting with how you sell how you sell how you deliver your offers, like for example, at the moment I’m experimenting by running a group Voxer coaching container and the great thing is, the thing that makes it easier for me to experiment in this way is because I experiment by being in these containers with other people. So to take the group Voxer as an example, I have been experimenting with Voxer coaching in so many ways in my business. And if you had said to me that I could have a like transformational impact on people with Voxer coaching, I would have thought, No, I have to get on calls with people to have this impact. But by allowing myself to experiment, I get to see how it tangibly affects people, I also get to see how it affects my energy and therefore how much capacity I have to do this work with more people. And I can tell you hands down working with people on Voxer is bloody amazing. Now, if you’re not aware of Vox is basically like a voice and text messaging app. And you can absolutely experience transformational coaching through Voxer. I know this, because I do it with my clients. I also know this because before I did it with my clients, I was coached that way. And I have been part of week long Voxer groups like the one that I’m offering at the moment, that have been absolutely game changing for me. And actually, the funny thing about the group thing as well is that was a bit of an experiment for me too. Like I always used to shy away from being part of groups. But when I have, since I have leaned into that in the last few years, I can tell you like if you’ve got an if you’ve got

nerves or hesitant about being in a Voxer group, then where are you allowing yourself to experiment? Where are you allowing yourself to actually think you know, what, what can I gain from this? You know? So yeah, if you’re interested in the Voxer group, by the way, it’s 111 pounds, I’m literally experimenting here is absolutely worth 10 times that for a week of Voxer coaching and your inner group with other people, you get to be seen heard witness, you get to learn from their powerful questions as well. Or you just get to dip in and out however you choose. But allow yourself to be supported life’s after experiment. You can find out more about that at Ruth poundwhite.com forward slash spark. And yeah, I experiment in all the ways like, do I feel like writing a sales page for my offer? Or do I just want to have a checkout page like I do for the spark box coaching? Or do I want to do a Google Doc? Or do I want to like invite people to DM me? Do I want to have a Facebook group for this offer? Do I want to experiment with doing Voxer office hours for this offer? Which by the way, I bloody love, and I feel like a very transformational as well. So yeah, being willing to experiment in all kinds of ways. And when I have an idea about something so for example, like launching is hard or launching is too much energy. How do I get to experiment with that? And change it? How do I get to set my own rules with this? Right? So yeah, experiment. And if you want to be part of the Voxer group, it’s starting on the 15th of August, I think I forgot to say that. So it’s a one time chance 111 pounds, I won’t be offering this again. Go to Ruth poundwhite.com forward slash spark for more. Okay, and the final lesson is basically, knowing that it’s hard, knowing that it’s hard at all different stages, unfortunately, because I think when I was in the early days of my business, I always thought it’s just gonna get easy, it’s just gonna get easy. And yes, so many things get easier, don’t get me wrong, but it never just became magically easy. I guess that’s because I’m committed to my growth in all ways. And I’m not just talking about like endless income growth, I’m talking about my personal growth. And really, I guess going back to lesson number one about building that business I’m madly in love with and all the layers of that. So basically, knowing that the, that it’s hard at all stages, but also, I now have a deep knowing that it’s so worth it. And as simple as that is, I think it’s one of the most important things I can share from my 14 years like I know for sure it’s worth it. There have been times in the past where I thought it was too hard. There have been times when I wanted to quit, and I don’t think I really ever consider that I’m going to quit anymore. I see it as gift quite honest, quite honestly, like, it’s hard to explain it. But the reason I see it as a gift is that wow, how incredible that I get to do this work that requires me to dig so deep that requires me to dig so deep in the name of a vision I have for my life in the name of a vision I have for the way I want to work, how incredible that I get this opportunity to do that. And like I say all the time, I believe in my business as a vehicle for self expression. And this is how I get to do it. And yeah, it’s always going to be uncomfortable when you’re figuring out how to fully express yourself and figuring out how to get paid along the way and all the money beliefs that come with that. But yeah, it’s always gonna be hard. And it’s so worth it. And I think I would just add as a bonus lesson to that one, like, I don’t know what I don’t know, like, the more I know, the less I know. And that feels uncomfortable itself like the more I learned the more I have my mind blown open the less I think I know like because like there’s just so much that’s possible that I can’t even see Yeah.

But yeah, the conditioning runs deep, which is why the support piece is so important to keep questioning like, where am I? Not allowing myself to see what’s possible? Because I’m afraid of failing? If I experiment with this thing, where am I not allowing support? Because I’m afraid of XYZ? Where am I not allowing myself to really focus on my energy first and just pushing and pushing, thinking that that magic strategy will solve everything. Anyway, feel like I’m going off on a tangent there. But that’s five lessons, I think, five lessons from 14 years of running an online business, which is just wild. If you want to share anything, if you’ve had any thoughts come up around that, please do come and share with me. I’m on Instagram at Ruth Poundwhite. And yeah, check out the spark one week Voxer. It’s Ruth poundwhite.com, forward slash Spark, it’s not an offer I am ever going to repeat because at this price, it wouldn’t make sense for me to do so the only reason I’m doing it this time is because I want to experiment. And I basically also, like for any of you who do coaching, I want to give you an opportunity to come in and see another way that it can be done. I want an opportunity for you to come in to see how powerful it is and to raise the bar, your own coaching, and to give you permission to do something in a way that really honours your energy and doing it differently as well. So yeah, I hope to work with some of you there starting the 15th of August, and I’ll catch you again soon for another episode. Thank you so much for listening to another episode of quietly ambitious. If you have a moment to rate and review know that it really does make a difference. And if you’d like to carry on the conversation, then you can connect with me on Instagram at Ruth Poundwhite Join me in the Facebook group or my personal favourite. Sign up to my newsletter letters to quietly ambitious humans. Just go to Ruth poundwhite.com forward slash newsletter to subscribe and keep doing what you’re doing because your work really does matter.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


Note: at this time transcripts are automated and unedited, which means errors may occur. But we hope you find them helpful!

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“i get to – and i deserve to – build a business that i am wildly, deeply, madly in love with”

Show Notes

It’s my 14 year online business anniversary and I’ve got 5 key lessons to share with you in this episode, from what it takes to run a business you’re madly in love with to the way’s I’ve experimented and what I think about the moments that feel “too hard”.

Some of the things I talked about:

  • What I’ve learned about running a business you’re in love with
  • How I’ve been supported
  • The ways I’ve been willing to experiment
  • What I think about the times when it has felt “so hard” (and the huge way I now see this differently)

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Thanks so much for listening!

When you subscribe to updates you get access to 3 bonus episodes of the podcast – exclusively for email subscribers – that dive behind the scenes of my business (I talk about failures, money, community & more!)