It’s hard to fathom, almost 13 years after starting my business in life coaching in Wollongong, I’ve just been awarded IWIB Best Home Based Business, 2019. For those of you not in the Wollongong business networking community, IWIB stands for Illawarra Women in Business. It’s a strong community group and it’s an absolute honor to win the award. A massive thank you to Delyse Del Turco and Julie-Ann Noris from Better Business Accounting for choosing me as a worthy recipient in a field of totally inspiring business women.
I was encouraged to enter from some associates, and Lisa Burling gave me the final nudge I needed to complete the application process. Driving into the awards ceremony, it occurred to me that I hadn’t thought about a speech, goodness, wouldn’t that look funny. Someone who speaks professionally stuffing up an awards speech. Hilarious. So, for the 15-minute drive into see clients before the awards (because clearly, I didn’t get my hair done) I thought over what has contributed to my success. Despite the outcome, at this point, I really do feel like my business is successful, so it was nice to ponder and reflect on how that happened.
So, the two things I came up with, (and what went on to be my actually speech, considering I actually won, was firstly, playing a long game and secondly, staying focused on the positives.
Allow me to explain.
I’ve always been a big picture thinker, and since the age of about 15 have had pretty clear goals. I know it’s weird but understanding why I’m doing something and figuring out how things fit together is hard wired in me. So, when I met my husband, started coaching and was contemplating a family, it made sense to work out how that would all fit together over the next 20 years. A business based at home, doing something I love, earning great money and making a difference in people’s lives. Yep, that’s it.
The plan was concocted over 13 years ago, and for the first three years I worked full time elsewhere, then part time, ensuring we could still cover the household expenses, while my fledgling business got started. Then babies came along. Thank goodness I’d already built up a list of happy life coaching clients, and now had the flexibility to raise a little family and make enough money to get by. Now the kids are both at school, Laura is 8 and Dylan is 6, and I have the freedom to pour more time and energy into the business and it really is paying off.
Some of the simple things that made up the long game for me include:
- Having a clear picture of what I was trying to create.
- Constant support, I couldn’t have done it without my family believing in me.
- Staying inspired, remembering why I’m doing it and the difference it makes to others.
- Not compromising my values, balance is key, I was never prepared to work crazy hours or miss out on time with the family. Success could wait, my happiness was never negotiable.
Then there was the element of staying positive. Everything I’ve learned over the past 13 years comes down to this: Focus on the positive. (And if you can’t find a positive, look harder.) Don’t get me wrong, this is not how I lived, or live, consistently, it would be impossible to stay positive all the time. But once I learned the science behind positive psychology, and the role of positive emotions in our brain, I had a constant reminder to refocus and shift my attention. It’s not perfect, nor will it ever be. It’s hard work to consciously look for the positives, however if we don’t, we naturally default to the negatives, and the results can be disastrous.
So, focusing on the positive wasn’t easy, but here’s how I worked through it:
- Practicing gratitude, this has become a habit that brings perspective to every day
- Don’t do busy, when I get busy, it’s too hard to stay grounded and see the positives
- Be kind to myself when everything goes wrong, I’m not perfect, and that’s perfectly OK
So, having been awarded IWIB Best Home Based Business, 2019, I can say with confidence, all the hard work has definitely been worth it. Award or not, I’m delighted with the business I’ve created and the freedom and lifestyle it’s giving our family. In November we head off for our next big adventure, packing up our home and travelling around Australia for 12 months with the kids. I’ll be taking the business on the road and look forward to the new series of challenges to come. I’ve titled the blog ‘adventures in positivity’ and I sure hope you’d follow our journey.