5 things I’ve learned in my first year in business. It’s been one year since I took the plunge and started out on my own. Going solo was a social experiment, and failure is always an option with experiments.

Happily, year one has proved a success, and thankfully it was not as tough as I was anticipating – but was not without its challenges.

What were the challenges and what did I learn? 

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Working alone – having led large teams since I was in my 20’s, working alone was a risk. But in reality, I’ve never been alone. I’m incredibly grateful for a circle of supporters and mentors who have proved to be the vital ingredient, the most important of whom has been my husband, who is in equal parts shareholder, life coach and punching bag.

Energy levels – I’m an ambivert (a balance of extrovert and introvert), so I’ve learned that balancing my weekly schedule is a powerful way of managing my energy levels. I try not to work alone for more than 2 days (I get unproductive) nor with clients for more than 2 days (I get tired!).

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Self-sabotage – like many people, my inner voice is alive and well and takes great pleasure in reminding me that I am not clever enough, expert enough, interesting enough or successful enough. It thrives on uncertainty and nothing I have dealt with so far is as rife with uncertainty as starting a new business! My inner nemesis does galvanise me to do better though, and with a few tips to manage that voice (ask me how!) I’m well on my way to a success mindset.

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Would I be relevant enough? A year ago, I thought I was going to be all about Talent because that was what I knew. Today, less than half my business is Talent-related – because clients don’t just value what I know, but how I do it. (I cut through complex, ambiguous environments with a challenger mindset).

Will I get what I need from this career? Well, I wouldn’t press GO on another year if that the answer to that was no. I’m working less, earning more, getting more family time, I only work with people I like, on problems I like, and I’m learning like never before. Tick, tick, tick.

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“The pace of change has never been this fast and it will never be this slow again” – Justin Trudeau

…and a change of pace means a change of approach. It means #doingbusinessdifferently – and this is proving true both of my business as it evolves, and the support I provide other leaders as they evolve.

In the last year, my focus has evolved from Doing Talent Differently to Doing Business Differently, with an emphasis on #Talent, #Leadership and #Strategy.

Today, I work with experienced leaders looking to modernise their approach – to become a more agile leader, improve collaboration and influence or prepare for leading Agile teams. And I work with leaders in new and #growth businesses – to get inside their customer’s heads, scale their business and become more strategic.

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