When I set up my consultancy business in January 2014 I really had no idea what I was doing when it came to running a business. I had created a name for my company, registered it at Companies House and created a business card and then off I went to the trade shows hoping to find some clients. I was incredibly lucky because in my second month I had my first client and I remember thinking “mhm that was quite easy” and I briefly thought this running a business malarkey isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Well two and a half years later I now realise, and have done for a long time, that getting your first client does not mean that you know how to run a business, far from it, and thankfully I had enough sense to realise quite quickly that there was a lot to think about over and above having a client.
None of my friends were running this kind of business and I didn’t actually know any consultants that I could ask for advice so I started looking online to fill the gaps in my knowledge in my quest to run a successful and sustainable business.
My Business Inspiration
Here are 3 women that I found who have really shaped my business journey and have taught me so many valuable lessons. After over 20 years of working as an employee, albeit at a senior level, it’s a very different thing when you set up on your own and suddenly there is no one to ask if you are doing the right thing or not and every decision is yours. All of the knowledge that I have gleaned from these websites and book have been invaluable to me and I hope that this will be some help to you as well. This is just a brief overview about each of them and I have included their website details so that you can check them out in more detail for yourself.
Female Entrepreneur Association – Carrie Green
“I think the secret to success is having the right mindset. You’ve got to believe you can do it, even when things seem impossible.” Carrie Green
Carrie started The Female Entrepreneur Association in 2011 and since then it has gone from strength to strength and is now an incredibly valuable business resource for women around the world. The membership group now has over 3000 members and is growing all the time. Each month Carrie launches a bundle which is fantastic information on a variety of topics from The Amazing Customer Experience Bundle to The List Building Bundle and a Blogging Bundle.
The beauty of the bundles is that you can work your way through them at your own speed throughout the month and there is a live Q&A session so you have the opportunity to ask questions if there is something that you don’t understand. These bundles are available continuously once you are a member so you also have access to everything that was created before you joined. I have found all of these bundles incredibly helpful and very well thought out.
I’m currently working on the Power of Printables Bundle as I’m keen to add printables to some of my blog posts so that you can download helpful cheat sheets on various topics. Over and above the quality of the bundles that Carrie produces in collaboration with experts from each topic there is also an incredible sense of community through the Facebook group and the interaction that Carrie has within the group. I feel that she is a friend even though I have never met her and from the hundreds of messages that were sent to her for her recent wedding I think that’s how we all feel about this community. I can’t recommend this group highly enough.
The Shining Biz and Life Academy – Leonie Dawson
Leonie Dawson’s work exploded into my conscious when I first saw a friend of mine sharing on Facebook her Leonie Dawson workbooks. These workbooks were like nothing I had ever seen before as they were beautifully illustrated and a riot of colour. Leonie herself is a bit like that as well as she is very colourful and artistic and an unapologetic hippy who loves unicorns but don’t be fooled by any of this. She also runs an incredibly successful multi million dollar business and her workbooks have made an incredible change to the way that I think about and run my business.
I was so impressed with the workbooks that I also joined her Shining Academy and this has proved to be an incredibly rich and diverse resource of information both for running my business and also for my personal life. I love the way that Leonie puts her heart and soul into her business and she shares what she is learning and experiencing herself in such an honest way that again I feel she is a friend that I have never met. Let’s face it it’s not everyone who can talk about having a “gigglesnort” at something during a presentation and get away with it.
Get Rich, Lucky Bitch – Denise Duffield-Thomas
I first heard about Denise Duffield – Thomas in the Female Entrepreneur Association and then again very shortly afterwards in the Leonie Dawson Facebook group so I decided that I should get her book and see what all the fuss was about and I’m so delighted that I did.
Denise is a very down to earth straight talking Australian who is not at all self-conscious about talking about money, in fact this is what she has built her business on. Get Rich, Lucky Bitch is a fantastic book and as you can see from the image I have posted my own copy is starting to look a little worse for wear. Every chapter brings incredible insights into how you think and feel about money and it’s a very interesting process reading the book and then doing the personal work from the chapter summaries.
The chapters that I found most helpful were “clear your past money dramas” I didn’t even realise that I had any until I read this and “dealing with your money sabotages” again I didn’t understand what this meant until I read this chapter and then thought about it. As well as her book Denise also writes a really fantastic blog about money and the mindset around it every week and it’s well worth subscribing to make sure that you get this into your inbox every week.