Episode #23: 4 lessons from my first year in business

Socials by Hanna just turned 1! I thought this was the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months as a business owner and see what I learned so far.


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1) Not everyone is supposed to be your client and that is totally okay.

When I just started out as a Social Media Manager, I would often pitch myself to people looking for social media support in Facebook groups even though they weren't my ideal client. As you know, I love working with service-based businesses (& I have a university specialisation in service marketing), but I would still pitch my services to product-based businesses just because I wanted to get as many clients as possible.


What really helped me to get out of that mindset was getting clarity on my ideal client. Obviously, that's not something that just happens overnight but rather happens as you get more experience and work with more people. For every new client or student, I would write a mental note of characteristics that I liked & some that I didn't like so much. This helped me to get clearer on who I wanted to work with. If someone didn't fit that, I wouldn't take them on as a client.


Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to say NO to a potential client. If it's not a great fit, refer them to another person in your community. This helps you to build a network and you avoid working with people who you don't enjoy working with. Community over competition is also something I have learned to love in the last 12 months.


2) It's important to learn how to say NO.

Not only do you need to be able to say NO to potential clients who aren't a great fit, but you also need to learn to say no to opportunities that won't get you closer to your goals.


In regards to saying no, you also have to set boundaries for your clients and yourself to avoid getting overwhelmed: it's okay if you only reply to that email tomorrow. Or get back to that potential lead after the weekend. And no, you don't need to check your emails mid-walk just to make sure you didn't miss anything.


3) Patience is key. Believe in the process.

I'm a very impatient person, so this one was a hard one for me to learn.

As with everything in life, your business (and social media pages for that matter!) will grow but it takes time. It's okay to want more but you need to learn to trust the process. If you continue to put consistent effort into your business, you will achieve your goals.


I know it's hard not to compare yourself to others (especially on social media) but believe me, you are exactly where you need to be right now. Don't compare your journey with someone else's because you never know what's going on behind the scenes.


4) Taking a break from your business is actually the most productive thing you can do

I'm a very "active relaxer", so this one was hard for me to master as well.

What I learned is that it is OK to not be productive all the time. You need to do things that fill your cup because only that will bring you enough energy to continue for another day in your business. If you just go, go, go, go all the time, you won't have enough energy to make your business flourish.


Something I like to do is spend time doing something for myself (going for a run, reading a book,...) BEFORE I start work in the morning. Like this, I make sure that I have filled my cup before I drain it again. If you truly want to increase your productivity, take regular breaks and do things that give you energy.


I hope you enjoyed my lessons from the first 12 months of being a business owner and maybe, you could even relate to one or two of them. What's something that you learned in your first year in business?


Talk soon,

Hanna