10 Things I've Learned in My First Year Running a Business (Part 2)
Here is part two of my ‘10 Things I've Learned in My First Year Running a Business’ series. If you haven’t read part one, you can find my first five lessons here.
The wonderful thing about owning a business is the lessons never end, so I’m sure this isn’t the last list I’ll ever make. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to never miss a tip that could bring your business to the next level!
6. Regardless of how much you love what you do, you will still work all the time.
There’s a saying I really hate that goes ‘When you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life’. Oh yeah? Tell that to these 10 customer emails that I need to answer within the hour. Tell that to the Comcast bill that I have to call the company to dispute a charge (everyone’s favorite activity, right?). Just because you love what you do and are working with purpose does not mean you will not work anymore. If anything you are working MORE, because you are so passionate about your business it will follow you everywhere. You might even start brainstorming at an IHOP on your birthday (legit something I did this morning). Open your own business and you will work. You will work a lot. But you will love it because it’s for a purpose.
7. Avoid the scarcity mentality, ABUNDANCE is your friend
If you are running your business constantly in fear that you will run out of customers, staff, money, etc it will begin to reflect everywhere in your business. I have just recently learned about an abundance mindset and have tried to apply it in my personal life and business and so far it seems to be helping me in so many ways. not compare ourselves to our competition. There will always be competition in this industry, all we can do as a business is focus on maintaining our values, providing an exceptional rider experience, and staying focused on our goals and mission. With an abundance mentality there is enough to go around for everyone to find success in their own lane.
8. Learn how to filter feedback (not everyone’s opinion is valid)
if you are a savvy business owner you know that feedback is critical to growth. But do you filter that feedback? Something I learned early on is everyone is going to have an opinion, and learning whose to listen to and whose to ignore would make or break us. I always start by trying to understand the intention of the feedback… does this person want to see me succeed? Or are they trying to break me down? For example, when we first opened there was a women (I will not name) who responded to our marketing emails regularly saying ‘Why would I pay to ride indoors when the road is free?’ (in much less kind words). While she was clearly stating an opinion and giving us feedback, she was coming from a place of disdain and destruction. However other regular riders have given us feedback that I have treated like gold because I know these people want to see Cyclebar thrive. So listen to feedback when the intentions of the giver are constructive instead of destructive. And always remember, your gut feelings are VALID. No one knows their business better than the owner so if something feels wrong, it probably is. Trust your intuition to guide you.
9. OWN IT.
Don’t be shy to own what you are doing and what you believe in. This is your business. This is your baby. If you feel proud, shout to the world about it! If you are excited, let everyone know! Opening a business is something to celebrate on it’s own wether you keep the doors open or not. This was something I struggled with BIG TIME when we first opened. It was mostly imposter syndrome screaming at me to be quiet, but 1.5 years later I am finally overcoming it. At the end of the day I am proud of what we have built at Cyclebar. I am proud of my team of Cyclestars who give so much time and energy into their classes and have such a positive impact on riders. I am proud of our Rider Experience Specialists who make riders feel at home when they walk through our doors despite almost all of them being students and working second jobs. I am proud of myself for maintaining a business and growing a community. And I’m not going to be quiet about it anymore!
10. Do NOT associate your worth and value as a human being with the success of your business.
It’s really hard to own a business and not tie your entire identity up with it. I will speak firsthand to being so bad at this, and am still working on it today. Regardless of if it sinks or floats, you are more than a bottom line. Have the courage and humility to recognize that you are NOT your business. You are not more important if it is profitable or less important if it is not. And if you have a hard time with this, look to God to find your value. There is no dollar sign attached to your self worth. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work your butt off to make things happen. Regret will follow if you don’t give it your all. But even if it fails, you can give it all you have and still maintain your own self worth as long as your identity isn’t tied up in the bottom line. If it succeeds and bring you millions, have the humility to know that you are not your bank account.
That’s Part 2 of my Top 10 Things I’ve Learned in My First Year Running a Business! I hope you enjoyed it and I want to know, what questions do you have about running a business? Or a cycling studio? Or what tips would YOU give other business owners? Tell me in the comments so I can include your questions or advice in my upcoming pieces.
If you enjoyed reading this and want to hear more, make sure to subscribe to my newsletter and you will be the first to know when new content comes out.
Thanks for reading,