The 10 Lessons I Learned from Interviewing 50 Entrepreneurs

Hi Lovely,

In July 2016, my friend Anna and I were having a cup of tea. At that time we were both in a transitional phase in our businesses. Without much thought at all we decided to start a Podcast show in iTunes and within 3 weeks we launched. It was crazy but has been an amazing ride and we’ve built an incredible brand and yet we still don’t have a website (crazy right?!)

Between August and November we interviewed 50 sensational Aussie entrepreneurs. Some emerging, some iconic but they all have similarities of character that run through them.

As the interviewer it’s fascinating to observe and draw out philosophies and views from people and find out what makes them tick.

As I sit here at my laptop and write to you, the fabulous stories, fears, hopes and dreams of these people come flooding back to me…

Below are the key lessons that stood out for me and I really wanted to share them with you lovely.

The Ten Lessons I Learned:

1. Choices – There will come a point in your life where you have to make a choice. A choice between the life you currently have and the life you would like to create. When you stand at that fork in the road only you have the power to choose what you will do. Once the choice is made, you feel liberated, free and energized!

2. Value – When you begin, you may charge prices beneath your value – lower than what you’re worth and that’s absolutely ok, you’re learning and developing. Over time you will start to see what your true value is and that you need to be recognized for it. At a certain point you will step into your value and put forward with confidence what you feel you are worth.

3. Losing Money – You will lose money. It’s inevitable that in the beginning whether it’s on websites, misguided decisions, wrong stock, office leases or anything else, as you are learning the ropes of business, money will be lost. Each time this lesson is learned it gets filed away so it doesn’t happen again. Over time your strategic mind becomes strong and your decisions are sharp.

4. Visibility – Putting yourself out there is no easy feat but it gets easier. Call it the feeling of fraud, imposter syndrome or anything else, in the early days putting yourself out there and being ‘seen’ is tough and can and will be scary but with time it gets easier and easier.

5. Long Hours – Work, work and more work will feel like the common theme. Whether it’s door knocking on 10,000 doors, working all hours, facing rejection, sending out hundreds of pitches, starting from scratch after moving cities or countries or spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and hours on getting products tested or apps built there is no getting away from work. After a few years the ‘hard’ work gets replaced with strategic ‘smart’ work and this is when things really change. But the foundations have to be laid through the dedicated work in the beginning.

6. Strong Mindset – Mindset, mindset and mindset will be key to the longevity of you in business. As running your own show is not for the fainthearted, mastering your strong, resilient mindset will be the cornerstone of what keeps you functioning day in and day out. The key mindset traits that were mentioned were:

  • Persistence – being able to stay the course even when everything is going pear shaped
  • Consistency – being omnipresent and never fading from view in a marketing sense
  • Space & detachment – having a good element of ‘not taking things personally’ and being able to separate yourself from negativity, bad comments, difficult customers and more
  • Trust in yourself and Self Belief – developing an inner knowing that all will be ok and that you can handle it no matter what

7. Personal Development & Spirituality – surprisingly to me these two were absolutely consistent within the story of every guest. Whether it was attending a Tony Robbins seminar, watching Oprah or reading a mass of self-help books, all our guests shared the absolutely necessary need and keen interest in these areas of life.

8. Risk – At some point you will face another fork in the road where your business will either stay where it is and maintain its current position or it will need you to breathe more oxygen into it (usually in the form of money) so you can hire staff, open a new branch, revamp the website, take on a CFO or any other number of things. This will be risky and it will require tough decisions. As time goes on your judgment will get more and more precise and the risks you take will more often than not work out.

9. Technician vs Entrepreneur – Knowing whether you love to create, make, and use your skill or talent or whether you like to oversee, project manage and run the business is super important. Working out whether you’re the technician or the entrepreneur is another critical piece of the puzzle. Neither one is better than the other but identifying which one absolutely feels like ‘you’ is important as it will have dramatic effects on how successful your business goes on to be. Knowing the role you want to play in your business is the most important aspect of your business.

10. Business Model – if the business model you have isn’t right for your kind of business or doesn’t have leverage or longevity you may run into trouble. Understanding what current business model you have now and how sustainable it is, is key to whether your venture will work.

There you have it! The 10 lessons that stood out to me loud and proud. WOW! Food for thought huh? So much juicy goodness right there to mull over during the festive season…

It’s amazing how much we can learn from others and how many home truths come up from having a simple fire side chat with someone.

What are the 10 lessons you’ve learnt from life and business this year?

In the comments below, let me know what your top ten lessons are that you’ve learnt.

All my very best wishes to you this week and always,

Emma Franklin Bell xxx

P.S. Did you know thousands of coaches and consultants have downloaded their FREE copy of my latest book Your Beautiful Business? Download it for FREE here!

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