My business turned three last week, so we went out to celebrate last night and had the fanciest dinner on the beach, paid for by my Q1 profit 🎉 As I looked back over past goal setting, planning, and lists upon lists of issues to overcome, I decided to write one key takeaway for each year in the evolution of my business.
Year One: Start with who you know
I looked back at some of my early planning and brainstorming. This was the first goal I set for my business: "To start a custom boutique advocate consulting company in 2020. To become a licensed LLC, have coffee with 100 people, and attain my first paying client to build a custom advocate program."
LOL past Bri! She is so formal, even in her own private goal setting 😂
But truly, that coffee with 100 people happened in 90 days and it's the reason I got my first client and have a business at all. Ps. Huge thank you to Desiree over at Poplinen for being my first client.
Year Two: Find where people gather to ask the questions you are asking.
I'm embarrassed to admit, as someone who works in the community space, that it took me over a year to finally understand where all the other people building community were gathering. I got connected in places like The Community Club and the Community Community. This is helpful for a few reasons: 1) it keeps me learning and growing when I rub shoulders with brilliant community-folk, 2) it's easier to stay in-the-know on community tools, 3) it generates referrals because people see my work, and 4) it keeps me sane on the down days.
Year Three: Speak to your Ideal Client
This was the year I went back to the basics and realized I needed to keep honing and re-committing to my best clients. In the beginning you really do feel like you have to say yes to anything and everything, but over time, your confidence grows and sooner than you think, you MUST get specific about who you are talking to. I realized my ideal client doesn't need me to convince them of the value of community, they believe it. It's not up to me to prove what a community can do for them, it's up to them to prove they're ready to invest the resources to build a community.
Year Four: More lessons to come!
As my friend Victoria Cumberbatch always says, you win or you learn. This next year could go a couple dramatically different directions, so I'm excited to see where the winning and learning will take me over the next 12 months!