The Sensitive CEO Show

5 Lessons Learned Being an Online Business Owner

March 20, 2023 Rose Cox Episode 30
The Sensitive CEO Show
5 Lessons Learned Being an Online Business Owner
Show Notes Transcript

In this week's solo episode, I'm answering a question that a client recently asked me on a coaching call. She asked if I could share any lessons I've learned as an online business owner, specifically an HSP business owner.

I've been running online businesses since 1999, so naturally, I've learnt many lessons in that time! I've distilled it down to five, though. Otherwise, this episode could be quite long!

I hope you find these lessons useful, and learning about them now, will save you time and energy in your HSP business.

If you've been following my podcast for a while now, you'll notice this is a slightly new format for my solo episodes. I get so many questions from clients and my community that I thought it would be useful to answer them for my wider audience.

If you have a question you'd like me to answer on an upcoming episode, feel free to submit a question here.

💝 Key Takeaways

  • Why getting the right support early on is important and the three different types of support I recommend.
  • How investing in the right tools and software can save you a ton of time.
  • Focusing on a signature offer and getting that running smoothly will set you up for sustainable success.
  • The importance of taking enough downtime, especially as an HSP in business.
  • Why you don't need to be an 'expert' to start a podcast.

📚 Resources Mentioned

Sign up for the Free Masterclass - How to Attract More Clients Without Having To Work Longer or Harder
Free Time by Jenny Blake


🌹 Rose's Resources

Ep#30 - 5 Lessons Learned Being an Online Business Owner

Hey, it's Rose and welcome to another episode of the Sensitive CEO Show. And in this week's solo episode, I. Slightly different format that I'm gonna be trying out and seeing how everybody likes it. And if you're on my newsletter, my weekly short and sweet newsletter, you would've read about this new format.

And what it is is that I'm answering questions from clients or past, past, or current clients, but also submitted questions. So, If you have a question that you would like me to answer on one of the episodes, then I'm gonna pop a form somewhere in the show notes below. Sorry, it's not below when I'm talking, is it?

But you'll find the show notes and I will pop a link to a form where you can submit a question and I will, edit to my questions that I'm going to answer on future episodes. 

So the episode today is all around a question that I was asked quite recently by a client, and she asked me what lessons I've learnt over the years of being an online business owner.

And I love this question. becasue I, yeah, I thought about it for quite a bit. There's a lot of things that I thought of when we were on our coaching session, but then there were other things that came up later that just when I was walking, they just came to mind when I was in the shower even. So I have listed five things, five lessons that I've learned being a business owner over the last probably 20.

5, 24. 25 years in the two businesses that I've had. And if, yeah, if you are new here, The businesses that, so the first business I had was an online web development business that I ran for about 20 years, and then I pivoted and became an R T T therapist and coach, and this is my current business. And now I've gone more into working with highly sensitive people, impact and introverts, which I'm sure you know, because this is the name of the show, the sensitive c e o.

So that's a little bit of history. So let's dive into the five lessons that I've learned. So the first lesson is not getting the right support at the right time. And there's, there are a few areas of this. I've actually got three areas of this, and the first one is not outsourcing sooner, and I think.

Personally for me, because I could do a lot of the technical things myself. I would go ahead and do them, even if it wasn't a good use of my time. And I, I actually just wanna read you a little excerpt from a wonderful book that I highly recommend. It's called Free Time by Jenny Blake and I actually interviewed Jenny for the podcast last week.

We had such a fabulous call, and she will be guesting in the next few months. She'll be on a live episode. So, Very much looking forward to that, but this is just a little excerpt from her book all around outsourcing. So if you are the only person working in your business, you are far more likely to be the bottleneck and to be burdened by work that drains you.

Your business may be negatively impacted by you trying to juggle all the details at the same time as forming the vision in addressing bigger challenges. Most of all, you may make mistakes or miss things by doing all the work, particularly work that you are not skilled at and have no interest in.

Becoming skilled at hiring help does not have to be overwhelming or break the bank. Start with the biggest opportunity areas related to freeing up your time and generating revenue. Build trust slowly and increase time and team as you get more comfortable and see meaningful results. Be patient in the beginning.

Onboarding, delegating and documenting new systems always takes more time at the start, but will pay great dividends later and position you to better respond when opportunities arise since you won't be bogged down by the details. Now I love this. And coincidentally, I've just been finalizing module five for the H S P Business School where we dive into this area of outsourcing and team development, and I share about working in your genius zone or your zone of excellence, and then there's zone of competence.

And in the zone of incompetence, I share some really good tools. Within that module with my students about how to delegate, when to delegate, when to outsource, and this is something I wish I'd done sooner. I've, Yeah, as I said, because I can do so much myself on the technical side, I just went ahead and did it, and honestly, it wasn't a good use of my time.

So that is tip number one, and well, that's a for number one. And then the second one, so we'll call it b. Is not having a one-on-one coach. And I actually had my first business coach when I ran my web development business many, many years ago. But since I trained as an R T T therapist and a coach myself, I stopped paying for a regular coach because we did a lot of, reciprocal coaching and.

It was, I mean, it was wonderful. I loved swapping coaching sessions and it was obviously a really good way to learn, but I did actually get into the habit of not having a one-on-one coach that I paid for, and I, yeah, I think. What I struggled with, because it was reciprocal coaching, I don't think I got as much out of it as I could have if I'd paid for it.

So as an example, I think because I'm an H S P I, I wasn't inclined to use them fully because I wanted to be really respectful of their time. I didn't wanna bother them. Not that I bother my one-on-one coach now, I hope I don't anyway, but I. Now that I, I know I'm paying for it, I tend to ask more and I seek support more often, and one-on-one coaching is super, super valuable.

It easily pays for itself, and I couldn't recommend it highly enough, and I've been in a number of group coaching programs as well over the years. They are wonderful too. Some of the groups are bigger than I would like, and one group I was in a couple of years ago had, I would say about 20 to 30 on a call at any time and.

I hardly ever spoke up. I, I would just sit and listen and I don't think that was a really good investment, to be honest, not getting that one-on-one or that personal support. I was in another group program about three years ago where there were just six of us, and that was much better. I do prefer the smaller numbers.

Yeah, that that's tip number one B. We're calling it not having a one-on-one coach, I think. Yeah, I think it's really important. Obviously if your money situation, your financial situation can't stretch to a one-on-one coach, then there are wonderful group programs out there as well, where if the numbers are kept small, if you check that the numbers are gonna be smaller.

And then the final one in this not getting the right support, which I will call C, is around colleagues and collaborations. And by colleagues, I mean fellow coaches or fellow entrepreneurs that are in the same space as you. And I've been so fortunate since hosting my summits and this podcast that I have met so many. Wonderful other sensitive CEOs and business owners around the world and having the, I guess, the support, knowing that we are so similar, knowing that we're on a similar journey has made such a difference.

I know when I used to run my web development business, I was, I was an island. I was totally on my own. I didn't, I didn't collaborate with other, Web developers I did in the beginning, but then I got a little bit insular to be honest. and I missed out on so much just having, having the collaboration.

So I think that's something I really recommend is to keep, keep an open mind. Connect with people. If you see someone on Instagram or if you listen to a podcast, then let them know if you are enjoying their content, connect with them online. DM them, send them an email. If you are on their newsletter list and you love what they're sharing, just connect.

Make that connection, and you just, you never know. What that will lead to in the way of collaborations. you know, getting invited onto a podcast or a summit or even just having, having the, a chat, like I've had quite a few virtual coffees, which I really enjoy, and it's just, it's a wonderful way to, to get to know people, but also to get ideas about your own business as well, and to not feel.

Okay, now number two is not investing in tools and software. And again, in the beginning I. Didn't invest as much as I probably should have when I looked back again, because I could do a lot of this myself. As Jenny Blake would, would say, I would Franken string all these systems together rather than actually paying for a software that could do it all for me and.

I think in a way, in the beginning I was treating my business more like a hobby than a real business. And now like, not investing, not not really investing in myself and my business, but now I know how important it is to have these tools like, examples of Active Campaign, which is my email automation tool.

there's many, many out there. and paying for task management, paying for social media, scheduling tools for search engine optimization tools. There's so much out there. So having the right tools in your business can really, really save time. It can help you to set up automations and just yeah, save all of that time.

Okay, So the third lesson that I've learned over the years of being an online business owner was not being focused on one offering, not having a signature program, having multiple offers available before actually getting my main offer. Working in the right way. And additionally building out a program or a course before testing it or even doing proper research into if the offer is actually needed.

And yep, I've definitely been guilty of building an entire program. I'm really embarrassed to say this. Say this, but I've built an entire program before I'd even nailed down who my ideal paying client was. I totally skipped the research, which would've uncovered if my program was actually wanted saving me a ton of time.

I also didn't go through the competitor research to help me find any big opportunities or gaps in the market so that I could create that real standout different. I later discovered how vitally important this initial research phase is, even though it's not always as fun. I much prefer creating content, but it really is so important, and this is one of the reasons why I've added this important step into module one of the H S P Business School.

We go into great depth into who your ideal paying client is and. It really helps you to get crystal clear and also where you sit in the market. Plus it helps you to validate those ideas so you are not wasting time like I did. Okay, number four is not planning enough downtime or rest time. When I started my R T T business many years ago, I used to work six days a week, and admittedly, I really wanted to hit the ground running when I was certified, so I booked in as many clients as possible and I chose to work on a Saturday to cater for those.

Who worked during the week. Now, this really helped me to hone my skills as a therapist and a coach, and I actually don't regret putting in all those hours because it also gave me the confidence when I saw the amazing results that my clients achieved. But in the long run, it wasn't sustainable, and I learned this lesson the hard way.

I. I suffered burnout and overwhelm more than once because I didn't listen to my body telling me that I needed to rest. And I even worked many Sundays as well. I worked on the business on a Sunday because I just really wanted to get things done. but I know better now, and I've now set up my business in a much more sustainable way.

I only see. Two days a week, I have the last week of every month off seeing clients. I still work on my business. I have one to two months off a year, and I also take long weekends. And although I am working less than what I used to, I'm actually achieving a lot more because I do have the energy that I didn't used to have by working all those hours.

Okay. And finally number five is not starting a podcast sooner. So I've been listening to podcasts for many, many years and I've got so much value from all the wonderful podcasts that I've listened to. I think the first one was Tim Ferris, and I learned so much from his podcast and. To be honest, I never felt that I had anything to share that no one would be interested in what I had to talk about.

But then I, I realized, I guess after doing this podcast for a while, now that everyone has a different angle or a different manner, and obviously this doesn't appeal to everybody, but there are certain people that this podcast does appeal to. It's something for you to think about if you want to start a podcast and you don't think that you are an expert or anything like that.

Don't look at it that way. Just think about one or two people who you could really help when you speak with either guests or do your solo episodes. And yeah, that was a huge lesson. I wish I had started this sooner, but I'm just glad I started now. So to round up, number one is not getting the right support in your business.

So included in that was outsourcing, not having a one-on-one coach or a very small group. And then not having colleagues in your field for collaborations. And then number two is not investing in tools or software that can really help you to save time. Number three was not being focused on your one offering your signature program to start with.

And of course I'll throw in there not doing the proper research to help you there. And number four, not planning enough downtime or rest time. Number five was not starting a podcast sooner. 

part 2: So I hope you found this useful, and I hope that by some of the mistakes I've made in the lessons I've learned over the years, it will help you to think a little bit more about running your business. Now as I'm recording this, this is the last day of February and I know that this episode is gonna be airing on the 20th of March.

And as I'm recording this, I'm actually working on a brand new masterclass training, which is called How to Attract More Clients Without Having To Work Longer or Harder. And I'm gonna be sharing some of the pillars within the H S P business school because I'm opening up enrollment for a next cohort to start on the 1st of May.

And just some of the takeaways you'll get from this free training, to understand the elements that you need to build a sustainable business that is aligned with your energy as an H S P. Why creating a simple, repeatable evergreen system allows you to work less while earning more. Why the right business strategies will support you in having more time and more energy?

How to multiply your efforts by repurposing your content. And I'm gonna be sharing a beautiful repurpose content strategy with you in the free training.

And finally, why your mindset is just as important as your business strategy. So I'll pop a link to sign up for that free training below. I haven't quite finalized the date yet, but I'm very conscious that Easter is early this year. So I'm just working with my coach to navigate around the best date for my audience.

So thank you for tuning into this solo episode and please share any feedback and any questions that you have for me. And I look forward to catching you in the next episode.