Some of you may know that I've been lucky enough to work with a fantastic mentor, Lisa, over the last few months. We met at a time when I needed support within Work by Amy and Lisa had outgrown her DIY branding that she'd created 18 months earlier, so we jumped head first into eachother's businesses. Lisa has been an absolute breath of fresh air and has given me and my business the shake up that was needed to start aiming bigger and hitting bolder goals. In the very early days of my business, when I was very much fumbling my way through the industry, I was constantly being told "invest in a business coach!". And whilst I know that not everyone is in a position to finance coaching with a mentor, I wanted to chat about why I think everyone should aim towards being able to invest in some sort of coaching programme and how doing just that impacted my business.

Being a designer, creator or maker is very different to running a design, creative or product-based business. I have never doubted my ability to design; a designer is wholeheartedly who I am, inside and out. But running a design business? A whole other kettle of fish. When you're just starting out, the best way to learn how to do things is to ask for help. I'm not afraid to admit that I was clueless as to how I was supposed to run a business. A mentor will have experience (and probably a lot of it!) in running their own and is therefore in the perfect position to support you when things feel a little bit wobbly. You might be the best candle maker in the country, but if you don't know how to brand, market and sell those candles, your business won't succeed. And that's where a mentor can help you. 

Your coach is like a soundboard, and having someone to bounce ideas off is more important than you think. We've all chatted with friends and family about our businesses, but it really pays to have a like-minded person who is solely focused on your growth to chat things through with. They're unbiased, knowledgable and have your businesses best interests at heart. Help with sieving through ideas and then developing the ones that have potential can be invaluable, particularly in the early days when everything can feel a bit overwhelming.

Anyone who runs their own business will know that there are days where it feels like your to-do list it as long as time itself. A mentor will help you break down tasks, prioritise and make a plan to get things done. They can also help you to implement automations and tick off big, one-time-only tasks that will make your life simpler and easier moving forward. Before I worked with Lisa, I was wasting a TONNE of time sending services decks and chasing up potential clients; she helped me to automate the whole process so that I now have to do ~absolutely nothing~ when an enquiry comes in. Time is money and it pays to use it wisely.  

It can be really hard to keep up the momentum when you work for yourself, but a mentor will really help to keep you on the ball. Having someone to keeps tabs on you helps you remain accountable. Momentum slows when you either aren't seeing progress or you're starting to burn out (or both!). In my first year or so of business, I had so many moments where I thought "pushing water up a hill couldn't be any harder than this!". And who wants to show up when they feel like that? When you work with a mentor, you learn how to make your business more efficient and more manageable. Progress + healthy business boundaries = a business you actually want to work on.

Working with a business coach can be costly and time-consuming. But if you wanted my honest opinion, I'd tell you that it'll probably be the best thing you ever do for your business. If you're looking to invest in short or long term business support, I can wholeheartedly recommend Lisa from Lisa May & Co. Her knowledge and experience has been invaluable to me and my business and I know it could be to yours too. Whilst I was enrolled on Lisa's programme I had my busiest month in business to date, during which I:

Successfully launched her new brand and website.

Raised my prices.

Onboarded two Interior Design studios, filling my 2021 schedule.

Developed and launched a newsletter.

Started building a new strand of business, due to launch in January

Secured my first project of 2022.

Ended the year fully booked, with six live clients.

And if you're wondering if you read that I did all of this in one month correctly... yes. You did.

Working with a mentor will push you past the limits you originally thought you had and help you to get the best out of not only your business, but also out of yourself. If you go into your partnership with honesty, dedication and an open mind, there is no cap to what you can get out of it. 



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