Things we wish we’d known (and it’s not too late to learn)

by | Dec 29, 2020

When I asked our members to help make the ultimate list of the things we wish we’d known when we started our businesses, they didn’t disappoint.

And reading through their comments and advice, it struck me that this list isn’t just for people at the start-up stage in business but acts as a reminder to all of us to remember who we are and the Business Foundations we need in place.

I’ve split members’ advice into two separate blogs (there was simply too much for just one!) to reflect the Six Pillars of Running a MINT Business.

Here we consider our MINDset,  as self-belief is always a hot topic in the self-employed community.


We often forget our own importance in our businesses. I know I really struggled with this when I launched my first business 12 years ago.

It is curious though, isn’t it?

If we were advising anyone else, we’d tell them that they are important in their business; how it runs, the ideas generated, the customers, the service is all dependent on them.

Yet, we forget (or haven’t accepted?) our own vital role in running our business and need to be reminded that without us, there would be no business at all.

Does this resonate with you? This is what our members had to say on the topic…

  • “Value yourself”- Me
  • “Trust your gut” – Joanne Rowland
  • “Look after yourself, you are the most important thing” – Jill Stewart
  • “Your mentality is a part of your success” – Lena Archbold
  • “Don’t sell yourself short” – Terrimarie Appleyard, Rachel Hunter
  • “Find a way to balance time for other aspects of your life” – Tracey Hutchinson
  • “Just go for it. You won’t learn and improve if you don’t” – Catherine Muir
  • “Have the confidence to ask for help” – Rachel Locke

What a thought-provoking list. Why would we forget to value or look after ourselves? But we do. For some of us, a gentle reminder helps the continuous work in progress.

One of my favourite quotes is from our member, Jacqui Gunnion, when she says,

Be authentic and confident with who you are. People are coming to YOU – they will quickly spot if you are trying to be something/someone you’re not!

Hear Hear, Jacqui. Be authentic and confident. Those people who resonate with your values, your service and your product will find their way to you. They will become your customers and some, your loyal fans. Pretending to be something we are not, leaves us wide open for all kinds of criticism so let’s just not bother with that.

A MINT quote from American Author Helen Keller,

Your success and happiness lie in you.

Perfect. So simple. So true. And sometimes so hard to learn and remember.

Get a Mentor…

So said our member Angela Graham and surround yourself with “business besties to drive you on” advised Laura Fellows. Surrounding ourselves with people who can advise, listen and be honest with us could be the difference between success and failure.

But it has to be people who “get it” and as Rie Pearson acknowledges, this may not be your family. Seek out those in whom you can trust to give objective feedback for your ideas and support you turning them into reality.

***Be prepared to pay for this, a second pair of eyes and ears is invaluable and could you save you time and money in the short and long-term.

I’ll end this blog with a quote from Kate-Marie Lawrence

Think outside the box and stand out from the crowd…don’t be a sheep 🐑 and do what everyone else is doing!

Being different, finding your thing, having that niche product or service takes courage. But imagine and visualise your success and how you’re going to feel when you achieve it. MINT eh!?

Actions to take

1. If you love inspirational quotes here’s a list of 105 (including the Helen Keller one) from Small Biz Trends.
2. And I can personally recommend DO/ PAUSE/ You are not a To-Do List, by Robert Poynton (one of a series of books designed to help us learn something new and motivate us and is part of the Do Lectures).

Let us know how you get on in the comments or in our members-only Facebook Group.