How I expanded my business whilst preparing for 6 months “off”

For those of you that haven’t heard yet (where have you been?) I’m pregnant!

Heavily pregnant.

It’s actually my due date today, as I write this for you, waiting for my little one to arrive.

Before baby arrives (and my life transforms for ever), I wanted to share how in the past three months I’ve expanded my business and am on track for my best year yet, even though I’m planning 6 months ‘off’ for maternity leave.   

(I say ‘off’ as I’m under no illusion that being a mum is not a full-time job!)


It was a planned pregnancy, but even so, once I found out I started to stress and worry about my business. The fear crept in. I was worried everything would come to a standstill and all the hard work I’d put in to launching and growing my business would be wasted. And, that when I came back to it, I’d have to start all over again.

Other fears crept in too.

My husband had just been made redundant and I wondered whether I should do the ‘sensible thing’ and go and get a ‘normal’ 9-5 job so we had some steady, regular income.

But my heart wasn’t in getting a normal job, I wanted to see my business grow, THRIVE in fact and be able to pay myself during my maternity leave, whilst continuing to serve my community. So, I persevered.

But it was tough for the 6 months after finding out I was pregnant (July – December 2018). The fear, doubts and worry about whether I’d make enough completely took over and distracted me from generating income.

I struggled to make even £1500/month most months, and this wasn’t enough to live off and cover my small overheads. Nor was it going to allow me to save for my maternity leave.

In late November/December, recognised my negative attitude had a lot to do with me not reaching my monthly income goals and decided things had to change.

I had 3 months to make a difference. This baby was arriving whether my business was a success or not and I had to sort things out.

 
How I expanded my business whilst preparing for 6 months off
 

So, in December I started to do things differently…

1.      I changed my mindset.

I stopped focussing on the fears and doubts and started focussing on what might happen and be possible if I thought positively and took action towards achieving my goals. This required consistent, persistence checking in with my thoughts and feelings, as well as staying focussed on my goal – to financially support myself through my maternity leave and set things up so my business would continue on auto-pilot. I imagined what m maternity leave would be like if I’d secured the income I needed and had put in place systems for it to continue without me in it everyday for 6 months.

 

2.      I looked at alternative sources of income for my business.

I realised I’d got blinkered and stuck in a rut. I was thinking small and limiting my ability to attract bigger sums of income in to my business. I looked at all the alternative ways I could secure income that still aligned with my purpose and decided to pursue some new avenues. With the limited time I had left this was one of the best decisions I made and longer term will have a huge impact on my business growth.

 

3.      I looked at what had worked in the 12 months previous to generate income. I used this to make a “rinse-and-repeat” plan. On reflection, it was crazy that I hadn’t spent more time looking at what really worked and how I could regurgitate this going forward.  When you discover something makes a difference it’s stupid not to rinse-and-repeat.

 

4.      I looked at what wasn’t working in my business and took steps to improve it. Sometimes we can get lazy and focus on things that are comfortable but don’t actually have any impact on our bottom line (or impact)! In my fear, I’d focused on the things I was comfortable doing rather than continuing to grow and develop, try out new things or stretch myself. So, exploring what wasn’t really helping my business and deciding to stop these things helped me focus time on the things that would actually grow my business.

 

With these four changes, DRAMATIC SHIFTS happened: 

·         I started connecting with more people who were interested in my services.

·         I received regular reassurance that my business and its services were needed and in high-demand

·         I started securing new contracts and customers

·         I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve in 2019 and what I needed to do in order to come back ready for action after my maternity to make 2020 to a whole new level

·         (And I began to get excited about all the time I would be able to spend with my baby and husband)

 

I’m pleased to share that in the 3 months leading to now (January - March 2019) I have generated £18,700 cash in my business!! PLUS, I have £12,250 planned and partially secured income coming in over the 6 months I’m taking off (April – September)!

In my whole first year of trading (mainly as a result of the negative downturn I had in the second half of the year – worrying unnecessarily) I made only a measly £16,400.

So far, I’m on track to earning £45k in my business this year (my second year of trading), with plans to double this again next year.

I’m sharing this because I want you to know you can turn things around. Even after a troublesome 6 months with perseverance, the right mindset and tweaks to your business you can achieve incredible goals.

I want you to know it’s possible for you too.

Wherever you are at in your business now – just starting out, trying to secure £1k months, £6k months or beyond - you can absolutely do it.

Yes, that doubt of “…it’s just not possible” is constantly there (I battle it EVERYDAY!) but I choose for it to be a reminder that it’s all in my mind, it absolutely IS POSSIBLE, and I get to CHOOSE whether I make it happen or not.


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