In collaboration with Griffith University

I've set up my business and I'm on a steep learning curve as a new small business owner. Especially when it comes to marketing and getting leads...

A few months ago I wrote a post where I confessed to struggling with focus. Since accepting my redundancy last September, over a year ago now, I’ve struggled to decide what I want to do with myself and to focus on a single direction.

As I shared back in June, I’m not struggling for ideas or for inspiration – far from it. But I have been struggling with making the call on what I should be putting my efforts into and what to prioritise.

Personally, I have found it very challenging to look into myself and identify what I really want to do. Because I want to do it all. And I don’t want to give anything up.

Working from home has been a tough transition as well. It’s taken me a long time to acclimatise to life outside the office and even now I’m still trying to balance the demands of family with work.

Illness, injury, grieving, holidays and general life have all conspired to limit the time I have had to work this year. And, consequently, I’ve lost confidence in my ability to effectively manage my time and achieve my goals.

However, despite my struggles, I have finally made some decisions and feel like I’m starting afresh. Knowing what direction I’m taking now (and committing to it!) has already helped me feel less stressed and lifted the virtual weight off my shoulders.

While I’ll be continuing to blog here and at My Home Truths, my priority has now shifted to my new business – Double Scoop. I’m ready to take the next step and start marketing my future.

So far I have fully launched the website and I’m now taking on clients. So if you are looking for a quality copywriter, corporate writer, business consultant or project manager, I’m the person for you!

It’s an exciting time and I’m really happy to have made this decision and to be able to finally move forward. Meanwhile I’m learning all the ins and outs of running a small business – nothing like throwing yourself in the deep end…

In this initial stage of set-up, it appears I have a never ending to-do list. I’m creating templates, undertaking research and networking with others. I’m learning how to liaise with clients, manage my business records and balance the competing demands of my day.

I’m teaching myself about the economics of running a business. Identifying what income needs to come in and what expenses need to go out. I’m figuring out the mysteries of maintaining a website and trying to keep up with the legalities and requirements of being a sole trader.

The biggest learning curve of all has come from my crash course in marketing my business effectively. As with all small business operators, I want to get the word out there about my services. I want potential customers to be able to find me. I need leads!

So for the last few months I’ve been listening to podcasts, researching online, seeking input from others and joining networking groups in order to better market my services. I’ve even taken a course on search engine optimisation (SEO) to help me find my feet online – it’s clear I mean business!

I’ve also rediscovered my love of learning through two writing courses I’ve completed recently. I’m ashamed to admit that I had not concentrated enough on self-development for a long time. Returning to study, albeit briefly, reminded me of how good it feels to open yourself up to new ideas and invest in yourself and in your skills.

While I’ve taken small steps by undertaking a few online courses, I’m also considering more formal learning options. To be honest, the lure of an internationally recognised qualification is strong. Especially as I know formal marketing qualifications would be invaluable to my business.

For instance, Griffith University has a range of online courses to allow you to do just that. They have just launched two new online marketing programs, aimed at those who are looking to formalise or build upon their existing marketing skills.

While I’m tempted to jump into post-graduate study right away, I need to first prioritise my learning needs and budget for them accordingly. But I do plan on studying again, sometime soon.

I just need to sit down and focus on one course of study, not the many courses that I would love to undertake.

I think I’m seeing a pattern here…

When was the last time you invested in your self-development?

Disclaimer: I received monetary compensation from Griffith University in return for this post, however all views, anecdotes and experiences are completely my own. Especially my struggles to find focus in my life – I wouldn’t wish that struggle on anyone else!