‘What do I need to do to create a successful business?

It’s the first question many business owners ask me when we first start working together.

I get it.  I was exactly the same.

Raring to go and get stuck in with doing what needed to be done.

It’s not just doing that counts. Don’t get me wrong you most certainly need to take action. The right action, and it means learning new stuff because no-one’s taught you how to do this business owner malarkey.

But what I’d like to share with you in this Blog is something that many business owners overlook or ignore.

You see I don’t want you to ignore what I ignored. Ignoring what nearly cost me my business and forced me back to working in Corporate Land.

A big part of creating your successful business comes from your thoughts. What you think.

I know right. Sounds weird?

You are the thinker of your thoughts.

And your thoughts become your words, your actions, your habits and ultimately your behaviour and characteristics.

Ultimately, these thoughts are going to create your business.

Ever thought?

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m going to get it wrong
  • People will laugh at me
  • I can’t earn that much
  • I don’t deserve this

Me too?

It sucked.

My thoughts sucked.

Here’s the thing. The old you, the current you isn’t going to show you the way.

All is not lost.

You can change your thoughts. The ones that are holding you back.

You don’t have to keep thinking the same thoughts. You can change them.

How do you change your thoughts to create the business you want?

Ask yourself:

“Are you willing to give-up what you’ve got in order to have something better?”

I answered, ‘Yes!’

And set about getting clear on what I wanted in my life, my business and the future I wanted.

I got clear on who I wanted to be and what I want to have done by my 80th birthday. It’s not that long away ha!

I got clear on:

• The business I want
• The relationships I want
• The health I want
• The experiences I want
• How I want to show up in the world

My daily routine to managing my thoughts

Every day I journal.

I used to laugh at the very idea! Seriously.

But you know what? It’s created the biggest change in me, and my business more than anything else.

At 6am, before I go near my mobile phone or any other piece of tech, I sit in bed with my cup of tea and I write.

And here are the questions I answer every morning:

• What am I grateful and appreciative for?
• What’s going on in my world? Warts and all.
• What are my key changes that I need to make to live my ideal life?
• What are my big goals for the next 6 months?
• What’s my why?

At the end of the day, I pick up my journal and write down what I’ve achieved, how my day has gone. Noting where I’ve gone off track and what I can do differently tomorrow.

Review Yourself Every Week

When I worked in Corporate Land, I had performance reviews.

As a business owner, I give myself a review every week.


It could be easy to repeat this daily exercise and for nothing to change.

A bit like putting out your marketing without keeping a track of what’s working and what isn’t. You can track how well a Facebook post is doing, why not your business?

It’s me, my journal and a cuppa and more often than not it’s on a weekend.

This is my time to reflect and to plan the following week.

What questions do you ask for your weekly review?

The idea is to highlight the good stuff and what I can do better.

It’s nice to be nice to yourself, especially when so many business owners are quick to pick up a stick, and beat themselves with it.

The questions I ask are:

  • How did my previous week go?
  • What did I do well?
  • What didn’t go well?
  • What did I not do?
  • Who did I not reach out?
  • Where did I fall short?
  • How am I going to use what I’ve learned?

Then I focus in on my big goals and write them out in a bullet point list.

Then I answer:

  • Why are these goals important to me?
  • What will I focus on in the next 1-6 months to realise these goals.
  • What are my specific To-Do’s for next week?

How has writing a journal improved my life and business?

Every morning I start with a clear head and I avoid distractions. In the past,  I’d hop straight onto my mobile, dive straight into social media and as a result, an hour would go by before I’d get out of bed.

Prioritising is easier. I can see what was to be done for the day, the week and for the month ahead.

The shiny object syndrome vanished. My journal kept me in check with what to focus on and what steps to take.

Reviewing my activities helps me to check in with my progress. Reviewing my own performance has increased my productivity and my results.

Stress is managed more easily. Anything that troubles me, I write about it which means it’s out of my head so not being swirled around and pondered on which makes it easier for me to handle.

Be honest, you want to know the nitty-gritty stuff though.

Interestingly, I’ve made more money since I started journalling. 

I have more time to spend with my family and have more me time.

I’ve done things I would have avoided.

I attended a 2 day conference, I’ve been kayaking in the sea, paddle boarding on a Loch, I’ve been on two 3 day trips by myself, I’ve signed clients that in the past I thought were too good for me, I’ve put my prices up, I’ve marshalled at a cycling event, been interviewed for 4 podcasts, invited to speak to students at an event and have clients booked in months in advance. 

I’ve also started another business. 

More resources: 

My blog about Imposter Syndrome

Benjamin Hardy https://benjaminhardy.com/how-to-write-in-your-journal-to-improve-yourself-and-achieve-your-goals/

James Wedmore http://mindyourbusinesspodcast.com/podcast/178

Mike Cannon-Brookes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNBmHXS3A6I

Susan Jeffers – Feel the fear and do it anyway https://www.amazon.co.uk/Feel-Fear-Anyway-Indecision-Confidence

Ryan Holiday – The obstacle is the way https://www.amazon.co.uk/Obstacle-Way-Ancient-Adversity-Advantage

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