Ep 62: 9 Ways To Know Your Business Is Successful
In this episode, we’re going to be talking about success. Something that many entrepreneurs and business owners really struggle to identify. And in particular, we’re going to cover nine ways to tell when your business is truly successful.
When I first started my business I was full of creativity and ideas, but also I had no clue what I was doing. I had the absolute drive to make it work, but I had many pitfalls along the way. I went through a lot of challenges even to the point where I really started to doubt myself and wonder whether being a business owner was right for me. So I started to hone in on what success actually looked like.
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Here are the highlights from this episode:
(04:01) You can have time off and have an income
(07:22) Business success brings joy to you and your customers
(08:37) Success is when you’re not stressing over the feast and famine
(10:39) You attract opportunities that you never thought of
(12:40) Have clarity and confidence and you start to be in your genius
(15:04) Self-care and putting yourself first is central
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Dawn McGruer’s Marketing * Motivation * Mindset Group
Speaker. Author. Podcaster. Strategist.
Multi-award-winning speaker, strategist & best-selling author of Dynamic Digital Marketing – Helping to inspire entrepreneurs to rise to meet today’s challenges and be powerfully present to shine online.
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Welcome to Dawn of a New Era, a business and marketing podcast with a difference, ranking in the top 5% globally for people who want to start, scale, and grow their own business. Dawn McGruer, shares tips to improve marketing, motivation, and mindset, as well as her own real life challenges and experiences as an entrepreneur. Guests include some of the world’s most inspiring leaders too. So, if you are an aspiring, established, or serial entrepreneur, this is your go-to podcast to fast track results and rise to meet today’s challenges and master the art of online influence and business success and avoid common pitfalls along the way. Never miss an episode and subscribe and listen at dawnmcgruer.com.
Welcome to episode 62 of Dawn of a New Era. And in this episode, we’re going to be talking about success, something that many entrepreneurs and business owners really struggle to identify. In particular, we’re going to cover nine ways to tell when your business is truly successful. And I really want to start with something that is really important when I first started my business. And when I was 21, I was full of creativity and ideas, but also, I had no clue what I was doing when I set up my business, I had ideas, I had intentions, and I had the absolute drive to make it work, but I hit many pitfalls along the way and definitely went through a lot of challenges. Even to the point that over the years, not just at 21, but in those early stages, I really started to doubt myself and wonder whether being a business owner was right for me.
You can have time off and have an income
So, I started to hone in on what actually success looked like. And although I’d achieved a lot at a very young age of 21, and in those coming years, even by 30, I mean, I had done a lot in my lifetime. And things that I was very proud of, but I still didn’t really identify what stress was versus what success was. And I think I got so caught up in the business process that I caused myself more stress that I couldn’t see my success. And what I mean by that is that when you are constantly striving for a goal, you start to focus on just that end result and getting to it, and you forget the journey and the learnings that you have in that time. And it was very important, probably mid 20s, I started to think about what success was for me.
And I don’t know whether I truly understood this even up until my 30s. I mean, I was mortgage free at 33. I had bought my first house at 19. I’d set up my business at 21. I’d written and published a book in my early 20s. I mean, these are some really epic things, but at the time, I had no notion or understanding what that was. And all I kept seeing was other people’s journeys and thinking that they had done bigger and better things, what I hadn’t even thought about was where I was in my own journey and the age I was at that time. I was comparing myself to businesses who were 10, 20 years old. I was comparing myself to business owners and entrepreneurs with 10, 20 years more experience.
So, when I looked at what made a business truly successful, the first thing that I understood was that when I could leave my business and my business generating income, it earned while I wasn’t there. And this is something even to this day that I look at other business owners, friends, families, colleagues, just people in my world, and it’s a really valid lesson to understand that your business is only sustaining if you can find a way that allows you to have some time off. It allows you to have an income that’s just not solely based on you showing up every day, because God forbid, something could happen to you. You could become poorly. And getting this foundation in place where your business is actually generating money and you have time to take a day off, you can allow for illness. I realized this when I was actually ill in my 20s, that I was having to show up regardless, because the rent needed paying, the rates needed paying, the bills needed paying, the suppliers needed paying, and the world would stop it if I did.
So, this is when I got involved in understanding the world of eCommerce and as a business that was service orientated, having a physical product was something that didn’t fit. It wasn’t right. But having a service that I could have running that was going to give me regular revenue, consistent revenue, revenue while I wasn’t there was definitely the one thing that I needed to build into the business and be part of my business model. So, I started with packages. I had online courses, I had on-demand content that people could digest at their leisure. And I had resources that people could dip into that meant that within like a membership or within my courses, that people could absolutely continue to benefit from my expertise. And I wasn’t just working also one to one, I was working one to many, which allowed to give me more time because I still wanted to do one to one work. It was my consistent high ticket revenue, as well as my consistent regular lifeblood money that was coming in. So, having the balance is a very, very important thing to consider.
Now, number two was presence and visibility, and not getting caught up in the running of the business, the fundamentals of marketing, building websites and things like that, but showing up every single day in a capacity that people could see me. And I don’t mean physically showing up and I don’t mean physically being live every day or posting on social media. I mean, having a presence where I can be seen, found, and noticed without me having to be there. And having visibility in Google, when people are proactively searching for something, having visibility in my area, having visibility in the UK, having visibility for my keywords, these are all things that actually were a huge critical success factor and still are now.
If anyone is looking for a diploma in digital marketing, anywhere in the world, they will find business consult in position one, page one on Google. And that for me, was something that took a lot of the stress of marketing away because people who were in a proactive state, who already knew what they were looking for, who were in evaluation stage, it meant that my content, my products, my services were there ready to be found. So, being at the top of the train, having visibility and looking at it from a customer’s point of view and seeing how you are perceived online and how the people could actually find you and benefit from what your business does.
Business success brings joy to you and your customers
Now, number three, when your business is successful, and this is something that it brings joy to you as well, is when you take your customers through that transformation. You add value, you change customer’s lives. There is nothing better than that. There is no better feeling. And honestly, from a legacy point of view, you’ve touched someone’s life in a way that they’ll experience and remember forever. And this is honestly, the most important one out of my nine. Number four is when your proposition sells easily, and you don’t really have to do any selling. People can see through your content, that it is just so good, that the persuasive content is doing the selling, that you have presented it in such a clear way about them, about what they get, that it’s not featured led, it’s benefit led.
Success is when you’re not stressing over the feast and famine
And this is the key really, and understanding that when you have an amazing lending page, a sales page that just sings to someone, it makes your job 10 times easier. Number five, consistent, steady income, where the money comes in and you are not fighting fires. You’re not stressing over the feast and famine. When I first started my business, oh my goodness. I remember just going from one client and have being elated and so excited to, oh my goodness, I’ve got to find the next one. And it was hard. It really was tough, but getting the structures in place, first of all, that I could find ways of getting consistent steady income brings me back to point one, that earning while I wasn’t there. Having the one to one work, as well as having the one to many and having things that were on demand, self serve, as well as things that I actually had to show up for. So, consistent, steady income also came from consistent, steady marketing, and really looking at the end to end funnel each day, how many leads are coming into the business? Are we generating enough?
And just really understanding that if the lead’s coming in now, if it wasn’t generating enough to be as profitable as I want it to be, or to have the cashflow coming in, that we needed more leads. We needed to up our activity and really look at what was working and do more of that. And not get caught up in all the other ideas, the other business development, but just really, really looking at the maths of selling each and every day. And having actions and tasks in my day, specific to driving more leads, nurturing more customers, and ultimately converting more clients. So, everything I did, I had this laser focus on the end result, not just on the pipeline, but this end to end funnel. What was coming in, what was coming out, and what could I do to speed that up? How could I shorten the life cycle?
You attract opportunities that you never thought of
And ultimately, I was looking at ways of increasing the customer base, the average order value, the purchase frequency. I was looking at how my business model presented the proposition, how I packaged it, all of those things, and really honing in on the numbers. And it’s something that we shy away of sometimes. And I was guilty of that myself in the early years. Number six, this is a great one. This is when you start to get featured and noticed by other people. It’s a very exciting time in business, because you start to attract opportunities that you never even thought of, things that you didn’t even know. And when someone invites you to comment, to be featured, you talk to journalists, it really is a moment of pride. And it’s something that really is a joyful time, because when it’s not just your idea, when it’s not just your business or your vision, but your mission is actually being seen and the people are recognizing it is a valid entity.
You really need to take stock of that and enjoy that moment. I remember being featured in Forbes and honestly, I was just taken back. It was something I always wanted and just to be in Forbes, I think it’s just one of those associations I was really, really proud of. Also, when I got my fellowships, I got my first fellowship in my 20s. The fellowship was with the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce. And I’ve been recognized for working in social media and really helping businesses shine online. And this was something that, all of that effort, all of that stress, all of the strain, everything I put into the business, being recognized by such an amazing institution and to also get a fellowship was just an outstanding moment and something that I will absolutely treasure my heart forever.
Then in my 30s, getting a fellowship from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, in recognition of my expertise and my experience in marketing and developing digital skills. And that was again, a very young age and something that I was super, super proud of. And even probably once a month, I think back of those moments and they’re what makes me tick, that’s what makes the world go round for me. And it was something that I felt a huge amount of pride, but a huge amount of satisfaction too. That what I had invested my time and had sacrifices for really meant something to other people and it was seen by other people. So, recognition is a biggie.
Have clarity and confidence and you start to be in your genius
Number seven, when you start to have clarity and confidence, you start to feel differently. You start to really be in your genius zone. You show up in a way that is just charismatic, energetic, not drained, not fatigue, and certainly not stressed and with fear. Because I have been through the whole mix, literally, I’ve been through the emotional scale from top to bottom and I’ve had some really dark moments in business. I’ll be honest, I have, and it’s not always been plain sailing. It’s tough, really is because the bot stops with you. When you’ve got to pay bills, no one else does. For me, I was 19, living on my own, at 21, starting a business. I was paying all of those things and it really becomes quite stressful and you become a different person and you change. Your confidence goes, you become a bit depressed, you really shy away from things. And for me, I certainly went more into it when I was having tough, tough times. I didn’t want to be around people.
So, I have to check in on my mindset because although I’m not going through those periods now, I have ups and downs and every business owner still will. But being aware of your mindset, being conscious of how you feel and changing that feeling and looking at what you are doing whether you’re pushing too much, you’re tying yourself out or you’re just so excited about something you’re giving it your all, you’re draining yourself. So, it’s important just to touch base and see where you are.
Self-care and putting yourself first is central
Now, number eight is when you start to feel the energy and the flow when you work with customers, because you’re taking on that customer’s feel right. They resonate from the minute that you meet them, you inspire each other, and it’s just a joyous time. I remember having clients that literally sapped all my energy, drained me, depressed me, and I was taking them on because I needed them. So, when you can choose the client that you want, and you have that ability because money isn’t your key driver, you start to feel the energy back. And one thing that I would always say is if you are in a position to, and it doesn’t feel right, go with your gut and fire a client or reject a client because neither of you will get joy. Neither of you will get the results. Neither of you will show up in the best way.
And sometimes it’s just a personality clash. So, last but not least, we come back onto number nine, which is self care is central. You know that your business is successful, yes, when you’ve got any of these aspects or all of them in some capacity. But when I knew my business was successful, it was when I started to look after me. And I started to realize that I was so important to the business as the driver, not having to be in the business, working on the business all the time, but certainly driving the business forward. So, when I put myself first, I started to kind of have creativity. I felt good, I felt that I had my mojo, my motivation, my mindset was in a good place, and I wasn’t rushing and pushing and hustling the whole time.
And this for me was a big success, making sure my diary had self-care and putting myself first, because it’s so tempting as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, that this is your baby. This is the most important thing. A lot’s riding on it for many of you. And this could be the only thing that’s paying the bills. When you start to remember that regardless of what you’re doing, even if you’ve got so much to do, there has to be a point that, number one, is you on that to do list. And even if it takes you writing that down, putting it in a diary, putting time out in your calendar, then that’s what you need to do. So, I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. I would absolutely love to connect. You can find me at dawnmcgruer.com. I’m on every social media channel.
LinkedIn is definitely my favorite along with Facebook, but you can also find me obviously in our group, which is all about marketing, motivation, and mindset. You can just search for that on Facebook. If you type my name in all of these things will come up in Google as well. So, enjoy, and remember the fact that you started a business is an amazing thing. And any of these touch points really, really are something that you have to be proud of. That even if you’re in the early stages, starting, you’re growing, or you’re scaling, it doesn’t matter. Keep thinking about these nine areas of success. And if you’ve met any of them, you’re well on your way to achieving more and more.
And do you know what? Even if I say that I’ve touched all nine at some point, I’m still growing. I’m still scaling, I’m still moving forward, and I’m still on my journey. So, I will always check in on these nine points and remember that success is a journey. And it’s not always just about reaching that ultimate goal, enjoy business and enjoy being an entrepreneur. Thank you for listening to Dawn of a New Era podcast. And for your free checklist to find out how to boost your business for growth, profit, and success, and join our community, go to dawnmcgruer.com.
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