Episode 70: Biggest learnings from 10 years in business

Welcome to The Rachel Kurzyp Show.

Today I want to share something really significant and special with you. It’s my 10 year business anniversary this month. YAY!

I can’t believe I have been running my own business in some shape or form for 10 years. 

When I first started I didn’t have a long-term plan. I just wanted to pay for my lifestyle and be able to go to the dentist without worrying if I had enough money to pay for the appointment. 

I was running away from the 9-5 way of working and being. I had already been working for 10 years at that point, and no longer believed in false promises of promotions, pay rises and personal growth that corporations sold.

So I decided to go it alone and do this freelancing thing everyone was whispering about in the office. I still remember what I felt when I walked out of my job on my final day. 

I’ve only felt that feeling once since – when I retired all my offers and launched my 1:1 coaching program in September last year. I felt so free and light and warm and giddy. I was elated. 

I’ve felt so many things in the years since. And even on the days where I’ve Googled marketing jobs on Seek, I’ve never once regretted my decision. I really do believe this is the career for me. And I say career because I expect this job I’ve created for myself will continue to change and grow alongside me. 

That’s why I love running my business so much; it allows me to show up as my whole self in a way that no other job ever could. 

So to celebrate this incredible milestone, I want to share with you the 10 biggest business learnings I’ve had to date.

I really hope I’ll be able to look back at this podcast episode in another 10 years and have a whole new list of learnings to share with you. 

Let’s dive in.

Lesson #1 – You need to think and act like a business⁣

Repeat this mantra to yourself before you make any big decisions. “I’m a business. What would a business do?”⁣ When this really clicked for me, how I spent my time and connected with my community changed. I stopped looking for a leader to follow and instead claimed my own expertise. I stopped shying away from selling and invited my clients on a journey with my business. 

Lesson #2 – Your business should support your lifestyle (not the other way around)⁣

At the end of 2017, I owned more matching tracksuit sets than I did jeans. I spent 12 hour days sitting on my butt at my computer and I was earning more than I ever had been. But I was unhealthy, miserable and didn’t enjoy my financial security. Money is important, business goals are important but so is enjoying your work. Don’t put your life on hold to build your business. If you’re not careful, you’ll lose sight of why you started in the first place.⁣ 

Lesson #3 – The fastest way to burnout is to do everything yourself⁣

⁣One of the stories I have carried from my childhood is that I need to do everything myself because I can’t depend on anyone. While this drive, independence and self-sufficiency has served me well it’s also been detrimental to the success and growth of my business. I resisted hiring team members, outsourcing and working with a coach because I could figure it out on my own. 

If you’re working through a similar story, know that you can’t have a sustainable business without leaning on others. You’re not saving yourself time and money. Instead, you’re keeping yourself stuck in a cycle of doing that is not sustainable and will lead to burnout.⁣

Lesson #4 – If you don’t have a periodic “what the hell am I doing moment”, then you’re not growing

It’s accepted in the online space that periods of hustle can be worth the trade off. But if you want to continue to thrive, you should prioritise periods of growth, self-reflection and learning too. 

I have “what am I even doing moments” weekly and sometimes daily. And soon after I gain a sense of clarity and calmness that always leads to more confidence, content engagement, client breakthroughs and joyful sales. So lean into and schedule this work. Don’t avoid it.

Lesson #5 – You don’t need to compromise your values to make money⁣

You don’t need to justify your worth, allow your boundaries to be crossed, and forget your values to get ahead. In fact, the opposite is true.⁣ This is a lesson that so many of us have to learn the hard way. 

And I understand why: the bro marketing rules that we’ve been taught have been created through a capitalist and patriarchal lens that doesn’t see or acknowledge our humanity. 

That’s why business owners and creators who identify as BIPOC, LGTBQ+, neurodiverse, disabled, fat, poor and non-conforming see success when they break the rules and put their humanity first. So don’t follow the values and ethics set by celebrity entrepreneurs. 

Take the time to define your own so you can make marketing decisions from an aligned, informed and empowered place.

Lesson #6 – There is no such thing as the “right time”⁣

I’ve learnt that when I hear the phrase “I don’t know if now is the right time” that my client needs to sit with that feeling and find its root cause because this is a sign that something is going on on a deeper level. 

So when you feel this way, I want you to ask yourself what is really holding you back from acting. Is it a mindset issue? Are you unsure of where to invest? Do you need to understand the process?⁣ 

And once you have your answer, you’ll be able to make a decision and take the appropriate action. Sitting in the “right time” zone doesn’t serve you, your business or clients in the long-term.

Lesson #7 – Business will make you address your trauma⁣

Your business is an extension of you. So it pays quite literally to know your blind spots and knowledge gaps. And accept your strengths and weaknesses. When you do this, you can create an aligned, ethical and profitable business that allows you to show up in your zone of genius, reach states of flow and allows you to make your vision a reality. 

I see so many business owners experiencing trauma and being retriggered because they are trying to make parts of themselves smaller to fit in and work in ways that hurts them. Business isn’t all puppies and unicorns but it isn’t supposed to be all rain clouds and tears either.

Lesson #8 – Your business needs to stand for something 

I talk about more clients, money and freedom in business because this is what you tell me you want. But I know, because they tell me, that this isn’t the reason why they choose to work with me and have me as a partner in their business. They are looking for a coach that sees their vision and will support them to achieve it on their terms, their way. 

Yes, it’s important to build the know, like and trust factor but your business shouldn’t only be focused on you: your income, your holidays, your offers. That’s why I lead with my why and why I wish more business owners would lead with their why too. Income claim marketing’s time has passed. 

Lesson #9 – You need to believe your success is inevitable

What success looks like differs person to person but the business owners who continue to build and grow a thriving business all work on their mindset. There have been many moments in my business where I had no idea how to make my idea work, but I always knew if I really wanted to do it, I would make it happen. 

And that self trust and confidence has helped me navigate some tricky times and low periods. There’s nothing wrong with having a plan B, changing your mind, or stepping away from your business. The most important thing is that you believe in yourself.

Lesson #10 – There is no right way to run your business

The most profitable business structure, offer, marketing channel and so on is the one that you love having and doing. This is a lesson that I keep relearning at every stage of my business. Everytime I have leaned into what felt right and true to me, big things have happened in my business and life. 

I always take this as an important reminder that following people’s exact footsteps or defaulting to the way things have always been done doesn’t guarantee success. Our goal shouldn’t be to emulate. Instead it should be to carve our own path. 

So these are my biggest learnings from 10 years in business. I hope that you’re able to take away something for this episode that’s going to serve you in your business this year as you create your own aligned, ethical and profitable business.

If you’d like to share your biggest business learning with me, send me a DM on Instagram. My handle is rachel_kurzyp. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks so much for tuning into today’s episode.

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Resources and Links:
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Instagram: @rachel_kurzyp
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Hi, I’m Rachel
I support multi-passionate business owners to create aligned, ethical and profitable online businesses.

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