My best piece of business advice
Welcome my darling Pretties to our Beyond to the Dawn of Business podcast for pretty empowered female entrepreneurs.
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I’m your host Dawn Beth, the Owner and Founder of Beyond the Dawn digital business brand and agency. My coffee is hot and my eyelashes are on, so we are ready to go!
I want all female entrepreneurs to feel empowered, supported and loved, and given the opportunity to really connect with other female powerhouses in the industry, in a way in which we lift each other up and inspire each other, and take care of each other in ways that we have previously not seen in business, possibly, listen to us waffling on about business and life our families, and our mindset, our financial goals and our freedoms and our autonomy. And what we hope for the world and what we hope for you, what we hope for ourselves, and all of the things that we’ve experienced through this very colorful journey of becoming successful female entrepreneurs and digital business owners.
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In today’s episode I answer a question asked to my by one of my Pretties. So what is my best piece of business advice? We look back at the best piece of advice given to me when I started out and then the best advice I can give to anyone in business.
Hi Pretties, I’m here again with another mini bite for you. Today I want to answer another question that I got in our amazing free community, the Social Pretties Facebook group from our amazing pretty Tanya and Tanya has asked, What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given. And what advice would you give yourself when first starting out in business? This is a great question, thank you so much Tanya, for submitting it I had to really think about this, to understand that feeling of what was a game changing moment for me. And I think this piece of advice that I was given, I don’t think it was directly given to me I think it’s something that I consumed as I invested in coaches and I invested in mentors. I was amongst peers, but there was a day and I don’t even know who the person was who first told me this advice so I apologize in advance to whichever one of my amazing mentors, it was that actually landed this on me. But somebody said, it might have been even in training or something like that. Somebody said that when you’re considering your pricing. You have to take a step away from trying to place yourself in the market based on what your competitor is charging. Now for somebody who has worked in retail, all her life. I had a really strong indication of what it is like to compete in the market right so if, if somebody doesn’t come to your shop to buy that product, they will shop around and they will find a better deal elsewhere. And I know how to appreciate value. I know how to appreciate quality because of the retail that I was involved in.
More specifically, more directly was the luxury sector right so you’re not going for your bargain bin situation there, we’re not going for we can beat any other price type situation. So I already had kind of the first step into that idea, but at the same time there’s still a super awareness of where you are in the market, what other people are charging, what is an industry standard. And I think a lot of the time people think about hours, like they trade their time for money, that’s, that’s the concept that I was given by one of my coaches, people trade time for money. And when somebody said, you can’t actually like, look at what other people are charging and then decide your pricing based on that. It really gave me that moment of looking, inwardly, to what I have, what experience level I have what qualities I have what qualifications I’ve gained, what areas of business, I maybe weren’t particularly qualified or educated or experienced in, and gave me kind of like this leg up to figure out where I was, like, where I was in the business space in the entrepreneurial space. It’s not about hierarchy, it’s not about ranking, it’s about what you bring to the table right? Back in my drama days, you wanted to be a triple threat. You wanted to be able to sing, dance and act people’s socks off. If you could do all three. You were almost guaranteed the opportunity to work on great projects, and you definitely were going to be in that top layer of performers who get to do what they love every single day. Because no matter which element was required from these sectors you would have talent in that area and I remember that one of the reasons I went to university, and chose a degree that was heavily involved in dance was because I felt like dance was my weakest area despite being a ballet dancer from a young age, I didn’t feel like it was my strongest area. And I wanted to be a triple threat I wanted to be an all rounder and this gave me that exact same feeling of self inner reflection, where is my weakness where is, where are my strengths, what is it about me that makes me different to the next guy, and completely disregarding what the market believes your value is, what other people are charging and and doing that kind of thing in terms of your pricing. It’s a little bit different depending on what it is that you do that has to be said.
Niche does make a difference in terms of pricing. I can’t turn round you and say that everybody can just charge whatever they want. You do have to have your own formula for figuring out how things should be priced, and it has to have something to do with what you deliver. How much of yourself you give in that delivery, what that information then does for the next guy, and how valuable it is. So for instance, those of us who support and mentor and coach and train and teach other businesses. We know that when you learn with those, the information that you gain for us. That is not just going to serve you today, it’s actually going to become a pillar or a pinning in your complete business structure, and in 20 years time, when you were a multimillionaire, we will have been part of the structure, the infrastructure that you created at a time that was crucial for you to get to that stage in the future. And that’s why the pricing structure within that can seem sometimes like we just, just picked a number out of the sky but it’s always considered. It’s always to do with the expertise that are held, the results that can be provided, of what, what the longevity of those services are to the people who received them. That was a massive piece of advice for me because before then I would have totally and utterly undervalued myself horrendously repeatedly, I would have just completely undervalued myself forevermore. And the problem is when you do that, it’s not just about undervaluing your own potential. It’s also about how you can very easily not reach people who need you. One of the things that I think is really really important is that if you’re going to take on the responsibility of supporting people you’re going to go to all the trouble of building your own business, and knowing who your ideal clients are and what it is that they require from you and how you can help them. Then you have to take on the responsibility of the people who haven’t found you yet like you have to know that there are more of your people out there, there’s definitely more Pretties out there that need me. And it’s my responsibility to be available and easily found for them, not the other way around, it’s not their responsibility to go dig in to find me I should be, I should be, you know, around the corner where they are, and when they come searching it should be very, very easy to find me.
So I do think that there is something to be said in that way, when you take on the responsibility to support people, and your advice that you give to other people. It will be different you know, it will take change depending on who you are or what your businesses are, what niches you’re in and what industries you’re in. That was definitely a piece of advice that hit home for me. So what advice would I give myself when I first started out.
Okay, so my first piece of advice I would give myself when I started out would be that no matter how big your heart, no matter how professional your conduct, no matter how ironclad your contracts in terms and agreements. And no matter how you know, essentially clear and well thought out and thorough, your communications with clients, you will sometimes get a bad egg. That’s what I would have told a younger El Dawnio, you will sometimes get a bad egg, somebody at some point will buy something from you will fully completely understand what it is that they’re doing, will be on board, to have that situation, and sign all the contracts and maybe even, you know, pay invoices, and everything will seem fine. Then they will still occasionally there’ll be somebody who tries to do you over. I thought at the beginning of this journey I had one experience with, I want to say potential client but actually I shouldn’t call this person a potential client, I actually did an awful lot of work for her. Anyway, this particular person who we will not name. She gave me a real education in actually how people don’t mind messing other people around which was, it was news to me. And I thought, at that point I understood that sometimes you will just get, you know circumstances and situations that are slightly out of your control.
There’s been a lot of development within my business. Throughout me and my entire team, and agency, in terms of expectation management, and allowing for there to be a great communication between you and your clients. We’ve gone some way in my business, and, you know, through my team and also within the agency to create expectation management, to allow for things like miscommunications or just just small things that happen when you’re in contact with your clients quite regularly, and there’s lots of, lots of communications and everybody’s busy and it can just be a bit that way. But even if you have all of that good stuff so even if you have qualified your leads and this is something that my pretties and I discuss constantly qualifying our leads, making sure that the people that we’re working with are ready to work with us, making sure that they are in the right, you know, mind state to be able to take on the information, all of these fantastic things, even if you get all of that right, you’re gonna get somebody at some stage, who is going to behave in a way that will maybe hurt your heart a little, maybe will even anger you slightly. If there is a level of lacking of professional conduct which often, you know, the case with these situations that’s exactly what it is. And you can’t take that on, emotionally it’s nothing to do with you as a person, even if they try to make it about you as a person. It’s not to do with you, somebody who has made that decision, feels okay with not behaving in the right manner or not honoring contracts or payments or ghosts you after an initial discovery call any of those kind of shady situations that just, they become part and parcel with this whole business situation but at the same time you know, you can’t let them penetrate your emotional state. It’s nothing to do with you. It’s nothing to do with what you offer, it has nothing to do with the quality of your work. It’s just a numbers game. The more people that you service the more clients that you have, the more opportunities you have to speak with other people. Occasionally, you think you will have qualified everybody to the absolute, and that you will know everything you need to know, and they will be a wolf in sheep’s clothing and you won’t find out until it’s too late. And my suggestion when that happens, it is just to ensure that you have a process in place to protect yourself as a company to do whatever is required for whatever the situation has entailed, and to not spend any of your energy on it. You don’t need to worry about that stuff unfortunately it happens, but you do not have to spend hours, agonizing over emails or, you know, worrying about what the next stage is going to be, if you need to take somebody to court or take them to court, let’s just do it and don’t worry about it. If you need to let it go for your own sanity. Let it go, you know, this is, this is a choice. There have been plenty of times, when we have had a minor situation happen or something happened, and it’s been less energy focused for me and the team to just let it go. Take it as a learning experience, change something in our process, but then again there is the other side where there has been, there has been times where we have made the conscious decision that we are going to honor our paying clients, and those that do conduct themselves in the right way, by not allowing somebody else to kind of do us over. And those are the situations where we will obviously make different decisions depending on the situation. Now that sounds really severe, and it almost comes across as a bit like something to be worried about. The thing is when you’re starting out in business you don’t know what that feels like. So giving myself that advice, a younger version of the entrepreneurial Dawnie that advice. That’s important because I remember the first time it happened to me, I was devastated, I was so emotionally caught up. I took it really personally, I didn’t understand, it was awful. And now when things like that happen and you know I’m really lucky. It’s incredibly rare, super, super, super, super rare, considering how many clients we service and how many people we are in contact with. It’s like a ridiculously low percentage, but it is something that you, at the beginning, possibly aren’t aware of you don’t know happens and you can really waste a lot of time, energy and emotions worrying about that kind of stuff. I do wish somebody had come to me and said write Dawn these are the things that are occasionally going to happen. These are amazing things you’re going to love, love, love everything about it. And then every now and then, this dodgy situation might happen but you’re not to worry about it at all. It happens to us all, and just go ahead and go forth and keep, you know, being wonderful and doing what you need to do with your business without worrying a moment longer. So yeah, that’s, that’s the advice that changed me like a really great piece of advice, business advice that changed me. And the piece of business advice that I wish I could have gone back and given myself. Hopefully they will be helpful to you too.
Of course, we would love you to join us in Social Pretties to continue the discussion. Have you ever had a situation where you would have liked to have given yourself advice that could have prepared yourself for better what was it, come and let us know. And I would love to know what your best piece of advice was, so it’s been wonderful again, Pretties, I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini bite and I will see you next time.