For most of my entrepreneurial journey, I thought I had to push outside of my comfort zone, by being bubbly, outgoing or eccentric to connect with people. But the truth is we all connect in different ways and there is no right or wrong way to approach business, life or your client experience.
I believe in a slower, simpler approach to doing business. One rooted in intention, meaning & purpose. I love finding the intersection where a business owner & their client meet, and design processes & systems around that connection.
THE aRT OF SLOW BUSINESS
After selling my first business over four years ago, I was tired, burnt out and not sure whether I wanted to start another business or if I should just get a normal job and work a regular 9-5. It seemed appealing, not having to deal with the constant hustle of growing a business, having normal working hours, a lunch break and dare I say it a weekend.
For six years I had lived at warp speed, sacrificing myself, my health and freedom. After carefully considering this idea I ultimately decided that I loved owning my own business, making a difference, and being able to live by my own guiding principles & values (Rather than having to answer to someone else's). The hope of having the freedom & flexibility to be there for my daughter, outweighed the benefits of a more ‘traditional’ and ‘stable’ lifestyle. BUT I did decide that it was time for a change. That if I was going to do this all over again, I had to set boundaries, and ensure that I grow at a slow and steady pace rather than rushing through the entire process and burning out along the way.
So I set very clear boundaries this time round, but most importantly I had a vision of what values I held sacred, what I was willing to sacrifice and what I was not. I had long discussions about my non-negotiables with my husband & Co-founder of M&T and started over with a fresh start. I have to re-look at these every now and then, when tempting opportunities come my way, or I feel scared and sometimes pick a path that isn’t 100% what I had planned, but the list of values are what guides me in all of our decisions.
This is when my interest in slow living started to develop. I had set these very clear boundaries and vision for my future, but I was still restless. Still always thinking that I needed more, to prove more. Deep down I knew that this wasn’t truly what I felt, but I started to realise that the way I was brought up made me feel the need to always over achieve to somehow prove that I was worthy.
My self worth was tied up in the success of my business and this was the root cause of me always wanting more. When I realised that this wasn’t truly me, and that my worth went far beyond the financial success of my business, was when I could truly adopt a slower pace of life, and start to want less. To see less as more, to realise that there is so much beauty in the process and the journey rather than the destination.
Now I’m not saying that making a profit is not important to me, obviously I need to be profitable in order to keep my doors open, but this is by far not the only reason why I am in business. My main goal is to help my clients create a lasting connection with their clients. To help them add value to their service and most importantly, create experiences that support & nurture both the business owner & client. I want my business to support my family, as well as the other small business owners I choose to work with. I want my clients to feel confident about the services they offer, and most importantly I want to create a business that has meaning and purpose behind it.
This is probably the hardest part for me because I really have trouble saying no, even if I really want to. Somehow I always feel as if I am going to let someone else down, and that it's somehow wasteful to turn down opportunities that come your way. But I am slowly learning that by saying no to one thing, I am actually saying yes to all the things that mean the most to me. For example, saying no to every opportunity that comes my way, means saying yes to my family knowing that we will still keep our weekends sacred.
Boundaries are also particularly important to me, as it allows me to see myself separately to my business and make more rational decisions, because my worth and value is not connected to my business.
I used to be obsessed with mapping out a clear path forward, and then being disappointed or dissatisfied when things didn’t go to plan. But now I realise, that while a destination is good to have, you don't want to let it make you have tunnel vision for your future, or not enjoy the scenery along the way.
By having a clear direction, and lifestyle you wish to achieve through your business it's a lot easier to navigate when you find yourself off the beaten track, or when an obstacle gets placed in your path. I am not so adamant about the way I think things should play out, and more focused on staying true to my values and principles along the way.
I often find myself getting overwhelmed by all the moving parts of my business and tend to feel exhausted, stressed & directionless. But l remind myself to focus on the process and not the outcome. It's easy to feel dissatisfied when you are always focused on the future. I see every task in my business as an opportunity. By reframing things, you can find joy in the most unlikely places. Instead of rushing through mundane tasks to move onto the next and the next, I savour them and enjoy them for what they are. I also set time aside for the work that absolutely lights me up - like writing a blog post, working on helpful guides & my email newsletter. I treat this work as something sacred - light a candle, put the perfect background music on and grateful for having a business that allows me to express myself in ways that are truly special to me and that nourish my soul.
Ok so I must admit, this is something that I am still working on and don't have it all quite figured out just yet. But I think the best way to have a slow sustainable business is to only do what is absolutely essential. The only way you can know what is essential is to know your core values. Just because you are “supposed” to do something, doesn't mean you should. I would say, try not to over complicate your process by having too many steps involved. Simplify and eliminate wherever possible. As I say, this is something that I am still working on, so I don't have all the answers figured out just yet. But what I am constantly doing is jotting down areas where I feel like work is hard, taking up time or not supporting my values. I will then figure out ways to simplify things and cut out areas that aren't essential or don't bring me joy.
My hope is that one day this becomes the norm for business & life, that people will start to appreciate “slow'' by not seeing it as a way of doing less, but doing a little less with a lot more intention.
And instead create an intentional business that feels joyful and in alignment with their values & purpose!
1:1 slow business mentoring session
INVESTMENT: £200 PER SESSION
If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the should do’s in business- and wondering if there is a more intentional, simpler way that brings you more joy.
My answer is normally, probably, if you are open to experimenting and some reverse engineering!
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You have a specific problem in your business that you would like help with.
You have asked your Partner or Mum for the 1000th time what they think, and you really just need a sounding board (or someone in a similar situation, with similar values) to talk to.
The online business world is filled with help, advice, and growth hacks. But you need help setting aside the should do's and find a solution that feels good for you!
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£200 PER SESSION
An intentional hour (via zoom) dedicated to you finding solutions that feel in alignment with your business goals & purpose
After our call, I will send you a recording so you can refer back to it, and can be fully present while we have our session. I will also follow up with a few action steps to help move you forward.
You also have the chance to book me for further sessions, if you want to discuss other areas of your business.
A questionnaire will be sent before our call, so I can find out a little bit more about you, your business, and what you need help with. So we can dive right in and get the most out of our time together.