5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started In Business

What’s on Your List?

I started my first business over 25 years ago at a time when there was very little support for entrepreneurs.  A mentor wore a blue suit and red tie, business consulting was in the incubator stage and no one had ever heard of a coach unless it was part of a sports team.

Thankfully times are changing.

We now have many resources to assist with starting and scaling our businesses.  Many communities provide opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals for support and encouragement through networking, workshops and seminars.  In our digital age, there are also a number of on-line resources through courses, podcasts, video interviews and blogs on topics that will share stories to inspire great ideas.

When I am looking for a little inspiration or advice I often connect with another entrepreneur and get together to share stories.  Often a coffee, lunch or even a computer connection will revive the energy stores and encourage innovation and creativity.

Recently,  I was approached by an entrepreneur who asked me to join him for coffee.  The conversation was lively and we shared many stories of the challenges and opportunities we’ve faced as entrepreneurs. One of the questions he asked: If you had to share 5 things that you’ve learned over the years, but, didn’t know when you started, what would they be?

Here they are and in so specific order:

  • Being your own boss will at times be very lonely: regardless of the size of your team, you hold the responsibility for your company’s success.
  • Collaboration will open doors to opportunity –  create a strong network of colleagues who will become trusted advisors.
  • If its all about the “money” it won’t last – follow your passion and the money will then follow you.
  • Be innovative – listen to your customers; they will create new opportunities.
  • Never stop learning – life, long learning is not a myth. Include personal development in your budget. Upgrade your skills and nurture your creativity. It will fuel and inspire great ideas.

We agreed, one quality we all share as business owners: resilience.

We always look for the silver lining, creating solutions that will keep us moving forward towards our own definition for success.

With smiles and a few chuckles, we shared that with the support of our friends and family we often add courage to the list and we never forget to fill each day with gratitude and thanks.

Our parting comments:  Build and share your list, because we each create our own definition for success.

Trish Tonaj is a Certifed Master Coach, Author, Mentor and Speaker offering keynotes and workshops on how to amplify your success. Trish is the founder and guest blog host for shareyourstories.online a portal in support of mentorship and the entrepreneurial spirit.  We invite you to share your story!  https://bit.ly/37N3XQw



An Acronym to Remember “O.O.P.S.”

A Signpost for Leadership Self-Care

A recent discussion with a friend, colleague and business partner Sharon Gilmour-Glover was about sharing thought leadership and acronyms that create strong visuals. With Sharon’s permission, I share her unique phrase and what it means to me:

O.O.P.S. = Owning Other Peoples Stuff

I think this is brilliant, on so many levels it creates a visual that provide us with an opportunity to take a moment and think about our own relationships.

How many times have you found yourself in O.O.P.S.?

Every business leader has at one time or another been in a situation where we are empathetic to our teams “stuff.” It is easy to jump in and provide alternatives or solutions to assist when someone is experiencing a challenge or excited about an opportunity.

This acronym is especially effective when we are trying to describe our challenges with the situation. There may be times when we begin to internalize the problem by trying to find a solution. I’m sure, in recent weeks, we have all found ourselves trying to navigate a number of challenges that are best described by O.O.P.S. These events present themselves from time to time during any business or personal situation and at any given time.

How many of us will find this acronym helpful as we begin to transition back to work?

O.O.P.S. is a great reminder that we need to be proactive with our own time, energy and expertise. Empathy is a wonderful leadership skill, one that often fosters the respect and guidance from our colleagues and teams. It creates healthy boundaries and a friendly reminder that we need to be especially careful to nurture decision making and solutions based thinking in times of stress and transition.

I am going to create a sticky note and put this on my computer as a friendly reminder… everyone has their own process for processing information and that each individual has their own stress meter that will guide them towards a solution. It is healthy to have a visual reminder when we find ourselves in
O.O.P.S. with friends and colleagues in the not too distant future. This is a great signpost for leadership self-care!

Trish Tonaj is a Master Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Author,
Mentor and Speaker. She is the founder and guest blog host for
shareyourstories.online a portal in support of the entrepreneurial
spirit and sharing great ideas. Join us and share your story!