34 Lessons in Business I’ve Learned in the Past 34 Years

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I turned 34 yesterday and since 2020 has been a major year of learning, I figured why not find 34 lessons I’ve learned in my 34 years here. 


These lessons are ones that I’ve learned about business over the years. I grew up on a dairy farm and have 3 degrees in accounting, so I’ve been involved in the business world forever pretty much. 


Lesson 1: Someone can always use your help.


There is always at least one person out there who can use your help. (There’s actually usually more than that, but you just need that one person.)


Lesson 2: You do what you do for a reason.


Whether what you do in your business is a passion that you’ve always had and now you just share it with the world, you aren’t a person who is meant to work in the corporate world, or any of the other slew of reasons why people have their own business, you have a reason why you do what you do. 


That reason is your reason and it doesn’t need to be justified by anyone. 


Lesson 3: There are always going to be people who judge you.


It really doesn’t matter what you do. There are always going to be people out there that judge you. 


It’s almost like they don’t have anything better to do. 


But their judgment and opinions about you and your life don’t matter. Just do you and keep being you. 


Lesson 4: Ask for the sale.


The whole build it and they will come is a lie. 


You can think people are going to come to you and maybe they eventually will. 


But you still gotta get out there and ask for the sale. If you don’t ask for the sale and let people know what you have available for them, then no one will really buy. 


Lesson 5: You will have those die hard followers that always follow everything you do.


This is what a tribe is. And you should definitely aim to have those 1000 true fans. 


But it’s not an overnight thing to get here. It will take time to build it up, just like anything else in your business does. 


Lesson 6: You don’t need to go broke doing what you love.


You can run your business on a small budget until you start really bringing in the money so that you can invest in more things. 


You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars before your business is generating anything. 


Lesson 7: You really don’t need to buy tons and tons of courses.


There are so many courses and programs and products out there. 


Some are really good, some are crap. 


Do your research and try to avoid the impulse buys. You’ll end up with several copies of the same thing and even wish you never spent the money on certain things. 


Lesson 8: Don’t ask your clients what they think they want.


People really don’t even know what they want most of the time. 


If you want to ask them what they want, just give them 2 options of things you already plan to create and sell in your business. This will tell you which one you should create first. 


But when you go to your clients and potential clients and just ask them a blanket question what do you want me to create, you won’t get any answers that you even remotely want and it really won’t help you at all. 


Lesson 9: Get used to hearing the word no.


Rejection is a huge part of being in business. 


A lot of people are going to tell you no before you start hearing yes. 


There will be people that will never say yes to you, but that just means they aren’t your person anyway. 


Lesson 10: Get used to writing.


There will be a lot of writing. A LOT! 


If you don’t like to write, then you better have the budget to hire someone who can write for you. 


No you don’t have to write blog posts for your business, but you do have to write sales pages to sell the stuff you create, you have to write emails to your email list, you have to write captions for social media posts. 


Lesson 11: Get used to showing emotions in your writing. 


People buy based on emotions more than anything else. 


For me, this was one of the hardest lessons to learn. I’m blunt and to the point. 


And this also meant, I had to get in better touch with my emotions personally. This could be something for you too. I still have trouble with this most of the time. 


But people want to see how you can bring out their emotions and this will make them buy more. 


Lesson 12: Learn how to tell stories.


Stories are something that people can always relate to. 


The stories don’t even need to be extravagant, just ways of showing them how to learn. 


Plus, humans are nosy and stories help to satisfy that nosy need. 


Lesson 13: Learn how to feel your own emotions as a human.


Most of use learn how to bury our emotions deep in our subconscious instead of actually feeling them. 


But your life will change so much when you learn how to feel your emotions. Ask me how I know this. 


Lesson 14: Know that you will have haters.


It doesn’t matter who you are, you are going to get people who hate you and what you do. 

Just learn to roll with it and let it go. 


The bigger thing is that they have more problems than just you. They just use you as a scapegoat for what is really going on for them. 


Lesson 15: Working part time in your business while always being at the beach, doesn’t exist.


Yes you can work part time in your business, that won’t be a problem. 


But always being at the beach and working from the beach won’t happen. 


You’ll get sand everywhere. You won’t be able to see the computer screen. 


Lesson 16: You can run your business from anywhere.  


When you run an online business, you really can run it from anywhere in the world. That won’t be any problem. 


But you’ll also have to get used to timezones and always be figuring them out. You may have to explain to other people why you aren’t always available at the drop of a hat to just be anywhere.

 

Lesson 17: Get all the money stuff in order from the beginning.


You have lots of money stuff in your business, but the most important ones are: 

  • Have a separate business bank account
  • Set up your bookkeeping and get it done regularly
  • Have a paypal business account

The money stuff is very important and can actually break your business if you don’t have it set up. (Need help getting your money stuff set up? Get my Bookkeeping Toolkit and make sure that all of your money stuff is set up correctly.)


Lesson 18: You have to work on your mindset stuff daily.  


Mind monkeys are a bitch. They will creep up when you least expect it. 


But when you work on your mindset, you can learn to quiet those mind monkeys. 


The work on your mind monkeys is a daily journey though. I used to try to skimp on this work. But kept having tons and tons of setbacks and basically had to start over from the beginning almost every time because I didn’t think I needed to do the work every day. 


Lesson 19: Find a biz bestie.


You will have best friends in your life. But you also need to find someone who can be your biz bestie. Someone who gets the whole online business thing. Someone who gets what you are doing. 


This is the person who you can go to celebrate those little wins, can vent about the things that didn’t go right and can even share your ideas with so they can tell if you are just crazy or you could be on to something. 


Lesson 20: Not everyone in your life is going to understand the whole online business thing.


Yeah, I know, we live in 2020 and the internet is where everything happens. 


But to so many people, the online business world is so foreign and they really just won’t understand it. 


Don’t try to force the issue with them. You don’t have to continue to explain your business and your life to those who don’t want to expand their knowledge and be open minded. 


Lesson 21: People relate to you when they can see you (i.e. on video)


The know, like and trust factor is very real. And people will relate to you a whole lot more when they can see you on video.


There’s a reason why Instagram stories and reels and Tik Tok are so popular. 


People love to watch what is going on and see your face. 


Get over the fear of being on camera and just show your face. 


Lesson 22: Use analogies to help people relate to the topic you are teaching


When you explain in analogies, the people who didn’t understand something when you explained it the first time, will most likely understand it with the analogies. 


It’s just human nature. 


Comparisons are very relatable. Help your humans relate even easier. 


Lesson 23: People won’t understand why you spend so much time building your business


There won’t be that many people in your life who will understand what you do and why you spend so much time on the computer building your business. 


Don’t waste your energy explaining it, because they most likely don’t even want to understand it. 


Lesson 24: You don’t have to be Instagram perfect all the time


You actually don’t have to be Instagram perfect at all. 


Like I said above, people are inherently nosy and want to know what is happening. 


Yeah the perfect pictures may get a lot of likes and love, but the not so perfect ones get a lot of love too. 


Lesson 25: Just because your posts don’t get a lot of love doesn’t mean no one is paying attention


You may write the best captions and lessons for someone to read, but get few to no likes or comments on the post. 


But people are still reading them. 


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made sales from a post that got absolutely no love on it. 


Just keep sharing your stuff. People are reading it. They just don’t always hit the like button or comment. 


Lesson 26: Don’t count being on social media as work time


Even if you do spend some of your actual work time in facebook groups interacting with people, don’t count that as working. 


When you count it as working, then you’ll start to count spending your hours scrolling the feed as working too. 


And since you spend hours scrolling the feed, you somehow just lost all of your time to work on your business and have no idea where the time just went. 


Lesson 27: Take breaks regularly during the day


It may be addicting to sit at your computer and just keep working because you are on a roll. 


And then all of sudden, it’s 10pm and you haven’t eaten anything all day, are still in your pajamas from last night and you don’t even know what day of the week it is. 


It is okay to take breaks. Your business won’t fail just because you take a break, get up, go outside for a walk, make yourself a good meal to eat. 


Your mental and physical health is also important. If you don’t have both of those, then you won’t be able to keep running your business. 


Lesson 28: Carry a notebook with you all the time


There are people out there who say that you should carry a notebook with you all the time. 


Some people say, I’ll just use my phone. Umm, for most of us, the phone doesn’t work when it comes to ideas. 


You’ll get ideas at the most random time. And if you don’t spend the 30 seconds to write it down, you will forget about that idea. 


Then in an hour or 3 days from then, you’ll beat yourself up because you never wrote it down. You said you would remember it. 


Lesson 29: You may create multiple products that don’t sell at all


There may be things that you create in your business that don’t sell at all. 


There may or may not be something wrong with it. But usually it’s because you didn’t promote it. 


Just get back up and create that next thing. 


Do you know how many products that so many of the big brands out there have created that no one really liked? 


Business is an experiment to figure out what works best for you and your true fans. Keep going and keep finding the things that work.


Lesson 30: Business is just one big experiment


You are always going to be experimenting and finding things that work and things that don’t work. 


If you aren’t willing to keep experimenting and learning, then your business won’t be that successful. 


Lesson 31: Just take a breath


Some days, you’ll just have to step back and take a breath. 


Give yourself 30 seconds to just close your eyes and breath deeply. Things can change pretty quickly in those 30 seconds. 


Lesson 32: Love yourself through all the ups and downs


Self love is the most important love that there is. 


There will be lots and lots of ups and downs. The journey of entrepreneurship is not easy one little bit. 


But if you love yourself and continue to show yourself the love everyday, you’ll always make it through to the next day. 


Lesson 33: There will be bad days 


There are always going to be bad days. It’s a part of being human. 


The only thing you can do is just get back up and dust yourself off. 


Things will happen that may even make you want to quit. That’s okay, just start again tomorrow.

 

Lesson 34: Just be you. 


There are going to be people out there who want you to be someone you aren’t or someone you don’t even want to be. 


But they aren’t the one who has to go through what you do every day. 


Let people have their opinions and judgments. Just do you. Just be you. 


34 Lessons for 34 Years


Life is going to knock you down sometimes. But the most important thing is to always just be you. 


Be the person you’ve always wanted to be. 


Love the life you have and just allow it to keep getting better and better. 


And also in honor of my 34th birthday, I’ve giving 34% off my courses until October 2, 2020 at midnight Eastern time. Just use the code birthday at checkout. 


Here are the courses you can get the discount on: 

Bookkeeping toolkit

Pricing toolkit

The Quickstart Guide to Master Your Pricing

Your Money Mindset & Your Pricing

How to be More Confident with your Prices

Profit Plan Workshop


Or get $100 off a 1:1 session with me (normally $297) - we can work on any of these things in your business and you can buy as many of these sessions as you want. 

About the Author Clarissa

Clarissa Wilson is a financial strategist and online educator who holds two master’s degrees in Forensic Accounting. Also creative and spiritual, she is an intuitive empath and introvert. Clarissa is the host of The Prosper + Profit Podcast, where money conversations occur on a daily basis -- as she believes that money shouldn’t be a taboo subject. After growing up on a dairy farmand learning to work hard for money, Clarissa awakened to a path that allowed wealth to flow easily to her. Clarissa currently lives in Pennsylvania with her two cats.

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