Today marks the twelve-month anniversary of the launching of HooperHyde. To say that it has been a rollercoaster would be an understatement. What has this last twelve months taught me? Is there anything I wish I had done differently?
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 lift off!
1st May 2021 was the day I officially launched HooperHyde but I didn't tell most people until 1st June 2021. I had a friend who launched her business on 1st May and I didn't want to take away from her special announcement. Plus I already had clients so there was no desperate rush to tell anyone, or at least that's the narrative I told myself.
I'll let you into a little secret though. I didn't make the announcement straight away because I was scared. I was scared people would judge me and scoff at the very thought of me having my own legal services business:
"Ha, who does she think she is?"
"As if she thinks she can make it work?"
"She clearly has NO idea what's she's letting herself in for"
"Let's sit back and wait for her to fail"
Guess what though? I made the announcement and no-one said that. I received hundreds of supportive messages. Maybe some people thought it, but you know what? Who cares. What other people think of me is none of my business, right!
Anyway, launch happens and it's all champagne and roses, at least to begin with...
The honeymoon period...
My first three months in business were wonderfully romantic. I launched and everyone was hugely supportive. People wanted to have meetings with me. They celebrated my launch and referred their friends and contacts to work with me. I had a steady stream of referrals and work coming in. I felt so alive and excited and confident that I had made the best decision ever and that this was going to be easy. What was all the fuss about!?
And then my mojo left the building...
Fully. Left. The. Building. Took a hike to a far away galaxy. I hit the biggest brick wall ever. My motivation had reduced to next to none and every single thing I had to do felt like a massive mountain to climb. I didn't know which way to turn first, which task to tackle and all of those goals I had set for my first twelve months' in business felt a billion light years away.
There was no specific reason for the dip in energy. I can only put it down to going in hard initially and possibly burning out because I was working at a level, physically and intellectually that I just couldn't sustain.
I wouldn't say that I regretted my decision or ever considered giving up but this period was definitely a huge reality check as to what it actually takes to build a business from the ground up.
Hey mojo! I can see you over there!!! Come back!
The latter part of 2021 I started to find my feet again. I could see my mojo in the distance. It hadn't landed back on planet earth just yet but it was in orbit. I had learned one of the hardest lessons of business ownership which was make no assumptions about where your journey will take you and take nothing for granted. I knew that if I could just take a breath, regroup and recalibrate my goals I would be good.
I spoke with colleagues, friends, business contacts. I leaned on my network for support. I got my head down, reminded myself why I had started the business and what I wanted to achieve and got to work.
Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight.
Moving into early 2022 things started to fall back into place. What was the secret? There isn't one. However, one thing I will say is that I started to fully trust my instincts. This might sound a bit woo-woo to some but for me, it works.
Does this post on social media reflect what I want people to know about the business? Does taking this meeting with this person move the business forward or is it just a nice thing to do? Does this decision I made actually no longer make sense?
This has been a real turning point for me and my business. I don't have all the answers and I probably never will. However, I finally feel like a business owner and a confident one at that.
Business ownership is a real rollercoaster. Some days are fantastic, some days are mediocre and some days are well and truly shit. But that's the beauty of it. If you're not someone who can take the rough with the smooth then it's probably not for you. You have to be resilient and flexible, ready to take whatever challenge you are faced with on any given day.
Words of wisdom...
So that's it, my first twelve months in a nutshell. I don't have anything particularly profound or ground-breaking to say, but I will say this:
"We don't do business with companies, we do business with people" ~ Simon Sinek
People are at the core of everything you do when you own business. They are your employees, your stakeholders, your assets, your clients, your customers, your cheerleaders, your competition. Without people you have no business. Treat everyone you come across with respect, patience and kindness, because you never know when your paths may cross again.
The future of HooperHyde is bright and bold and colourful. We are attracting some great clients. People we really want to work with and we are excited about. We are a great team which is consistently growing. We are a space to truly thrive, both as an individual and as part of a team. Your success is our success and I'm bloody excited about what the rest of 2022 looks like.
Come along for the ride, it's going to be wild.