12 Things Learned In My First 5 Years Of Business
As of today, I’ll be closing the doors on my first business, my gym.
You can read here my reasons.
To say it’s been a difficult week would be an understanding.
It’s come with a lot of emotions and reflection.
Which is why I want to take this opportunity now and share with you, 12 things I’ve learned over the past five years in life and business.
To be fair, it could a thousand but these were the first twelve that came to mind — so I see these as the most important.
I’m merely a beginner and have much to learn but these 12 things have been life changing for me. ⠀
𝟭. 𝗗𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗯𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗹𝘆𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺𝘀. 𝗜𝗳 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗴𝗲𝘁𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱, 𝗴𝗼 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗶𝘁.
All I wanted to create a place where people could feel comfortable and confident. A place where people could really change their lives.
Originally that was as advanced as my business plan was — but I was excited about the prospect.
“LIFT changed my life”
“LIFT has been my saviour”
“It’s the only gym I’ve ever felt welcome”
“You get that almost family-like, comfortable vibe without snotty looks”
“You’ve put a lot of hard work, thought and effort into making a good environment for people like me”
Many measure success by what car is on the drive or how many bedrooms a house has.
I measure success by achieving my internal desire — to help people live a better life.
When you’re sat in front of someone and they explain, with tears in their eyes, how you’ve helped change their life.
This to me is success.
Look for something deeper than money, fame or materials…
… find something that fires you up inside — something to get excited about.
𝟮. 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻’𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝗶𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗲!
Whether it’s a partner, coach or mentor. Don’t do it alone.
You need someone with more experience supporting you with decisions.
You’ll spent a lot of time in your own head and it gets very messy up there at times.
Ease the burden and discuss your ideas with someone who shares your vision.
I spent my first few years like a stubborn mule. Thinking I could do it alone.
I made many mistakes which cost me a lot of money, but more importantly it cost me good relationships.
𝟯. 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝘂𝗽 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘀𝗶𝗺𝗹𝗶𝗮𝗿 𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗺𝗯𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀.
Supportive networks are essential.
Whether it’s online or offline, spend time with people of similar mindset.
It will inspire you to do more.
Give you confidence to be more.
It will help you understand everyone has their own shit to deal with and that it’s normal.
𝟰. 𝗔𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗹𝗹 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲.
Whether it’s time or money, any investment into your own development will bring more return than any capital ever will.
After all, you are the pivotal point in whatever you do in life.
It makes sense then to invest in your biggest asset — which is you.
Hire a coach
Listen to podcasts
Never stop investing in yourself!⠀
𝟱. 𝗕𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳𝗶𝘀𝗵 — 𝗕𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆
We start businesses and we neglect our own health.
We have kids, and again, we neglect our own health.
It’s all too common.
Yet both our businesses and our kids depend on us.
What happens then, when our health deteriorates because of neglect?
Our businesses and our kids suffer the consequences.
It makes sense then to be selfish — take time out and prioritize physical and mental health.
If you’re at optimal health, you’ll perform at an optimal level.⠀
𝟲. 𝗗𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗯𝗲 𝗮𝗳𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝘀𝗸 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽.
For the first few years at least, my ego got in the way of progress — I was afraid to ask for help.
Thought it made me look weak and incompetent.
When actually, it’s smart and demonstrates strength and leadership.
What I come to realize was, a true leader accepts their weakness and seeks help from others, more suitable and stronger in such areas.
Or sometimes it’s just asking for a helping hand to ease the burden.⠀
𝟳. 𝗟𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗴𝘂𝘁.
When I’ve gone against my gut feeling, nine times out of ten it ended badly.
You can’t predict the future, but your natural instincts aka gut feeling, just knows.
It’s one of the only things you can really rely on.
If something doesn’t feel right, regardless of how impressive it may first appear, trust your gut. ⠀
𝟴. E𝗺𝗯𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝗹𝘂𝗿𝗲. 𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲𝘀’ 𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗼𝗻.
Failure isn’t only inevitable, it’s essential.
It’s whether you learn from failure or allow it to pull you down, which is the difference.
Watching my kids grow up has been my biggest realization of this, especially Kobi (my youngest)
Time and time again, since the day he could stand, he’d fall over — still does.
Yet, time and time again he just laughs, gets up and goes again.
At times I’ll watch and be overcome with inspiration at his ‘couldn’t careless attitude’
Kids have a resilience that us adults lose over time.
We worry too much about what other people think and become paralyzed by the fear of failure.
The fear of looking foolish in front of others.
Yet failures develop character and strengthens resilience. ⠀
𝟵. 𝗗𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗹𝗲𝘁 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘄𝗮𝘆.
From day one of opening I’ve had comments, opinions of which in the early days affected my judgment and decision making — much to my detriment.
Since closing LIFT I’ve had the following comments;
“Ah mate, I’m sorry shit hit the fan”
“Will you just get a proper job now?”
“Made your millions and now you’re selling up?”
People will always make assumptions based on what they see at surface level.
Difference is, only you know what’s inside your heart.
Don’t allow other people’s opinions or comments dictate your thoughts…
… and certainly not your actions.
Regardless of how crazy or impossible things look to others, this should only give you more reason to do the thing you love.
You create your own happiness.
Don’t allow other people’s opinions drain your energy.⠀
𝟭𝟬. 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗼𝗻. 𝗗𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗹𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝘆.
12 years ago, I sold my house and quit my job to pursue a degree.
My reason was simple;
After missing most of my education through school, for various reasons, I wanted to be smarter and create myself better opportunities in life.
I started my business six years later without an ounce of business knowledge.
Which is why point 2 is really important.
Six years later I’m choosing to close this business and move on to the next stage in my life.
The way I see it, I’ve just succeeded at completing another degree, only this time in business.
Granted, it was a lot more painful and certainly harder work the Uni
Only now I have more skills than I could ever have imagined 12 years ago.
Skills that I have now for life.
Skills that will only improve and allow me to provide a better quality of life for my family.
For me, it’s not about having a Lamborghini or ten-bedroom home with an indoor swimming pool, not yet anyway (lol)
It’s about making a difference in the world and passing on what I learn. Helping others.
𝟭𝟭. 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗶𝘀𝗻’𝘁 𝗮 𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗲. E𝗻𝗷𝗼𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗷𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗲𝘆.
At the beginning I wanted it all. The business and the lifestyle.
Problem is, I became so fixated on the outcome I was missing the most important part.
Since I’ve started to slow down, I’ve come to realize something;
I have more now than I could ever imagine…
An awesome wife and fantastic kids.⠀
A loving family who will do anything to help us out.⠀
A lifestyle where we get to enjoy each other’s company.⠀
A business where I get to do the thing I love… EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Is it perfect?
No, of course not.
But this is the beauty of enjoying the journey.
It allows me to step back and appreciate what I have already.
And then make plans to improve the future.
𝟭𝟮. 𝗧𝗼 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗠ore 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲, 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗴𝗼𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗪𝗔𝗡𝗧 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲.
Is what you’re doing now, giving you everything you want in life?
If it’s not, change it!
But it’s only possible for you to make the change.
There’s a kid’s book, my favourite to date, and it’s called The Lion Inside.
I won’t spoil the story but it’s about courage.
There’s a part of the story where it says;
“If you want things change, you first have to change you” ⠀
I know, it’s a kids book. ⠀
But these books can hold inspiring messages.
I first read it to Arlo (my oldest) 2–3 years ago.
Around the same time, I started working on my own personal development.
And it’s resonated with me ever since.
It’s not an overnight transformation, but small steps over time lead to big long-term changes.
The point is, you’ve got to WANT to change.
You can’t just hope for change.
And with that, I take on everything I’ve learned and see where the next 5 years brings me.
I’ll probably even read this post back and think;
“Dude, you knew nothing back then”