Today my guest blogger #24 is Amanda Johnson who tells it her way. Amanda and I have very different lives and yet so much in common from life in the military (me as a child and her as a serving officer), but mainly our values and GSOH. It is a joy to read her here in her own words.
Nearly 2 years ago I started working with an awesome Business Coach/Mentor – Judith Morgan and today I want to talk about that journey and one of the major lessons I learnt from working with her – running My Business My Way. You might be wondering what has prompted me to write this post. Well, Judith is running a blogfest on her website where she has invited 52 people to write a blog about running their business their way and how that manifests itself and then posting that blog on our own websites. Judith will then continue the dialogue by replying to each post.
I have been a reader of Judith’s newsletter and blog since March 2014 and I am an avid listener of the podcast Own It – The Podcast which she delivers weekly with Nicola Caincross and love how her core values come across in everything she does. She is also not scared to try something new.
In early March 2016, when I was trying to answer some tricky questions in my business I sought out Judith and I remember telling her how nervous I was about potentially working together, but I really wanted a “safe place” to talk about building and growing my business. I knew that Judith was and still is what I describe as having a “sage business brain” and what I loved most about her, is she is not involved in the politics of the VA industry or out to stroke her own ego. Her focus is totally on her clients. She is a true #GoGiver when it comes to her clients.
Judith and I shared so many similarities in our backgrounds that she got me and my military ways and our Wealth Dynamics profiles complement each other – I am a Lord and Judith is a Creator. Lords need Creators in their lives and so she was the right coach for me.
I read an article in Inc Magazine in early 2017, that shared these great reasons for working with a Coach or a Mentor and they are critical to that relationship being a success:
- To brainstorm brilliance
- To bounce ideas off
- To be accountable
- To receive guidance
During my time with Judith I did exactly this, albeit I didn’t quite label it as neatly with four bullet points or labels although I probably wish I could. It is well known that nobody is smarter than all of us collectively and so working with Judith allows you the space to brainstorm brilliance and bounce ideas around, without feeling under pressure or overwhelmed and because she has an awesome memory and vast experiences across a spectrum of businesses spanning 40 years, her expertise is effectively excavating personal values and beliefs that you never knew existed and linking them to your desires and intentions. It’s powerful stuff.
Judith never judges but what she does do is help you to be accountable, she acts as your accountability partner and challenges you to strategize and develop your goals while aligning your efforts toward achieving them.
The final bullet above is that working with a Coach/Mentor is about receiving guidance, I was thrilled that Judith wrote a book in 2017 called Your Biz Your Way. This book answers 52 business questions and its like receiving business coaching sessions in bite-sized chunks. You can read the book from cover to cover or dip in and out when you need a dose of Judith’s common sense. I have done both options – I read it cover to cover and now dip in and out when necessary! As a result of having worked 1:2:1 with Judith and because I listen to the podcast each week, I can even hear her answer the questions talking to just me, although she is now recording them too for those that prefer that style of absorbing information.
But why am I sharing all of this with you? When we run a business we all think that we need to do it this way or that way or according to a set of instructions. What I learnt from Judith is you really don’t, you don’t have to conform. You can run a business in the way that is right for you and you alone, in my case one that fitted with my family and she helps instill the confidence to do just that. OK, it needs to be safe and legal but, other than that, if you can market it, sell it and someone will buy it, then that’s good enough if that is what you are looking to do.
The only person that can define success for you is you so stop trying to be someone else’s definition of success and do what is right for you. I always knew this, but didn’t run my business like this because I felt I needed to conform.
As a Virtual Assistant Coach, lots of new and aspiring Virtual Assistants tell me they want a successful business and that they need to run their business according to someone else’s rules. I start my response with the question “What does a successful VA business look like? What are you trying to achieve?” It’s your business and you do it your way, tailor your success to that. This is one of the reasons I adopted the mantra “Be You Be Awesome” and use it across all of my communications with clients.
At the end of 2017, I wanted to sit and write a blog post that effectively rounded up my year just as I had seen others do and I had done in the past but for some reason I could never quite pull the words together to create the post; I procrastinated over it. I believe that procrastination is the Universe’s way of saying no or, on occasion, not yet. I started to beat myself up but then I took a moment and thought what would Judith say… and the outcome of this pondering, well I decided not to write the blog post!
Was my business successful last year? Let me answer it this way, I re-evaluated what was important to me, achieved the things that were important and moved the stuff that was no longer important to another year or mentally ditched them. So yes, it was successful and a lot of that is as a result of feeling abundant and open to running my business my way. Thanks Judith!
Read Amanda’s article in full and as she intended HERE at her own website: VACT.co.uk.
Thank you so much for being my 24th Blogfester and delivering it precisely on deadline as promised. No surprises there, not to us disciplined types! It was lovely reading your story. I had no idea so many of these were going to sing my praises quite so much but thank you for that (delivered with a modest cough and a faint blush). What a great way to start this Wednesday morning and I shall really look forward to sharing this piece onward to my readers, followers and listeners. As we say on the podcast, you have fuelled my fire.
What’s really inspiring to me is how you have taken the brilliance we brainstormed and run with it and how it informs your work with those you too are helping to create their ideal businesses. Look how we make a difference in the world, by making it easier for others to do what we have done when we are just a few pages ahead of them in the manual!
My favourite bit is your list of four bullet points. I didn’t know those specifically, not like that. I am going to make full use of them because they describe precisely how I love to work with clients, so thank you very much for that input. In fact, I am going straight to Canva to make a graphic out of that! Once an entrepreneur…
It is nothing short of amazing what this blogfest is bringing up, again as you say. We are smart collectively. x