This is not one of those business blogs full of things you “should” be doing. I am not a marketing or business expert but I have learnt some interesting things over the last 16 years that I wanted to share with you. I started my baby massage and yoga business, Blossom & Berry, in 2001 after having my daughter. I left my career as a city lawyer and retrained to teach local classes to parents. I had two more gorgeous boys (at one stage I had 3 children under 3 and a half) and allowed my business to grow organically and evolve to be the global success that it is today whilst enjoying my family. I have loved the whole process and have learnt so much. I completely love what I do. These are my top ten lessons from my experience of growing a business from scratch, on my own with no experience. If that sounds like you right now, have a read;
1. Learn from someone who inspires you
I love learning and I love being coached and mentored. It helps me grow and develop as a person and an entrepreneur. Find someone who inspires you and then arrange to meet them for a chat or book a coaching session with them. Learn from someone who makes you feel excited about your future. I love mentoring others. It’s my favourite part of what I do.
2. Don’t take on a teaching franchise and don’t worry about the competition
I am not a big fan of franchises for teaching based businesses because I believe that teaching is a unique and personal expression of yourself. Your success in teaching comes initially from my training but then completely from you and all your special qualities. I am not providing the energy and inspiration in your classes. That is all you, and as such I feel you should be fully rewarded for that. I do love working with others and collaborating however so I set up Blossom & Berry with everything you would get for a franchise but for free. Bad business sense? Loss profits? Franchises are just not my jam and I love individuality. My intention is to share baby massage as far and wide as I can across the globe by other teachers helping me. That’s my goal, not money so I love to be super generous and share away with all my students. It’s what makes me happy and how I evaluate success; through the success of my teachers. Also don’t sweat the competition either. You are uniquely you and there are more than enough parents and babies to go around. There will be parents who come to you and those who don’t. Just always do your best to provide the best service and support you can. That will be enough to make you stand out from the crowd. Or how about collaborating instead of competing?
3. Make sure you get ongoing support
This is vital. You need a tribe. You need to share and you need connect. Having creative and energetic people around you will have a huge impact on your business. Trust me on this one I know. Our Nurture Collective is designed to be your support online and in person when we meet up and get together. Through the Collective, businesses have grown and been supported and friendships made.
4. Connection is everything
Get out there and tell people what you do. Find others who are doing something similar to you and start to think of how you can work together. There is always someway you can help another small business. Don’t be scared to call people or connect. It’s where the magic happens. Be generous too. Giving creates connection, trust and good relationships.
5. Invest in things you find hard to master
I am not good at admin. I don’t like excel and finances make me feel out of my comfort zone. I could schedule more time for this or learn how to do it BUT I have learnt that you can’t be good at everything. Get rid of the stuff you hate to free up your mind and energy to do more of what only you can do and what you love. Promise me. I learnt the hard way on this. It is worth the investment. A virtual assistant is a wonder.
6. Constantly evolve yourself
Keep reading and keep adding things to your practice. It will help to make you an expert in your field and keep you excited about your practice. All the aspects of yourself will combine to give you your special USP. Teaching extra classes like yoga, toddler massage and pop up one to one workshops really took my practice to the next level. Be aware of how technology changes business. You need to know how your clients want their service delivered. Having some form of online resources is essential.
7. It’s all about the journey and not the destination
Don’t be in a rush to get to the finish line. Enjoy it all. I grew my business slowly and organically so I could learn as it developed and so I could enjoy my children growing up. Now they are teenagers, I am travelling and training around the world (I am writing this from a hotel in Malaysia where I am teaching and training). I can enjoy this knowing that this is where I always wanted to be and what I dreamed would happen but I did not lose anything along the way-like my sanity, my marriage or my special mummy time. I have now have over 200 teachers across the world, branches in Mexico, Dubai, Singapore, a charitable foundation and new ideas everyday. I love where I was then and where I am now.
8. Pause and step away
My best ideas always come from day dreaming on holiday or on long train journeys. When you step away and stop, your creative brain engages and that’s where all your most inspired and aligned ideas come from. Having no head space because it is full of “to dos” is the quickest way to lose your direction, clarity and mo-jo. Also running your own business is amazing but it’s also hard. It’s okay to admit that and realise that this is all part of the process. There is no “Ah ha” moment when everything falls into place. Things are constantly changing and you have to change with them.
9. Ask for help
I am bad at this but getting better. I love it when my students ask for my help. I get excited about solving their challenges. Asking for help brings you closer to people.
10. Only do it if its fun
It’s a cliche but life is short. Do things that excite you as much as possible. The energy you get from being aligned will give you extra sparkle in your business and personal life. I wake up happy pretty much 365 days a year.
If you would like to meet me for a chat to talk about any of this and to help you make a decision on your future direction teaching baby massage and yoga, I would love to connect with you. You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I am looking for more independent teachers to join me to spread the benefits of nurturing touch, massage and yoga across the world. More info is at www.blossomandberry.com
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve officially opened up enrolment for my flagship program – Baby Massage & Yoga and Mentorship
This offer is only available this January for 20 students only and won’t be repeated again in 2019. It includes over £1999 worth of free mentorship and additional courses!