What I learnt this week… always innovate

It’s been a busy few weeks for me and I haven’t been as consistent with publishing my weekly roundups as I’d like to. I’m really sorry if you’ve been patiently waiting for another roundup to pop up in your feeds.

Recently, I’ve found it challenging to balance work and self-care, but I’ve learnt that taking care of myself must come as a priority! Certain ‘non-essential’ tasks have to wait. But no matter what, I keep writing notes about my learnings, so I can share them with you later on. Here we go…

Are you an entrepreneur?

There has been a lot of talk about entrepreneurship recently. It’s the new cool thing, a huge trend, which is why almost everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and have their own business. However, I’ve realised that being a freelancer, running a small business and being an entrepreneur isn’t the same thing!

More and more people leave employment to set up on their own as freelancers, following their entrepreneurial calling of independence, flexibility and passion. Unfortunately, the number of people who truly succeed on their mission to building a sustainable business for themselves is still very low! Why?

The entry point has never been so low and literally anyone can start a new business these days. It’s also becoming more and more ‘cool’ to be your own boss. That doesn’t mean it’s the right decision for everyone.

Always innovate

What makes true entrepreneurs so unique and elusive? They always innovate, they’re always on the move trying to be one step ahead of everyone. It’s their drive to constantly learn new things, try new stuff, experiment and improve.

For a long time, I haven’t thought of myself as an entrepreneur. Yes, I’ve set up my own freelance business, yes I’m having amazing people working with me and my business can survive a short period of time without me in it, but I still didn’t see myself as an entrepreneur. Then I started thinking about all the things I’ve mentioned above – what truly makes an entrepreneur?

The constant drive to move forward, try new things, experiment, learn and innovate is something absolutely necessary if you work in social media. You have new features, new tools and even new platforms popping up each day. You need to watch what’s happening out there and be ready to completely rework your strategy overnight. That’s one of the reasons why I love social media – the constant change.

Isn’t it tiring, time-consuming and incredibly frustrating? Yes, of course it is. But it’s also exhilarating! It also means that you can experiment with new things and that there’s almost no right or wrong solution. That excites me!

What’s my point? Change is the only constant in our lives (in business and in social media especially) and we need to embrace it.

You’ll never be 100% ready

Talking about change and constantly trying new things, there are still things that really scare me and I’ve avoided doing up until now. For example, I’ve been shying away from video for a long time. I was telling my clients that they need to be using video in their marketing, but I wasn’t doing it myself. I kept telling myself that I’m not comfortable to be on camera, I didn’t know how to use editing tools, I didn’t have the right room setting, I didn’t have the right kit with mics and lights… and so on and so on…

Then a few people that I admire and look up to said something that finally opened my eyes – you’ll never be 100% ready and without ever starting you won’t have a chance to improve. Mind-blowing! I always knew that practice makes perfect, but I was so afraid to make the first step that I was stopping myself from ever getting better.

Most of us have a fear of failure rooted deep inside us and we will avoid certain things just because we might make a mistake or make a fool out of ourselves. That’s why many people fear video or public speaking. That’s why we’re taught not to take big (or any) risks and work hard on improving our weaknesses (or at least this was my case).

People don’t want to see you fail

Over the past two years, I’ve learnt that people are generally pretty nice and they want to see you succeed. Knowing this helped me be more comfortable trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone. Slowly but surely doing new things that stretch my comfort zone has become second nature to me. It’s still scary trying new things, but I’ve learnt that after I’ve done it, it wasn’t that scary at all! You should give it a try too, if you want to grow your business in this day and age.

So what did I do? Earlier this year I started recording simple videos. It was just me talking to the camera, no editing skill required, no fancy tools needed. Just press record, talk about something I’m passionate about, upload, press publish and wait for the reaction. Wow, have I been amazed by the positive and supportive feedback from everyone!

Once I got a bit more confident doing videos like that, I started teaching myself to edit videos and improve my production value. It took me a long time to be able to listen to myself, but now I can watch back my recordings and edit them if necessary. Baby steps!

Book Corner

Today, I don’t have a new book that I could recommend to you in the Book Corner. I’ve been mostly listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos in the last couple of weeks. I’ve also started watching more LinkedIn videos and one particular person never fails to grab my attention.

You might have heard about Rob Moore before. I read his book Money: Know More, Make More, Give More (and shared it in the Book Corner) last year. Recently I’ve also started listening to his podcast The Disruptive Entrepreneur (and I highly recommend listening to the episode with Seth Godin). All thanks to one of my connections sharing one of Rob’s LinkedIn posts a while ago.

I like people who aren’t vanilla, who are more like a Marmite instead. They’re bold, opinionated and people usually have love or hate relationship with them. From Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, Lilly Singh to Rob Moore – one of the things that these people have in common is their audacity to be truly themselves, even if it means that some people won’t like them!

Anyway, I wanted to share this video with you:

It might not be your style, but I truly love watching and learning from people who stand out of the crowd!

P.S. Looking at the paragraphs above also makes me think that I need to look for more bold and inspiring female entrepreneurs – any recommendations? Give me a shout about your favourite female leaders!