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One Year in Business! Here's my top tips for success in your first year!

Ailish Flaherty | 06 October, 2021

            One Year in Business! Here's my top tips for success in your first year!

Wild Heart Marketing is ONE!

12 months ago when I registered my business I had no idea what was ahead of me. 

Although I had been toying with the idea of setting up a business for years I had never taken it seriously. There was something holding me back from committing to actually doing it. 

I'm not sure what changed, maybe it was the fact that covid had changed the way we work or the fact that I had spent the first lockdown painting and redecorating our home and I needed a new project! :-) But finally I decided that this was for me. 

I have never looked back. I am so thankful I took the leap and made Wild Heart Marketing official. 

At this point, in October 2020, I had one paying client and no idea where the rest would come from. 

I also had lots of skills and knowledge in many different areas, so naturally I offered EVERYTHING! :-) (I learned that lesson the hard way.)

I feel I have grown and learned so much about myself on this journey. I've learned what I enjoy doing most, where my natural strengths and talents lie and the kind of life I want to live. I'm pretty sure figuring that out is half the battle in finding happiness but hey I'm no guru. 

Because of these learnings I have restructured my business and work in a completely different way to how I started. 

I have met the most amazing business women. I didn't set out to only work with women but it has happened naturally that way. And I am delighted to say that all of my clients are badass women who are making their own success and serving people in the most wonderful ways. 

Here's my top tips for your first year in business:

Set up systems

Get your systems in place from the get go. Even if they're not perfect you can always improve them as you go and grow. The more streamlined you can make everything you do, the more time you will save. Every minute counts when there's no clock-in machine. 

Every business needs different systems, but for me, it was important to set up a way of tracking my invoices and expenses. I also needed system for tracking the work I was doing with my clients and the time I was spending with them. 

Systems not only make life easier for you but by getting them in place early on it will make it possible for you to start outsourcing certain business tasks when the time is right. 

Schedule your week

I can't emphasis this enough.

Allocate time to work with or for your clients, if you're a client facing or service based business. Track the time you spend on certain tasks so you can better estimate how long it will take you next time you do something similar. 

Allocate time to work on your business, social media, accounts, new ideas concepts whatever it may be. Depending on what I'm working on for my business I may allocate a whole day just to Wild Heart Marketing. Mostly, I just ensure that each day I take one action step for my business that will take me closer to my goals. 

Allocate FREE time. Make certain times during the day time for you. And make it non negotiable. Your down time is what allows you to recharge. You cannot run on empty. 

To make scheduling easier, make weekly or monthly tasks habitual, plan them for the same day and time each week/month. Eventually it will become second nature. 

My client and good friend Annmarie Murray is the queen of creating habits and rituals and she has excellent ways of planning your work week. Check her out on Instagram here.

I have tried every software programme under the sun for scheduling and I always come back to pen and paper. I use a simple tear away pad weekly planner that I keep on my desk.

Here is a printable weekly planner that I created that you may find helpful. Download planner.

Work on your mindset

Having the right mindset is crucial for success. I constantly worked on my mindset throughout the last year and if it wasn't for that I'm not sure that I would be celebrating today! Do some inner work and discover what holds you back. 

Releasing old limiting beliefs will give you a new sense of freedom and allow you to reach your potential with confidence. 

There are lots of exercises and healing you can do to work on your mindset but hiring a mindset coach will propel your progress. I highly recommend Pauline Rohdich. 

Identify your creative space

Even if you are not working in a typical "creative" industry, running a business takes creativity. You are creating something from the ether. So find where you need to be or what you need to be doing to get your creative juices flowing and ideas formulating. For me it's when I'm on my own walking or driving. 

I love listening music and podcasts and audiobooks but I have realised that when I'm not plugged into someone else's product of creativity, I create my own. 

So here's what I like to do, there's a beach that's a 20 minute walk from me. I listen to something on the way there but when I get there I sit and be present and listen to the ocean waves. Then on my walk back home and I allow my imagination to run wild and create solutions or ideas for whatever I need. 

We're all different, so what works for me may not work for you. You may be in your creative zone when working with other people and bouncing ideas around together. Maybe you sit in meditation or active breathwork.

Become aware of what it is for you and create the space and time to do it on a regular basis.


Join networking groups, both in the real world and online. Make new friends. Make yourself visible in those groups, befriend the leader(s), volunteer ideas and advice, share stories and things about you. 

Allow people to get to know you. When people like you they will want to work with you. 

The people you connect with may not necessarily end up being clients, but perhaps will refer someone to you or invite you on their social platforms etc. 

Worth noting, if joining a networking group, make sure you like the group and that the members are aligned with who you are and what your business stands for. 

Define your brand

Please do this. Trying to win over customers and clients without a business identity or a brand message is hard work. It doesn't need to be. Get clear on who you are and what you do as soon as possible. And I understand if at the beginning it's not clear. (Need I remind you of me offering every service under the sun!) 

Every business needs an identity and a personality. Figure out yours and what your key messages are and everything else in terms of marketing and sales will fall into place. 

Check out my brand creation programme here.

Last but not least....

Accept that nothing is ever perfect

If you think that I did every point above religiously each day without fail then your wrong. There were weeks when my schedule went out the window. There were days when I my mindset was far from positive. And so on.

Avoid expecting perfection from yourself. Allow yourself to be human. Don't give yourself a hard time if things aren't going to plan or if you lack the energy to do what you intended. 

My client and good friend Oonagh Naughton shared a video on Instagram this week that illustrates what happens when you are giving yourself a hard time. She calls it "being on the crazy train" check her out here. 

To conclude ....

Needless to say I have not got everything figured out yet, but I am learning and growing everyday and I am ecstatic to be on this journey.

12 months ago I had one paying client now I have over 20 fantastic women that I work with. Some of whom I have linked above. They range from life coaches, bio-energy therapists, breathwork coaches, luxury product producers, hypnotherapists, health and wellness coaches, physiotherapists, reiki healers, strengths coaches and business coaches. 

Being able to work with people in these industries has benefited me far more than financially. I have learned so much form these women and have taken on a lot of what they teach in my own lifestyle. For that I am eternally grateful. 

Tonight I shall have a glass of bubbles in honour of an enjoyable 12 months in business and toast to many more. 

Ailish x


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