My £10k mistake...

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In this post, I share the back story as to how I spent £10,000 to outsource the creation of an all-singing, all-dancing website, only to end up with a 5-page web 'disaster' that didn't attract ONE client and the 4 lessons I took away from this.

Entrepreneurship has been such a great lesson in human behaviour, and this story is possibly one of my biggest lessons so far.

Let's roll back 10 years.  I was younger, slimmer and much more trusting than I am today.  ;-)

I was transitioning from my occupational health business which I had started back in 2004 (in immunisation, infection control and stress management) into my new found passion; Coaching.

Having always been an organiser and people manager, I was loving the shift to what had once been a passion of mine in my teens - creativity, design, colours, emotions, caring, serving and getting ecstatically lost in the pursuit of my higher calling.  

Somewhere amidst this wonderful transition, where I doffed the corporate robes and felt most comfortable in bare feet and jeans, I also momentarily lost my smart, savvy business head that had helped me create a highly successful business post-corporate.

In my journey for personal and entrepreneurial development, I started following many successpreneurs and listened to their guidance and wisdom.  One common theme was to be bombastic and push through the mental and emotional barriers to business growth. 

I understood that - I did it aged 29 when I set up my healthcare company and raised over £85k to fund startup costs. 

This time was harder for many reasons... partly because I didn't have those same funds.  The crash of 2008 had seen me carrying the cost of bad debt, and I simply hadn't recovered my losses at this point.

But, never one to be beaten, I listened to several guru's who told me I should create vision boards, outsource everything and go 'All in'.

So I did just that.

I came up with ideas and created a list of people who I needed to help me create this business.

Rhonda Byrne was trending at the time and when I met a web developer who knew about 'The Secret' and eloquently conveyed his understanding of my need and how he could help me.  I believed it must be fate.

I looked at a couple of projects he said that he had been involved in, met his business partners and since there was local government funding for such projects, I was able to get a 50% grant on the project.

Result!

So I went to the first of many meetings.  

Whilst I knew what I needed, and technically I am sure that they could deliver, there was a huge gap in the skills needed to create a website and the content I would need to give them to create such a site.

Every meeting was driven by them sharing what they were going to do, yet weeks went by and further meetings with NOTHING to show... nada!

The online business model was merging, and I saw others come to the industry, and within months they were soaring.

And I was still there without a website and clients.

I dabbled with creating a WordPress site.  Wix and Squarespace weren't even born yet.

After over 12 months of patience (from me) and platitudes from 'them', I gave them a simple brief. 

"Build me a simple 5-page website that looks like 'this' and does 'that'."

Finally - they did what I asked, and I created a site that was muddled together and didn't even convey what I did in an authentic language.

I felt flat.

The website felt flat.

It wasn't what I had paid for, and every time I looked at it, I felt frustrated... not with the developer, but with me.

  • Why hadn't I been direct and demanding in my brief?
  • Why did I agree for them to deliver such a poor product?
  • Had I been duped?  After all, I am supposedly a coach, NLP practitioner and highly intuitive... right??

After much reflection, I realised that I had been playing into the role of what I thought a coach should be... kind, considerate, forgiving, non-judgemental ... Oh, I could continue!

So after a whole lot of soul searching, I decided to take 100% responsibility.

I also decided that my years in corporate and also 7 years as an entrepreneur needed to be rolled into my new role as a coach... not discarded as though I never lived that season in my life.

What a great lesson.

I worked with a coach to look at how I could embrace my skills and personality traits and make that into a business.

I realised that I missed the buzz and pace of corporate.  So I started coaching senior teams and that lead into coaching CEO's of FTSE 250s.  

I realised I loved the operational side of the business - so I coached on that.

I also loved the psychology of leadership - I coached on that too.

I also loved helping leaders balance work, life and relationships... and that was where the magic happened.

I used these challenges to permit my clients to own up to their own mistakes... and some had made mistakes into the £ millions.

So whilst I made a mistake by losing my discernment, I used it for the greater good.

I made the choice to become the UK's leading mindset coach.  That's when I went 'all in'.  I had found my thang!

The lesson was that 'MY mistake' and yours too, are the biggest gifts, if only we receive them in this way and choose to help them raise our game.

My take away from this is...

  • Do your due diligence and hire your partners well
  • Set clear expectations and timescales and review regularly
  • Hold your partners accountable throughout their project (or employment)
  • If you know that someone isn't going to produce, end their project and find a better replacement

If you are a business owner, entrepreneur and benefited from this - please comment below and share with 2 others.  

Big love,

Yvonne Williams - The Mindset Coach

Helping Coaches to Create Successful Businesses without getting lost down the rabbit hole of processes and tech

 

PS  - If you are struggling with delivering on projects and would benefit from support from a professional business coach.  Why not book in for a FREE 1-hour coaching session, by booking HERE.  

It may be time to stop faffing and start sharing the experience and skills that are so needed.

 

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