What I have learnt about starting a business

I know what you are probably thinking. What has this got to do with health and wellbeing. Well……read on and you will find out ????

In 2014 I started my first business. Affinitas Capital, a wealth advice business servicing high net wealth individuals, professionals, and business owners. On day one, I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew. I remember sitting there in a huge empty office on Pirie Street here in Adelaide, behind my desk with a laptop, two screens and a printer….thinking…s$%t, now what? I had no strategy, no plan, but what I did have was a very clear vision of what the end goal was and what lifestyle I wanted to create. Did it go perfectly to plan? NOPE! Then, in 2019 I had the opportunity to establish John Purl Coaching. A business that I still run today. This evolved from my passion for health, wellbeing and seeing others attain success, but unlike Affinitas Capital, it was a success that was much broader than just money.

I sold the wealth advice firm with a vision of creating a business that actually aligned with my values, my passions and enabled me to live a lifestyle I enjoyed. Over the last nine years I learnt so much about starting a business, growing a business, even selling a business. But what have been my key take aways?

  1. Be clear on your purpose from the outset. Why are you starting a business? To create a lifestyle? To build a legacy? To ‘do it better’ than others in the industry? To make lots of money? Growing a business is very challenging at times and when I was unsure what my ‘why’ was, it was incredibly hard to navigate those difficult and stressful times.
  2. Understand what your living expenses are and reverse engineer what income you need as a minimum to satisfy that. This also helps understand how much of the business cashflow can be re-invested back into the business.
  3. Do not go it alone! Partnering up is really beneficial if you can. I know this, yet I still run solo ????. Having a partner does really help with sharing the load, challenging ideas and ways of thinking, bringing together complimentary skill sets and simply reducing the feelings of isolation.
  4. Bring external professionals into your journey. Accountants, lawyers, bankers, marketing/design. Outsource what you can (within budget) to ensure things are done right from the outset, and your time is focused on the tasks that build or generate income.
  5. Have a strategy. Working with a mentor or business advisor is crucial to putting in place a strategy that navigates you towards a meaningful end goal.
  6. Your health is crucial to success. Every day comes with a challenge. Some more significant than others. How we navigate those challenges falls back on our mental and physical state. Our sleep, our energy and our clarity of thought are key to achieving ideal outcomes.
  7. Establish an advisory board. This sounds like something reserved for big ASX listed companies. Well, it isn’t. This is about getting people around a table that want to see you and the business succeed. People that have various skillsets and backgrounds. People that can challenge ideas and ways of thinking, plus introducing new ideas. This is about not going on the journey solo and having a group of people to help you GROW!

Business comes with its challenges. For so many it is a rewarding journey…..but, it’s not something to be stepped into without a very clear roadmap and end goal. I continue to learn every day and I maintain my focus by working with a mentor that challenges my thinking and keeps me focused on my vision and end goal. Maintaining my health is vital to me delivering my best to clients. They rely on me, my knowledge, my energy, and I never want to let them down.


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