Jul 01, 2021


How many times have you promised yourself that your business life will be much smoother just as soon as you’ve got over that hump in the road that’s right ahead of you?

I’d be willing to wager a pretty large bet that you have. In fact, you’re probably telling yourself that about something right now, as you dig deep for your next big push. And I know this because I’ve done the same thing, many times.

And I’m writing to you right now to share some bad news and some good news about that, having had to dig deeper than ever before over the last few days.

The bad news: growing your business might increase your resources, but it doesn’t protect you from complexity and challenge.

The good news: that new complexity also brings with it the clues you need to shift your business to a much higher level than you otherwise might achieve.

I’ve just been reminded of this in no uncertain terms this last week. And I’d love to share with you what happened, the actions I’m taking, and what I think we all can learn to help us survive and even thrive even in the difficult weeks…

As you might know already, I’ve achieved some really significant growth shifts in my business over the last few months. I’ve increased and diversified the ways in which I work with smart women like you, and scaled my business to help many more amazing women start or scale their business – especially important for pivoting and protecting business amid all the current restrictions.

And my business communities have really grown: my new membership programme is full and flourishing, spaces in my Smart Woman’s Mastermind are in demand, and there are now more than 4,500 like-minded women thriving in my free online Smart Woman’s Business Hub community.

I tell you all this not to brag (though, you know what, I AM very proud!). It’s important context, because this next level of business success has attracted a whole new set of challenges.

In the last week alone, I had my work plagiarised (and, yes, that is a fancy word for ‘stolen’), saw a spike in fishing posts in my online community, struggled with some contractual issues, and even found someone overtly trying to poach my clients away from my high-level mastermind.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I got to the end of that crazy week and made a non-negotiable appointment to spend the evening decompressing with my lovely family and a very friendly looking bottle of wine.

I am only human, after all, and burrowing into the sofa for rest and comfort is absolutely fine…as long as it’s only a pause.

And then I got right back into business-owner mode. Just like you do when you have walls to break down and problems to unlock.

I spent some time focusing on the immediate actions I could take: bouncing legal issues to experts, cleaning up social media, engaging positively with my loyal communities, and even reaching out to the people who had crossed the line of professionalism (even decency).

Then I gave myself some time to ponder what had happened, to understand people’s motives.

…Why would someone take my social media posts and cut and paste them word for word on their own page, even using my illustrations? Why would someone re-record my videos, and repackage my lead magnets, and try to pass them off as their own work? Why would someone think it acceptable to fish for leads in the groups I’ve worked so hard to create and curate?

…Do they think that because other people do it, it must be okay? Perhaps they look at me and think that I am successful enough to not notice or not care? Do some people think it is not theft if it is lifted from the internet?

…I wonder if these same people would think it acceptable to do the same to a book or a song….to re-record or re-print all that content and put their own name on it. Does that sound far-fetched? I don’t see how it’s different.

Honestly, the only conclusion I can reach is that some people, whether through laziness or envy, simply would rather take other people’s work instead of learning how to do those things themselves.

So, having pondered this, I made three promises to myself (and, indirectly, to you):

1. I accept that some people will behave badly BUT I will choose always to think well of people and expect the best from them. That’s my default mindset, and I’ll deal with exceptions to that rule as and when I’m forced to.

2. I will protect my business – just like everyone should take care of their own livelihood. I know some people say ‘just let it ride, no one can be quite like you’ – but you know what? I bet they wouldn’t say that if someone ran into their shop and stole the cash register. Stealing content night be harder to monitor than that, but it isn’t especially different in principle.

3. I will always do everything I can to make my professional communities safe for the people who choose to be in them. I don’t take their time or commitment lightly, and I will actively keep the space safe and free of fishing bait!

All in all, I think I’m in a stronger place business-wise than I was before my dreadful week. I’ll choose to feel grateful for all those challenges, tough though they were at the time.

Above all else, though, I want to use these experiences to share a crucial message with you…

Whatever stage you’re at in your business, you’re always going to face challenges.

When you are starting up, those challenges might be about finding clients, making enough income, trying to do everything yourself. A couple of years in and you’re probably trying to transition and scale your business. Throughout, you focus diligently on the day when you achieve certain markers of success, such as a big audience, successful products or high-impact content.

And then you will achieve those things – and those very successes will lead to new and different challenges, just as I have discovered this week.

But you will rise to those challenges because as your business grows, you grow too. Your resourcefulness increases, and your determination and grit create an even greater force to reckon with. You know you’ve come too far to let anything or anyone derail you now.

More importantly, your ‘why’ and your vision will become more important than ever. The more you keep sight of these, the more resilient you will be when your business faces inevitable challenges. And if you haven’t already, it’s really worth investing in getting those things nailed down.

There are so many things you can – and should – do to make sure your business is not just successful, but also sustainable in every way. And that includes being ready to weather the storms.

Because if you’re ready for them, you might find (like I did) that some of your worst weeks can be reframed to become some of your best weeks.

Let me know how I can help.