10 Lessons I’ve Learnt Since Growing MiGOALS for 10 Years
Posted by Adam Jelic on
2020 may have been a tough year for all of us, but it’s also a special one for us at MiGOALS - it marks 10 years in the business! For me, it’s been 10 valuable years of smashing goals, building a global community of Goal Diggers, and living our manifesto of building the life we want.
As an entrepreneur, I often get asked about the best lessons I’ve learnt while running a global stationery empire. Here are the 10 lessons I’ve learnt throughout my years of building MiGOALS to what it is today.
1. Be patient
We have all heard the saying that good things take time. In a perfect world, our idea would be an overnight success or see exponential growth in 1-2 years. Some do, but the reality is most don’t - good things really do take time.
I started MiGOALS in 2010 as a passion project. Making money or creating an entire lifestyle stationery brand were never on my mind - I simply wanted an actionable diary for myself that would help me achieve my goals. The first 5-6 years saw MiGOALS as a side hustle while I worked full time elsewhere to support my family and pay the bills. Admittedly, it’s only been around 4 years that I’ve worked on MiGOALS full time. But that’s okay, because that experience taught me that patience is key and that doing the hard work for the long haul is paramount to creating a sustainable business.
2. Pursue things that you're passionate about and have a compelling vision
I know it sounds like a broken record, but passion is truly essential if you want to succeed. If I wasn’t passionate about MiGOALS, it wouldn’t be what it is today. Running a business is not easy.
Your personal and professional life will often butt heads. Cashflow ebbs and flows. There will always be naysayers saying your idea won’t work. You’ll start to subconsciously compare yourself to others in the industry. And that’s just scraping the surface. The way to get over all of those obstacles is to let your passion drive you. Use your vision as your North Star and never deviate from it. I remind myself daily of my ultimate vision and all of the exciting things I haven’t yet started or accomplished yet.
3. If you can do something that also helps others, do it
There is a mantra that I remind myself of everyday:
To love what you do, feel that it matters and make a living from it. What could be better?
Sometimes we get into business with the simple goal of making money, which to be fair, I'm not totally against. But personally, the feeling I get when I see our products having a positive impact on people's lives and at the same, making a living from what I am doing is the ultimate Win-Win situation. For me it’s the Triple Crown - I get to do what I love, I get to help people and I get to make a living from it.
4. Surround yourself with right people
Team work makes the dream work! Cliche, but it’s true. Business and life is so much more special when you have the right people around you that support and believe in you. Build that team, build those networks to the best of your ability, and the journey will be so much more rewarding.
5. Back yourself
For me, MiGOALS has been a journey of self-belief. In the beginning, my main goal was to see just one of the diaries I created in a retail store. I remember at the time I thought of how amazing it would be to walk into a bookstore and see a MiGOALS diary on the shelf. Once I achieved that, I moved to the next goal, and then the next goal, and over time, I have built a certain belief in myself that it's possible to do big things and make an impact in this world.
6. Create your own opportunities
Hope is a wonderful thing. But when it comes to opportunities, I quickly realised that hoping they would just land in my lap because I thought I had a great idea or product was setting myself up for failure. Yes, the universe does work in mysterious ways. You might have days where golden opportunities land at your feet. But more often than not if you don't ask, you don’t get. If you don’t do the work, then you can’t expect to reap the rewards.
7. Get good at the basics
Having an idea and finally seeing that idea come to life is a wonderful process. It’s one of the best moments of being an entrepreneur. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and forget the fundamentals to making a successful business. Cashflow, operations, staffing, people management - these are the fundamentals you need to remember. A quick lesson when starting a business or building a brand from the ground up: make sure you build a solid foundation and get good at the basics before it’s too late.
8. Get clear on your definition of success
Time and time again, you will be tempted by external forces and other people’s successful lifestyles. It’s important to define your definition of success early on, and also what is important to you and your business. Getting caught up trying to constantly compete with others never works in the long run and you get to a point where it will never be enough. The reality is that no matter what stage you're at, there will always be someone else who is smarter and better than you. Don't waste your time competing with them, instead compete with yourself to simply be better each day.
9. Prepare to be uncomfortable often
A little reminder that nothing worth having comes easy. Personally, the times that MiGOALS have grown the most were times when we ventured out of our comfort zone and pushed ourselves physically and mentally. The reality is you can't expect growth if you don’t step outside of your comfort zone. Remember "Nothing changes, if nothing changes."
10. Be a good human being
In business and in life, sometimes we get told you need to be a certain way to succeed and climb that ladder. Yes, the ability to be firm, make hard decisions, be a little selfish sometimes and even ruthless are important personality traits. But never forgot the power of kindness and empathy. I have learnt that you can get far ahead by being a good human being and caring about people. You don't always have to be an arsehole to Get Shit Done in life - pun intended!
FYI - Book a goal setting workshop with me!
Hope you enjoyed reading this article, it was a great one to write. If you’re looking for more help on goal setting and increasing your team’s productivity, I can actually run workshops on this very topic. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s set something up!