Maria McGowan
Maria McGowan, Social Media Extrovert at SociableMedia.co
 

This week is a milestone for me and my company, Sociable Media. A year ago I decided to combine my training, experience and passion to form my own company and I have just successfully completed my first year of business. Over the past few days, I’ve been looking back and taking stock.

Social media is not location specific, however, I live in a Canadian province, Nova Scotia, that is home to rich history, innovation, and the Now or Never Report. I can’t help but recognize the experiences that have shaped me.

The old adage is that “everything happens for a reason”. My reason for starting a business was to challenge myself and do something I had wanted to do for a very long time. Not that I was bored, but my kids were older, my husband said “Go for it!” and the time was right professionally. Opportunity knocked and I ran to the door, well actually, I sprinted.

So here I am one year later looking back, and at the same time pondering the year ahead and thinking how grateful I am of the lessons I’ve learned. Here are my faves:

  1. Keep learning: I am consistently learning new things and in my business, it’s constantly evolving. There’s also a lot of noise out there and it’s important to upgrade your skills from a credible source.
  2. Things won’t happen overnight: It took a few months to get my business fully going. My “house” had to be put in order and “furniture” placed before I could put down the welcome mat. This was where I did a lot of homework and learned to be patient.
  3. Stay within your service offering: Sometimes, saying yes to many things can be a detriment and dilute your service offerings. I took on some things outside my ‘sweet spot’ and found it was important to not stray from my core business in my first year. Although I still think it’s a good idea to be flexible and keep an eye for new trends but I needed to stay the course.
  4. Regimented routine: I realized that I am really good at time management. Working in office environments for so long I had the 9-5 thing and 1-hour lunch workday locked down. Not gonna lie, it took some getting used to that it’s okay to go to an afternoon yoga class and then get groceries, and it’s okay to work at night if that’s how things get done.
  5. Flannel pants are awesome but: My business suits and dresses have moved to the less-used side of my closet. However, as much as I love soft flannels, I do recognize the importance of networking. Becoming a member of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce was the best decision for me. Sometimes I don’t feel like getting away from my desk to go to a networking event, but when I do, something good always comes out of it.

I expect a whole new set of lessons from years 2+ and look forward to learning from them too. Running your own business is a roller-coaster and you cannot rest on your laurels for one minute. It’s humbling and it’s challenging. Exactly what I was looking for.

Sociable!

Maria

Sociable Media is a social media marketing consultancy that works with businesses, and great causes, to make their online presence more effective. From start-up, coaching, and training, strategy development to social media account management – we provide support and take away ‘the overwhelm’.