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26th May 2021 Life

HOW TO BUILD A KILLER BUSINESS FROM SOMEONE WHO’S FAILED & SUCCEEDED

To put it lightly, there have been some huge shifts in the last 18 months and it’s resulted in so many of us evaluating huge areas of our current lifestyle choices. Is city life really for me, or is country living where it’s at? Is my time being spent with the right people? And Am I really in the career I want, or do I want to be my own boss? Well if that last question sounds like you and you have reached a cross road in your life, I have a whole bunch of life lessons to share with you from my own failures and successes over the last decade as the owner of multiple businesses. So, whether you’re looking to build your own personal brand or you’re starting a service or product based business, hopefully I can get a little real with you right now.

YOUR DIGITAL IDENTITY

Every element is carefully selected from the ground up, to build a 360 view of the idea and vision that first started inside your head

Building a brand identity is one of the aspects I find most inspiring when starting a business. It’s a creative and motivational process where you begin to see your brand and business come to life in front of your eyes. Every element is carefully selected from the ground up, to build a 360 view of the idea and vision that first started inside your head. Font selection, illustration design, colour palettes, animations and so much more, are curated to build both cohesive communication and brand experience from start to finish. But the most important part of this process, (after your initial brain child of course), is who you work with, and finding the right creatives to work with you, in order to bring your brand to life.

For my recent rebrand this year I worked with the most incredible team on the other side of the world, Emily Wells Design, who assisted from start to finish on the building out of my brand identity, fine tuning and executing a full 360 rebrand of my personal brand and blog to encapsulate all the elements of both who I am as a person, and how I want that to show as a business, which make up my corner of the internet.

FOREVER DIGITAL HOME

I invested my first ever pay check I made through my business right back into it, in the form of a professional website design. At the time, my design was the height of digital innovation. I was putting my best digital foot forward in the online creator world and boy did it pay off. But in the fast paced nature of the online world, keeping your finger on the pulse, remaining poised and being ready to react to trends and innovations is key. Sadly, I didn’t take my own advice and it only takes a few years in the online world for a space to become dated and clunky. But with almost 10 years under my (Fendi) belt building my personal digital brand, it was time to step into a new ring. With new platforms, algorithms and trends popping up every second, I wanted to take back an element of control when it came to my content, by creating a website which does it all and so much more. I wanted to create a hub for all the content I create, which usually sits momentarily in my audiences’ feed, in a space where it can all be accessed in the click of a button. I wanted to eliminate third party apps and platforms to create a space where you, my audience, could immerse themselves in my world. And in order to do this I knew the team I worked with would need to be the best.

Having started blogging in 2011, the power house women I followed at the time were inspiring me every day. So I started taking blogging more seriously when I saw these women change the game when they started to relaunch their sites with chloédigital back in 2014, and having since watched them evolve in to the leading tech partner for the worlds’ most successful Influencers, I knew that if I wanted my website to have the very best intelligence, creativity and innovation behind it, there was no other team to work on the development. Your website is a representation of your positioning and I knew exactly what I wanted mine to communicate from the moment you hit my homepage. But as someone who is passionate about the Online Creator world as an industry, I also wanted it to be reflective of the huge growth and space this industry now takes up in the marketing world.

In celebration of this, and the incredible women that chloédigital work with, they launched their Forever Digital Home Campaign which will highlight throughout the year, some of the incredible innovative spaces chloédigital has created in the industry. You can find out more about chloédigital services and also hoards of advice, guidance and resources via their online platform, CD world which is a great place to start if you are planning on investing in your business or website and I thought I would leave you with one of my husband’s favourite quotes which is a sure fire way to help me when making big business decisions-“If you want to play with the big dogs, you’ve got to stop p*ssing with the puppies.”

YOUR TRIBE

One thing I’ve noticed about women, and especially women in business is we like to think we need/ have to do it all ourselves

One thing I’ve noticed about women, and especially women in business is we like to think we need/ have to do it all ourselves. Perhaps it’s the controlling Aries in me, perhaps it’s the perfectionist or perhaps it’s the pride in what I’ve built on my own; but whatever it is, the best thing I ever did was start building a strong team around me. A team with strengths that I don’t possess, whom I can learn from, grow and build skills alongside. Creatives who enhance and encourage my own creativity and most importantly those few enigmas who come along with the ability to organise and structure in ways my creative and impulsive brain could never.
I’ve always said that I never want to be the most intelligent or creative person in the room because if that’s the case, I have nowhere to grow and I apply the same ethos when it comes to my team.

Don’t leave crumbs

I’m a huge lover of peak performance content and material. I love nothing more than switching on a podcast whilst I do my make-up in the morning. I find it’s a really great way to get myself psyched up for a day of work, no matter how long my to do list. Last week, I listened to another great interview with Jake Humphrey on the ‘Diary of the CEO’ podcast by Steven Bartlett where he talked about his own takings from a recent interview with Matthew McConaughey. Matthew talked about “Not leaving crumbs” in his pursuit of high performance in life and business. The art of tying up loose ends, having your sh*t together and cleaning up after oneself, to leave a clean and clear path behind you. It’s attention to detail  in its highest possible form and right now it’s my favourite saying to annoy my team with at various intervals throughout the day, but I love the mental picture it conjures up and how easily it is applied to so many elements for streamlining business practices.

FAILURE IS GROWTH

Ah failure. It’s a real love/ hate relationship isn’t it? You sting so intensely to begin with, but those lessons that you take away sure do taste sweet. I’ve spent a lot of time in my career dwelling over, stewing in and beating myself up because of my failings and when it comes down to it, the only regrets I have is that I didn’t embrace it more when it was happening; because from the hardest failures, comes the biggest growth. No it’s not a cliche, it’s a fact! Take it from someone who knows!

EVOLVE AUTHENTICALLY

Never stop evolving in ways that are authentic to your brand or business. Everything will look very different a year from now, 5 years, 10 years etc. Remember to never let the fear of the unknown deter you from your own growth and evolution, because this is the key to creating a business with endurance.

Are you a business owner? Was your business born as a result of the pandemic? What are your mantras for creating a successful brand? There are so many incredible women within this community I know you will have such incredible insights to share so please do in the comments below.

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  1. I found this very useful Lydia and I am all here for this type of content. I agree that as women, we really do not need to do it all ourselves. Getting help does not make us any less incredible.

    Tobi | tobisspace.com

  2. Someone once told me a good piece of advice – identify your weaknesses & build a team around you that have strengths in each of these areas, that way you all complement each other.
    Warmest wishes Adele x

@lydiamillen

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