On July 1, 2003, I started my own business. At that time, I had no clue how to run a business. Or what it meant to be an entrepreneur.

I learned about it over the years.

But learning about marketing, selling, copywriting, business models and so on is the easy part.


It’s just steps you take and knowledge you implement. And you practice and practice and practice some more, and that’s it.

Some are better at it than others, but everyone can learn.

It’s the inner work that REALLY matters. THAT is what’s most confusing and hard.

The outer stuff is easy once you’ve made the necessary inner changes and transformations.


Being an entrepreneur and having a business is truly the highway to personal growth and development. Whether you like it or not 😉

I’ll share 10 of the most valuable lessons I have learned in a series of 2 articles.

This is part 1:


Lesson #1 You have to be visible as an entrepreneur – whether you like it or not


The first thing I did when I started my business, was to go AND stay inside. Literally.

I always knew I needed lots of time to be alone, but I didn’t know HOW much time until I started my business.

And this was the first time in my LIFE I was able to completely give in to this need to be alone.

And boy, that felt GOOD!

It wasn’t good for business, though 😉

No one knew who I was, I didn’t have a website and wasn’t visible anywhere. I had clients, but never enough.

Reluctantly I started to learn about marketing and selling in 2005.

And thankfully I have now finally learned how to be a happy hermit in business – I wrote about that here and here.


Lesson #2 What pulls you through fears and tough times is a strong sense of purpose & mission


I didn’t want to learn about marketing. I thought that was slimy, fake, superficial crap.

The only reason I started learning about it, was because I didn’t know how else to save my business.

Going back to a job was NOT an option.

I felt a strong sense of purpose, and knew that being an entrepreneur was the only way for me to be able to deliver my value to the world.

Well…… the world. I didn’t think that big back then. Serving enough people to be able to pay the bills and change some lives was as big as I dared dream.


Lesson #3 Don’t compare yourself to others


I found a good marketing coach I liked, and joined her group program to learn about marketing.

And I did learn.


Shit, I felt like a loser in that group. Like I felt in most marketing programs I participated in.


Almost everyone got results – but me. A very tiny result, sometimes, maybe.

But NEVER anything like everyone else in the group.
And because I compared myself to them, I started to believe I just didn’t have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

I now know that’s not true. But it took me some time to get rid of that belief again.


Lesson #4 Don’t blindly follow advice – always do things in your OWN way


Because I believed I wasn’t a good entrepreneur, I always felt I didn’t know enough or didn’t do things the right way.

So I kept learning and learning and learning and learning. About marketing, sales, copywriting, selling, speaking, etc.etc.etc.

Everything I learned had value and it worked.

It just didn’t always work for me…..

I learned that it is totally useless to blindly do what you’ve learned if it is not a PERFECT match for you.


Something I already lived by in every other area in my business and life…except in things related to marketing and being an entrepreneur.

But because I doubted my skills and abilities, I sometimes followed advice that didn’t feel quite right for me.


Lesson #5 Always listen to your intuition & use it in every area of your business


The best decisions I ever made were ALWAYS guided by my intuition.


And all my bad decisions have one thing in common: I ignored my intuition.

Sometimes because I didn’t hear it. Sometimes because I didn’t trust it.

And sometimes because I didn’t like what my intuition was telling me: it either scared me or felt uncomfortable.

I listened to it in certain areas of my business, but not in every area.

I never consciously used my intuition in my marketing, for example.


But I get much better ideas when I do. Ideas that light me up, and are actually fun to me!

Like the idea to launch my program Business Magic with a free lesson.

Or the idea for The Happy Hermit’s Decade Party.

Both are ideas that make me smile and are a perfect fit for ME.

It’s fun to work on them, which makes it easier to get results with it as well.


This week’s transformational action




Is there a lesson in this article that resonates with you?


If so, explore what this tells you about your business or yourself.

How could you benefit from that lesson?

Next week I’ll share the other 5 lessons I’ve learned in the past 10 years of my business.

‘See’ you then!


© 2013 Brigitte van Tuijl


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