5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started (Biggest Business Lessons In 2021) 

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This was a great year for my business…

I grew my team, the global Posse grew to over 140k on YouTube & over 50k on Instagram, had 4 successful launches, created 2 brand new Copy Posse programs, got to meet over 2000 students, and hit my highest revenue year yet. 

But all that growth didn’t come without a few roadblocks, mistakes and tough lessons along the way. 

In this blog, I’m going to share with you the 5 game-changing lessons that I learned from running, and massively scaling, my business this year. So you can take these lessons and apply them to your own brand or business and absolutely slay it in the coming year. 

Hey, Posse! What’s up? It’s Alex. 

Coming at you this week with a blog that’s basically becoming an end-of-year tradition here…

I love ending each year with an article that shares some of the biggest lessons or mindset shifts that I learned (sometimes the hard way) over the last year. Besides the occasional mindset and motivational posts, here on my blog, you’ll also find hundreds of in-depth tutorials to help you be a better copywriter, a better marketer, and a better business owner. 

If that sounds fun to you, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter! 

Now, if you follow me on Social Media then you probably saw that throughout the month of December, I shared ONE BIG LESSON every week. A lesson that I learned for the very first time… 

Or RE-LEARNED all over again. Because sometimes the toughest lessons take some reminders, am I right? 

Some of them came easy, and others were incredibly hard to conquer.  

So whether you’re thinking about starting your business, you’re a complete beginner or you’re a seasoned entrepreneur…

These 5 lessons can be applied to YOU wherever you are on your entrepreneurial journey. ⁠

Now, let’s count them down… 

Starting with Lesson #5 and ending with Lesson #1… THE BIG ONE. 

Lesson #5 – Celebrate Your Progress

One of the biggest things I have my students do (and I started doing more of myself this year) is CELEBRATE every single win and every single step of progress you make in your journey. 

No matter how little. 

No matter how seemingly insignificant. 

No matter how un-exciting, dull, plain, or boring you think it seems. 

Because here’s the thing. 

When you’re a copywriter—or any business owner for that matter—you don’t have a massive group of people standing on the sidelines to clap and cheer you on every single step of the way… 

In most cases, and especially towards the beginning of your career, it’s just YOU. Riding solo through all the twists and turns, ups and downs, setbacks and failures of your business. And while one of the best things about being a copywriter is that you get to write epic stuff for people, brands, and businesses…

The flip side of that is the harsh reality that no one ever really knows that you created it. No one knows that you’re the reason for that successful launch or email campaign. 

And if you’re a person who loves being behind the scenes… this probably isn’t a very big deal to you…. unless you feel unseen, or unappreciated by your client. 

Which, let’s face it—it happens. Even with the best clients. 

I mean they hired you because you are great at what you do, so they come to expect that you’ll deliver epic results for them. And they might not always think to give you a thank you after every email you write.  

Which can really wear on a copywriter’s mojo and sense of accomplishment—right? 

And if you’re not a copywriter (yet) or you’re running a different type of business—this lesson STILL applies to you! 

Every single business and entrepreneurial journey has its ups and downs. And every single journey has wins both BIG and SMALL that need to be celebrated along the way. 

I feel like we so often get swept away by “wins” having to be these massive, life-altering, time-bending events.⁠

⁠Ya know—like breaking $10k/month or smashing a 6-figure launch. 

While those are, of course, great wins that should absolutely be celebrated. The truth is that *most* wins don’t look like that. ⁠A “win” could be the smallest of steps in the right direction.

Maybe it’s the fact that you finished your to-do list for the week… 

Or you finally signed up for that course you’ve been eyeing… 

Or maybe you sent out a dozen cold emails to potential clients…

All great wins that are worthy of being celebrated. And the secret is: Once you start celebrating yourself, everything becomes a little bit easier. 

Be your own biggest cheerleader

Go to the extra effort to reward yourself after a launch well done or an email sequence that really killed it. 

Or even better—find yourself a group or community that builds you up and makes you feel valued and seen.

Which brings me to Lesson #4…

Lesson #4 – The Power Of Community 

Sometimes I feel like a broken record that never stops saying how awesome this community is. And other times I feel like I don’t give you guys HALF the credit that you deserve…⁠

But I’m continually reminded over, and over, and over again how RAD this community is. ⁠

And more than that… how IMPORTANT connecting with my community is for my productivity, my mood, and my overall motivation.⁠

Connecting with my Posse pals always lifts me up and fills me with so much pride over what we’ve built together.⁠

From teaching and getting to know over 120 epic writers during Season 2 of my 8-week coaching program… to levelling up with my Reignmakers every single week… to teaching email marketing to a group of over 500 Inbox Influencers…

I ALWAYS leave these calls and connections feeling so FULL, with a renewed sense of purpose and motivation to keep delivering as much value as I can to YOU guys. 

So in the coming year, make it a point to find a community of people who lift you up, motivate you, and inspire you…

And then put yourself out there and actually engage with them!

Don’t be a ghost or you won’t reap any of the powerful benefits of being in a community! 

I know, I know that’s a terrifying idea for many people… especially you introverts. But I promise you that the connections and friendships you’ll build are so, so, so worth it. 

Because the truth is—without community—running a business can be pretty damn isolating. And when you feel alone, it’s harder for you to get yourself out of a slump, to see the positives in a negative situation, or to just keep going when things feel impossible. 

Community is there to back you up. Listen to you. Hold space for you. To cheer you on and keep a fire lit under your ass! 

So find a community of like-minded people, and hold on to them like crazy! 

Okay, next up… Lesson #3…

Lesson #3 – Make Mistakes. Then LEARN From Them.

Ah yes… this is probably one of the hardest lessons to swallow… 

Everyone HATES making mistakes—and hey, I’m definitely including myself in that—but the truth is that making mistakes can be our quickest and most powerful teacher! 

Both in life and in business. 

I mean have you ever F’d something up and felt so embarrassed and guilty over it, that you LITERALLY quadruple-check yourself every single time after that?

I know I have. From sending an email to the wrong list, to pushing reply ALL when you really shouldn’t have, to sharing the wrong screen during my entire masterclass (yup – that JUST happened) …. 

Hell, I make mistakes ALL THE TIME. 

But the key here isn’t to just go around F-ing stuff up…

It’s to LEARN from the mistakes. Allow the mistakes to shape you into a better copywriter. A better business owner. A better friend, marketer, spouse, or whatever else it is! 

Our failures don’t have to be our downfalls. 

They can be our greatest motivators to do better and be better. 

So, learn how to roll with the inevitable shit-storm that comes along with life and business and you’ll be better off than trying to control everything or make it perfect…

You’re going to make mistakes, Mercury retrograde is gonna come along and crash your servers, shit is gonna go up in flames…

Expect it. Plan for it. And don’t stress over that which you can’t control… 

Lesson #2 – Rest Is Mandatory

Okay… I’ll be honest. This one was a close call for being my biggest lesson of them all… 

Before I launched The Copy Posse—I was just a regular ‘ol freelance copywriter. I had a handful of clients that I worked with and that was it. 

Back in those days, rest and relaxation were something I took very seriously. 

Always made sure I took time off from the hustle to disconnect from time to time… 

But THEN when I started my own brand… This whole thing called “rest and relaxation” suddenly took a back seat on my list of priorities…

I was in HUSTLE MODE. 

And I know that many business owners (and brand new copywriters or freelancers) can feel the same way. 

  • Like we have an obligation to our brands and our clients…
  • Like we HAVE to respond to every single email the second it hits our inbox…
  • Or we HAVE to reply to that 2am Slack message… 
  • Or work during our so-called “vacations” or be available 24/7…
  • Or always be “ON”…

But here’s what I learned the hard way this year… 

When you do this for too long—when you overextend yourself for your brand or clients and keep giving, giving, giving— without pausing to refill your tank… then you find yourself on a fast-lane track to burn-out-city.

And that’s exactly what happened to me before I finally decided to take my first vacation in over 2 years! I took a WHOLE MONTH off and travelled to Turkey with my partner (who became my fiance on that trip, btw!) 

Now, don’t get me wrong—this decision wasn’t easy for me to make. I knew I needed to take a step back and relax a little… but pulling the trigger stressed me out soooo much!!!

Sure, I had an amazing team to back me up and run the show while I was away… but this was my first real “vacation” away from The Copy Posse since I started it in 2019.  

It can be scary to loosen control of the reins or set those firm boundaries with your clients—I totally get it! 

But if you don’t set those boundaries and prioritize your own rest and relaxation… then you won’t be able to run a long-term, sustainable business. That’s just the cold-hard facts. 

So figure out what your non-negotiables are that will help you maintain a healthy work/life balance and then stick to them. 

Whether you’re firm with taking weekends off, you’re firm about turning notifications off after 5pm or you commit to taking 2 full weeks off every now and then…

Finding a way to separate yourself from your work is crucial to staying sane, staying creative, and staying motivated.

Alright, now onto THE BIG ONE. Lesson #1…

Lesson #1 – Invest In Yourself 

That’s right. The biggest lesson I learned this year was to invest in MYSELF. 

I know I preach this all of the time, and sure I attend high-level masterminds and invest in continuous learning. But the truth was… I had never really considered investing in myself or my brand on a HIGHER SCALE. 

You know—the type of stuff that big shot CEOs and 8-figure business owners do…

Until this year, that is. 

Some of you guys might remember me talking about the business coach I hired over the summer. Not only was this my first time ever hiring a business coach…⁠

But it was also the single LARGEST sum of money that I’ve ever sent to anyone (*cough* 30,000 for 90 days of coaching *cough*)…⁠

Talk about money scarcity and imposter syndrome issues that I THOUGHT I had eliminated years ago. ⁠

I had so many doubts and fears creeping into my mind before pulling the trigger and committing to hiring this coach. ⁠

  • “Alex, your business isn’t big enough for a coach like this – you’ll never make that money back.”⁠
  • “Alex, you shouldn’t be spending that much money for a handful of coaching calls.”⁠
  • “Alex, you probably already know everything he’s going to say.”⁠
  • “Alex, you can’t do this.”⁠

Alex, Alex, Alex, Alex ⁠

But you guys…⁠ I DID IT ANYWAY. ⁠

I believed in myself, my vision, and my business MORE than I believed in those fears. ⁠

And guess what?⁠

It was hands-down the best investment I made for my business this year.⁠ It was such a good investment that…. Get this…. I HIRED HIM AGAIN. 

Yes. For another 90 days at 30K!

He not only opened my eyes to new possibilities and endless ideas,  bBut he gave me the encouragement and support to make it all happen. And then (and this is a big one) he kept me accountable to my goals.⁠

I know that so, so, SO many of us can be scared to spend money for our business or investing in ourselves. 

Whether that’s hiring a business coach like I did, committing to an online program or course that’ll expand your knowledge and skills, or simply upgrading that dingy old laptop that isn’t conducive to your workflow.

We hesitate to make these investments because we don’t think we’re good enough, or worth the investment. We think we can “do without”. Which maybe we can…

But why struggle through something that could be made 1000x easier, faster, and better with a little help?

So I’m telling you: Take that leap of faith. The one you’ve been thinking about, but not taking action on. Invest in yourself. And just watch what kind of magic unfolds for you. 

Alright, Posse. That brings us to the end of my lessons of the year. I hope you can take some of these lessons and apply them to your own life and business this next year. 

I’ll see you on the other side—until then, I’m Alex.

Ciao for now!

And Happy New Year! 🙂 

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