Today we’re catching up with Aly Mead of Silicon Bullet. She’s another original 2011 interviewee, and we last caught up with her on 11 August 2012 and her plans for the next year looks like this: “I hope to have built up a great team around me in the Forever Living part of my business, whilst also enjoying my bookkeeping and networking to build up the IT side of our business“. I’ve watched Aly’s business grow and develop and think she’s doing really well, with a good variety of activities to keep her busy and growing every day. Let’s see what she thinks of the year’s progress …
Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
I am not quite as far along as I thought I would be in a year’s time – but I am in a good place and have learned an awful lot.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
I do have a team I am helping to build their own business as distributors for Forever Living, but we are all learning together that this business is a marathon and not a sprint, and we are learning and growing our businesses together. I am still enjoying my bookkeeping work and networking, and I am getting more of the Sage training work I enjoy most through my networking connections, building a name for myself as the go-to person for Sage software and building excellent working relationships with local IT suppliers who don’t have that expertise in-house. I seem to have the right mix of business to keep life busy and interesting.
My health has taken a turn for the better – the Aloe products I use have given me great energy and boosted my immune system, and I have learned to run in 2013 and took part in my first (super sprint) triathlon: my second is booked for September. Health and fitness are something I do make time for in my working day – and I am sure I work all the better for that.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I have learned to realise you can’t help everybody – some people don’t want to be helped! Focus on those who appreciate your assistance and move on from those who are not interested. Although you might think you have the perfect solution for somebody else – be it in IT or with the Forever Living Aloe products – you can only help those who want to be helped.
Any more hints and tips for people?
Just keep getting out there and talking to people to build your business. Networking is the thing that has brought me great friends, business contacts and new business ideas. Be friendly, supportive and helpful to all who you meet, and you will reap the rewards as they reciprocate towards you.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
By this time next year I really want to have been able to take a decent break from work, without needing to worry about business while I am gone! My husband Paul never takes a break – and we work constantly and consistently – but it is not healthy to never switch off. We are saving for a big holiday next year.
Meanwhile with business it is much the same as we have been doing – onwards and upwards building up our contacts and my Forever team. I’m looking forward to growth in 2014.
You know what I love about my interviewees? How honest they are. I think this makes this series so valuable – do you agree? Many of us aim to be able to have a holiday where we can switch off from the business – I had my best ever this year, only quoting for one job the whole week I was away, and I hope that Aly gets her well-earned break in 2014! Health and exercise are so important when you work for yourself (I published a guest post about this recently myself) and it’s great to see fellow small business owners enjoying new sports and activities. I hope to see Aly doing even better by this time next year (with maybe an Ironman under her belt!?)
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured. If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my new book, Going It Alone At 40: How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment.