The mistakes I’ve made in business and how they’ve changed me

Today’s episode of the podcast is a solo episode all about my reflections on 2022 and what I have learned this year.

This year has been a big year of learning for me, with lots of changes; and taking time to do this episode got me thinking about the mistakes I have made over the years in business and what I would do differently, if I could.

As always I’d love to know what you think, and please feel free to share your own reflections and learnings with me, by connecting over on my social media.


● What went well, and what didn’t go well for me this year
● The mistakes I have made over the years in business
● What I would do differently, based on what I know now


One of the most important things you can do in business is to get really confident about who
you are and what you stand for..


Nicole Aquila Website



Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. How are you doing?

So, what are we gonna talk about today? Now, we're nearing the end of the year, and as you know, because I talk about it every year, because I have consistently been doing this for a long time, I do goal setting with my amazing community, with my club, with exec Club, and part of that goal setting, there's many parts to it because this isn't just a case of, okay, everybody sit down.

What do you wanna achieve next year? That doesn't, that's not how it works. But part of the goal setting is that we reviewed the year before and I just had, we just had our saw event, which is our members only event, and we had an amazing speaker called Nicole and Nicole Quiller, coach Nicole. Go check her out.

I will link to her in the show notes and she said she had this great saying that basically what gets measured gets improved. So that's why we look at what's happened. That's why we track back and go, okay, what happened? What did we do? How did it go down? What did I learn from it? So that's one of the things that we do obviously in the goal setting, is we go through and go, what went well and what didn't go so well in the last year.

And again, the aim of the didn't go so well isn't about beating yourself up. This isn't about going. Well, you've rubbish, aren't you? And you just don't achieve your goals. Probably should give up. That is definitely not what that's about. What it's about is giving yourself space to think about what didn't go so well and what can you take from that.

What can you learn from that? What comes to mind and how does that then lead you into doing your goals, because obviously we can learn by those things. And like I said, I, it's a very, the space I create for people to do this, it's, it's safe. And it's also, what's the word, am I trying to think of? It's, it's a positive space.

This, you know, it's not a space where we sit down and go, oh, this is awful. And if anybody's feeling like that, I managed to kind of move them through it pretty quick. So, one of the things, like I said, that I've done is I've gone through and I've listed what didn't go so well for me because obviously I practice what I preach.

I do all this stuff that I teach and I've written loads of different things there, and I'll tell you a few of my things that I've got on my list. So I spent too much money. That's what I did this year. Now I have to say in all the areas of my business, the finance one is the one I'm not brilliant at because I am one of these people and I'm having, I work very hard on this, so this is definitely something I'm working hard on, but I am one of those people, I have been one of those people that sees money in the bank and thinks, oh yeah, no, I'll just, I can buy that, that's fine.

And will invest and spend and do various things. Also, I have my VIP events that didn't make me money. They didn't make me enough money. They, the second one made a profit. However, it was not enough profit to warrant the work and the time that went into it. So I'm re-looking at how that might look this coming year.

And that's what I mean. So like, if I hadn't, it's a perfectly example actually. I'm so glad that randomly came to my head if I hadn't looked at that event after I did it and reviewed it and looked at what well, and what didn't go well, and what I made and what I spent, then I wouldn't know that actually Teresa, don't do it the way you did it before because it's not bringing you enough profit, profit in.

So that's the reason we look back. So yeah, I spent too much money. I didn't grow my audience as much as I'd liked, but again, when I look at it, I go, well, where was I focusing on that while I wasn't? So that might be wider either I, what else forgot down here.

I'd liked more people in the 90 day program and I think now I, I think that realization came quite late in the year that actually one of the things that really lights me up is people achieving and succeeding. And one of the easiest ways that people can do that is working with me one-to-one. And I think I had made the mistake at the beginning of the year thinking, I want to just grow the kind of more, want to many programs and not my, not my one-to-one.

And then I changed my mind, so that'll be why I didn't have enough. And then I spent money on things I shouldn't have. That was part of the spending many things. I did a launch for bill my List, and I didn't sell. Anywhere near what I thought I was going to, but it did something completely different, which was actually brought people into my world who had never spent time with me and then realized that I am who I say I am, and I show up the way I say, I show up, and they then joined the membership off the back of it. So that was really interesting.

So yeah, so like I said, I go through, but it got me thinking about what mistakes have I made in my business or what things have I done over the years that are just you know, things that I, I don't wanna use the word regret cuz regret's a horrible word, but, you know, kind of think I would not do that again and maybe should have done that differently.

And one of the things that I've got down is the fact of when I first started, I listened to everyone else. I listened to all the experts, I watched all the webinars, I did all the stuff. And back then, cuz bearing in mind I've been in this industry a long while. Back then it was very much, this is the way we became successful. This is what you should do.

And bearing in mind I'd come from a world of marketing where I'd marketed every different product that you, not every different product. I mean, there's a lot of products in the world, a lot of products in a lot of industry. Bear in mind, I had done that and I knew that there were, even though I would use common marketing threads through every single client and every single company I ever worked with, I knew that some things worked better for that industry and some things were better for that industry, and everything always had to be tweaked.

So why on Earth when I came into the online space did I think and I'm not angry at myself, although it sounds like I'm being here. But whyy enough did I think that I could literally cook a cutter, someone else, and that would work for me. I'm not entirely sure what my brain was thinking, but I looked at what they had, I looked at who they were, and I looked at kind of, you know, the money they made and I just went, I want that.

And therefore I did the thing that so many people have done and it's now my life's mission to try and stop anybody, anybody else from doing this? I went and bought their stuff and signed up to their programs and did what they said and, oh hell, that's weird. I am not the size of those businesses and I don't earn the money they earn because that doesn't happen.

Now, yes, there are successes, but it doesn't happen the way they say it happens. So that was a mistake. I shouldn't have done that. I shouldn't have gone and thought that copying someone verbatim would make me as successful as they are.

The other thing I made a mistake up with at which actually this leads into another, another of my points actually that I was gonna mention is getting involved with the wrong people. So with some of these big experts, I didn't do my due diligence. I didn't do my research. I didn't check what they had done, how they had created, you know, what they had created.

So some of these people now have had, back in the day, they had capital investment. They had, they had a partner that paid. They invested in them. Well, yeah, they're gonna be able to, do things. If someone goes, here's a chunk of money I didn't have that. They had key relationships, which are very closed relationships in the online space, and it is very much a who's who club of if you are in, you're gonna fly, and if you're not, then you blocked out.

And I didn't pay attention to actually, yeah, this person said they grew this way, but when I look at it, they actually were part of this person's world and they helped them by being an affiliate for them or whatever it is. So, I didn't do enough research around them and their expertise because again, there is a lot of people out there who only know how to do and be successful the way that they've done it not being successful because they've learned and worked with lots of different businesses.

And that's one thing that I pride myself in is that obviously, because I have had this years and years and years in marketing experience, cuz I have got a degree in marketing because I have you know, done all these things. I know. I know how to take someone else's business and help them for them and who they are and their industry.

So a lot of people that I maybe associated with or learned from, basically were only successful in the one thing that they did, and then they were trying to teach it to other people, and therefore their knowledge of the world was very small and very singular. So they couldn't, so if you went to them and said, I've tried the thing, you've said it doesn't work, what else can I do? They couldn't tell you.

So that was the other thing. But, and, and that leads into working with being associated with people that I no longer want to be associated with. Now, I, I am gonna do an episode on how I built my amazing, beautiful, lovely community that's coming up in a couple of weeks. But what I, the reason I was thinking about it is because of the fact of I have a really nice community and they are kind and lovely.

And I'm very lucky that I think I don't have too many people out there saying horrible things about me. I mean, privately they might be, they might think I'm an absolute idiot, that's absolutely fine. But from a professional point of view, I don't think, I don't think, I dunno to be honest, but I don't think anybody's saying she's terrible at what she does and she lies.

She doesn't do a coaching call and she doesn't do this. Cuz I do, I'm really honest, and I'm really transparent. So yeah. But what I have done in the past is I've worked with people, I've coached people, I've been friends with people that now do not at all align with me. And there are very specific points in which I went, Ooh, hang on a minute.

And I backed straight off for various different reasons. And I, you know, there's part of me that would almost like to be really honest with you and go, yeah, there's this person because of this. And there was this person because of this, but that wouldn't be fair on them because it's my own personal opinion about them and how they run their businesses.

So, but I think you can pretty much assume that if I used to hang around with them and now you don't see me hanging around with them, that might be, you know, that might be one of those people that I no longer align with. And it's exactly that, it's I don't wanna be a, I don't align with how they teach the stuff, how they show up in the world.

And do you know what, like the other thing that as a mistake I made is that I used to watch and pay attention and now I don't. I pay no attention to them. I've muted them on everything, even when I still have to be friends with them as such, I mean, friends is a strong word, but even when, God, this is really cryptic, I, you're gonna be sat like for Christ's sake, just tell us what you're talking about and who about, and, and I hate that.

I hate when people do, but yeah, even when I, you know, have to still be in their world at points. So I have to still follow them. I mute them all. I have a couple of very good close friends, business friends that would go, oh my goodness, like that person did this thing cuz they don't align with us and we don't like it.

Cause obviously now I only deal with people I align with and I stop them from doing that as well. I've, I don't wanna know, I'm not interested and I just wanna stay way out of it. So I literally am almost like a little mole in my house here, and I stay a hundred percent in my own lane. I don't pay attention to what they're doing.

I don't pay attention to what they're talking about, what they're posting about, and the people who are very close to me and know honestly who these people are that I don't align with. They don't tell me either, because they know I don't wanna know because it distracts me and frustrates the living daylights outta me.

And sometimes some of these people are crazy, passive aggressive and they will say things that are aimed very much towards me. And this is in the past, I dunno if they still do it cause I pay no attention. And I still, you know, I just can't. I just can't. So for me, one of the mistakes I made is, to kind of sum that rambling up, is.

When you first get to know someone, yeah, you don't know whether they align with you or not. So I'm not blaming myself for even working with them in the first place or coaching with them or spending time with them, or being in their world or buying their programs. Like I'm not, it's not that I'm blaming myself for that and saying that was a mistake and you're an idiot, Teresa.

I learned over time and, and some of these people, I've spent thousands and thousands with them, and, and actually over time I've gone, oh my word, you and I are not the same people. So, so at that point I distance myself. I mute it and block it and silence it all and just pay no attention. And I think that's a part of getting really confident about who you are and what you stand for, and who you wanna be seen with, and who you wanna hang out with, and being really confident in you and your values and your business, and also your audience.

So if you have an audience, you know, for me, my community are the most precious, valuable thing in my business. And I wanna make sure that I am serving them and bringing people into their world who adds value, who lights us up, who makes us happy, who, you know, is just a nice human to be around. So, and that was a real lead rambling.

If any of that made sense then well done. You, you are much better than I am. But yeah, so basically if someone doesn't align with you, run, run for the hills. And even, and like I said, you know, I have paid to be in things, I have paid to be in a program that I've talked about. I've had people on my podcast that part of me now thinks should like, you know, should I just delete the episode because they are so not in line with me anymore.

But it's all part of my journey and I'm very honest about it. I'm very honest about, do you know what, if you listen back, you'll hear me rave about some of these people and not so much now, so, so like I said, if you are finding that you. I'll go in, do you know what? This doesn't align with me. Don't do it.

Don't give them new money. Don't be in the world. You know, you deserve to, you deserve to work with people who light you up and make you feel good and want you to succeed as much as you wanna succeed. And cheer lead you, but also have your back and your shoulder like they, you know, for you to come in and go, I've had a terrible day and this is why.

And for them to be there and go, okay cool I sympathize, I am so sorry, and I'm also ready to help you pick yourself back up when you're ready. Anyway, like I said, I just went outta nowhere. I have no idea where I was going with all that. What else have I done wrong? I have fallen for real sleazy sales tactics.

The best one. Do you know what I'm thinking about doing? I'd love to get your feedback. I'm thinking about doing a list of all the stuff I've paid for and then cuz you know I'm not allowed or you know, basically some of these massive programs that you buy, it's within the terms and conditions that you can't say anything bad about the program.

Now who has that? Who has like, there's a couple of things I don't understand about business and maybe I'm very naive, but first off, why would I put something in a contract that says you can't talk about my program in a non-positive way? Because if it's terrible, then, alright. Like, I get it. I really, really do.

So that I just find absolutely baffling. The other thing I find baffling is people trademarking stuff left, right, and center. Like especially in the online space, there is, the content that's out there is insane. I am not precious about my staff. I know, I hear my own words come back to me all the time. It is hilarious actually, because, you know, there'll be people, if I will, that do not speak and do the way things I do.

And even when we start having these conversations, they'll be like, that is not for me. And then six, 12 months later, those words come outta their mind, like as if, oh, we, we suddenly decided that this is how I think or, you know, so that's funny and I'm, but I'm really not precious. I'm really, really not, because A, that's not authentic.

They're not being authentic. So, and, and it can't stand. It can't, it's not consistent. It's not you can't be, you know, and also it doesn't fit, right? So if someone's saying one thing, but they act another way, it doesn't fit right. So for me, I'm not precious at all because I know that if you want, I show up saying the same things, doing the same things, be in the same way for all 200 and whatever episodes of this podcast.

Now, have some of my opinions changed yet, some of my thoughts change yet. Have I said things in the past that I now did not align with yet? So I'm not saying that we don't grow and change, but it is how I show up today is authentically 100% me and how I showed up back then was a hundred percent authentically me, but I've learned and changed and that sort of thing.

So yeah, so that makes me how, but anyway, so I'm not precious. I'm really, really not precious. And like I said, I didn't invent it so, the same way as like when I started I, some of the stuff, cause I used to do obviously a lot of just social media stuff cause I was a social media manager and then I had the agency and then, and then I taught a lot on social media and obviously I've moved away from that now.

But I used to talk about content buckets, which I got from Mari Smith. Back in the day, like I didn't invent it. I don't know if Mari Smith invented it, but lots of people now talk about pillars or buckets or whatever it might be. So yeah, that's, that was just a side as I, I struggled to understand those two things.

Okay. So yeah, falling for sales tactics, like I said. Oh yeah, that's why I was saying, sorry, God, like if you actually get value from this episode, I'll be gobsmacked cause my brain is all over the shop. It, it's like when I get super passionate about something, I get like a verbal diarrhea that I just wanna get it out and the mistakes, things I am passionate about because I don't want you to make the same ones.

I was talking about I'm interested in doing a list of things that I've paid for and then you can DM me and ask me if it was worth it cuz I can't publicly tell you whether I think it was worth it. And I'd be really honest, I'd be so honest. Um, but there's part of me that doesn't wanna add up what I've spent cuz that would scare the living bejesus at me, quite honestly.

And my husband, I'd have to put it somewhere. I'd have to put it, I was gonna say, I'd have to put it somewhere privately. Oh, my kidney, he doesn't pay attention to half of my stuff, so I could literally plaster it everywhere and he wouldn't see it, even if he'd liked it, which I found before. So he'd like, I'd say to him, did you see my post about so-and-so?

And he'd be like, no and I'll look at it and going, well, you liked it. Oh well, you know, then all the excuses come out. So I might, I might do that I might maybe not add it up, but I might list out all the programs I've ever paid for and then you can come and have a conversation with me if you want. And I'll tell you the honest truth as to whether I think it's worth paying for or not.

Some absolutely words. Some, oh man, I wish to God I'd never done it and can't think about how much money I spent cause it makes me sad. Okay, the other thing, what are the mistakes I've got? So I took one day and it says PR, now I'm not. So some of you, and if you do pr, you might be like, shut up Teresa. I'm not saying PR is a mistake and don't do it.

I'm saying the sort of PR I did didn't deliver what I expected it to do. And actually that was on my things of, didn't go well this year or didn't go as I would've liked. So I did, I worked with a company who got me some PR and it's vanity. Literally vanity, literally some cool logos on my website and, and yet it's cool that I can genuinely say I have been featured in these places.

Did it do anything for me? Nope. Now, it might be doing some credibility pieces for me, but once you know about these kind of how this all works, you kind of, that loses the credibility, but it didn't grow my audience, it didn't get me customers, it didn't do any of the above. So again, I'm not saying don't do PR.

PR is great, and again, depending on what business you're in, but the PR I did and the business I'm in, it didn't do, other than the credibility authority piece, it didn't actually do anything for my business from a money financial point of view or an audience growth point of view. I mean, in some of the places I was featured, they have like tens of thousands of hits a minute.

But it literally did nothing. So that was, that was a bit of a mistake. And again, I paid money on that, which was frustrating. But anyway, and then the other one I've put, the last one I've put down is not having a coach and not having business besties. Like, I hate that word I dunno why I said it, but not having a coach to help keep me focused.

And I mean a real coach, I don't mean someone who's done one thing in their business and then they try and teach someone else how to do exactly the same thing in as a coach, that's not a coach, I mean an actual real coach. Oh, as a side, this sounds like I've teed myself up for this and I haven't. I have just completed, thank God, my coaching qualification.

So once my certification comes through, I can say I'm a certified coach, which is exciting and it was hard work and a lot of hours, and I'm very, very grateful. Very, very very grateful that it's finished because I was tired and I wanted it to be done. It was excellent and I loved it and I learned lots, which was brilliant and definitely hugely adds to what I offer my, my amazing people.

But yeah, it was, it was hard work doing that, so, so that's cool. But yeah, not having a proper coach, which I haven't had at times. But obviously, you know, I work with the Amazing Mary and not having business friends in the sense of, what I mean is people at my level.

And I don't mean that from a financial or a business size or anything. I mean, so my level's the wrong word actually, people in my circle that I can be honest about, that I can be honest to, I should say. So obviously I have my amazing community and I am, I am friends with lots of my members and I love them dearly, and I wanna hang out with them and I invite them to my house and we do all these amazing things cause I genuinely love the people in my world.

But I have a role to play in that world. And my role is their coach and, and their advisor and their mentor and their strategic partner, that's my role. So it would be unprofessional of me to go in one day and go, oh, that lodge was awful, that I hated it and it didn't do very well. And no, no, no. I think I'm gonna give up.

Like that cannot be the case. I cannot do that. However, for a long while I didn't have anybody I could do that with and it's really freaking lonely and it's really flipping hard because like as much as you want them to celebrate you, when things go well, you really need to be honest and go, oh, this sucks, man.

This is not going as I thought and I'm actually panicking a bit by it and anybody who tries to make out like once you get to a certain level, that's not the case. That's absolute utter rubbish. Everybody at every level, you might be stressing about different things and bigger numbers or whatever, but there is never a point where you're just like, yeah, just coasting along now.

It says, so I had and I, and having an arrangement with those people where I get to actually have conversations. So the beginning of this year, I think it was the beginning of this year, or certainly during this year, I made an arrangement with my amazing friend, bispaul and my beautiful, amazing friend Ailesh.

And we have calls. I have a call with both of them, not together. We do them separately. Ailesh I speak to every week and bispaul speaks every other week, and we have a mini mastermind, if you like. And actually on Monday, I'm recording this on a Friday, on the Monday after this after the weekend, I am spending the day in Manchester and Ailesh and I are goal setting and we have Mary coming in on Zoom to do some coaching with both Ailesh and I around our goals.

And we are both gonna be present for this because we keep each other accountable, so so yeah, not having those people And, and what's so lovely is obviously with the exec club that, well, the club and the exec club, that's the space I provide for them. That's the that's what they get from that space. And like even this morning, someone has had something really sad happen in their world that isn't related to their business and has just posted in the group.

And the flood of love that's coming in from the exec club members is just the best. Like, and that's, that's what you need. Like, you know when things are going well, you want 'em to all high five you cuz they get it, cuz they're in business. But when things aren't well or when things like knock you off your path, then you need those people around you to support you.

So, so yeah. Gosh, this was longer than I expected. It was no wonder because it wasn't very concise to the point. But hopefully I've given you a few rumbling thoughts to think about, about kinda some of the mistakes I made and, but we have to learn by them. We have to learn from them and go, okay I'm not gonna beat myself up.

I'm not gonna judge myself. I'm gonna be the scientist. I'm gonna put on my scientist's jacket and go, that was interesting. Why might that have been the case and why do I wanna make sure that doesn't happen again? So if you have not had chance to review your year, then definitely do it. Also, I am going to do another goal setting day in January because I've had a number of people.

A couldn't make it and wanted to. I've had a couple of people try and do goal setting, either with themselves or with others, and it just didn't cut the mustard. So I think I'm gonna do another one in January. So keep an eye out for that and maybe drop me a DM if you're interested and I can make sure I send you the details.

Okay. Have a lovely day. Enjoy whatever you are doing. Enjoy this festive season. It's lovely and frosty here today, which I love. Blue sky and frost. It's so nice, so nice. Anyway, I will leave you to it. Have a great day, and I will speak to you soon.