Brian Thompson Financial just celebrated its seventh birthday. In this inspirational special episode, Brian reflects on the lessons he’s learned as a mission-driven business owner over the past seven years. He also shares the moments that led him to starting his own company, critical turning points, and factors he attributes to his success.
Episode Highlights: 7 Lessons
1. Celebrate your success.
Starting a business is scary and involves a lot of risk. To stay grateful and humble, it’s important to celebrate what you’ve built.
“I’ve found taking moments to appreciate and celebrate things about my business has helped keep me present. And it’s really fun to celebrate and recognize the achievements of having somebody give you money for your services.”
2. You don’t have to be perfect.
Everyone will mess up when it comes to running to a business. The important thing is to recognize when you’ve made a mistake, learn from it, and then take a different action in the future.
“I’ve taken on too much, not served clients in the best way, or let the business consume too much of me. I’ve learned to accept that this is a growth process and will continue as long as I’m in business.”
3. Everything is an experiment.
Thinking of your business ideas as experiments can help you overcome paralysis from fear of change and seize new opportunities. Continuous experimentation that follows the principles of build, measure, and learn empowers you to create the business you want.
“It takes the pressure off by thinking that everything I do in the business is an experiment. I’ve had so many opportunities to try different things or take the business in a different direction.”
4. Follow your curiosity.
The good and bad thing about being a business owner? You can build whatever you want. To help you find focus and direction, follow your curiosity.
“What things do you really enjoy? What do you find yourself working on or researching when you ‘should’ be doing other things? The answers to those questions have helped me develop many new aspects of my business that I never initially considered.”
5. Delegate (even when you don’t want to).
It takes time to follow the things you’re curious about or take the business in a new direction, which means you’re going to have to give up doing some of the business tasks. If you’re a “control freak,” this can be difficult.
“It’s been very hard for me to hand off things to someone else, but I realize that in order to be able to focus and still do the things that I want to do, someone else has to take over things that maybe I don’t do the best.”
6. Marketing is hard but necessary.
You can have the best product or service in the world, but it’s useless if nobody knows about it. To grow your business, you have to put yourself out there, promote what you do, and show people why it’s important.
“With things like my podcast, I’ve learned how to promote myself more in the service of the business and to my potential clients. It’s still hard seeing myself on video or hearing my voice, but that imperfection and vulnerability helps me connect with people in ways that I didn’t expect.”
7. You are enough.
Chances are, there are many other business owners doing exactly what you do. If you’re feeling insecure, it’s important to remember that you are enough just as you are. Each business owner brings a unique and different perspective — and that’s worth a lot.
“Insecurity and imposter syndrome were huge stumbling blocks for me, but they became stepping stones when I stopped comparing myself to other business owners and began focusing on my value. Whatever it takes for you to really internalize and accept your value as a person and what you bring to the world, the easier it is for you to create the thing that you do.”
Resources + Links
About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast
Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.
On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.