My Work Happy – Helena Murphy, The Guide to Growth

I’ve mentioned before that Instagram has opened up my world professionally. Usually I’m talking about Helena Murphy, from The Guide to Growth. We’ve gone from Insta friendship to working together.  I’d been struggling with the direction and future of my business; Helena had it mapped up by our first coffee break.

As an investor, she brings a clarity of vision and action-based approach that will create immediate impact on your business.  In this My Work Happy, Helena talks goal-setting, making investment decisions, turning off your phone and why whiteboards are key to success.

Helena, hi! Introduce yourself
I’m Helena and I’m a business mentor and investment expert. I work with entrepreneurs to help them grow a sustainable and profitable business by taking simple and strategic action to make more money, pay themselves a salary they deserve and raise private investment.

My partner also works with me in The Guide to Growth to project manage everything and work with our corporate clients. We work from our garden office at our home in Surrey with our cocker spaniel puppy, Bear.

What’s the big plan for the Guide to Growth?
Right now we’re working on launching our first ever group programme in January 2018. I wanted to create a mastermind of like-minded entrepreneurs who could all bounce off one another and support each other, whilst also guiding them through the process of how to build, grow and scale their business.

How are you setting goals for your business?
Our business works on quarters so we set a vision for the year of what we want to achieve and then break that down into quarterly goals and targets. I like to focus on one of two big things each quarter as I find that keeps me moving forward and stops me getting stuck in the busy-ness of the day-to-day. Last quarter I launched The Guide To Growth Podcast and this quarter my focus is very much on my group programme.

And what keeps you on track?
My partner! His main role in our business is to project manage and make sure everything we say we’re going to do gets done across the board, from working with entrepreneurs, to corporate clients and investments. Even though we live and work together, we have quite a formal process when it comes to work, we have daily and weekly meetings, as well as board meetings and project management tracking tools.

And on the low-mojo days or, when you hit a wall in your business? What do you do?
I down tools completely. If I’m feeling really stuck in a rut, it’s usually because I’ve been trying to do too much and I need a break. I write the day, or even the next few days off, put my phone and laptop in a drawer and focus on my self-care. I’ll go for a walk, play with the dog, see my family or go to the gym and just take time out for myself. I find that when I do, I come back raring to go and much more inspired.

How do you celebrate your success?
I make lists! Every week on a Friday, my partner and I write down everything we’ve achieved that week and put it on our fridge. We then light fire, pick a new film to watch and have a glass of prosecco! It’s a little tradition that we try to stick to as much as possible, otherwise it can be so easy to focus on all the things you didn’t get done rather than the things you did.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
The people I work with, books and also every day life. I’m always looking for opportunities and ways to make things better and do things differently. I think it’s really important to give yourself that space and time to be inspired and open yourself up to new opportunities by looking up and around you, rather than head down in the day-to-day.

What’s the one success habit that’s changed your business?
Journaling and whiteboards! I am obsessed with static whiteboards and I have them all over my office walls. It really helps to map out the big vision and plan for the business and keep me on track. I use them with all of my clients too!

Tribe – who’s yours and what does it mean to you?
Our tribe is everything. As a business we wouldn’t be where we are now without them. Community and customers are at the centre of everything we do and although our tribe might be small in comparison to others (we’re not in the tens of thousands yet), I love that I know pretty much everyone and their business who is part of my Facebook group, follows me on Instagram and subscribes to my emails. I love talking to people, helping them whenever I can, whether that’s commercially or not, and making connections.

I also think it’s really important to have a tribe of professionals who can help you grow your business, in our case that’s having a great relationship with our accountant, solicitor, financial advisors, investors and mentors.

What’s exciting you most at the moment?
Christmas! Just kidding, (kind of). We’re coming in to our busiest time of year with people looking to raise investment as it’s now that people start to plan for the end of the financial year next April. Commercially our clients want to maximise on Christmas sales too so I’m excited to see the results we can deliver before the end of the year!

Work-life balance – what’s the secret?
Switching your phone off or in extreme cases, the Wi-Fi!

What’s your work happy?
When my clients see the results of working together. I love it when their sales increase or when they close a big round of investment and can finally take a break or pay themselves a salary. It makes a huge difference to their lives and it makes me so happy to be play a part in that.