Bryony Gibson Consulting turned 10 years old last month. When I look back, I’m not sure what I expected when I took the plunge. To be honest, I’m not even sure what I hoped for but it has been the best experience.

Jumping from a senior role in a global company to working for yourself is a big change. Yes, the experience and training are something I have to thank for getting me to where I am, but everything you do when you run your own business is completely different.

After 10 years, I feel grateful and proud about many things, especially to have played a small part in changing the lives and career paths of many people, so here are my reflections on the things I believe have benefited me most. I hope they can also help you…

1. We all need resilience

In the face of adversity, disruption, and change, we all need the ability to recover quickly. Resilience helps you to persevere, adapt, and deal with uncertainty. Relevant in all walks of life, it’s an important skill to possess, especially if you own a recruitment business.

2. Don’t be afraid to take a step back

Often, the best way to approach the unknown is to step away and put the situation into perspective. While the devil is always in the detail, sometimes you need to remember to pause and look at the bigger picture too.

3. You win some, you lose some

Understanding that you can’t win them all and everything isn’t always perfect was a big turning point. As someone who likes to feel in control, realising that you can’t – and perhaps shouldn’t – influence every situation to turn out the way you want has made a lot of situations better. What will be, will be. 

4. Clear communication solves most problems

When people have a difficult message to deliver or haven’t been upfront and honest from the start, they often avoid the issue and stop communicating. In most cases, silence does more harm than the message you should deliver. The key is honesty. It’s a lot easier and less painful than people seem to think.

5. It’s all about people

You have to work at building good relationships because people prefer to do business with people they like. Get out and network. It’s valuable time spent and all you need to do is listen, be honest, kind and helpful.

6. Keep a positive mental attitude

Very important when you work from home or on your own, your mindset is what keeps you motivated. Of course, it’s okay to doubt yourself at times but don’t allow yourself the luxury of wallowing. Stay optimistic.

7. Trust your judgement

Soak up advice, listen to those who have been there and done it before, and absorb as much knowledge as possible but remember you know your business, so respect your expertise and trust your educated judgement.

8. Nothing good comes easy

You have to put in the work if you want good results. No one is going to give you a handout. Some days will be hard and some days even harder but, as I say to candidates, nothing good grows in a comfort zone.

9. Use your time wisely

Work, and life, can be very busy but we all get the same 24 hours every day. It’s just how you use the time that makes the difference. Successful people think smartly.

10. Always take care of yourself first

This took a long time to learn, but no job is worth your health. Yes, when I feel down or ill, I can still ignore it and push on through but sometimes you need to read the signs and rest. Slow down to speed up. Whether it takes an hour or the entire day, the most important lesson is to remember to be kind to yourself.