There are so many great, inspiring businesses in the equestrian and country industry and the people that run them hold a wealth of knowledge and experience.
So, it was with this in mind that I thought I’d call on some of the most generous business owners I know, to provide you with the very best piece of advice they’ve ever been given, to help them run and grow their business.
Below we have valuable pieces of inspiration from all kinds of equestrian entrepreneurs; from therapists, to retailers, to PR experts, to lifestyle coaches and other equine photographers. We’ve got contributions from right across the board, so hopefully you’ll find this post super valuable and there will something for everybody to take away from this, no matter what product or service you offer.
Without further ado, I’ll let this lovely lot give you the best advice they’ve ever been given…
“Work until your idols become your rivals!” – Rose Lewis, Daydream Equine Art & Photography
“Only work with people you like! The harder the work, the luckier you get. Slap the bitch (the negative voice that tells you you can’t do things) – OK, that’s three.” – Rhea Freeman, Rhea Freeman PR
“Don’t sell yourself short. I spent a long time being wary of putting my prices up and thinking no one would possibly pay me a decent amount of money to do something I love. Then a client, who is also a good friend, laughed in my face when I quoted her for some work and gave me a kick up the backside to charge what I should be charging. Funnily enough no one has told me I’m too expensive yet!” – Alice-Rose Brown, AB Copywriting
“Not everyone is your customer – this will always be at the top of mine and it couldn’t be truer with photography. It can be hard to remember that sometimes. However, aspects such as style, pricing or even attitude may prevent you from working with someone. So don’t panic, just remain true to yourself.” – Rachel Bragg, Sweet Images
“Treat everyone like they are stupid, but not in a patronising way – This applies to my both of my business’s; The livery yard, because people are thoughtless towards others & online, because they haven’t got the product in their hands.” – Rachel Murphy, Great Dunton Farm & Nibbleze Haynets
“The best piece of advice I was ever given was right at the beginning by my dad. He said “Take the leap of faith and go for it…you spend 85% of your life working so you should do something that never feels like work”” – Katie Dartnell, Katie Dartnell Dressage
“Trust your gut instinct – if it feels ‘icky’, give it the body-swerve.” – Karen McConnell, KA Equestrian
“Try to look for the positives in everything you do or the choices you make, even if you fail. Do not be afraid to take risks and never feel you are not worthy, aim to ooze confidence even when you’re unsure.” – Laura Howland, Handwoven Browbands
“Show up every day – It definitely helps to build momentum, focus and drive!” – Gemma Scopes, Heels and Horseshoes
“Create work you love and happy clients will follow. Produce work you think clients will love and you will never be happy with your work” – Katie Mortimore, Katie Mortimore Photography
“Don’t undersell yourself – you have to believe in yourself before anyone else will. Great advice from my mum (who is, of course, very biased!) but for someone who is always overly self-critical, it’s so true.” – Anna Kemp, Hoofprints Photography
“The mistakes you learn the most from will cost you the most money / Do whatever it takes to get it done.” – Lydia Duce, LD Equestrian
“The best advice I got when I was stressing out was, ‘you have to accept you can’t do it all in one day’ and ‘find job/business you love and you will never work another day in your life.'” – Sara Egan, Total Impact Equestrian
“When I first started out one piece of advice that made me go for it and make it official was “the key to success is to start before you are ready”. I could have spent forever trying to get everything ready for a “perfect” start and launch but then I wouldn’t be getting out there now. I’m learning as I go along and enjoying the experience.” – Laura Fiddaman, Laura Fiddaman Photography
“Two thoughts have been the key for me in my self-employed life 1. Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well – many people do what I do (teach riding) but I have always strived to go beyond the usual and create an educational/motivational experience for riders they would struggle to find somewhere else. It’s been very hard sometimes but that thought has helped me stay on track as it’s not about having amazing ideas all the time, big breakthroughs, incredible feedback from riders and massive publicity – it’s having the stamina to give best attention to those ordinary, every day things. If I am feeling knackered with that one more lesson to do or a blog post to write at midnight with head dropping on the table, I like to think about this quote. 2. The only thing you can control is your attitude – like many of you all on here I have very low days and times when I don’t think I am good enough to do this or that but I finally grasped this whole attitude thing I realised I really CAN control it and when the negativity of freelance life tries to gang up on me, I know I can talk myself out of that.” – Wiola Grabowska, Aspire Equestrian
“The confidence you needed to feel like an expert in your field was there all along.” – Leslie Klatt, Equestrian Fitness & Lifestyle Coach
“When you’re up to your eyeballs and you hear the “ker-ching” of another order coming in on your phone, consider it a blessing not an inconvenience! Be pleased you’re still getting orders!! ” – Dominique Pizzingrilli, The Little Pet Biscuit Company
”Be kind to everyone, you don’t know what battles they’ve faced today.” – Kim Fearn, Calico Livery Stables
“Just be nice and be respectful to those you work with. As the saying goes “Be Nice to People on Your Way Up Because You May Well Meet Them On Your Way Down.”” – Samantha Hobden, Haynet
“If it’s not now, then when? If its not me, then who?” – Anne Clarke, Connected Thinking PR
“There is no failure, only feedback. – Having the mindset that there’s no such thing as failing, is very liberating! Imagine what you can do, if you can’t fail! Suddenly, anything that goes a little awry is a lesson, something to learn from and do better with the next time.” – Tracey Cole, Tracey Cole NLP
“Baby steps to prevent overwhelm. If everything is getting on top of you because you have so much to do and can’t think straight, just do something towards your goal. A small thing and do something every day. Before you know it you will be ticking off your goals. I applied this rule when I wrote my book and it’s an amazing piece of advice.” – Patricia Pitt, The Crystal System
“Make your product WOW! If someone can look at it and say ‘so what’, you’re wasting your time.” – Victoria Archer, Niagara Equissage
Do you have anything to add? What’s the best piece of advice YOU have ever been given? Leave a comment below.