It took me a long time to realise that if I wanted to make more money I needed to love what I’m doing. I needed to be calm more than stressed, high more than low and motivated more than tired. This may sound obvious, of course it does, but as I look around, speak to self-employed people and think about this, it doesn’t feel like we’ve all nailed it, to be honest.
Before I was self-employed I had a dream of running a business, being my own boss. I thought I would wake up early, take a pilates class, make a wholesome breakfast, constantly be on top of the housework and love every minute of the work I was doing. I presumed that’s what all self-employed women’s lives were like.
Very quickly I realised it was more like a constant balance of trying to maintain a tiny bit of a healthy lifestyle, working from dining tables, feeling guilty for not getting to more networking events or finishing those courses you’ve signed up for. Do you get me? Have you been there?
In all honesty, I ran like this for the first 4 months of my business as it grew way quicker than I could’ve hoped for…but at what price. Now, I can’t believe I’m going to say this but lockdown saved me. I lost all my clients, my childcare and sat looking at all the boxes (we moved house the day before lockdown) crying! How could my business be taken away from me? But also, how the F was I meant to bring it back without any time. I wasn’t alone for 17 weeks.
Simply, I focused on what I loved doing. I looked at what I’d been doing for clients as realised that it didn’t actually fill me with joy. I hadn’t niched. I wasn’t doing what I loved.
I took this time to think about what I was AMAZING at, what I LOVED doing and who I ADORED working with. I now have a team of 5, and have smashed every target I’ve set myself. I’ve turned a higher profit than before AND have more fun doing it.
I simply love what I do. Yes I get frustrated, yes I want to throw my PC out the window, yes some clients are still wanting something for nothing but I get love from the wins. The results. The rush of knowing that another women’s business is growing because of my (and my teams) help and support.
So, from that lesson, I’ve pulled together my 5 tips to help you love your business again. You know that I’m going to say outsourcing is key (we can chat about that here) but I want these to be 5 fresh tips!
1- Ask what people want.
I’ve had people approach me to help them with a launch when they already have the idea. I get stuck in and find they have no list, no engagement, they just want to start something and they hope people will buy. They write the programme/content/whatever it is and then sit and wait for people to come. Don’t do this! This is a quick way to HATE your business. Find your ideal client and actually ask them what they want, what their problems are and then combine that with your skills and how you can help them and BAM, you have something that you love doing, that you know people want and will make some difference.
Wasting your time eats into your profits, so go about things in the right order.
2- What’s your zone of genius?
What wonderful skill do you have that made you start this business? I was working with a florist who loved the wedding side of the business more than anything else. She had 4-5 weddings a week and was sat in her shop while her team went and did them. She was spending her time doing emails, invoicing, marketing, the admin for her courses, the tech for her membership and all of these things needed work because she didn’t love them, she didn’t know how to do them properly. Meanwhile, she was paying someone else to be out there doing the thing she actually loved. It sounds so obvious but so many entrepreneurs outsource the wrong part of their business.
She makes more money focussing on weddings as it’s where her joy is. The other stuff is simplified, outsourced or dumped!
3- Build a network.
Don’t do everything alone. And I’m (as promised) not talking about outsourcing here, I’m talking about building some “colleagues”, a tribe. Other women who are living this crazy entrepreneur life. Think about the people you worked within the ‘job’ world. There was always someone you’d lunch with, someone you’d message about random stuff, the work wives, work mums even. You need those people. It will soon get lonely and no one can love something that makes them feel lonely, right?
Also, you never know who can help you and who will buy from you- this is networking with the additional benefit of support.
4- Do something you love every day.
This could be something in your business or otherwise. So in my business, I make sure I do some writing every day, some email copy, a clients blog or even some social posts. For none business stuff I make sure I’ve walked the dog or done a 10-minute pilates video. Something you love that will motivate you and something that will put a smile on your face!
Clients faced with your smiling face will be much more drawn to working with you than if you’re shattered, washed out and on the verge of tears.
5- Remember to have fun.
If you’re going to take every detail of your business seriously, you’re not going to love it. If you get so caught up in the insights of your social media you’ll find it hard to try new things and have fun with it. If you’re super stressed about getting a new client that will come across on your discovery chat and more often than not is picked up by your potential. Also and most importantly- if you fill ALL of your time with work, family, kids, jobs, housework and also try to be the marketing manager, tech dept, head of finance AND you have to drink 2l of water, eat your veg and move your body…well…you can see why that’s hard to love. Having some fun will draw in people who also love a bit of fun, your vibe attracted your tribe remember. And, it’s easier to be present and perform at your best when what you’re doing is fun!
Mixing these 5 steps with keeping everything you do focused and simple will help you to love this business, get to the point you wanted when you started this life of self-employment and drive your profit…
And anyway, my days do look a lot more like I imagined now, it simply takes a bit of discipline and a lot of being kind to yourself.