A little over a year ago I was in France trying to pick up extra work while I tried to be an “entrepreneur.” In truth, I quit my job too hastily, without enough savings, and too many motivational gurus in my inbox. I was struggling. But thankfully, I was blessed with a partnership from my old job that allowed me to start my own business, a marketing agency for doctors and holistic practitioners. In a year. I grew from 7 clients to 27. It’s been amazing, fulfilling, and hard as hell. Here’s where I f*@#ed up.
I got busy fast. Where I messed up was hastily hiring friends to help me out. Here’s the problem. I was so used to doing everything myself, that I failed to delegate and teach. When my friend made a mistake, I would fix it myself and the next time a similar project came around I’d just finish it for fear he would make more mistakes. Eventually, I was just doing EVERYTHING and making up busy work for him to do. I was ill prepared to manage someone and set no expectations about due dates, communication style, or assignments. I was the sucky boss! As a result, my friend was unsure how to measure his success or improve. It didn’t work out.
Parked My Behind
With more work, came more hours in front of the computer. I would sit for 12-16 hours a day for weeks! As a result, I developed some crazy back pain that I’m still working on now. I do yoga and make sure to take a mid afternoon walking break. It helps, but I’m still not 100% yet. (If you have any suggestions on treating back pain please send them my way!)
Saying “No” Too Much
My clients appreciate my work, so they often requested my help with simple projects outside of what I offer in my monthly packages. These requests would vary from creating their Facebook pages to teaching them how to use Facebook Live. I always said no because I was too busy, even though I knew I could complete the consulting call and charge for it. Looking back now, I feel like a crappy business owner that says no to everything outside the box. I should have explained my time constraint to the client and referred them out. Instead, I said no and offered no alternative. I’m sure I even had a little attitude on the phone. Now that I’m less stressed, I am so embarrassed at how difficult I was being.
Making Time To Learn
Like I said, I was (kinda still am) working 12-16 hour days. I spend so much time working that I struggled to stay up to date on the new stuff with Facebook and Instagram marketing. Couple that with the constant “GROW YOUR AGENCY” marketing ads, I was a sucka. The ads were hitting all my pain points. YES, I had no time. YES, I wanted better results. YES, I will buy your expensive ass course and not implement it because I have no fricking time! So, I would buy things and never make the time to learn or apply it. Lots of wasted coins.
I know earlier I said that saying “no” too much was a mistake, but I also said “Yes” too much as well. I usually take on one client/week so I can focus on getting their campaign completed. However, the new clients were so eager to get started. They would always ask, can’t you get me in a little earlier? And you know what I’d say? YES! And you know what I’d be doing? UH HUH. Working them damn 16 hour days. Not anymore sis.
Those are the 5 things I did wrong, but I’ve been working really hard to self-correct. Looking back, I do see a lot of things that I have done right.
Even though working with my friends didn’t work out, I didn’t give up the search. I now have two team members who are going through a real on-boarding process. I have a training website and everything ya’ll! If at first you don’t succeed, don’t be afraid to try again.
I cannot unwind at home because I work from home. I always feel like I should be tackling one of the 100 things on my to-do list even when it’s the weekend or the TV is on. So I’ve been scheduling in fun. I sign up and PAY for social events, plan weekends with friends, and even have a staycation set up for later this month where I’m just going to read, eat, and binge watch TV. I feel 100 times happier since picking up this habit.
Good Customer Service
Stressed people make mistakes. I am so thankful that I have been able to develop a rapport with my clients so that when results were lackluster or they are unhappy, they give me the benefit of the doubt. I am friendly, personable, and invested in all of my clients. It shows in the way I communicate and has helped me create loyalty in a market where people jump around a lot.
I started reading fiction again. I used to never be able to read a self-help or business book, but as I started to enjoy them on Audible and apply the strategies to my business, I became consumed. I felt so guilty reading for fun when I could be reading a book that would help me make more money. Thankfully, I ditched that habit a few months ago and went back to reading what I enjoy. I read because I like it. Fiction or nonfiction. Reading for fun fills me up in a way all the business books can’t. It’s funny the number of ideas and solutions we can come up with when we’re relaxed!
What do I mean by soaking? I guess I’m trying to say that I took some time to not be a guru and just soak in my experiences. I shut down my Six of 7 Facebook Group, chilled with the daily Instagram posts, and weekly newsletters. I feel like there is a lot of “START YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS” noise out there and I didn’t want to add to it. I want to provide clarity and results. I couldn’t do that when I was all stressed out. So I took some time away to soak in my experiences and figure out how to navigate. I feel clearer and like less of a me-too online personality. I feel like more me.
That was a long one, wasn’t it? I hope my experience was able to help you in some way. If so, drop a comment below. I’d love to know your thoughts.