How are you? So, I hope you're enjoying your summer! Well, a LOT has been going on!
If you've been following me on my business Instagram (and Facebook), you've probably noticed quite a few changes. Over the past few months, I've really been looking at this business and thinking really hard about what I want it to be and how I want to deliver that vision. Now, if you've been around since the beginning you know that I'm constantly kicking the tires on this thing to make sure it is developing into the kind of firms that I admire in Fortune and Forbes. Sometimes, that means I have to step back and not push out a large quantity of content (social media followers hate that), but be still so I can develop quality content (actual customers love that). I'm a strategist, but I'm also a processor. I'm a questioner. Yet, I'm also a realist...
What I found is that I wanted to grow, but some of the ways that I was working weren't working for me. Some of the things I needed to do to grow, I wasn't doing. Some of the things I was doing weren't authentic, and quite frankly, some stuff I was doing, I just didn't want to do but was because of "competitor pressure"! You know the peer pressure you face when you watch other entrepreneurs doing something and succeeding so you feel like you have to do it, too? Or am I the only one?
Anyway, I was busy a lot, but I wasn't proactively productive in the service of my vision. So, I spent most of May testing, June I sat down and scrapped everything I'd done up until that point and started this business over from scratch (sort of). You've probably noticed the changes.
Now, first the great news...in May, I had my first real consulting client! My client had a successful 6-figure wholesale consumer goods firm, but ran into trouble because she didn't establish her business on the right foundation. Unfortunately, like many entrepreneurs I talk to, she was following "online/social media gurus" who pushed questionable business practices and unsound business advice in an effort to get followers and boost sales of lackluster products and services. She came to me as a referral from a former coworker who I'm immensely grateful for trusting me enough to recommend me. During that month, we worked to re-establish her business. We were able to save the parts that were functioning well (her supply chain is amazing) and got rid of what wasn't working. I'm happy that we'll continue to work together on a coaching basis! She was very pleased with the results and thankful that although the lesson was a hard one to learn that her business could go forward.
After working with her, I decided to sit down and look at my own business strategy. And I didn't like some of what I was seeing so I made changes! Here are a few:
Take a picture it lasts longer! Instagram is Life!
Instagram is now where I live. Yeah, I'm still on Facebook and Twitter, but they ain't loyal. Facebook's shenanigans in particular...I ain't got that kind of time! OK! Now, my pages are still up and they're active cause I'm not crazy, but I'm not putting a lot of energy and effort into them. I'm investing in what gives me a return. That's IG and Pinterest. Instagram is my baby for brand awareness; Pinterest is my ace for driving traffic. Pinterest is really driving traffic to my site, products, and opt-ins! So, I'm sticking with these two for the foreseeable future.
Rome wasn't built in a day, But a Blog??? Maybe...
I've decided to really focus on building this blog. Given the changing nature of social media and my writer's block with email, I figured in the short-term the best way to highlight what I know and share that information with you all is through the blog. I killed my "free funnel". Right now, it doesn't make sense for my business. I will have free offerings from time-to-time as they make sense, but in general, most of my free content will come from the blog or social media. That is where I will answer questions, address issues, and share insights that will help you be a better leader and grow a better business as an entrepreneur. (That meant closing down the Facebook group, too). So, far, I've blogged at least 3xs per week. In just a month or so that I've done it the blog has made over $500. Seems like it was a good idea!
Sending You A 4-Page Letter...Or Email
I need to really step up my email marketing game. Here's the truth, I have time scheduled to write to my subscribers, but I never know what to say. I freeze up and get writer's block. Why? Because I'm really an introvert. I'm actually an INTJ/ISTJ (that N and S are actually 51/49 and are highly situational, lol). What that means is that if I don't feel like I have something of import to say, I don't say it. The topics I talk about most often (that I can riff on for hours) aren't generally things I'd say in an email. But, I'm dedicating myself to getting better. I've been taking classes (that's how I gain confidence, by acquiring more knowledge, even when it's not necessary), and I've actually been working on an email challenge to force myself to do it! Hopefully, others who are having this challenge will join me and we can be accountability partners. I know once I get into a routine of doing it (like I did with my blog and workouts), I won't feel the same fear and be able to do it.
All Systems Are Go
I'm upgrading my systems. To help me do all that I plan to do, I realized I needed to change my systems and processes. Now, in my former life, I was a Project Manager and Process Improvement Specialist. I also worked as a Business and Systems Analyst. So, this is all in my wheelhouse. To step my game up to the next level meant I had to make some investments in my business. Now, as much as I love ActiveCampaign and loved ConvertKit (and I still highly recommend them), to do what I want to do at the level I want to do it consistently, I need more automation. I needed to move things off my plate, so I could add more on. So, over the next few weeks, I'm moving to Ontraport. I'm really excited about this upgrade and can't wait to tell you how it's going.
SOS...Send Help! Delegating and Outsourcing
I had to delegate and outsource. Let me tell you! It's been the best decision I've made thus far. Before, I was trying to do EVERY SINGLE THING by myself. It was a mess. I was missing things, things were falling through the cracks, I was second-guessing everything, trying to learn everything...a mess! Now, finding good help...that's still a challenge. But, so far I have two AMAZING virtual assistants and I definitely wouldn't be able to do all that I'm attempting to do now without them. You may have even met them already. They're the gatekeepers I need for everyone who wants a free session, has a "quick" question that takes hours to answer and tons of energy, isn't serious about doing the work, or just generally has legitimate questions that I don't specifically need to answer. I mean how do you think I've been getting these blogs out!
Now...Let's Get Personal
I've put me first! This is perhaps the biggest change. I really had to accept that my business needs me for direction, but if it's a legitimate business should not need me for execution. I was ego-tripping and self-sabotaging all at the same time. It was affecting my physical, mental, emotional, and financial health. I needed to take a break. (I'm still working on that vacation...soon come). I needed to take care of me---FIRST.
I'll be honest, the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain really bothered me and they STILL upset me. For reasons, I haven't been able to fully understand yet myself. But, I think much of it comes from the understanding that when you're striving to be successful, reaching for greatness, and building a legacy at the same time---it can be pretty damn lonely. Not a lot of people understand that journey. Now, I know that's not their particular stories, but it's the part of it that resonates with me.
Now, I am a happy, growing and evolving, single woman, yet I am going through and preparing for some drastic changes in my personal life. And those changes are shifting my reality in ways I couldn't have predicted. But, it's also made me feel tremendously alone a lot. I don't have a partner to vent to. If you're an entrepreneur you know that friends and family generally don't even understand what you do much less how it effects you. So, that kind of isolates you. I do make use of a therapist and coaches. I've even started investing in membership groups and masterminds and they are great! They've really helped me get out of the cloud that this journey can put you under sometimes. Now, I'm not depressed, but it does feel good to know there are people who get it. There are times when I wish there was someone there to say, "STOP! You are taking a break right now! Let's go!" But, I don't. There's the other part that feels guilty that I would make that someone else's burden. But, I am a workaholic by nature. I enjoy work. I really love to work and see the results of my sacrifice. But, it's still hard.
So, I've committed to controlling what I can right now. That's meant working out at least 4 days a week. Going to bed by 10pm, getting up by 6:30am, and pushing the start of my day to around 10am. That's also meant changing my diet and being really conscious not only about what I'm eating, but the quality of what I'm eating and where it's come from. I'm watching less TV, consuming real news in scheduled portions which my Google Home is really good for (cause chile it's crazy out here in this world), I'm listening to more music, reading more, listening to podcasts more, rewarding and treating myself more. I've integrated mediation throughout the day and try not to consume social media and email (personal) as little as possible. I'm more focused on trying to live in abundance and manifesting that abundance even in the small things. I've also had to diet from relationships. Some people just had to go. Not because they're bad, but because they're not healthy or helpful for me right now. I'm keeping my nail appointments rather than rescheduling for work. I cut off all my hair rather than fight against it falling out...
I've taken a break from my doctors. Because for me, going to the doctor was stressful and made me sicker. I have dealt with some serious health issues (more on that another time). I still deal with some really serious health challenges. But, I found going to the doctor was messing with my anxiety, making me despondent, and draining me of energy. So, I came to a tacit agreement with my doctor that I would follow some rules, but only come to see him if it was an emergency. My part of the agreement was that I take care of me and take a vacation. So far...so good.
The short version is that I've found peace and contentment. That is showing up in my work. It shows up in my approach to work. My approach to life. I'm better for it and my business is becoming better for it.
There are a lot of changes going on and many more coming. I'm hoping you continue on the ride with me. I'd also love to hear how you manage your life versus your love for what you do? If you don't love exactly what you're doing right now, how do you plan to change it? What investments are you willing to make to have the life you truly desire? What stories are you willing to stop telling yourself to create a new truth and live in a new reality?
Oh, and if you have any tips for working out and healthy meals...PLEASE SHARE!
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