It’s been a really long time since I have had the focus to assemble my thoughts into what I felt would be good content to share with you. I am still not sure about saying what I am about to say, but I have decided that along with the new look and feel of my website, I am going to be completely transparent and share what’s been going on with me and my business.
First, I am no longer working with a team full time. It was not a decision I made lightly, it was actually incredibly painful. I had people who were counting on me to help them pay their bills and take care of their families and it just wasn’t working. I accept a big part of the blame for not having appropriate boundaries in place and making decisions based on my personal feelings, rather than what was good for my business. I was stressed and I really started to dread getting up out of the bed every morning. It was completely overwhelming.
I also had clients who took advantage of our “friendship” and because I am a bit of a people pleaser, things were just out of control. I was getting referral work and alot of it, but someone else was dictating my rates, my hours and it just wasn’t the way I wanted to do business. I won’t get into too much detail here, but suffice it to say relationships ended badly and I felt horrible, but I was also terrified. What if I really didn’t know what I was doing? What if I just didn’t have what it takes to run a company? And to make matters worse, things were being put out there that were completely false.
The end result was I just decided I needed to take a break and a long one. But I had to figure out how I was going to pay my bills in the interim. So believe it or not, after almost 7 years in business, I took a job. It started out as a consulting gig and morphed into a full time position at a wonderful company. I now had benefits and a steady paycheck. Just what I was telling myself I DIDN’T WANT anymore for years. I thought I would be miserable, but lo and behold, I was happy. I was around people every day again. I was back in the city again. I had a flexible work schedule and I could also work from home via a company provided laptop. It was actually the perfect situation for me given my circumstances. I am no longer taking on VA clients. I simply can’t do the day-to-day support anymore, and I don’t have anyone to delegate that work. I am only working with those clients who can afford my full rate and have more “project-based work”, that I can chip away at daily with my new schedule. I am OK with that because I realized how much I didn’t enjoy the day-to-day support. Most of my client work was creative, there were many tasks that people just didn’t want to pay my full rate for because they deemed it administrative. I had clients I LOVED working with, but resented because they were always asking for discounts. Moving people into packages helped slightly, but not much.
I asked myself what I really wanted to do and I knew I loved running social media marketing campaigns, developing websites and brands and BLOGGING. Since all three had a common thread, I decided these will be the services I offer going forward. They can be done according to my availability and as long as clients get the results they are after, there isn’t an issue. I have also just completed an SEO course and am looking to adding that into the mix later this year when I have a proven track record. If that is of interest, please let me know.
You would think working 35 hours a week would somehow hinder all of this. Actually what I have found is I am WAY more structured with my time. I come home and usually put in 2-3 hours per night, or 15 hours and then another 12 spread out over the weekend. On the days I work from home, I can put in some extra time because I don’t have to commute to and from the office. It works. Some days are longer than others, but the lack of stress is such a relief. I used to work way longer hours when I was running my business full time. And now I know every two weeks I will have paycheck coming in and my client project work goes towards savings and other projects that I am personally working on, like my book, house projects and more. My life is fuller somehow, not busier. And I am finally feeling like I can stand on my own two feet again.
And guess what? Because I don’t “need” that next project, I am quoting firm prices and either they pay it or they don’t. No biggie. I know eventually I will make that shift back to being a full time entrepreneur, but for now – I am feeling happy, fulfilled and my creative side is in “overdrive”. I just freshened my logo and am pretty happy with it. If you are reading this post, you can also see I completely re-vamped my website, as well. I am writing more and working on content that I know you are going to really find valuable, rather than just broadcasting. And now that I am clearer about my business focus, much of what I do will focus on developing your social media network and creating passive income via blogging. That is now the goal.
By 2017, I want to be blogging full time and generating a monthly passive income of no less than $15K/month. I am thinking about starting a group for other new bloggers who are looking to do the same. I know support is critical.
As always, thanks for listening. Please feel free to share this with anyone you know who is struggling to get their business to the next level. Sometime you have to take two steps back before you can go forward – and that’s okay. Remember to always do what makes you happiest in your heart and stop worrying about what everyone else says and thinks. At the end of the day, it’s your life and your business.
Make today amazing.