Misconceptions about freedom in business

There are two competing views about freedom.

  1. On one end is the soloprenuer – the person who does all the work themselves. If they don’t show up work doesn’t get done.
  2. On the other end is the owner who has structured a business that runs and grows without them. They have a team and structure where they don’t have to show up for work to get done.

Everyone talks about the second option as being a ‘real’ business – that it should be the ultimate goal of every business owner. And that if you fall into the first category you don’t have a business you have a “glorified job”.

That’s such BS.

Being in business is all about the freedom of CHOICE. The choice to do what we want. When we want to do it. And with the people we want to work with.

I was a soloprener for the first 10 years of my business and I loved it! Yes, I had to show up to do the work or I didn’t get paid. But it was on my terms. I set my own schedule. I (mostly) did things I wanted to be doing. I got to work with some amazing clients.

Beats a job any day imo!

I shifted to a leveraged business model in 2009 and had to learn (the hard way) how to shift my role in the company. How to get the right support and structure in place so I could do LESS of certain things and MORE of others. How to become a CEO.

But I am still working. I am still doing. Yes, I take weekends off and don’t work myself to the bone. I have an amazing team who takes care of the day to day running of my business. We have worked hard to setup solid systems to create ease for all of us. Any of us can take an unplugged vacation and the business runs fine in our absence.

And I’m still here. I’m showing up in my business.

I want to work. I like to work! And I dare say most of us feel the same… eating bonbons on the beach all day would bore the life out of me in short order. (what the heck is a bonbon anyhow?)

It’s more about doing the right things – and knowing that what we do makes the impact we want to make – vs not having to do anything at all. And making sure that our business serves us as much as it serves our clients.

I’m curious – what does freedom in business look like for you?

Choose your challenge

Part of the decision when considering what to offer is:

“What kind of challenge do I want to build into my business?”

Do you prefer a CAPACITY challenge or a MARKETING challenge?

When we are a service provider – OBM, VA, agency, etc – we inherently have more of a CAPACITY challenge built into our day-to-day work.

Having to juggle multiple clients. Dealing with tight deadlines and last minute requests. Getting clear on agreements and boundaries. Managing the expectations of clients. And being able to get all the work done (which can be alot!) <– these are all capacity challenges. 

The plus side of offering professional services is that once you are established, you don’t have to be as focused on marketing constantly. You can have long term retainers, and referral relationships that send folks your way. Yes, there is still effort required to find clients (especially in the beginning!) but it’s not your day-to-day focus.

Conversely, when we offer leveraged programs – such as coaching, consulting, packages, training, etc – we are required to be in constant MARKETING mode.

Posting on social media. Creating content. Running launches. Advertising. Networking. Keeping on top of the ever changing world of marketing strategies so that we don’t fall behind. <– these are all marketing challenges

Leveraged offerings are generally much easier to manage from a capacity perspective. We create the structure of the offer and deliver it as is (so much less uncertainty and last minute stuff that pops up!)

To be clear – you will encounter both challenges regardless of what you offer.

  • There will always marketing challenges as a service provider – it’s just not the main challenge.
  • And there will be capacity challenges with leveraged offers – but marketing will be your main day-to-day focus.

So as you consider what you are offering – be sure to ask yourself:

Would I rather have more of a CAPACITY challenge or a MARKETING challenge?

When you know your preference and go into it with eyes wide open, you can prevent a tonne of heartache and frustration down the road.

2021 Trends for Online Service Providers

As we look back to 2020 – and ‘ease’ into 2021 – what can we expect as service providers? What are the opportunities for us out there today and how can we make the most of them?

To say 2020 was a doozy of a year is to put it mildly, and yet it was a year that opened up all kinds of doors for online service providers… put simply, the world came online last year and you are needed more now than ever. So whether you are a virtual assistant, online business manager, copywriter, funnel builder, web designer or otherwise… if you provide ‘done for you’ services of any kind now is your time.

A two sentence business plan

Say YES to everything until your business is full, then…

Say NO to almost everything to create the business you really want.

In the early stages of business it’s important to say yes to most everything that comes your way for a few reasons:

  • Money – the faster you can start making money the better
  • Clarity – you won’t know what you do (and don’t!) like until you work with various clients… who are your best clients? what are your best services/products to offer? what are you best at? what isn’t a strength?
  • Growth – getting good at sales & marketing is essential in this early stage! Learning how to get to yes is key (I daresay it’s the most important ‘skill’ to learn).

Then, once you get full and have some solid experience under your belt it’s time to start saying no.

No to clients who aren’t a great fit. No to work that isn’t aligned with your strengths. No to opportunities that don’t align with your vision.

One of the bigger mistakes I see business owners make is they start saying NO too early… they aren’t willing to ‘try on’ different experiences and different clients. They are afraid to fail. They think they should have it all figured out and know exactly what they want – and don’t want – from day one. And then get stuck not doing anything because they don’t have that clarity yet (which only comes through experience…)

OR they continue to say yes to everything when it’s time to start saying no. They fall into the trap of thinking they have to ‘grow, grow, GROW!’. They are afraid to say no because it feels limiting. They are used to saying yes to everything and keep doing so out of habit… and then end up with a business they don’t even want. <— ugh, I’ve been there.

I’m curious… are you in more of a say YES stage or a say NO stage of your business?

A counter-intuitive way to explain what you do

Ever tried to explain what you do to someone and get a blank stare in return? Yes, me too.

Especially frustrating when you are talking to a potential client! Someone you know you could help, if you could just ‘get through’ to them.

In today’s new video I share one of my favorite ways to ‘explain’ what you do in a powerful and connected way.

My 3 biggest lessons of the decade

Ahhh to consider where I was back in January 2010 – in the midst of a HUGE change to my business model and everything that came along with that. Soooo much changes since then and so much learned!

Here’s my top 3 lessons of the past decade – I would love to hear yours, please comment and share