Today marks three months of full-time entrepreneurship. Three months of doing something I’ve never done before in my 37 years. Three months that have felt more like three years. I can’t even wrap my mind around everything that has happened in a quarter of a year, but that’s what a blog is for, right? To process these things out for the world to see (and laugh at, and hopefully relate to just a little).
So if you’re ready to compare notes as a fellow small business owner, looking forward to going full-time with a side hustle some day or just generally curious about my success or failure, here’s the latest.
I am a handful
If you’ve ever wanted to meet your Jekyll and Hyde extremes, be an entrepreneur. In a single hour I can go from full-on freak out to composed and controlled to exhausted to grabbing my laptop and cranking out six emails to never wanting to open my laptop again.
I am currently in over-achiever mode, entertaining every new idea, imagining every possible change or shift I could make that could increase success. Incessantly adding to the list in the back of my mind where I store the you-should-do-this’s. You should blog more. You should improve your client onboarding process. You should outsource something. You should definitely outsource the accounting (thank you, Brittney!). You should start doing lives on Thursdays instead of Tuesdays because that’s when your audience is most active. You should treat yourself to a massage because that’s what all the successful girl bosses do (haven’t gotten around to that one yet). You should check that client’s email stats. You should fire that other client, they’re horrible. You should do a better job pitching yourself. You should not pitch yourself right now, you’re too busy! You should get your crap together, you’re starting to look old.
Anyone want to trade minds for a day? Anyone?
I am all the enneagram numbers
Oh, and I’m not one enneagram number, I’m all nine, baby. All. Nine. All the Meyers-Briggs combos. All four DISC types. I’m the ultra creative hermit introvert followed by the live-streaming charismatic communicator followed by the loyal, client-helping servant followed by the thirsty-for-knowledge student followed by the high achieving, loses-track-of-the-time boss, followed by the plain speaking, woman-up-and-deal-with-the-problem fixer.
I am naturally a cautious, slow-processing, multi-proof-reading perfectionist one, ISTJ and C. But she slows me down. She’s more about quality than quantity and she reasons away the uncomfortable, decisive actions that simply have to be taken for a thriving business.
But she also could ensure optimal results over the long-term if I would acknowledge her patient, strategic methods. She reminds me of this daily.
Goal-setting has taken on a new meaning
With “all this time” (HA) I now have to grow a business and create the lifestyle I want, I have somehow become convinced I can reach and exceed every possible goal I’ve ever given a passing thought to. Because having full control over my days suddenly means my time, energy and creativity are readily available at my every whim. Sure.
I want to create a continual source of passive income. Or maybe five sources. I want to hire a team and lean into my leadership skills. I want to be influential beyond the marketing agency. I want to launch a completely unrelated endeavor with my husband.
Basically, my goal setting has taken a leap from the mundane weekly checklist and transformed into a monster business bucket list. I’m okay with that.
People skills are still the linchpin of personal success
Before I made the leap from corporate, I emphasized to my team that there is no other skill that determines one’s success like being good with people. And by being good with people I don’t mean you have to be the most engaging, the most intuitive or the most popular. I mean you have to be more understanding, patient, empathetic and sacrificial for the other guy than you naturally want to be.
This is true whether you’re an employee of a company or a self-employed entrepreneur. It’s true whether you’re naturally good at working with people or not. I said “personal success” in the title because this skill goes beyond business. Likability, positivity, good energy, problem solving, responsiveness, availability and humor all add up to someone others want to work with, which can be the determining factor in whether you gain long-term clients, good testimonials, referrals and a supportive following. Most clients will place more emphasis on this than your experience or skill level. If you have both, you’re unstoppable.
When I’m having a tough moment with a client, I remind myself of this. How I treat someone – client or not – will impact my personal and business reputation for better or worse. Dilute the ego, save the reputation.
The boss babe community is legit
I have friends I’ve met on Instagram and Facebook. Followers who have emailed me just to let me know I’m inspiring them and they want to do what I do some day. Other brilliant marketers I learn from on the regular. More advanced business owners I am chasing. I don’t think I would have known or believed owning my own marketing agency was attainable if it weren’t for other women business owners sharing their stories. Being part of this community is hands-down one of my favorite parts of being a full-time entrepreneur.
Change is inevitable
I already see my business vision and model shifting in the next six months. What existed as a side-hustle for two years before launching full time now needs to evolve. I’m not entirely sure what that looks like but I do know change is inevitable. Do I keep it boutique-level with a few clients I can manage on my own or do I scale up with outsourcing and, at some point, employees? Do I put more effort into the side-project ideas or do I put them on the back burner until the bread-and-butter agency is more fluid? Lots of thoughts there but only time will tell.
If you found this the least bit interesting and want more day-to-day developments in my entrepreneur story, make sure you’re following me here. Oh, and leave a comment to let me know you relate or found something in my story funny or inspiring. I love when you all talk back.