If there’s anybody out there who knows how scary it is to raise their prices, it’s me.
Now, here’s the real real: There are a lot of copywriters out there who charge much higher prices than I do. (And yes, I realize the absurdity of this given that my tagline includes the word “couture.”) I’ve had this brought to my attention by nearly everyone – clients, business coaches, colleagues, you name it.
And while working on our money mindset is all the rage these days (and we’re constantly bombarded with messages like, “Charge what you’re worthy, honey!”), I still don’t think it’s cool when someone busts into a new scene and demands top dollar. I think you’ve got to work up to charging higher prices. Y’know, that whole “It’s a privilege, not a right” deal. I don’t mind earning my chops (although let’s be real…I’ve been writing online for money over years.)
So I’ve kept my prices decent and affordable for new business owners, who are also some of my fave people to work with.
And it’s all been gravy…until lately.
Nowadays, it feels like my lower-ish rates are starting to backfire on me.
How so, you ask?
Well, I’m inundated with client work. And while I love ’em all, unfortunately my time/energy/loveliness has been spread far too thin. I’ve noticed my quality of work slipping (and with it, my illusions of shorter workdays, where the second half is spent making mad cash while sipping moscato on a park bench…except, you know, legal). I’ve had to call myself out for lazy writing (telling, not showing) quite a few times.
And then a few weeks back, I really hit an all-time low. I realized I had stopped thinking about prospects in terms of “good fit,” “bad fit” and whether or not I’m excited/turned on by the client/business… and starting thinking in terms of dollah signs.
As in…if I work with this person and this person and this person (no names used) and charge this much, I can afford to pay my health insurance bill this month.
I did not get into business to treat clients like they’re just a means to money in the bank.
Hell to the no.
I want to make sure this business stays fun and my writing stays fresh (so that, y’know, it actually works for my people). So it feels really out of integrity with my bigger mission – to empower women business owners to share their shit and own their fabulousness – to continue doing what I’ve been doing (which is pumping out copy like a well-manicured machine, without having the time/energy to truly connect with my clients). So I’ve decided to do something that terrifies me and a LOT of other women: re-evaluate my prices.
Cue the dun, dun, duuuuun.
But here’s the deal: I know I’ve helped clients usher in thousands upon thousands of dollars. I know I’ve helped others break through years of overwhelm, frustration and just “not getting it right”-ness. So my value is apparent. It’s real. Tangible, even.
And although it’d obvs be nice to be able to afford a Birkin or pair of Louboutins as a result of changing up my prices, that’s not what this is about AT ALL. I want to be able to pay my bills, sure, but my re-evaluation is more about feeling OKAY with who I am as a businesswoman and person.
If you’re floatin’ in the same boat (as in working your talented butt off for clients and still struggling to pay bills and feeling terrible about your sub-par customer service), I’ve pulled together a few pieces of wisdom to make you feel better about raising your own prices. Because seriously….in certain cases, asking for more makes you a better human being, not worse.
Read on, yo.
So, why will charging more make you a better, more responsible and sometimes even more likable human?
1. You’re more relaxed when you make more cash. I have existed on PB&J sandwiches for weeks, and let me tell you, it’s not as awesome as it sounds. It’s much nicer to know that rent will get paid, the cats will have Fancy Feast and I can buy organic carrots without calling it a “splurge.” And the best part is, when you’re relaxed, you treat everyone with more respect. Better human? Totes.
2. You can focus on loving up the clients you ALREADY have. Your current clients should never feel neglected. Nurturing the relationships you’ve already got is key to your biz success…and to being a good human. When you don’t have to hustle like the rent’s due all the time, you can actually breathe, do good work and y’know, respond to your client’s emails in a timely manner. (And remember it costs 10x more to find a new customer than hang onto a current one.)
3. You can switch from promotion mode to creation mode. When you need 20 clients a month just to stay above water, you’re probably promoting yourself A LOT, instead of taking time to develop kickass content/courses TO promote. Content isn’t just an amazing way to show people you know your shit, it’s also valuable to those people. You’re helping them! Don’t you feel like a better human just thinking about that?
4. You can use the extra time to cultivate a stronger brand. When we’re drowning in client work, we often neglect our own brands, but seriously, how people perceive your business is everything. Once you raise your rates, you can spend time working on perfecting every aspect of your brand, including your customer experience…which admittedly, might kinda suck right now. How can you make working with you a more fun, personal, high-touch process? Why not funnel some of that extra coin back into deee-lighting your clients with snazzy cards and I don’t know…lipglosses? I mean, what human wouldn’t love opening up their mailbox to a cool new MAC lipgloss from the lady they just hired? Exactly. They = lookin’ fly and you = BETTER HUMAN.
5. You can set stronger boundaries. With mo’ cash flow rolling in, you can start saying “No” to non-dream clients more often (and not have to worry your cell will start ringing off the hook with bill collectors). When you say “No” to peeps who don’t really do it for ya, you open up the opportunity for them to find a service/product provider who’s as invested in their project as they are. And that, my dear, is some good human type shit. Once you’ve figured out who you love, why waste time (theirs or yours) with anybody else?
There ya have it, girlfriends. Five reasons why you should STOP selling for peanuts and become a better human being. Now get out there and BE GOOD!
// YOUR TURN!
I’d love to hear about your own experiences with raising your prices. Do you think it’s made you a better businesswoman/human? What changes have you noticed in how you show up in your business and the world? Where are you able to focus now that you weren’t before? And if you’ve never raised your prices, what would you like to have more time, energy, space to focus on that you can’t now?
P.S. If you’re interested in learning more how to raise your prices and elevate your brand through unique-to-you premium offerings, sit tight, beaut. I’ll be talking a lot more about this in the coming weeks…and maaaaybe even be able to help you do so at a low, BETA rate. Add your name to my list (using the cute sign-up box below) to make sure you don’t miss the big announcement!
Apparently, I’m getting older.
Two weeks ago, I was lounging in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, delightfully marinating underneath the palm trees with my 2 besties who are also late 20-somethings. I was rocking my low-rise denim cut offs and gladiator sandals and flowy top and feeling generally okay about myself, in spite of the fact that it was spring break week and everybody everywhere was about 10 years younger than me.
I didn’t really feel any “different” – at least, not until we hit the town later that night, still in our low-rise denim. Still in our gladiator sandals. Still in our flowy, oversized tops.
‘Cause every other chick in a 2-mile radius? Every other chick was sporting a crop top and high-waisted denim cut-off shorts that would probably get you arrested most places in the U.S.
Don’t get me wrong – they all looked beautiful. I think the look is cute. And especially cute on Amazon-esque, tan, thin 18-year-olds.
And it wasn’t like each girl wasn’t giving it her own unique twist. Nobody was wearing the same crop top, or the same pair of denim cut-offs. Some crop tops were basic, some were patterned. Some cut-offs were white, some were shredded, some had cool, vintage looking patches. But still…it was like there was some Cabo uniform I was unaware of, and it made me mildly self conscious.
But a funny thing happened when we went out in Cabo. We found ourselves swarmed by people (guys, girls, locals – whatever) wanting to talk to us + get to know us. Everybody told us we looked friendly and “different” (or, y’know, maybe we just looked old enough to wield an AmEx…I don’t know).
Either way, the fact that we were a bit older, and not dressed like everybody else…turned out to be a wonderful conversation starter. An asset, if you will. (Not to be confused with an ass-et.)
And all of this, naturally, got me thinking about business. Ladies, honestly: It’s so easy to get lost in online business. It’s so easy to become the “Cabo Girl” – blindly following the trends and desperately trying to make them your own…but still looking like everybody else in the end.
There are so many people who run similar types of businesses, write the same kinds of blogs, have the same style of website, package their shit in similar ways.
Which is fine. And expected. You shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel as an entrepreneur, especially when there are proven systems/tactics/tips that work (in fact, I’ve written about this before).
The real problem is that there are so many people who create businesses, websites and blogs and all these things without a real, clear sense of their brand. They don’t know WTF sets them apart, or how to showcase that in a way that’s fun + exciting + unique. They just decide to embody a certain trend because they saw it on
Lookbook.nu some forum, or somebody else’s blog.
I know I’ve talked about it before (in a slightly different context), but I truly believe it’s the “little things” that make us feel the most polished + put together – the most “us.” IRL, I mean like…manis + pedis. Hair color + style. And blending classics + trends together to create one-of-a-kind ensembles. And rocking super low-rise denim even if it’s not “the thing” anymore, just because you love it.
I believe it’s the same online. The key to standing out is all in the little things, baby.
Here are a few (little) ways you can add more delicious YOU-ness to your brand:
1. Name Your Client Documents
Most of us send our clients documents at one point or another – be it an intake form or a coaching agreement. One way to stand out from the competition is to give these necessary (and often times, boring) docs interesting names. For example, I recently changed the name of my “intake PDF” to “Beat Sheet,” which is a Hollywood term that refers to an outline where each major plot point gets it own bullet point. Since the point of my intake form is to have my clients dish on everything that ever happened to them ever (in terms of getting to where they are today in their business) and all the minute details of their dream clients + specific offerings, it makes sense to call it a “Beat Sheet.” It gives me an outline of their story and their business – and gives me a place to start writing the script (their drafts). The name is also totally in line with my brand. (Have you peeped my bio page lately? One of my first lines is about how I believe online business is like one big, sexy Hollywood shindig.)
2. Re-name Your “Tribe”
Does anybody else cringe when they hear the phrase “tribe”? I do! I don’t know if it’s just ’cause I’ve been online for awhile, but it seems so trite, passe and…yesterday. (It also makes me think of the Cleveland Indians, which, y’know is fine, but probably not what you’re going for.) Why not switch things up + describe your peeps in a new way? Y’know, something like posse. Clique. Or entourage (which is, coincidentally, the one I’m newly trying on…but maybe only ’cause I think Erica’s Entourage sounds really fucking cool. Or maybe because I have a serious addiction to alliteration. Like, might need rehab addiction. But anywho.) How can you give your people a unique moniker that’s not only intriguing to them, but contains a nod to something you love, too?
3. Create A Signature Sign-Off
Everybody needs a signature sign-off – a few word ditty you can use at the bottom of blog posts, emails, documents – whatever! This is something I occasionally work on with clients, but I didn’t realize until last week when I was updating my Mailchimp autoresponders that I don’t have one. And the more I think about it…the more necessary I think it is. Especially if you’re a personality-driven brand. Luckily, your sign-off doesn’t have to be crazy, or even that clever, to be effective. It can be an easy way to show off your personality (got a phrase/word you always use? throw it in your siggy!) and what you believe in.
You could say something like…
To more [thing you love #1] and even more [thing you love #2], Your Name
In [thing you believe in #1] and [thing you believe in #2], Your Name
Another idea? Keep the same basic structure as one of the above, but switch it up depending on what you’re writing about. If you just drafted an email newsletter all about Beyonce and the super cool un-marketing strategy she used for her last album launch, your sign-off could be like: “To Beyonce and keeping people on their toes.”
4. Amp Up Your Packages
Since everybody + their mama has packages these days, this is one place you definitely gotta step up the “You-ness.” Even if you’re selling the exact same package as someone else, you can give components of your package fresh new nom de plumes to keep things interesting. Like, how ’bout ditching the 30-minute “Discovery Session” for a 15-minute “Champagne Chat”? Also, make sure the package has a cute, catchy title. For example, my packages “Overnight Celebrity” and “The It Girl Experience” are both totally in line with my brand and my personality. (I seriously listen to the Twista song on the regular, ’cause I’m a weirdo.)
Inspired? Here are two big caveats I want to mention.
1. Add as much “you” as you want – but keep it cohesive.
Once you get the ball rollin’, it’s almost too easy to get carried away. Make sure that when you’re injecting personality into your brand, you’re sticking with 1-2 major themes. For example, you shouldn’t call one package something to do with vampires, and another one something about rock n’ roll. Unless, of course, your brand mascot is a guitar-wielding bloodsucker. Then, by all means.
2. You don’t have to do every single one at once, or at all.
Remember the girl in high school who went all out, all the time – rocking a mohawk, ripped fishnets, black lipstick, black ties, dog collars and spiked out hair….almost every single day? Okay, yes. That girl was me. But that girl was also a bit overzealous…and ended up looking ridiculous in far too many photos that are now encapsulated for life. One or two “accents” is all you truly need – in business and in life. Choose the two that most speak to you, and start there.
Do you have a cool, quirky or memorable brand element that’s totally you? Inspired to create your own after this article? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
P.S. If this kinda stuff intrigues you, I dive wayyy deeper into adding your unique interests + personality into your copy in my e-book, Crushworthy Sales Copy 101. For just $5, you can learn how to brainstorm loads of ideas for sweetening your copy with more you. Click to learn more.
So you don’t have the purrr-fect business name or tagline….and it’s driving you bat shit.
You also have no clue what in the actual fuck to call yourself (’cause coach is sooo cliche and requires ten minutes of explanation). (Also: I’ve always wanted to say “what in the actual fuck.”)
And it’s not just the words that have you stumped. You constantly switch around your packages & services. Your site is like a Merry-Go-Round. You’re obsessed with an idea one week and totally over it the next.
Why all of this craziness & bipolar-ness in your biz?
You’re expecting that everything’s gotta be AMAZE right out the gate.
You’re far from ignorant. You know the importance of fabulous design + kickass copy (hence why you’re here, am I right?). You aren’t oblivious to the fact that your website is your online, 24/7 “sales person.” YOU KNOW.
The problem is you might know a little too much. And instead of inspiring you, you’ve let all the noise become one more reason to procrastinate. “Well, I don’t have my core message drilled into 1-2 sentences soooo I certainly can’t post about myself in that new Facebook group…” “Well, I don’t have a super cool tagline so I definitely can’t put my site out there…”
Here’s the thing though: You don’t have to have the perfect ANYTHING to launch your site or share your message.
And if you wait for the impossible ‘perfect’ copy/tagline/title to materialize….you’re missing out on hundreds of dollars in sales.
We learn by doing, and once we take action…things become so much clearer. Think of it this way: You can’t grow by hanging back sippin’ on your cranberry vodka, saying, “Next song…I’m out there,” while your competition is shakin’ their booties & landing all the hotties on the dance floor.
Or, you know…clients. On the Internet.
Once you actually START, you’ll learn what you like & don’t like pretty quickly. And you can refine from there.
If you don’t ever actually get out & DO IT, you’ll never figure out that maybe you really DON’T wanna coach 20-something women because they can’t actually commit to paying you a significant sum every month.
Or you’ll never realize a certain part of your signature package is actually super tedious and boring and YOU HATE IT and your life would be a million times easier if you just CUT IT OUT (and the beauty of being self-employed is that you can!)
Yup. A lot will change when you start to actually work in your business. And that’s good. It’s supposed to.
You will change, too. And that means you can switch things up as often as ya like.
You don’t have to love every part of your business right away.
You can tweak, and keep tweaking, until your design, copy and packages are perfect – for now.
‘Cause even then, one day what you THOUGHT was immaculate will become stale & need an makeover, too.
Basically: You’re the boss & you get to call the shots. You can pivot into a totally different niche if you want. You can scrap everything & come back bigger & better (or smaller & leaner, if that’s more your style). Established business owners restructure their empires all. the. time.
You DO NOT have to have it “all together” to start making money or run a business. Period.
I know I sat in the “what should I do?” camp for almost three years. Three years I spent working my tail off for other people, writing about things that the end of the day didn’t matter (but for realz – I know sooo much about Kim Kardashian it would probably scare you).
And even now, over a year into my biz, I’m still toying with my packages & services & overall brand message on the daily – getting clearer and discovering what parts I like best (and ditching the rest like last year’s [loved yet worn-down] TOMs).
Case-in-point: I recently switched up my Overnight Celebrity package to better accommodate my clients’ needs. It now include 3 pages of compelling copy – a sexy sales page & mind-blowin’ bio, and the NEW haute home page. I realized that most business owners wanted/needed all three pages, and thought I’d adjust the sails to try out this new model.
This updated package helps you get the 3 basic pages you need for your site outta your head & onto the web so you quit fussing over having it all “just right.” It’s quick + clean + easy. And it allows you to start RUNNING a REAL business instead of just thinking about it.
So basically what I’m saying is that NOTHING’S ever going to look or read just the way you want it.
So what you gotta do is hit the ground running (or sashaying, if you’re in heels) & just put SOMETHING – ANYTHING – out there….and THEN gauge how it feels.
You don’t know what you don’t know. And you won’t know until you start.
Your Turn //
What’s the ONE THING you’re not releasing to the world because it’s not “just right”?
I want you to challenge yourself to…
1. Stop playing with it.
2. Launch it. Publish it. Announce it.
3. Wait a week. Come back to it. How does it feel now? Is it still “missing” something? Is it still feeling off? Did that thing you were obsessing over really matter that much? Chances are….probably not.
4. Repeat with each thing that’s holding you back in your business.
Has the quest for perfection ever held you back? What did you do to overcome your fear? Talk to us about your “Just-DID-It” moments in the comments. (Full disclosure: This blog post was one of those “ship before you’re ready” things. I wrote it in about an hour – and most blog posts take me up to 3…which is NOT a plan of action I recommend.) xo
Did you ladies know February is National Time Management Month in the U.S.?
Okay, neither did I, but it is, so in honor of this (albeit, strange) tradition, I wanted to whip up a behind-the-scenes look at my most-adored tools for creating more time in your day.
While anybody can benefit from this list, I wrote it particularly for solopreneurs who haven’t yet created an iron-clad team, and whose business kiiinda entirely weighs on their own shoulders. (Clearly I am one of said solopreneurs, as evidenced by the self-made graphic below. At least I tried, right?)
Because who couldn’t use a few more beautiful hours to finish that looming client project, prep a delish meal, or you know…catch up on #RichKids of Beverly Hills (just me?)
So here ya have it, ladies: Five fun, fresh ways to get more shit done, in less time.
1. Get Hip to Pomodoro
Oh, Pomodoro, how I love thee. Let’s break it down: Writing is one task that eeeeverybody puts off. You know how it is: You think, “Yes! I’m totally going to write that blog post RIGHT NOW.” Except right now turns into, “Right after I check my e-mail again, and you know, respond to that one tag on Facebook because clearly that’s important…” – and then you’ve wasted an entire afternoon doing everything BUT that one thing that needed done like, yesterday.
But do successful, crisply-dressed (yoga pants are crisp, right?) small business babes behave that way? Not once they discover Pomodoro, they don’t!
Pomodoro isn’t just ‘tomato’ in Italian, it’s also a nifty system for getting shit done-zo. And it’s entirely free!
So, to pomodoro: You set a timer and work uninterrupted for 25 minutes. Why 25? Well, there’s some hard psychology behind it: Apparently humans are only wired to be able to concentrate intensely for 25 minutes at at time.
I have www.tomato-timer.com in my Chrome toolbar for easy access. As soon as I pop open my browser to write, I create a Pomodoro tab & get typin’.
No joke, I get so much done during my 25-minute creative bursts it’s nuts. Don’t believe me? Just try it. I dare ya. You’ll be zoomin’ through tasks in no time – and you can thank me later. You know, after you write that entire week’s worth of blog posts.
2. Make E-mail Fun
There’s no denying, e-mail can get overwhelming. Luckily, I’ve discovered two tools that turn email into a game – and one quite literally.
Over at emailga.me, all you do is you sign up with your email addy & start playing. Essentially the game gives you points for making quick decisions about the emails in your inbox. The quicker your decision – to reply, archive, Boomerang or delete – the more points you get.
Even better, it automagically adds a little line to your signature that lets peeps know you’re playing the game & to “excuse” your brevity. (Even though, really? Brief emails = the best emails. Am I right?)
Another fantastic way to handle email overwhelm is Mailstrom.co. For less than one venti Starbucks frappucinno you can keep your inbox clean & tidy & EMPTY.
I’d say it’s worth it. (It’d take waaaaay more frappy’s to tackle an inbox on your own, ya dig?)
3. You Better Batch, B*tch
Ugh. Batching. I resisted this idea sooo hard for sooo long. And then one day I realized that my time management sucked, and I needed to change something – and quick.
Batching means performing similar tasks in large chunks of time. You know how it is: You kinda get into something once you start. And batching things allows you to stay in the same frame of mind & get a lot more done (whereas switching between tasks means your brain has to try extra hard to keep up – and you lose precious focused work time).
What can you batch?
Social media – Use Buffer (my fave) or the schedule feature on Facebook
Blogging – As a writer I know firsthand that once you’re in the groove, it’s best to just stay there. Why not write an entire month’s worth of newsletters in one glorious afternoon?
Email – You can even use the above tools to do it! Just pick a time every day or every week to clear up your inbox & do it all at once.
Facebookin’ – I don’t know about you, but I belong to a ton of networking & biz-related groups on Facebook. I’ve found it’s better to dive in at a certain time each day & poke around, spark up convos on threads that intrigue me, offer advice & reply to tags in one fabulous fell swoop
Client calls – As a total introvert, this is a must. I can’t schedule too many calls in one day, but I’d rather have client calls just 1-2 days a week, so the rest of time I can devote to precious creation. It’s too much energy for me to switch back & forth between social Erica & writer Erica.
If you’ve been in biz for a minute, I know you’ve heard this one before, but I’m going to repeat it because it is just that good. This is another piece of advice I resisted, ’cause I knew the the initial work of setting up automated systems would probably royally suck. But ever since I batched the tasks one lazy Sunday afternoon (see step #3), I have never been happier or more productive! (And I mean that in the least cheesy-spammy-testimonial way possible).
So what should you automate? The general rule of thumb is to automate anything that you have to do over & over again in your business, in generally the same way.
Me? I automate with canned responses on Gmail, Wave for accounting (it pulls in all my bank & PayPal information – gold!), and use PayPal & Mailchimp together to send out intake forms to my peeps after purchase.
One of my fave sites for automation is IFTTT. The site includes “recipes” that you can set up to ensure something always happens when something else happens – the IFFT stands for if this, then that.
For example, I have a recipe set up so that whenever someone emails me an attachment, it’s automatically saved to my Dropbox account. I never have to download anything – and those free e-books (aka ethical bribes) don’t clutter my sleek lil’ Macbook Pro.
5. Rock Out!
Spotify is the shit, hands down – and it may be my fave time hack on the list. I don’t know about you ladies, but I simply can not work if I don’t have some delicious jams on in the background.
Fact: Music makes you more productive – so I know I can’t be alone.
Now, there’s definitely a fine line & you can’t listen to just anything. If you tend to get too swept up in the lyrics or bust into spontaneous dance parties (that actually hinder your productivity instead of help it – there are definitely some dance parties that are absolutely necessary), you can also try a little online app called Coffitivity. It provides just the right amount of background noise to boost your productivity, but not enough to distracts you. Don’t ask me how they do it, but dang, science. It’s a beautiful thing, ya’ll.
Coffivity is especially rad for entrepreneurs like me who don’t always make it to the local coffee shop (oops?), but love the buzz & hum of people ’cause it makes us feel more human. 🙂
RescueTime is an app you install on your computer (and in my case, usually forget about) that tracks how you spend all your time and shoots you a digest at the end of the week with a breakdown. It’s been super eye-opening – if a little scary – to see how much time I actually spend doing certain things online (ahem, 4 hours a week on Facebook is totally acceptable, right?). If you’re into it, you can even set various goals to try to keep yourself in check. Now that’s hot.
YOUR TURN! //
What are some of YOUR fave ways to save time & get shit done? I’d love to learn more about the deliciously fun tools, processes & mind tricks you use to get stuff done. Spill in the comments, you savvy lady you!
For most of us, entrepreneurship isn’t a choice. It’s more like…destiny.
Take me, for example. Entrepreneurship is literally in my blood. I grew up in a household with a trophy entrepreneur at the helm (read: my dad has run his own business over 20 years). And as a daddy’s girl, I knew I wanted to “be the boss,” too.
And then it kinda-sorta happened. In 1998, it became quite clear I was destined to create my own career. That was the blissful year my parents bought AOL + I realized there was an entire buffet of information at my fingertips (even if said information was written in Comic Sans font against a starry black background – eek).
I already labeled myself a writer, but the Internet opened up a whole new world for me + a whole new way for me to create – and write. I would stay up until the wee hours of the night feverishly writing + researching. And later that year, I birthed my first e-zine – which I sent through AOL’s shitty mail servers to over 2,000 people – about fashion + beauty (which, at the time, included haphazardly written reviews of Candy Kisses lip gloss + Urban Decay nailpolish, natch).
And I fell in love. I got such a rush from bringing my creations to life + receiving feedback on my writing + ideas from tweens around the globe. I even pitched a national glossy + was contracted to write a full-page article on how other kids could create their own ezines + share their passion for whatever-the-heck they loved.
I was 11.
Yep. Entrepreneurship was clearly my path. Creating on my own terms was my one true love.
Unfortch, my ezine folded in 1999 (which I’m pretty sure is the actual term I used at the time even though I proooobably had no clue what it meant), when boys + middle school drama became more important than writing articles about how to give yourself an at-home facial with just a big bowl of steaming water (this was revolutionary stuff, you guys).
Once ‘real life’ set in, I simply couldn’t keep up.
And that’s the thing about entrepreneurship. Being “the boss” of something is helluva lot of hard work – and it doesn’t stop when life starts.
If you wanna “make it” as an entrepreneur, you have to live + breathe entrepreneurship day in + day out. You’ve gotta put a ring on it.
I know most of us get into business for ourselves to be ‘da boss. Sometimes it’s ’cause we’re too wild for the office, sometimes it’s because what we’re great at is a career we have to invent ourselves.
Whatever it is, though…a lot of us are drawn to the freedom entrepreneurship promises.
But there are downsides to this do-what-you-want lifestyle that a lot of people don’t talk about. Mainly? It’s work!
You don’t just quit your job, launch a business and then throw yourself a little party ’cause you’re done.
(Although I do recommend working in your sexiest party dress, always.)
Running a business takes consistent effort on the daily. And just like any other long term relationship, it’s going to have its pitfalls.
Sometimes this means you have to face client meetings + deadlines the morning after a devastating fight with your boyfriend that had you up til 4am with mascara dripping down your face.
Sometimes it means that bills sit untouched in your cutesy “Inbox” desktop organizer for far too long because they simply can’t get paid right now.
Sometimes it means you’re sick for two weeks with the flu + nothing gets done (especially if you haven’t scaled your business in a way that allows you to make passive income).
Sometimes it means you’re buried under a darkening cloud of depression or debilitating anxiety – and yet if you want to bring home the bacon (literally and figuratively), you have to smile + pretend it’s all gravy when really you’d rather do anything but explain your refund policy to another potential client ever again.
You’ve got to commit to be there for your business everyday. Sickness + health. Richer + poorer. You know, alla that.
Now. I do not mean you have to run yourself down + put your self care or your health on the back burner to sustain your business. (Read my old post, “Are You Being Codependent In Your Business?” to find out why that’s a horrible idea.) What I do mean is that you have to accept your life is not going to stop just because you have your own business – and that having a business “launch” isn’t the end of your work. It’s just the beginning, babe.
So, the number one thing you gotta know before you start a business? You have to want it every day + not just when things are easy.
Sound familiar? Well, it was inspired by this quote, from one of the most famous love stories of our modern age: “So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.” – The Notebook
So tell us: Do you want your business bad enough?
Your Turn! //
What’s ONE THING you’ve done in your business that proves you’re in for the long haul? Plop a comment below + tell us about your commitment to your business. Make it official, yo. Then, be sure to SHARE + LIKE this article to let others know you’re in it to win it!
Being successful is hard work, ladies.
If it were easy, well, there’d be a lot more of us sprawling out on the couch in yoga pants on Monday mornings instead of hitting the road for the morning rush.
Instead, many of us stay stuck in route patterns & routines for weeks, months, years – even decades.
Why do we do such things? Why would we rather dig into another PLL Netflix marathon than actually write that blog post (when we know that blog post is going to get us closer to where we want to be)?
…’Cause change is effing hard, ya’ll. It requires feeling uncomfortable & awkward.
But I’ve got news for ya, babe:
Yep. To get the lifestyle you crave – y’know, with the money in the bank, the accolades, the delicious feeling of following your heart, the fabulous shoes (just me?) – you’re gonna have to change things up. It’s a scary but true fact that the most wealthy & championed womenpreneurs know – and use to their advantage.
‘Cause like Einstein said, insanity is doing the same thing over & over & expecting different results.
You may not even know where or why you’re stuck. But as someone who spent years spinning her own training wheels before finally pedaling off into the land of Entrepreneur-ville, I’ve got some insight for ya.
Today, I’m gonna fill you in on a few moves that are slaughtering your chances of sweet success before you’ve even had a chance to sip your morning latte. Ready? Leggo!
1. You’re Staying In Your Comfort Zone.
If you wanna rise to the tippy-top of your industry, you HAVE to leave your comfort zone.
Of course, everybody’s comfort zone is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all rule for what this looks like.
Take me, for example. I’m extremely shy in my regular day-to-day life, so leaving my comfort zone includes accepting (sometimes butterfly-inducing) interview requests, lining up multiple sales calls in one day and, you know, leaving the house to work instead of kickin’ it in my VS PJs. Maybe those things seem like a piece o’ cake to you – and if so, that’s great! Leaving your comfort zone might mean speaking at a telesummit or shipping your saucy new book to the publisher.
I read an amazing quote the other day. It said, “Everything you truly want is right outside your comfort zone” – and it’s soooo true! If you already HAD what you wanted, it’d be IN your comfort zone. Makes total sense, right?
The good news is that you don’t have to start rock climbing or jetset off to France with nothing but a backpack to expand your c-zone.
You can start (uber, uber) small, like reaching out to a blogger you adore & pitching yourself as a guest, or simply pushing ‘Publish’ on your newest sales page before it feels ‘finished.’
The better news? Every stiletto-step outside your comfort zone makes it grow, and eventually the things that terrify you will feel like NBD. (Trust me, guys. I used to be so anxious about driving that I couldn’t go anywhere involving a left turn. Now, I drive to major cities by my lonesome. Slow & steady wins the race!)
2. You’re Working in a Sucky Environment.
Let’s be clear on one thing:
You DO NOT have to work in a fancy high rise or have a Pinterest-worthy office space to become gloriously successful.
But you DO have to create a work environment that nurtures your creativity, growth & inner peace. (Ommmmmm.)
Case-in-point: I started this business from my boyfriend’s basement, so I’m definitely not telling you to wait until you have the perfect office set-up to get your biz on. Hell to the no.
Instead, I’m urging you to do everything you can to protect your sacred creative space.
We all unknowingly soak up the energy in whatever environment we occupy. If you’re constantly surrounded by negativity – even if you’re the most naturally positive person on the planet – you’ll eventually be brought down, too.
So how can you ensure your environment is one that helps you thrive? Well, it might mean buying into a co-working space, so you can get out of your house once in awhile. It might mean skipping out on your roomie who looooooves partying at 3 a.m. on Wednesdays (’cause aint no empire-builder got time for that).
Or it might look even simpler, like buying a dedicated desk instead of constantly sprawling out on the sofa with your MacBook (and letting ‘Real Housewives’ hum in the background – I know what that leads to…). Or maybe it means decorating a spare bedroom with a vision board, quotes or other trinkets that inspire you.
It can even mean creating delicious creative rituals to begin & end your work day so that your environment stays peaceful, like lighting candles, jamming to a specific playlist or locking your damn office doors.
You’ve got to protect your creativity and your dream. Aint nobody else gonna do it for ya!
3. You’re Giving Off Bad Money Mojo
2013 was a major wake up call for me in the money department. After a series of financial foibles, I had to take a good hard look at my finances once & for all.
And even though it was scary, taking the blindfold off was actually the best thing that could have ever happened for both me and my business.
I’m telling you, girls. This shit works. I began doing work with forgiveness and cash over the summer, and by the fall, I had tripled my income. TRIPLED.
Even if you don’t think you’ve got money drama, chances are you unknowingly picked up a few bitter beliefs about the almighty dollar growing up.
Maybe part of you still thinks you can’t be both spiritual and rich, or that anybody with a padded bank account is greedy & salacious & probably earned their piece by scamming people.
If this sounds even slightly familiar, I recommend picking up Denise Duffield Thomas’ Get Rich, Lucky Bitch sooner than later to get to work on releasing your negative money mojo.
No matter how much you’re hustling, you’re stopping cash right in its tracks if you don’t have the right beliefs around money. So hop to it, sister!
4. You’ve Got a Serious Case of Comparisonitis (and You Aint Goin’ to the Doctor)
As they say, you won’t get anywhere comparing your behind-the-scenes with another’s highlight reel.
Online, we can meticulously control how we appear – and sometimes, when you see your competitors (or even your friends) living it up, lavishly sipping fruity drinks in itty bitty bikinis or boasting about their latest book deal, you can start to feel like a total failure (even if you just nabbed a totally sweet gig yourself).
You’ve gotta remember that wherever you are right now is perfect and exactly where you’re meant to be.
It might not look like much, I get it. But I’m a firm believer in ‘que sera, que sera’ – whatever will be, will be. All in good time.
So what can you do to feel better about yourself and your biz while you build? Do yourself a favor & unsubscribe from your competitor’s newsletters. Quit hopelessly (Twitter) stalking your fave mentor. And give your own creative juju some space to breathe.
Keep your eyes on your own paper, and everything will be okay.
BONUS! 5. You’re Not Taking Small, Consistent Action
I almost didn’t include this one, but it actually may be the most important. You can be doing all the other things (except for number one, really) and not actually be doing anything that will drive your business forward.
If you ever wanna build that fancy empire, you’ve gotta stop the info. devouring, and start the info. creating.
Because successful people make their mark. And that’s the truth.
YOUR TURN! //
So there ya have it, loves! Are you guilty of any of these success-killing moves? Have you fallen prey to any other barriers to success?
I challenge you to pick one thing on this list & STOP doing it – today. Then, make a public declaration in the comments so we can support you! We’ve got your back, lady love.
P.S. Another easy way to ensure success? You gotta know how to talk about your business with flair + finesse. If you’re struggling to come up with the syntax to describe your work, you’re in luck. I have a few more Mini Message Makeovers available in January at my BETA rate. We’ll work on your cocktail pitch, come up with a killer core message and more. Read more + nab your own makeover here.