Business Gut Checks, Do you do them?

This month has been explosive for my business.

First, I’ve (FINALLY) built a dream team of higher level monthly clients, that I’ve fallen completely in love with.  I have room for one more so I’ve been chatting with my waiting list, and a few other potentials and I think I’ve made made my decision. In reality, I could take on 10 more (And be pretty well off) but the quality of my work is important to me, and my business model isn’t setup to just be service related offerings. I can’t trade ALL OF MY HOURS for dollars, so the name of the game is LEVERAGE.

I tend to look at my business as several chunks that make up a whole cookie.

Dani_Magestro_Business_Mindmap

On the creative front, I’ve booked in three websites this month. I’m excited, and honored to work on these projects. If you want to talk about a future web project, get in touch. More on that later, and for now I have a ton of even more FUN things coming up. Speaking of creative…..

Today I’m featured over at A Freaking Great Company’s blog as their Playlist Guest DJ.

Dani_Magestro

 

Seriously, how freaking cool is this??!?!? See when I said this MONTH was MY MONTH. I meant it. InI was also asked to write for a famous newspaper and I’m just digging to find the time to do all of this!

Whenever I find myself feeling like my walls are expanding, I always try to do a business gut check, which consists of:

  • Doing a check in with myself, and my business or marketing plan
  • Making sure my decisions in the past few weeks have kept my big goals in mind
  • Making sure I celebrated every little accomplishment
  • Making sure I learned from every little mistake
  • Looking at my work billed, income and spending to make sure it’s in balance

Doing this often helps my business so much.

On the last business gut check, I had to make some decisions such as letting go of older clients who didn’t fit within my latest business model. It had been over 3-4 years since I had began working with some of them. I carefully approached each one and proposed a future working relationship. I let them know what I wasn’t going to be doing work wise, where my rates were going and how our relationship would change. If my business changes weren’t ideal for them, as sad as it made me, I needed to go ahead and accept this. This process was heart wrenching for me, and in the past, I would have avoided it and compromised my big goals. Doing this basically lead me to be broke and exhausted. Something I’ve promised to never ever do again.

So tell me, no matter where you are in your business or blog adventure, do you ever do gut checks? If you don’t I highly suggest it. If you do, let me know down in the comments below how they work for you.

 

 

Business doesn’t have to be gory, but it does take guts!

Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve managed to get such a cool business off the ground. While it’s been pretty bumpy, it’s also been 5 years of mad personal growth.

Yesterday was one of those days that reminded me of why I do this. I mean, of course it’s also because I get to work with some killer people, and make an infinite amounts of money. That’s great stuff, but yesterday I locked my whole family out of the house, and let me tell you, it became pretty stressful. While it was happening I went into a panic thinking oh my god what is going to happen while I’m away from the computer ( and my phone was about to die). Then it happened. I realized that I had plenty of room to breathe and deal with it, which was nice.

Five years in and I can tell you that my business looks nothing like it did when I began. I’m stronger, it’s stronger, and together we make nothing but pure rock and rock.

Over the summer, I toyed with several ideas of how I thought my business should continue to evolve. I replayed the times I went running from my desk in tears, over and over again in my head. I asked myself, how do I avoid this in the future? The funny thing is, the answer was always inside me. I just didn’t have the guts to figure it out.

I’ve been both the driver, and the passenger in my business, but it’s always been my car.  Anytime I pulled over to rest, it was well deserved, and even the times I felt like I was going to have a business breakdown, I knew I had to keep going.

Strip it all away and I have worked bloody hard to get here.

So tell me, right now, right this second, how do you feel about your business?

{Guest Post} Leah from LeahMac.com talks about starting her business

Leah Mac

Today we have a guest post from my friend, and Digital Administrative Assistant Extraordinaire Leah Mac. I asked Leah to provide us with an inside scoop as to how it felt to get her business online, and lucky for us, she obliged.

When I decided to work from home, I knew there would be challenges.  What I wasn’t prepared for was just how much time I would spend on the non-billable parts of my business.

There certainly were days where I felt like my business was the cobbler’s kid without shoes. (Thank you Aliza Stein of A Freaking Great Company for this analogy.  You can read what the Creative CEO herself has to say about shoeless businesses here.)  The basics for becoming a solo-preneurer didn’t seem to be a lot on the face, but when I really started digging into it, I found it is more, MUCH more.

Anytime you want to start a business you put out your shingle, and wait for the clients to come rolling in.  Well, in the digital business world that means building a website.  If you are a DIY’er on a tight budget like me, then you have a whole host of things to make yourself crazy worrying over. Things like which platform to use, the cost, the learning curve, and what domain name is available but won’t cost $3000.  The last one is a doozy for sure, especially if you are including words that will rank high in SEO analytics, but that’s a post for someone else to bang out.

I found, and continue to find, the whole website bit a little intimidating.  The entire process; from the back end building of the site, to what the face of the site will say about me.  This is going to be my new digital office – who is it going to attract?  What if no one comes?  I built it, damnit, where are they?  (Sorry, the PTSD from website building just cropped up there.  Let me tuck that back in.)  Then, once the site is up and running, it must be maintained and updated regularly, or it just gets stale.

While I worked on bringing the website online, I had to consider how to handle social media.  In my line of work as a digital administrative assistant, social media is an extension of the new office I just built.  Being the fabulous mix of old school – keep it to yourself, gamer, and general internet junkie – I found this difficult.  I had to find a compromise between sharing pictures of my breakfast, and what I was currently sharing… which was next to nothing.  Then, there is marketing, and selling, and the constant learning about each new technology or techie change that happens, and the list keeps going.  If you are out there and thinking about starting up a new business, GO GET ‘EM.  Just remember your kidlet of a business has needs beyond new clients and cash flow to keep it going.

You can find Leah by clicking here. Her website may be offline as it’s still in the design stages so be sure to bookmark her and visit often.