Episode 002 – Fall in love with your business…by the numbers
About This Episode
Falling back in love with your business isn’t easy, especially when you don’t like your business very much anymore because you’re overwhelmed and burned out…
That’s what happened to me, Joyce (your host).
Take a listen to hear my story, what I did to get that old feeling back and how I rediscovered the why that got me started in the first place.
Mentioned in this episode:
- The 5 steps to falling in love (or back in love) with your business
- Kemberli Stephenson’s goal setting challenge: http://bit.ly/ReadySetGoal19
- Cents Chats aka consultations with Joyce: thecommoncents.com/consult
Highlights of this episodes:
- 00:27 My business love story – going way back to when I first got started
- 01:09 Saying goodbye to offices & corporate clients
- 01:17 Really quick evolution of Common Cents
- 02:02 When unhappiness and burnout set in
- 04:08 Deciding to fix what’s obviously broken
- 06:17 The Goal Setting Challenge
- 08:13 Why I “broke up” with my business
- 09:34 Why taking a breather is necessary
- 11:28 How gaining clarity is essential to moving forward (step 1)
- 12:00 How to get outside perspective (step 2)
- 12:24 Why a peer support was important (step 3)
- 12:53 How I sifted through the BS (step 4)
- 13:15 How to reacquaint yourself with love (step 5)
- 14:38 Invitation to Cents Chats
- 15:27 How to fall (back) in love with your business (in five easy steps) – the episode recap
Episode 002 - Fall In Love With Your Business... By The Numbers: Transcript
Hey there, welcome to Episode Two of the 2 Cents Business Podcast. It’s me your host, Joyce. And in this episode I want to talk all about love, well, the logical kind, the numerical kind, and the business kind. So I want to talk to you a little bit about falling in love with your business by the numbers.
So let me start with a little story, I want to tell you my business love story. And I started my business the summer of 2002. And at the time, I was working with a mix of corporate clients and small business clients. And this was a think around the time that QuickBooks Online first became a thing. So that just kind of tells you how, how long ago this was. And in January of 2009, so about seven years later, I wrapped with my last corporate client. So that was the last time I actually worked in an office. So go figure.
So over the years, I’ve obviously tested a lot of things. And since then I created courses, archive courses. Went from hourly billing, to flat rate billing. Tested all kinds of cloud software. You name it, and it ran the gamut. But for the most part, my base services remained the same.
So that’s a little bit of the background that, you know, we’re talking about a 16-17 year gap, me working as a consultant working as a consulting accountant.
So around this time, about two years ago, in 2017, I was very unhappy with my business. So I found that I was doing all the things and looking back now, I realized that not only was I doing all the things, but I was doing too much of all of the things.
So in a way, I was so focused on doing the things that I wasn’t, there wasn’t any rhyme or reason for what I was doing. And I wasn’t focused on the right things, I wasn’t focused on the core concepts or the core services that I really like to do.
So to be clear, two years ago, in 2017, I, again, was unhappy. And so 2017 kind of sucked. So and that was when I took a look around. And I took stock. And I noticed that it wasn’t just me, I wasn’t the only one that was experiencing this level of what I call suckiness and this level of overwhelm, and this level of constant burnout that comes with the, the need of being told to be everywhere and doing everything. And it can be hard when when you are a solopreneur, because at the time I was I was doing all of this stuff. And I would not only was I doing all of this stuff, I was doing it by myself.
And that went on for, I guess about eight or nine months, because it went on for the breadth of 2017. And for the most part, I just kind of drifted. I did the bare minimum because I knew that my business was broken.
I knew that I wanted to fix it. But I wasn’t quite sure in what areas that I wanted to fix it or how to fix it at that point. So So again, like I said, I just kind of drifted through, I did the minimum when it came to marketing, I did the minimum when it came to social media, did the minimum when it came to email marketing. And for the most part, until I really figured it out, I just worked with existing clients. So if I was already working with you, I just kept doing why we were already contracted to do.
I didn’t take on any new clients because to be clear, you know, one of my core beliefs is to keep your word. And so I didn’t take on any new clients because I didn’t want to make any promises that I really wasn’t sure that I could keep, because I wasn’t sure that I was going to keep doing what I was doing for the foreseeable future. And I could just feel it in my bones that that I was going to change my business structure. And that change was coming, but I just wasn’t sure what it was going to be. I wasn’t sure what it was going to look like.
So again, that kind of lasted from I want to say like February-ish until the holiday/ goal setting season and I’m a goal setter, I’ve been following the 12 week year for several calendar years, I actually check in with I have an accountability buddy that we check in every week. And we set goals and check in with each other and according to the principles of the 12 week year but I knew I needed to kind of step it up.
As I was kind of thinking it, all the all the proverbial you know, the woo-wooness of the stars aligning kind of came into being and that’s when one of my business besties, Kemberli Stephenson, she mentioned that she was going to run a goal setting challenge in her facebook group. And, and she asked if I wanted to kind of test it out, and all that good stuff.
And, and of course I did, because I’m a goal setter, right? So, um, I didn’t expect what I actually got out of it. What I got out of Kemberli’s challenge was I gained a ton of clarity.
After nine months, I finally knew what I needed to do. So it was, of course, a long time coming. But because like I mentioned, I was unhappy, I was burned out, I didn’t like my business very much.
Hate is a really strong word. But it was that at that point, it was, you know, to the point that, you know, I would probably actually say that I was at the point that I actually did hate my business.
I was working way too much. And without much time to do anything else, anything social, I didn’t have very much time to spend with my family. And I didn’t have very much time to do things with my friends, there was no time for date nights, and no time for very much self care. So the only thing I seem to have time for was work.
Back to that goal setting challenge that Kemberli did, and with all that clarity, what I that I gained from the challenge, I did something a little bit crazy, I decided that I was going to break up with my business.
When I say I broke up with my business, I burned it to the ground. I was to the point that I didn’t want to try to make it work with the services that I had available. I no longer wanted to do trainings, and boot camps, and all of those things. And, you know, again, all of the things but not doing the right things for you and your business.
So even with that after I made the decision to burn it down. I also made the decision to take a break and let the smoke clear. And that was so that I wouldn’t romanticize the bad that was that was somewhere, you know, with the good and, and I didn’t want to take the good with the bad I wanted to only have the good and you know what I mean by that, you know, when, when you start missing missing your ex, you know, we’ll, we’ll take this to personal relationships. But you know, when you miss your ex, you know, you should get all of the bad stuff. And you only remember the good stuff. But I didn’t want to do that with what I considered my business ex.
And I wanted to take some time to reflect and to allow the natural the Phoenix to rise from the ashes, so to speak, I wanted the cream to rise to the top and just take the cream. So I crafted services around what I love doing and who I love working with. And I haven’t looked back.
I broke up with my business. And I fell in love with a new version. And of course, as things that, you know, you love to do, it took way longer than I thought it was that I thought it would take that that whole that the Phoenix part and the you know, finding the cream and re crafting my services that that took a long time. And that’s pretty much what I did in 2018. So that brings us to 2019. So here’s what I did.
Disclaimer, this is what worked for me, this is how I fell back in love with my business and how I you know, advise my clients to who fall in love with their businesses. And it’s my hope that it helps you to fall in love or fall back in love with your business. And of course, you know, anything with this podcast numbers are involved. Okay? So I just want to be clear about that, that there are numbers involved.
So again, here’s what I did, I got super clear on my life vision and my business vision and how the two intertwined and you know, as a small business owner, we can as as a micro business as much as we try to have like boundaries and borders. And this is work in this is this is personal. This is business, this is personal, it in our everyday lives. It just doesn’t work that way.
The other thing that I did was I hired a business coach, and she she calls herself a sales coach. But I I prefer to say that she’s a business coach who specializes in sales because what we ultimately talked about was way more than sales stuff, it was more business. And then we we then started talking about the sales stuff.
I joined a group mastermind I sought out the advice and support of my business besties and I set some serious boundaries for myself, because remember, I said, I was burned out and I worked way too much. So I made sure that I took time off. I banned myself from working nights and weekends for probably about three to four months. Um, what else did I do, I made a list. And I checked it twice, kind of like Santa Claus. And I looked at what I love to do, and what I’m and I looked at what I loved about about my business. And I looked at what I hated about my business, I looked at what was working and what wasn’t working. And then I applied potatoes principle to my business, you know, that 80/20 rule.
And then I got super focused on the 80 instead of the 20. Um, and I used to do group training. So that that kind of comes back to what I kind of burned down. And what I kept. So I used to do group trainings and boot camps, I have since retired and archived all of that stuff. And although, you know, they were moneymakers. They were very they were time intensive. And they were energy intensive. So they were part of the 20 that I that I let go, and part of the 80 that I kept was I then double down on a one on one services. And even within that, I re crafted my service packages. And I raised my rates and all of those great things. So and, and the funny thing is, it’s kind of silly, because this is what I do with my clients. So it just didn’t make sense that I wasn’t doing it for myself. So I’m so it’s just funny in hindsight. And as, as I kind of communicate that to you, and that this is what I do. And, and I wasn’t doing it for myself and my business. And that’s why it’s important to take a break and to treat your business as a client.
So I was, you know, I was finally applying what what I what I love to do. And I was applying that to my business. Which leads me to a quick note. And this is, like I said, what I do with my clients as a virtual CFO, what I do, I analyzed their numbers, I look for trends, and I keep them focused on profitability and staying and that love zone so they don’t get to where I was.
So if you’d like to talk about any of that, if you’d like to schedule a consultation or sense chat, then please go to thecommoncents.com/consult.
So I want to wrap this up and put it in it and a nice little bow for you. And so this is I guess, how to fall in love with your business and five easy steps.
So number one, take a break from doing and treat your business as a client at least once a week. It doesn’t have to be a full day, it could be an hour, but it does have to be a do not break appointment. It has to be a Do Not Disturb zone so that you are really, really focusing on the business and not in the business as they say.
So number two, check in with your numbers. And by numbers. I don’t mean money necessarily. What I want you to check on is your metrics. What’s your traffic looking like on your website? What’s your conversion rates? Are you making money? Or are you losing money? Is your business profitable? Or are you taking a loss? Do you have an expensive hobby? This is a time that I want you to check in. And I want you to be super transparent with yourself. Be super honest with yourself. And I’m going to go more into detail about money and metrics on a future episode. But I want you to check in with your numbers. So that’s number two.
Number three, seek out advice and support. Listen, just because you’re a freelancer, a solopreneur, or a small business owner, you don’t have to do this by yourself. Find a group of people, a group of like minded people, they don’t necessarily have to do exactly what you do. But you do need some sort of sounding board and as business owners, our family, they love us, but they don’t fully understand what it’s like to do this thing…to build businesses, etc. Unless, of course, they are business owners but in the instance that they aren’t, you know, they love us but their advice might not be the best advice. So seek out advice and support from like minded people.
So fall in love Number four is to sift through the BS. Listen, there’s a lot of advice out there. Some of it good, some of it great, some bad, some of it is absolutely horrible. And you have to discern what that is for you. You can’t take every expert at face value. You have to be smart. For instance, in my opinion, you don’t have to niche down if you don’t want to because ultimately at the end of the day it’s your business, your rules. But at the same time you don’t have to do everything and a niche doesn’t always pertain just to the people that you that you serve. You could be the creative that is only on Instagram and you’re nowhere else, for instance or you can have a YouTube channel and that’s the only social channel that you use. So to sift through the BS you don’t have to do all the things, you don’t have to be everything to everyone.
Fall in love number five, it might be the most important one. Well, they’re all kind of important but this one might be the most important one and get reacquainted with why you started in the first place. If you can always keep your eyes on why you started then in my opinion, you’ll never stop because you’ll never stop until you actually reach that goal. So if you started to support other small business owners, there will always be small business owners out there for you to support so you’ll always have a reason to keep going. So if you get reacquainted with why you started in the first place, you’ll always have like that mile marker, that milestone, that reason of being that you’ll keep going.
So to recap, if you find yourself getting a little short tempered and you’re trying to fall back in love with your business, I implore you to take a break re establish your boundaries and find your balance. So break, boundaries, balance and again your fall in love in five easy steps is to take a break from doing.
Number two to check in with your numbers.
Number three, seek out advice and support.
Number four, sift through the BS.
Number five get or get acquainted or reacquainted with your why with why you started in the first place.
So again, break, boundaries and balance and this has been how I have found my way back and found I found this to be my path to finding joy and the path to finding and doing what I love.
So hopefully all of this will help you if you’ve lost your way and hopefully you will find yours too. So if you enjoyed this episode and you’d like to hear more, please subscribe.
And if you have a question that you’d like me to answer on an upcoming episode, send your question to me via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So until next time, have a loving day.