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Five Things I Learned My Third Year of Business (Part 2)

On May 5 2021 I registered my business and committed to building … something. I had no idea at the time what it would turn into. One thing I discovered early on: the experience would allow me to grow in ways I never thought possible. Now, every year from May 1 to May 5, I share the top 5 things I learned about myself and my business in the past year.


Lesson #2: Your Time is Your Most Valuable Resource

I believe there are dreamers, and there are doers. And most entrepreneurs are both.

 

It sounds like a great combination: you have an idea and you act on it. In reality, it requires a great deal of discipline and critical thinking to make sure you’re acting on the right ideas at the right time.

 

If it were left up to me, I would launch a new program every month. It’s fun to come up with new things! But selling these new things? Creating a marketing and promotion plan for something new each month? If you’re always in launch mode, you’re never rooted in a place where your clients can find you.

 

How you spend your time has a huge impact on your success. If your day is spent on busy work, repetitive tasks, or delivering services that don’t have a strong enough return, you’re compromising your future success.

 

Here are some of the habits and practices I’ve put in place to manage my never-ending idea-generating machine (ie my own brain).

 

Step #1: Map out your year

You probably already do this – setting intentions or sales goals for your business. I do this too, and I take it one step further: I plan out my content for the year.

 

In my years as a TV producer, I followed the editorial calendar to guide programming choices. Now I use it to pick key themes I want to explore each month, and I use it to time program launches or promo.

 

If I look at my year as a blank creative slate I will come up with ideas. And more ideas. And more ideas. This is what triggers the never-ending launch pattern. But if I decide ahead of time when to promote a course, coaching program, or event, my ideas have an order and a focus.

 
Step #2: Follow the money

A solid business strategy has multiple income streams. This makes it easy to pivot to meet market needs and demands. If you give your full attention to all of your programs and service offerings, you may be wasting time on things that aren’t profit generators.

 

In the past I’ve written about how managing your money as a business owners is very different from managing a budget when you’re earning a salary. Profit First is a book I found very useful to help me make sure I had money set aside for taxes, operating expenses, and future investments. That’s great for the bigger picture.

 

This year, I looked at the specifics. By Year 3 I had a variety of service offerings, each with their own compensation model and workflow. As a collective, I had a very good year (in 2023 the company made double what we made in 2022). But I wasn’t seeing it show up as profit or cashflow. Why?

 

There was one service offering in particular that brought in large sums of money on paper, but there were considerable costs (media buy-ins and spokesperson fees).

 

When I looked at the profit margin and not the overall revenue, the numbers were ok. When I compared it to other services I was offering it was on the low-end, which surprised me. But the ultimate decision to stop offering this service came when I factored in my most valuable asset: my efficiency.

 

Step #3: Follow your time.

When I factored in how much time I spent on coordinating this service (not to mention the real estate it took in my mind trying to find ways to scale up or make this more efficient) I realized I was making money, but losing efficiency.

 

I spent a disproportionate amount of time trying to improve this performance. It was starting to affect how I serve other clients. I made the tough choice to stop offering this service on its own. It is available to retainer clients and the Media Mastermind, but as one part of a broader media strategy.

 

This choice cost me a client, which is always said. But ultimately it was for the best. She’s now set up to execute this media strategy on her own and keep more of the revenue for herself. I’m now free to devote more time to other services.

 

Sometimes we hold on to services or clients because they’re technically making us money. But if it’s costing you your overall efficiency, it’s time to take a closer look and make it worth your time.

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