2019, Lessons Learned In Growth
Growth is what all Entrepreneurs work towards every single day but it doesn’t come without consequence.
When I begun my company in 2014 it was created out of need, I wanted to make money and be creatively fulfilled but I also had 2 young children to take care of, being self employed gave me flexibility and meant I could work mainly from home. For 3-4 years I was a solo-entrepreneur, I never spent any money on advertising and built up my client list solely through referrals. Friends and acquaintances congratulate me on the fact that I’ve been able to make this “side hustle” into a real business but the truth is it took me too long.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to expand more quickly but my days were full and promoting my own business was at the bottom of my todo list. When I did get serious about wanting to expand in 2017 I attended a growth conference for agency owners in Austin, Texas. What I saw was a room filled with stressed out Founders who spent the majority of their time people managing rather than creating.
This experience led me to shift my definition of success. I don’t want to spend my time training and managing staff, I want to work with Entrepreneurs to craft strategies and creative that builds and grows companies. I also wanted to maintain a lifestyle where I could spend time with my friends and family, go to the gym and take holidays. Very few people at this conference had any balance. Heading into 2018 the new plan was to keep the inner team small, Meagan came on board to help run our social accounts but other than that I relied on myself and the talent of contractors. However in my desire to avoid hiring any more employees I found that often rather than delegating I would just do things myself. While I’ve been exhausted our revenue has 3X over the same time last year. Because of this 2019 had been insane, trying to do everything has meant working 7 days per week, often 12 hour days, feeling like a neglectful parent and general overwhelm/anxiety.
BUT I am a solutions over problems type of woman, and money is meant to be used. I’m really looking forward to 2020 because I have chosen to invest in my team. We’ve brought on a new full time designer, started working with an amazing new writer, a new intern, plus the best contractors in photography, and video production. We’ve got the capacity to bring on new projects, and we’re offering a new service focused on business development and start-up launch. I’m also relaunching our monthly blog so that we can continue to give resources to other entrepreneurs growing their businesses.
I believe the best life is when your physical world begins to reflect who you truly are on the inside. But even as life begins to shift over the years and the things you’ve wished for and worked so hard for begin to come into fruition it can still feel very scary at times.
Wherever you are in your business or professional life and at whatever pace you choose to grow, just remember the path is different for all of us- there is no one ideal way. Try not to get so focused on the end goal that you miss experiencing the beauty of the journey in itself.
Wishing you a 2020 filled with love and prosperity.