Sometimes leveling up has nothing to do with your immediate resources and abilities, sometimes it has everything to do with your mindset and the life you believe you're worth living. Recently I have been extremely dedicated (ok.. i'm obsessed) with improving the functionality and sustainability of my business. What I mean by that is, i've been going above and beyond to improve my mindset and skills for my business. For instance, 1 year ago it would've been really hard for me to even DESCRIBE what I do (photography and video production) as my "business".
Sure, I made money from it and yes it's what I did for a living.. but it still didn't feel like a business BUSINESS... that was part of the problem. I was still treating my craft like I was a college freshman still doing photoshoots for free drinks during Bronco Billy's happy hour. It was during the most recent tax season that it really hit me, I had reached a new level in my business but my mindset hadn't.
I wanted to share with you all a few things that I implemented to help me to slowly get over the fear of leveling up. Followed by a few goals i'm setting to help me finish out the year strong!
Tip 1: What are your goals?
Assuming that some of you are just starting out in your endeavors, you're going to want to really sit down with this one. Defining what your business goals are is crucial to your growth. I don't mean just defining what your business IS. I mean defining what your business will produce.
Prompt: What is your income goal for your business this month?
How do you plan on reaching that goal? Do you shoot photos, paint sculptures or host events? How many times a week/a day do you need to do that in order to get to your business goal?
I know it's easy for us to want to shoot for the stars and create a really hefty goal, but try your best to be realistic for now. It's easier for doubt and fear to creep in when we feel like our goals are astronomically out of reach.
One thing a financial advisor recently taught me to do is: map out all my expenses for the month, figure out how many sales that is and then make it a PRIORITY to pay at least half of my expenses with money from my business. Obviously, some months are better than others but it definitely puts into perspective how much work I need to put in to reach my goals.
Tip 2: Stay ORGANIZED/Create a SYSTEM
When I first starting out with my business, I would have clients texting me all times of the night asking for stuff. This got really annoying, really fast. So now, I make sure to do these few things when speaking with perspective clients.
1. Have them book an appointment with me via my calendly account, which is an appointment setting software. It lets you schedule appointments without having to worry about time zones or emailing schedules because it feeds directly off of my gcal availability. No more emailing or texting clients back and forth trying to work around their schedules. This puts the ball in their court and allows them to have access to my schedule without me having to check in with them 3x a day, thus creating healthy boundaries between myself and my clients.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, especially with friends and family. However, typically the only time I text clients is in case of an emergency or if there is an immediate need that needs to be met.
Also, with every client no matter whether it's a photography or video gig, I take them through a questionnaire and ask them most of the same questions. This not only saves time but if helps the client and I get on the same page with the project before I push out creative energy.
Schedule, questionnaire, mood board/storyboard (if applicable), contract, deposit, BOOKED.
Tip 3: Ask for help
This has been exceptionally beneficial for me. Almost every tip I listed above has been a result of someone who is more successful than me passing the information down. As they say, "SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES."
Don't know how to do something? Ask for help.
Don't know who to ask? Hop on youtube
Youtube not working? Try searching instagram hashtags and slide into some dm's (professionally of course)
I think everyone should have at least 3 business crushes. These are people who's businesses inspire you so much they make you want to get in your bag! These don't have to be people you know personally, but it probably helps. My business crushes are women I have never met a day in my life but their personalities, styles and work ethic inspired me to write this article.
1. https://www.victorgroupla.com/ - brand builder, event slayer, MS warrior
2. http://dardencreative.com/ - creative agency owner, amazing photographer
3. http://vicstyles.com/ - stylist, blogger, fashionista
The main thing I love about the internet is how accessible the knowledge is. My current library includes Million Dollar Habits by Brian Tracy. This book encompasses everything that I just spoke about and more! I would've never found out about it, had it not been for one of my crushes.
The main thing i've learned from developing these crushes is, you're never as alone as you think you are. No matter what you're dealing with in your business life, there's always someone who has been in those same circumstances and still SLAYED.
That's all I got for now folks! This has already been longer than I intended but I hope you learned something new :)
This month my goals are to: Network! I am dedicating this month to taking more charge over my creative life. I've been loving the work i've done this year so far, but I definitely am ready to grow outside my comfort zone. This essentially means identifying my ideal client, finding out where they be at and showing them why they should be booking with me. My goal is to hit up 2 networking events from female entrepreneurs and connecting with at least 3 new potential clients/businesses.
Leave comments below, I'd love to know what your goals are to :)