When you recognize that the way your business works isn't cutting it for you anymore, you have to do something about it. That's a given. But until now, all you've been able to decide is what you don't want anymore.
You don't want to keep over-delivering on value for practically zero profits.
You don't want to spend every waking moment of your day hunched over your laptop (and worried the sky will fall the second you step away).
You don't want to hustle for every single client you get or panic when a new referral hasn't come through.
I get it. It's important to know what you don't want. But the end of your frustration begins with getting clear about what you do want. And I know that right at the top of your list is "freedom" ...
... to pour value into your work and feel supported by the money you earn.
... to actually have a work-life, that's completely separate from the rest of your life.
... to enjoy the flow of consistent income with a steady, balanced schedule to match.
Do you feel the difference in that?
Now, in order to create that freedom for yourself, you'll need to shift your focus to creating growth in your business. And there are 5 important decisions you need to make around that:
1. Decide how you'll leverage your core genius
Leveraging, or applying, your core genius means:
* BONUS: Download the free PDF worksheet below that walks you step-by-step through deciding who to focus your expertise on *
This one thing makes every other decision so much simpler, because it gives you the insights and framework you need to shape your brand, message, content and offers. More importantly, it maximizes your chances of getting the results you want -- more of the right clients, more income, and less of the hassle that tends to come with building a solo business.
2. Decide what your work-life needs to look like
As a solopreneur, it goes without saying that you'll wear several hats in your business. But that doesn't mean you need to do anything that isn't within your particular strengths or that doesn't support your priorities.
Let's say, for example, you're a graphic designer who manages and produces projects for your clients. Inherently, your job involves something to the effect of:
In some cases, coordinating subcontractors and vendors is also involved in the process. It's certainly a lot more work than just receiving a project request and delivering design gold (although, you do manage to pull that off. Every. Single. Time).
So, sure, you could charge more money for your services to better support the value you deliver. You could also establish better systems and practices to streamline and simplify your workflow. But that still only scratches the surface for you if what you really want is to eliminate everything else about the work you're doing so that you can focus on doing the work that lights you up.
Whether it's the high-level project management and client communication work, or the implementation work; the beauty of running your own business is that you get to decide what you do. And when you're clear on that you can make the next logical decision ...
3. Decide what kind of support you will need
Yes, friend. You need support -- and a shit ton of it. But rather than waxing philosophical about the benefits of finding and hiring the right support for your business, I'll simply tell you this:
The quality, efficiency and overall value of your work becomes exponentially better when you focus your efforts explicitly on what you excel at. Having the right kind of support in your business allows you to do that.
4. Decide how much money you want to earn
My friend and negotiation guru, Devon Smiley, teaches about pricing for profit (and, as far as I'm concerned, she wrote the damn book). In particular, she talks about pricing your offers to not only cover your expenses (aka, "what you need"), but also to cover your longer-term goals. As Devon puts it, "[If] you want to be in business for the long haul, you need to add financial profit into the mix."
Beyond that, you also need to have a system of earning (or a profit plan) that supports the growth and freedom you want. This allows you to leverage your expertise into multiple components of earning, so that you aren't relying on just one thing to drive your income and profits.
That leads to the final decision you need to make ...
5. Decide how you will realign your business model to support your growth
You've figured out by now that you can't earn money the same way you have been ... because, um, it doesn't work for you (remember?). So if being in the weeds with implementation work has you banging your head against the wall; or if spending half the day, and all night, talking to clients is wearing you down -- please don't be a martyr. Change it.
Define how your business can provide the same or greater value and earn more, in a way that doesn't suck the life out of you.
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Now Get After It
What came up for you as you considered each of these 5 decision-making points? Were you able to come to some hard and fast decisions -- or did you get stuck? Tell me all about it in the comments.
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