Gosh, where do I even begin? I’ve learned a lot of lessons, and I’m sure I’ll make more. Today I want to share with you some of the things I wish I had done differently in the last year and a half. I’d love to help you avoid some of these things!
- Feeling the need to always be right. You may be right. But you don’t have to prove that. Sometimes I know a client is wrong and I really have to keep my pride in check. To do that I have to ask myself ‘what benefit is there in proving them wrong’.
- Working with people who I knew I shouldn’t have. This includes people I’ve hired and people I’ve taken on as clients. Those red flags? Don’t ignore them. This was a huge mistake I’ve made that resulted in projects I wasn’t happy with and frustration.
- Not spending my money on the right things. Maybe I didn’t need that course I paid $100 for and have never done. Sure, it was just $100 but that could have been spent better. I recently had a meeting with my CPA and she showed me my yearly expenses and I nearly cried. That leads me to my next mistake.
- Not having a budget. That’s right. I’ve never created a budget for my business. I spent money when I had it. That’s going to change for 2019. In December I’m sitting down to create a budget for my business in 2019. Those useless expenses take away from my own profit. Don’t get me wrong – you’ve got to spend money to make money, but spend it on the right things and spend it reasonably.
- Comparison. This one gets us all. Instagram can be a blessing and a curse. I’ve gotten clients from Instagram, but I’ve also felt the trap of comparison. It’s hard not to compare myself to that girl who started her business the same time as me and has 20K+ followers and is booked out basically for the rest of her life and I’m just trying to buy groceries. Maybe you should unfollow her.
- Ignoring my website. Yep – right there before I rebranded I hated my site so much I just stopped caring about it. I stopped checking analytics (don’t obsess over those though). It’s okay to always be tweaking your website based on feedback and those analytics. Please don’t overhaul it every few months though. You’ll absolutely lose your mind.
- Wishing for the work I wanted instead of making it happen. And, by making it happen, I mean putting out the work you want to get. Let me explain a little more. If I post a branding project on my website for a bank, but I really want to work with small female owned business, those small female owned businesses aren’t going to be attracted to me. So, I make a ‘fake’ speculative project that will attract the work I want. I’ll be really honest – I still haven’t done this. But, I’ve planned for December to be really light on client work so I can create a passion project like this. If you wanted to follow up with me in December to make sure I do it I won’t be mad at all.
- Pushing my own business aside for my clients. I have a large corporate client that takes up a lot of my time. Like, a lot. Since I’m not willing to work 16+ hour days (I decided that at the beginning), a lot of my work day is dedicated to them and not to growing my own business. As a result, I’ve seen little growth in my own business lately. There’s definitely some merit in work like this, but it was a mistake I made. Recently, I made a big scary leap of faith and took the first step in changing this (more on that later).
- Not having a creative community. Another of the lessons I’ve learned is the importance of community. Of course there’s the community on Instagram, but I wanted something more. So a few months ago I started a small little creative community with the help of a friend. That’s been so encouraging and useful to me. We chat on Slack regularly, get feedback from each, send referrals, and help each other out with those tough client situations. This has been one of the best decisions.
Ok, I’ll leave it at this for now. There are countless other lessons I’ve learned and mistakes I’ve made but I think we’ll all feel pretty down if I keep going on! This year I’ve set aside December as a time to take a deep dive into what did and didn’t work for my business this year. I’ve intentionally booked minimal client work that month so I can really take the time to focus on creating growth in 2019. I’m really excited about taking that time to work on Rhema.