7 things I did to grow my business this year
What a year of growth and momentum! It seems fitting to honour my 7th year in business with 7 things I did differently as an entrepreneur in 2016.
Now past the wobbly feeling of new business navigation, my recent trip around the sun has been about liberation, celebration, and elevation. Instead of treading water (or just trying to keep my head above it), I sashayed into a bigger version of myself and Fetching Finn. It was a lot of hard work and humble pie, a few broken hearts and many sleepless nights. But I can safely say that there’s no slowing down, now. I’m addicted.
The most common excuse for avoiding a rebrand is, “Everybody knows my logo. If I change the design or colors, I’m going to lose my audience.” It’s easy to become emotionally attached and resist change. We hang on to nostalgia like a pair of ill-fitting jeans, forgetting that a makeover always feels more “you” and demonstrates that your business is current, evolving, and eager to fit its ideal audience’s needs today. Check out my post on the redesign of Fetching Finn’s logo as part of the rebranding process.
2. Stopped Comparing
“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should” has become a favorite line of mine and the good ol’ gut check is always the best advice. This year has been about trusting myself and simply deciding to be a leader and not a follower. I’m getting too old for the rest of that crap.
3. Hired Help
There is some serious ego wrapped up in design work and trusting another professional to help under the Fetching Finn brand was a huge hurdle. Fortunately, that right design expert came along and gently requested that I back off and leave things in their capable hands. And so I did. And the world didn’t fall apart. Having help turns out to be a very grown-up feeling!
I committed to working with a business coach every two weeks. The reflection, planning, and accountability has helped me change gears at a rapid rate. I particularly love that my coach doesn’t let me linger on the garbage and also cusses just as much as I do in our sessions. The happy cusses…like “f*ck, yeah!”
4. Embraced Gratitude
I am able to do what I love as a career because of the clients who choose to invest in and trust Fetching Finn. Very fortunately, my design business grows through referrals, which are the most generous types of testimonials. I’ve consciously shifted to emailing and texting a solid “thank you” with real heart instead of a quick and casual “hey, thanks”. Taking the time to write cards, send small gifts, or do a little bonus work here and there are important ways for me to reflect back that generosity.
5. Cut Out Negative Noise
Short and sweet: I cannot stand the small business whining around the recession. If the non-action-takers ever needed an excuse, this one was done to death. I stopped following people and discussions on social media that promoted the woe-is-me attitude. I turned up the volume on the hustlers and winners that were heads down, doing the hard work. What you put out there is guaranteed to manifest. How many Recession Rebels feel the same way?
6. Spent Money to Make Money
I took the price tag of software, products, and services out the equation and focused on the value it brought to my business. Couriers loved me. My work flowed more efficiently with time-saving upgrades. I invested in items that made me feel accomplished. Most importantly, my rule of thumb was to say YES to offers that I knew would serve me well and then quickly adopt them. Any hesitation and I’d waste countless hours (lost $) debating the pros and cons and never taking action.
7. Set Boundaries
The year wasn’t all rosy. I learned about boundaries the hard way by allowing a handful of clients to control my tried-and-true design processes. Some didn’t like the communication software I used. Others disrespected timelines. A few clients seemingly fell off the face of the earth once it was time to pay up. I finally hired legal help to re-define the terms of my Design Agreement and pare it down from 9 pages to a manageable 3. So, if you were planning on being one of these “exceptional” clients, you can think again – I’ve got this sh*t locked down for 2017!