Love your business, Live your life. That’s my tagline! I stand by this – it’s central to all that I do. But I’ve also been deceiving you. Before I explain why and how I’m going to change that deception, let me give you some context…
What I’m about to reveal is controversial
I’ve realised that to be amazing in business and life, your needs come first.
When I say ‘your’ I mean YOU. As the business owner. The boss. The dreamer, creator, decision-maker and implementer of YOUR big business idea.
Not the client, services, products, staff, or investors. You.
Yep. This controversial viewpoint is one that many of my clients struggle with when we work together. Sometimes they completely RESIST it initially because it’s totally at odds with how they’ve known business to work.
Repeat after me: You come first.
Feel scary? Yuh. It took me a long time to get comfy with it too.
Years of striving, long days, sleepless nights, 7 day weeks, struggling to pay the bills, doing work I didn’t enjoy. Until finally I burnt out, got sick and realised I was totally unhappy and unfulfilled.
The freedom-based entrepreneurial lifestyle was not living up to my expectations!
Why is this concept SO hard and scary to grasp?
Because we spend a lifetime believing work is not to be enjoyed.
We’ve watched generations before us believing it. They told us so!
The negative associations are drummed into us from the beginning…
- You need to hustle to survive
- It’s a hard slog
- A daily grind
- To get ahead you have to ‘put your back into it’.
- That the ‘customer is always right’ and everyone else’s needs comes before our own.
Hearing this repeatedly, is it any wonder it’s soooo hard for us to get our heads around?
If it sounds too good to be true it usually is!
Is putting you first too good to be true and selfish? Nope. I do it. I live by it. My clients are learning to do it, and I know plenty of other success stories who do it (or are getting there) too.
When you serve your own needs first; do what you love, get plenty of rest, enjoy your work, have time to spend how you choose, follow the fun, have the freedom to change direction and pivot, the income to live the life you love.
THEN you create the perfect environment to serve your clients and community more fully to give them what they need and want. They get the very best of you because your tank is full. And, it flows into every other area of your life. Significant Other, kids, friends, community.
It’s what we all deserve, and how can that be selfish?
(there is more to it than this, and being able to stand by your offerings AND deliver to your clients is paramount).
So what’s the big lie? (More controversy!)
So even though I now know this. Practice what I preach. Walk my talk. Lately, I’ve been feeling at odds with something that has been a cornerstone of my business since the very beginning.
I regularly get emails and enquiries from people who are inspired by the work I do and what I’ve overcome to get here.
They often want to work with me because they have big dreams for their small businesses too.
They just don’t know how to get there. They see that I have done it, am doing it. So hope that I’m the person to help them. (Often, I am!)
That is frickin’ awesome and the biggest compliment anyone could give me.
And, usually they’ve got to know me by reading my blog articles for years via my weekly emails.
It’s these same blogs I’ve fallen out of love with writing on a weekly basis.
Here I am, regularly extolling the virtues of blogging for business, and finding it all a bit of a drag.
I tried workarounds; repurposing, rehashing, even outsourcing, but every week it was the big PITA job I was starting to dread.
Weekly, I questioned:
- How can I tell my clients and community to follow the fun when I don’t find blogging so fun anymore?
- Why am I adding more noise to the mix of an increasingly overcrowded space?
- How can I stand by a weekly content strategy, and tell others it’s essential when I don’t believe that is necessarily true? (It ABSOLUTELY depends on your business, and the details of your strategy is something to consider carefully before committing to. Best idea is to get expert guidance on yours).
- How can I ignore your voices that tell me you don’t have the time to keep up with everything written online?
It was all beginning to feel very at odds with my core values.
This might not sound like a big deal to you but when a large part of my business development and growth has been due to me blogging consistently every week for 7 years it is!
It’s because of my blog that I’ve been voted in several top marketing polls, help thousands with their small business needs, get thousands of blog visitors every week. Attract clients, PR opportunities, and regular business as a result of my commitment to writing for you.
And for a long time I’ve toyed with the idea of cutting back to a more manageable schedule. One which means I can create amazing content that gets more leverage, and that I actually enjoy creating.
So that I have time to create different amazing ways to serve others that I really enjoy!
I’ve been nervous to make the step
Because what if I’m WRONG?
I mean, I know how important my blogging has been in marketing my business. The results prove it works.
The truth is I don’t know if I’m wrong.
What I do know for sure is…
- There is not one single action you can take that will ruin your entire business but a series of occurrences that might.
- I can always change my mind!
- I can always create other content – in place of blogging.
And, then I realised THIS…
Not knowing is part of being an entrepreneur!
Taking risks, testing, experimenting, falling down, starting again is what I signed up for.
THINKING and DOING differently is how we create change. And, it’s what keeps us buzzing and energised and moving forward towards our big dreams.
Which brings me back to my controversial viewpoint that is central to my business. So I tell myself once again: Alicia, your needs come first.
How will this all play out for realz?
I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even have a super defined alternative marketing strategy yet, and I’m ok with that. For now I’ll be cutting down my blogging to every 2 weeks, playing around with some other stuff, and remaining insanely curious and open about what comes next.
It doesn’t mean I recommend it to you! I feel I can do this because I’m experienced enough to understand the big picture and best options. I’m excited and liberated (and a little bit scared) for how this will work out, and that’s all part of the FUN!