I started my web design business in 2009 with a dream of creating beautiful and functional websites for small businesses. All of those confusing, cluttered and less-than-attractive websites would be mine to transform! And that’s what I focussed on. There have been a couple of siestas from time to time for Resonant Imagery but the dream has held strong.
I’m pretty amazed at how far my business has come. As with all ventures, there are ups and downs, times of flourishing and times of needing to keep the faith. When I look back through all the growth that Resonant Imagery has experienced, I can surmise that even though it’s come far, sometimes I did things the hard way. Lessons were learned and often there was a feeling of “I wish I’d actioned that sooner”.
I remember the day I signed up for Xero and the relief I felt that I wouldn’t have to input expenses into Excel ever again. The same was true when I received my first lot of professional photos and when I registered for GST.
Truth is, my business still grew without these things in place, so really, I should cut it some slack.
Sound familiar? We can be so critical of where we’re at, like we aren’t (or our business isn’t) good enough yet. When we look at our peers kicking ass on social media or chat with our business besties who surely have it all worked out, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of comparisonitis. Sure, there’s always room for growth and achieving the next goal, but there’s also the need for business compassion and the realisation that some things take time to action.
I fall into this trap from time to time (and am grateful that it’s happening less these days) but I’m realising that rather than pushing for everything to be in place and perfect, I’m taking the time to feel into when the time will be right. In other words, I’m gradually getting better at planning the big picture stuff. Here’s a mantra of mine that might ring true for you: If not now, then what can I do in the meantime?
Here are some tips for frequently-heard negative talk and the little things we can do now to gradually get to where we want to be.
“I don’t want to send newsletters because I wouldn’t know what to say.”
Even if you don’t send newsletters any time soon, please start collecting email addresses anyway. There’ll come a time when you’ll find your voice and you’ll be thankful for your database of contacts.
“I don’t want any social media accounts because I just don’t have the time.”
Who says you have to master all the social medias?! Pick one or two platforms that you feel most natural at being active on and then find a frequency of posting that you can achieve. If you know you want to be on other social media platforms in the future, make sure you grab your handles (eg. https://instagram.com/resonantimagery) now before someone else snatches them up. And remember, being social helps to build your business’ online community and quality is more important than quantity.
“I’m too busy but it’s easier for me to just do it all.”
This is a big one for me. Letting go of control. It can take time to find the right fit when bringing an assistant on board and there’s training them up too. In the end, if there are tasks you regularly want to do but never get done, think about outsourcing something… anything! Invest in a virtual assistant (even if it’s just for a couple of hours a week) or employ someone. There’ll be learning curves but it’ll be worth it. It’ll also be valuable experience for when your business grows and it’s time to expand.
“My systems are a mess and I don’t want anyone else to see them.”
Whether it be your finances, booking systems or planning, there’s an expert out there who can help. Often when things feel like a big mess, that’s when it’s the perfect time to reach out. No need to clean the house before the cleaner arrives, if you know what I mean. Let go of the fear and take the action that’ll bring more ease.
And remember, all in good time. There are times when we need some tough business love and other times when it’s okay to set your sights on achieving a task not now but in the future. We can look to our high achieving peers for inspiration and we can also be grateful for how far our business has come… and that it’s not over yet.