What are some common misconceptions you see?
One of the biggest misconceptions that I see out there is that business owners and business builders just need to work harder to get to the next level of success. It’s very common for people to disregard their own needs, their health or their personal development because they think they need to put all of that energy and intention into the business. The sustainability of the business depends directly on the people who are running it and their own personal sustainability. You can only develop a business as far as you are willing and able to develop yourself. I often see people not scheduling enough time for themselves in their daily routines to bring their best selves to the business. That’s when they get overworked and overwhelmed because they don’t prioritize their time well in a way that allows them to perform better.
Another pitfall that I often see people falling into is hiring the wrong person when they realize that they need to delegate. When they do delegate or do hire, they will pick the first person that comes up or the first person who messages them on Facebook. This can cause a lot of problems down the road when they hire additional people because then their frame of reference is a bit skewed by this potentially problematic person that they worked with previously. A little more research and a little more vetting in the process of who you hire can alleviate bigger problems down the road.
How do you help them overcome these misconceptions and fears?
There is a wellness aspect of what I do so I use neuroscience for a lot of my systems and frameworks. I’m certified through the NeuroLeadership Institute and I show people the science behind investing in their wellness and self-care, and how that can bring their better selves to their businesses. This helps them better prioritize their time, basically filling their cup so that they can pour more into their business.
How do you help them implement the systems for lasting effects?
I help them narrow their focus on what will give them the highest reward for their efforts. A lot of small business owners feel like they need to be on all the social platforms and doing all the latest things with ads or other shiny objects. It’s called the Shiny Object Syndrome, where they come up with a new idea every week. They’re like, well this is what is going to save the business and then they spend time going after all these new ideas without really getting anywhere. This is what I mean by taking a scattershot approach. They’re trying too many things that aren’t giving them quality ROI. I see that problem often when it comes to small business owners of not being very strategic as to where they’re focusing their efforts.
When it comes to marketing strategies, you have to be on the platforms and the publications that your ideal demographic and client are going to be on. For example, there’s a rule of thumb that if you are accessing people for your customer base who are over 30 years old, you want to be on Facebook. If you are accessing people under 30 years old, you want to be on Instagram. But if you are a business to business organization, you need to be on LinkedIn. Or if you’re accessing elder care services and senior care services, then maybe you want to consider doing a snail mail campaign because those kinds of people aren’t even hanging out on social media. It’s all about targeting your efforts in a way that gives you a higher quality ROI and then you spend less time on it but get better results.
What inspired you to get into this line of work?
I’ve been working with arts organizations and small businesses for 15 years at this point and helping entrepreneurs is very much aligned with my core value of self-expression. Over the years, my love of these passion-driven businesses has deepened. I got my taste of it back in 2014 when I opened up my first business. I had graduated during the recession with an art history degree, which didn’t give me many job options at the time. I figured that if no one else was going to hire me for a growth-oriented position, I was going to hire myself. I had been working in retail and small businesses since high school. So I figured opening up a retail shop was right up my alley.
That was my crash course in running my own business. I had seen behind the scenes for a bunch of other businesses but running it yourself is another level. I say I got my MBA via Google because if I didn’t know it, I looked it up and learned it. From there I pivoted into more business advisory roles because I realized that my background in research from art history paired well with my obsession with systems, I make systems for everything in my day to day life. That was a unique skill set when it came to helping small businesses develop and scale so I pivoted into more business advisory roles after closing down the store and eventually opened up this business in 2018.
One of the big lessons learned was developing your market before you launch. It’s important to spend the time and effort to develop your audiences and make sure that you have a group of people that you’re able to launch your product or service to when you are ready to launch. A lot of people launch before developing their market so it just takes a lot longer to then develop their market and get things sold.
It’s important for business owners to ask themselves, how they are strategically planning for the future in their business because that is something that a lot of people in those positions don’t necessarily consider to be important just yet because they feel like they’re too busy putting out fires on a day to day basis. They don’t feel like they have the bandwidth or the motivation to plan for the long term. You need to know where you’re going, even if it doesn’t go exactly according to plan (because nothing goes 100% according to plan), but they should have a general idea of where they’re building the business to and what they need to do in order to get to that point.