THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™ Co-Founders, Megan Boswell and Corinne Neil recently joined James Kademan , host of the Authentic Business Adventures Podcast series for a rolicking and candid hour in the studio to share their start-up story, their decision to be female-focused despite lots of advice to do otherwise, and how a night out with the gals for a glass a wine can be rich ground to uncover your next business idea. READ MORE & LISTEN IN…
So here's the thing. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there.
Even when you're not totally ready. Even when you don't have everything figured out. Even when you don't have a business name, or your perfectly branded logo, or the right software package, or any money.
Yep, it's true and it can feel like you're about to drink a cold cup of sick. Your hands might get sweaty, your tummy is probably churning, you're likely riddled with fear and anxiety. But you need to do it. You really do. Because even if you stumble all over your words, and your audience looks confused, or even worse patronizing, you did something really, really important.
You took the risk to fail. To mess up. To get it all wrong.
You, despite all the potential for complete disaster, did it anyway. And that is the first, critical step. In fact, it might be the only step, and it's one that you have to keep doing over and over again.
So go ahead and put yourself out there. You'll never get your business name right or your logo perfected or know what software you really need or get any money if you don't take that deep breath and put yourself out there. You're going to need to talk to your customers and tell them what you're doing. You’re going to need to talk to your customers to understand what they need. You're going to need to try out language on real people before you can really figure out what works and what doesn't. You're going to need to get feedback, and lots of of it, if you're going to carve your own niche. And you can't do any of that in isolation.
Working independently shouldn’t mean working alone.
Find your people. Know your tribe. Build your community. Collaborate. Connect.
Work solo, not siloed.
Our JILLS have great things to say and we're so happy to share it!
Belinda Wasser is the founder of Rocket Girl Solutions and a guest contributor to THE JILLS NEWS. With over 25 years of experience in business workflow and logistics, Belinda offers up practical advice on running your business so it isn't running you. We're proud to have Belinda as one of our JILLS OF ALL TRADES and welcome her expertise in working with solo professionals and small business owners as their part-time business managers. Belinda loves taking care of the daily details and minutiae so business owners can get back to the work they love doing! Our JILLS have great things to say and we're so happy to share it in THE JILLS NEWS.
Our JILLS offer up some of our best tips and in this post, Belinda reminds us that we need to rely on the skills and talents of others to truly build our businesses.
I was in Rosie’s on Elm Street last Thursday, enjoying a few quiet minutes at the end of the day with my friend Jennifer. We were talking about the usual things – business, kids, weather and more business.
And then she said, “It seems like you have no problem spending money to make money.”
I don’t, but I was definitely surprised to hear her say that. To me, this isn’t just a good approach; it’s the only approach that really works if you want to grow your business.
Here are some of the things I had mentioned during our conversation which prompted her to say what she said:
“Debbie Faye is working with me on improving my speaking presentation.”
“I hired a business coach, Jane Pollak, to help me reach my goals for the year.”
“I’m working with Scarlett DeBease to update my wardrobe.”
“I’m interviewing new accountants to help me organize my business.”
Later, as I was driving home, I realized how happy I am about what has now become my standard approach: Paying wonderful, capable people to help me work better, faster and smarter.
In other words, instead of doing everything myself (the way I did for years), I surround myself with experts. That’s real leverage.
Unfortunately, lots of solo professionals don’t see the world this way. To them, spending money (especially if things are feeling financially tight) feels like an extravagance. What I’ve found, though, is that you have to spend it to make it!
When is it time to get help?
In almost all cases, the answer is: Sooner than you think! In my experience, people wait way too long to bring in support, often putting it off until things have gotten really bad with missed deadlines and worse.
So, here are two questions to get you started:
- Are you doing work you’re not really qualified for?
Tinkering with your website, doing your own taxes, setting up an email newsletter are all business essentials best handled by experts. Maybe you’re good at some of these things, but many people aren’t, resulting in poor quality work that takes a lot of time to complete.
- Are you doing work that’s below your pay grade?
There’s nothing shameful about putting together your own client gifts or running down to Kinkos to make a bunch of copies for tonight’s presentation. But much of this work can be done less expensively by somebody else. If you’re spending time on this, you’re not spending time doing higher value tasks.
Simply put, you can’t build much of a business if you’re not willing to rely on other people. Find others to support the high quality – high paying! – work you do best and pretty soon you’ll also be spending money to make money.