Since the beginning of this year, I have been increasing as a business, and it has been a whirlwind. Ever since my mom went into surgery, I found myself flooded with inquiries, writing jobs, and more! While grateful for the growth it has led me to wonder how do you manage a growing business?
I cannot thank the good Lord above and my community enough for the support I have received and don’t worry I am not giving up just working harder. Having knowledge and talent to do many things can be a benefit and a curse.
I have spent many years studying everything from photography, expository writing, design, to custom art framing, and more. I’m not bragging just stating some of the facts. Technically I can take any idea someone has and develop it and produce it for pleasure or business. It gets me excited that I can do this for practically anyone which leads me to one of my biggest problems.
I’m the perfect cheerleader and giver of advice to my colleagues and other businesses! Why? Because I love people and I get excited about their ideas as well, yet, I exhaust myself and don’t follow my advice. Something I have learned is you have to evaluate your business then reevaluate it repeatedly.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
I like growing and being more visible to my community. This has led to opportunities to network and additional projects I never thought about taking on before. Which in turn has driven me to distraction and bunny-trailing. But I knew I could not keep up at the pace I have been working so I reached out to a couple of organizations. I now have three business mentors, and I can tell you this, they are making me think about the hard stuff.
And I mean the stuff that scares me to death!
I have completed a SWOT analysis, and my next steps are to create goals for the next year, three years, then five. I am having to dig deeper into what do I really want to be known for and what are my product offerings going to be.
It makes my head hurt, but these are good things to address.
I’m proud of myself for finally getting serious enough to ask for help, and I will have them guide me through the process. Going it alone is scary enough, so I had to find my own cheerleaders and coaches to help me push forward.
I used to be afraid to ask for help, but they are already making me stretch and think differently.
Work on your Work
Today’s meeting over coffee with Katy kicked my butt and made me realize that if I don’t take time for me, I will burn out.
Hmmmm where does that sound familiar? Oh yes! All those other times I have suffered from burnout.
Working on assignments from other businesses etc. is excellent, but if I neglect my own, then I am just shooting myself in the foot.
I’m a creative heart, and I have to feed my creativity. Lately, I have tossed it out the window and just plowed through. By the end of the day, I push myself so hard that I leave nothing for me.
I noticed a book cover the other day that made sense to me, “Wash your face girl!” It made me pause and reflect, I need to wash my face and wakeup.
The creative doldrums happen from time to time for all artists, but sometimes we instate them ourselves.
Raising my hand, I am guilty!
Katy’s advice to me was golden, and sadly she was not the first to say it to me (Katrina and Tina), “Pull back and work on projects that will help you even if it is only a few hours each week. Because when you are working on you, you are working on your business because you are the business.”
And my inner muse yelled at me inwardly saying, “How many times have you told others that same thing?”
Yes Ms. Muse I know, I know.
Plan Even if it Scares You
So, here I am reinventing myself again but from what everyone tells me this is a normal part of managing a growing business.
Can you believe it has been almost two years since I left my full-time job and I’m still here?! It shocks me, but hey life is moving! I just finally reached a point where I knew I was going to plateau and that is not what I want for myself and family.
I used to love planning and still do for anyone but me. However, I am now taking steps to plan for the future.
And let me put this in as plain as English as I possibly can, planning for the future of my business scares the hell out of me!
It scares me because I have a terrible fear of failure and looking at substantial numbers and what it takes to break even makes me cringe.
As a creative I want to bury my head in the ground like an ostrich and ignore it all, but what good will that do me?
It won’t, and I want to have a brand and BE a brand. If I don’t plan for that, I will never reach my goals.
Planning will help me develop my goals then break them down into action steps. Smaller action steps will take me further than floating around on a cloud daydreaming new ideas.
So, plan for your future and face those fears.
Overall, I have tried to pretend these steps didn’t exist, but they do. Managing a growing business is scary and exciting as well. It has started molding me into something new, and I like this new Sabrina. Two years ago I never thought I would be doing what I am now. It is an adventure, but I wake up daily excited about what the day has prepared for me.
After having listened to a few lectures from close friends and mentors, I took time for me yesterday and today, and I can honestly say it has refreshed my soul. One of the most significant milestones to date was the arrival of my new camera. To be honest, I never thought I would reach the point where I would be holding a full frame camera, but I am!
Of course, I named her like I do everything else in my life that is important to me, lol, her name is Lady Victory, or “Lady V” for short.
I seriously full-on ugly cried for a solid hour when she arrived. Upgrading my camera equipment was my only goal for the year, and I have already reached it!
The images in today’s post were captured by Lady V and I can see how she is going to improve on my work exponentially!
I’m excited, working hard, and I am going to spend more time sharing my views and stories. I mean I advise everyone else to do that, right? This year has been amazing so far, so let’s see where it takes us, shall we?