Running your own business is TOUGH! I know, I’ve been doing it for over 20 years and it can still be challenging. When you’re trying your best to hit your goals, you can feel like you’re running on a hamster wheel – like you may never get to that success you want. And the scariest part?? Sometimes what’s getting in the way is….YOU! Gulp! There are 5 bad habits that we can ALL fall into. Here’s how to get off that wheel and out of your own way!
1. Stop Doing It All Yourself
Yes, I know you can’t always hire employees, especially if money is tight. But you can ALWAYS find someone to help. Get an intern. Look on Upwork.com to see who can help with CAD. Hire an assistant to help out with all of the smaller tasks that are overwhelming you! You’ve heard that you have to spend money to make money, right? The more help you get, the more you can focus on making MORE money for the company! It’s a win-win. Quit wasting your time on things that don’t lead to success.
2. Don’t Let Passion Get in the Way of MONEY
What do I mean by that? Sometimes we love design so much that we feel guilty about charging enough for our services. We discount the amount of work that goes into a project because we are having a great time doing that work – or we think you should already know something, so you can’t possibly charge them for that! And…maybe you occasionally do a few free projects for friends and family – because you really are ALL about design. Every single one of those examples is the sign of a hobby and not a business. You are doing WORK – you deserve to be paid fairly for that work. And you have to be paid for ALL of your work. No more free projects! When YOU act like your work isn’t important, others will, too.
3. Stop Ignoring Your Financials
No, it is not fun to sit in financial meetings when all you want to do is get back to the FUN part of the business. I get it. But ignoring the numbers won’t make them go away. It’s like when you have a medical issue and you avoid going to the doctor – it’s only going to get worse until you address it. Sitting down and seeing what the REAL picture is for your finances is the only way to take away the stress. That’s the TRUTH! You might even be pleasantly surprised! Get your financial house in order and stop letting it stress you out!
4. Don’t Compare Yourself
It is SOOOOO easy to look at Instagram and think: “Wow, all of these designers have it figured out! They must be rolling in money!” I’ve been guilty of it myself! But you have got to remember that so much of what we see online is smoke-and-mirrors. It’s a pumped-up version of what’s really going on. And in some cases, it’s a way of hiding the truth. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing for those designers! I’m saying you need to stop comparing yourself to something that may not be the whole story. Every business has issues. Every designer hits challenges. So just stay focused on YOUR business and what you need to take care of!
5. Don’t Make Excuses
When I say you shouldn’t make excuses, I mean you shouldn’t make excuses both to your clients and to yourself! So for your clients, making excuses can make you sound untrustworthy. They may even wonder what’s really going on and if you’re handling their project in the best way possible. That’s not a good relationship to have with clients – especially when word-of-mouth is still the #1 way that most of us get business. You KNOW you need to stop making excuses to yourself about your business. Face what needs to be done head-on, and start acting like a BOSS! You can do it! It will definitely put you on the path to success!
To help you get out of your own way and start making more MONEY, Download my 1st Quarter Business Review Template to get at the heart of how your business is doing, and what you can do through this year to make it even better!