Hate Your Business? How to Create an Agency That You Actually LoveAug 14, 2023
Have you been feeling overwhelmed, lost, or unsatisfied (and maybe even downright resentful) in your business lately? You might be stuck in a plateau, losing out on revenue, or unsure about the future of your agency as a whole. That’s how I felt before I finally left law to dive into PR and create an agency 18 years ago. You don’t have to totally jump ship from your career to find fulfillment again — instead, you can take small steps to get back in alignment with what truly lights you up.
How to Create an Agency You Love (Even If You Hate it Right Now)
Pulling yourself up out of a low is tough…but it’s possible! Going back to square one takes a lot of hard work, both internally and externally, but you deserve to do work and create an agency that you love. Here are four of my best tips for getting off the hate train and redesigning your agency into a business that serves you in every way.
Establish a Clear Vision for Your Agency
This is your very first step in getting your business back on track! You’ve likely lost sight of your why and the motivation that pushed you to create an agency in the first place. To get out of your cycle of hating your agency, you need to figure out what you truly want from your business.
Set aside some time to reflect on your priorities and values and think about these core questions:
- What niche do you want to work in?
- Which services do you want to offer your clients?
- Do you want to work fully from home or rent out an office?
- What does your ideal schedule look like in terms of work-life integration?
- Which kinds of clients are you taking on? What’s their niche, size, and project scope?
- How is your team structured? Do you want to work with freelancers?
With a clear agency vision in mind, you can start taking the necessary steps to change your situation and rebuild your business into what you’re dreaming of. Begin by setting boundaries around the hours you work and the projects you complete for clients.
If you’re ever unsure about a decision, go back to your vision for some guidance. Would saying yes get you closer to executing your dream for your business? Then go for it! If not, move on to the next client or project.
Get Out of a Reactive Mindset
To get to a place where you truly love your business, you need to stop making reactive business decisions. When you’re stuck in a reactive mindset, you never take action to change a situation that’s making you unhappy! You’ll continue to take on clients, strengthen your media relationships, and develop deep expertise in a niche you hate…which just attracts more of the same work.
A reactive mindset leads to overwhelm and burnout. You feel buried in work you don’t enjoy with no way out. But being proactive and going after what you want, not what comes to you, will lead you to fulfillment and success!
You have the power to change your life and create an agency you love. You have the power to switch things up, whether that means phasing out certain services in favor of adding other ones or branching out into a new niche. Yes, it takes a lot of work to start over like this, but it’s more than worth it when a business you love is waiting on the other side.
Bring Passion Back Into Your Work
Take a minute to pause and think about how you feel when you work. What feels heavy? Which tasks make the hours drag on? On the flip side, what comes naturally to you? Where do you get into a good flow and let the hours fly by? That’s the work that lights you up — you should be doing THAT in your agency!
When you do what you’re meant to do, there’s a gut feeling that tells you this is right. Your energy literally changes as you complete your work! You might’ve ignored this gut feeling when you first took the leap to create an agency, or maybe the feeling didn’t arise until a few years into your business.
Now is your chance to get back to what makes you happy and ignites your passion for your business — because that passion never fully left you. This could mean delegating work that you don’t enjoy to another team member or shifting gears entirely to revamp your agency’s services or niche. Get yourself back into your zone of genius and stay there.
Say No to What Doesn’t Serve You
Taking on work that doesn’t serve you and doesn’t align with your goals and desires only breeds resentment. That’s how you create an agency you hate!
You might be taking on work that’s not right for you out of obligation, whether that’s from client referrals or projects from family and friends, because it’s guaranteed revenue. But when you say yes to them, you say no to yourself. You say no to your vision for your agency, and you say no to the loved ones that can’t spend time with you while you’re caught up at your desk.
Learn how to say no, and do it ASAP! The first time you turn down a project or say no to a client referral is scary: you might fear coming off as disrespectful or ungrateful. But in reality, other entrepreneurs will respect you for your decision! They’ll appreciate your self-awareness in knowing you’re not the best person for the job, and, if you can provide them with a referral to another better-suited agency, you’ll build some goodwill and trust.
Saying no to what doesn’t align with your values makes saying yes to what does even easier. When you get that gut feeling that a new client or a different niche is the perfect fit for your agency's vision, chase it!
Realizing you hate your business and are feeling unfulfilled is a tough pill to swallow. But you don’t have to live like this forever — you can go back to square one to create an agency you love! To hit the reset button, you’ll have to get back to your why, rework your mindset, and set up your agency to truly serve every part of you.