How to Avoid Building a Business You Hate
May 21, 2019
I want to share with you a really simple strategy that is going to help you build a business that you love. My title is about avoiding building a business that you hate, but in reality, my goal for you is to create a business that you LOVE.
How to Avoid Building a Business You Hate
Think about your motivation. The reason why you decided to create your own businesses is so that the business could serve you. How can you make that happen?
I know many of you are feeling overwhelmed and not in control of your business. How do you stop being reactive and hop into the driver’s seat? How can you establish a clear vision and strategy for your company?
From a Job I Hated to a Business I Love
Before I started my PR company, I was a civil litigation attorney and practiced law for four years. It absolutely sucked. I hated it. It was not what I am meant to do at all. And it really got me thinking about being in the driver's seat of my life and my career.
I started saying to myself, this is what I want my life to look like, and if I'm going to create a business, this is how I want that business to serve me.
I took the leap and jumped into a career in PR.
I started my agency almost 15 years ago now. It's honestly been the best decision I could've ever made professionally. It has served me in so many ways.
I love my business. I love waking up every day, getting to do what I do. Plus, now that I'm a mom, I'm able to be a really present and checked in parent. That's really important to me and this business allows me to do that.
By deciding who I want to work with and the kind of work I want to do, I’ve created a business that I love. I’m not stuck reacting to work assignments I hate. Instead, I’ve built a business that serves me.
Building my business to serve me has been an incredible gift in my life, and I want to share that with everybody else.
This has become my mission — to share with other business owners or aspiring business owners about how to create something they love.
Everyone has the opportunity to blaze a path to a life and business they love.
Stop Making Reactive Business Decisions
What I've realized is that in order to get to that place where you're not resenting your business, you're not being reactive, and just taking work that comes to you, you need a really clear vision for your company.
Because if you don't really clearly establish what you want to do and who you want to serve and what you want your company to ultimately look like, you could end up building a business that you don't even want to have.
I've had several entrepreneurs come to me who are really established in their fields and in their agencies, with deep expertise. They have created these businesses that they can't stand and they feel like they're so deep and buried. It's overwhelming to them and they don't know how to get out of it. They’re attracting more of the kind of work they don’t want and they keep saying “yes” because that's all they've ever known in building a business.
But what if you took a second and decided that, instead of being reactive in your decision making and serving clients you don’t believe in, you're really going to create a company that you love.
Instead of doing work you don't enjoy, you can take a stand and decide you're going to say “yes” to projects that you really actually want to be working on and that are going to build the business in the way you want.
It really is a snowball cumulative effect. You start to get known for a certain thing and you really do attract more of that type of work into your company. So rather than being go, go, go in your business and constantly reacting to clients, stop and regroup.
Pursue Your Passion
I also want you to stop and pay attention to how you feel when you do the work.
What feels heavy?
Alternatively, what work are you doing where the time flies by? I’m talking about the kind of work where you feel yourself get into a good flow and you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished. Think about what makes you light up when you're talking about it.
That's the kind of work you want to be doing.
There's certain things in my business where sometimes I tell people about it and it's very matter of fact. There's other aspects of my business, particularly with coaching and guiding other agency owners and entrepreneurs to building a businesses they love, where I LIGHT up.
I feel my body energy change and I know that this work serves me so well — that it’s really truly what I’m meant to do and need to be doing more of in my business.
Don’t Do Work that Doesn’t Serve You
Pay attention to the kind of work that you're taking on because you feel like you should. Maybe it's referrals from friends or family members and you feel a sense of obligation. One tip I'll give you for that is when you have a clear understanding of the kind of work you want to be doing, the kind of business you want to have, and the kind of clients that you want to serve, it becomes very easy to say no. When you think about it like this, when you say yes to something that doesn't serve you, you're saying no to yourself.
You're saying no to family members because now you're distracted and you're taking on work that isn't fulfilling your vision for your company. I said to my husband the other day, when you say yes to a project that doesn't light you up, you're actually saying no to me and to our kids because now you're distracted. That work that you're saying yes to out of obligation or fear that you're not going to make enough money is really you saying no to the vision and the direction you want to have in your company.
When I said that to my husband, he actually went and implemented that in his own business. He got a referral to a company but he told them that it wasn’t his area of expertise and he wasn’t excited about the project, so he wouldn’t be able to do the best job. The client actually really respected him for doing this, and said thank you for being honest. Then, he was able to refer them to someone else who would be a lot more excited about it.
When you take on work that doesn’t light you up, you start to resent your business.
When you say “yes” out of obligation, or out of fear that you're not going to be making enough money, you are actually saying “no” to the ultimate vision of the company that you want to be running.
Establish a Clear Vision
Today's the day to take time and establish a clear vision for the type of business that you want to have, so that you can start to make really good choices.
Establishing a clear vision is the very first step in setting up your mindset to step into the role of the agency owner that you want to be.
In my business, I decided that I want to work from home, I want to work with certain kinds of clients and not work others.
Work that just doesn’t serve me...I don’t even entertain those possibilities. EVEN if it's a huge paycheck. Because I know I'd be doing it for the money and that's the wrong reason.
When you establish exactly what you want your company to look like, you have FREEDOM!
I know that I want to be there when my kids get home from school. I want to be available to do homework with them. I want to be unreachable on the weekends.
Clients no longer bother me at all hours of the day, because I’ve set up my business to serve my vision. When you have a clear vision, you can start to establish boundaries and attract the right kinds of clients into your business.
This is YOUR life. If you're choosing to begin building your own business, I want it to be a business that you love, that lights you up every day, and that serves you fully. Really think about it. Think about the company that you want. Think about the life that you want to have and how your business fits into that.
Think about how to step into your role as the CEO of your business and start operating from that perspective, as if you're the leader of that company already, because you are. And that's how you make it happen.