why my days as an entrepreneur look different than most

There’s no shortage of experts telling you that success in business requires sacrifice – and that feeling stressed and time-starved and overwhelmed is just the way it has to be if you want your business to grow. 

Honestly, that message doesn’t resonate with me. Because while I have hustled in the past, that phase was short-lived. I quickly learned that burning the candle at both ends wasn’t for me – and it wasn’t the best way to grow my business either.

the secret to creating more freedom in your business

I want to introduce you to someone – a woman who is, by all means, just like you.

About a decade ago, this woman graduated from college with a good degree and a few job prospects. The only problem was that she couldn’t find any jobs that gave her the freedom to set her own schedule and live in the city she wanted to call home.

So she created her own path, and built her own business with freedom in mind.

She wanted freedom to set her own hours and make her own schedule. Freedom to travel and take time off. Freedom to spend time with her partner and family. Freedom to pursue the creative projects that fulfilled her – and freedom to say no to the ones that weren’t a good fit. 

the place most people get stuck with 1:1 outreach

Earlier this week, I introduced you to my simple system for lead generation, The 1:1 Method

What I didn’t tell you is that almost everyone gets stuck in the same place when they try to implement this process in their business.

They get stuck when they start trying to write the emails that they plan to send out to potential leads – especially because they want to reach out in a way that feels generous, engaging and authentic (i.e. not salesy).

This is why I share actual email templates inside The 1:1 Method guide. You can use these templates to help you draft your outreach emails; they’re also meant to show you that there are many ways to reach out to a potential lead. You just need to find the right approach for you.

I’m giving you my simple lead generation system

There are things in your business that obviously lend themselves to systems, things like keeping track of your numbers and your process for client onboarding. 

But there are also plenty of things that you could systematize but haven’t tackled yet, either because it’s not immediately clear how you’d go about it or it feels like a silly thing to create a system for. 

I believe this is why so many entrepreneurs lack a system for lead generation and follow up. It’s why their approach to lead generation feels a little chaotic. It’s why they lack consistency when it comes to bringing in new leads or nurturing the ones they already have. 

It’s also why the process of getting clients feels complicated and stressful when, in reality, you could implement a simple system that helps you bring in new leads and nurture warm connections with a lot more ease.

the thing most of my clients are missing in their business

Most of my clients run established businesses – the kind with a proven track record. The kind that bring revenue in. The kind that look pretty professional on the surface. The kind that seem like they’ve got all their boxes checked and bases covered when it comes to the foundation of their business. 

So it took me by surprise the first time a client admitted she didn’t have an email list.

Then it happened again and again and again. 

Suddenly, I saw the gap: too many business owners didn’t have an email list. They’d either put the task off indefinitely or they’d collected emails in some form but hadn’t done anything with them – for years.

So I asked them, why was that?

3 simple strategies to make time for your big ideas

There’s no doubt in your mind that you want to make time for your big ideas, plans and projects. You feel excited about pursuing them, and you recognize that they are the very thing that will help you take your business to the next level.

What you can’t figure out is how you’re going to find time in your schedule to get to them.

That’s why, earlier this week, I encouraged you to adopt a new mindset, and start making time for your big ideas and projects. Once you decide you’re going to prioritize time for growth-oriented work, and commit to it, you’ll find it’s much easier to make it happen.

It really can be that simple.

are you making space for your big ideas and goals?

Think about the goals you set for yourself last month – especially the ones related to the ideas and big, growth-oriented projects you wanted to get off the ground. 

Now reflect back on how you spent your days and tell me honestly: did you actually make time to work on your important ideas and projects?

If your answer is yes, you can stop reading right now.

But more likely, you answered no because you got bogged down in managing the everyday to dos in your business and let your big ideas and projects fall by the wayside. 

what makes my time management approach unique

If you’re anything like my clients, managing your time is your biggest challenge. For one thing, there’s never enough of it. You work lots of hours but never feel very focused or productive. You have so many ideas but no time to work on them so you always feel behind. 

And don’t even get started on the life stuff. Hobbies and self-care are not happening because you can’t find the time to enjoy the freedoms of working for yourself. 

So you’ve thrown solutions at the problem. You’ve tried implementing a morning routine. You’ve attempted time blocking. You’ve bought a few (ok, a dozen) different planners that promise to keep your business and life organized and on track. 

But nothing has really stuck. Nothing has helped you better manage your time and be more productive. And nothing has helped you make sure that your business supports your life, rather than take away from it.

read this if time is your biggest challenge

When I ask a business owner what challenges she’s facing, she’ll most often tell me her biggest one is time – more specifically that she has trouble managing it because there never seems to be enough.

When I dig a little deeper, she’ll tell me that she’s constantly spinning. She says she feels like she’s always working, yet never accomplishing anything substantial. At the end of each day, she says she wonders why she can’t seem to find the time to focus on the big picture projects – the ones that will actually help her business grow. And then there’s her life, which has taken a backseat to the business – even though being her own boss was supposed to give her plenty of freedom and flexibility.

If you can relate, I’ve got you.

how I use the “rinse and repeat” model in my business

Hopefully you’ve spent the last few days considering the idea that you can grow your business without overcomplicating things by using the "rinse and repeat" approach I told you about on Tuesday.

But even if you like the idea of growing your business in a simpler way, you might feel stuck when it comes to identifying the right growth strategies for you and then figuring out how to use the "rinse and repeat" approach with them.

That’s why I want to take you behind the scenes and show you how I use this approach in my own business with one of my favorite growth strategies: podcasts.

you can have growth without overwhelm

One of the things that holds busy entrepreneurs back from taking steps to grow is the feeling that their plate is already too full – and that adding one more thing would vastly overcomplicate their business, and their lives.

They're absolutely right. But the thing they can't see is that there is another way to grow when they're at max capacity. Because when busy entrepreneurs take the time to simplify their business and get intentional about their growth strategies, they can experience more success without feeling like they're burning the candle at both ends.

That’s why my work always starts with helping you simplify the backend and foundation of your business. It's a bit like spring cleaning (without the drudgery) because it's about organizing your business and clearing out what's not working to create space for growth.

your invitation to a special summit

One of the hardest things about running your own business is that experts are constantly telling you about all the things you need to do to help your business grow. (I know this is a little ironic since I sometimes tell you things to try too!)

But I also frequently tell you that you shouldn’t do everything. In fact, we’ve talked a lot about how wearing all the hats and doing all the things is a recipe for overwhelm that will actual hinder your progress more than it helps it.

That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about the Simplified Designer Summit. (And let me just say that even though it’s geared toward designers, the summit will have plenty of presentations that apply to non-designers too.) 

your elevator pitch matters more than you think

Elevator pitches are funny things. They’re useful to have as a business owner, yet they aren’t so essential that entrepreneurs prioritize them above everything else they have to do to keep their business running and growing.

That’s why elevator pitches often get overlooked, despite the fact that they’re a key piece of your business foundation. 

It’s also why I’m inviting you to get back to basics today and get an elevator pitch in place in your business. Not only is it important, it will help you simplify because this versatile piece of copy can benefit your business in a lot of ways. 

how to pick the right goals for right now

Inevitably, when I invite a client to pick JUST three goals for the month, their response sounds something like this: how can I pick just three goals and trust that they’re the right ones to focus on?

If you’re considering a bunch of goals for this month, you’re probably feeling similarly about narrowing your focus to just three. So I wanted to take you behind the scenes in my business and tell you how I pick the right goals to work on each month.

how to stop the hustle

It’s hard to step back from the hustle when it’s become a habit.

That’s why I want to share a few things you can STOP doing to end your current season of hustle and start growing your business like a simplified entrepreneur whose focus is on doing less better so you can live more. 

If you’re ready to stop hustling so much, you need to…

your hustle has an expiration date

The first year of my first go at entrepreneurship was a blur of late nights, last-minute gigs and plenty of hustle as I worked to get known as a freelance writer and make a real living doing something I loved.

That kind of hustle was necessary at the start but I knew I could only sustain it for a season, not a lifetime. 

So after that first year, I took a different approach to growing my business. Unlike many other writers and editors in my industry, I…

what really happens on a Discovery Call

A few months ago, I signed up for a Discovery Call with a coach I thought I wanted to work with.

Immediately, the nerves hit. I worried that the call would be uncomfortable and awkward. I worried about what I would share with her and what she’d think of me. I worried that she’d be pushy or sales-y and that I’d feel obligated to buy whatever she was offering – even if it wasn’t a good fit. 

what happened when Melissa streamlined her business

The thing successful entrepreneurs tell me most often is "I just need to streamline my business so I can..."

They each have their reasons for wanting to streamline. Some want to streamline so they can grow more. Some want to streamline to create more ease. Some want to streamline so they can finally have time to tackle big picture projects in their business. Some want to streamline to provide more freedom in their life.

And some want to streamline because they want it all - growth, freedom and fulfillment.

That's what Melissa was seeking.