I DOUBLED my income in 2017 from the previous year. Do you want to know why? It's because I finally got my shit together, in my personal life.
I spent two long years floundering, struggling, and making countless mistakes in my business. And do you know why? Because I was unhappy and unhealthy. It didn't matter how much effort I put into my business, or how many hours I worked. It was just never enough.
In 2015 and 2016, I was burnt out and exhausted. I had no support at home, and two young children to care for. I was too scared to pick a niche, for fear of missing out on potential work.
But everything changed in 2017. The year isn't even over yet, but I can say without a doubt that 2017 was MY year. Not only did I double my income from 2016, but I did it without working more. That's right. I made more and worked less.
STOP SELF-MEDICATING TO MANAGE STRESSIn January of 2017, I decided it was time to take my life back. I was suddenly a single mother with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I decided to participate in the whole "Dry January" thing, in hopes of losing a few pounds and resting on the weekend, instead of staying up late with my bottle of wine. A very easy trap to fall into when you're alone!
I also started going to the gym 3 days/week. It was difficult to manage the time commitment with my client schedule and kids, but I made the commitment and prioritized it. I booked appointments around my workouts. No one needed to know that my 9 am appointment was actually a kickboxing class, right?
When I am working out, I feel like I can accomplish anything. My creative juices start flowing, and my brain is simply ... elevated. Exercising is great for the body, sure, but there are so many more benefits to challenging yourself physically.
Achieving your personal goals will give you the confidence to achieve your business goals. When you set your mind to something, do the work, and see it happen, the mental effects are huge. It will have a significant impact on the way you feel about yourself and prove to you that you are capable of achieving what you set your mind to.
I took the above picture at the gym a few weeks ago. I was really proud of myself for finally lifting those 45-pound plates onto the bar. This is my new weekly routine. It took me FIVE MONTHS to hit this goal of squatting with 135 pounds on my back. I started in April with the bar, which weighs 45 pounds alone. With proper instruction and a plan, I systematically increased my weights in a safe way that my body could handle.
When it was suggested to me that I make 135 pounds my squatting goal, I was like "yeah, right okay ..." But because I have issues with failing, I went for it. Someone challenged me and I went for it. Now, I squat with this weight every single week and it feels amazing. I'm in the best shape I've been in since I became a mother and I am 100% certain this process has had a significant impact on my business success this past year.
NICHE DOWNAt the same time, I finally decided I was ready to niche down. This was something very scary for me, as a digital marketer. I had always positioned myself as a one-stop shop, to ensure that I didn't miss out on any potential work. But what I found through operating this way was that first, I was a marketing generalist. I wasn't a specialist; I could do and learn anything. Well, if you want to charge premium pricing, being a generalist just won't cut it. If you want to earn more, you need to specialize and pick a niche.
Rebranding from Malamax Marketing Solutions to Malamax Content Marketing was terrifying but so exciting at the same time. I knew where my heart was and what I wanted to be doing. I knew what I was good at, and had learned the hard way there are certain skills I simply don't possess.
Content marketing is my thing. I love writing, strategizing, communicating, and digging deep into what consumers actually want and need from a business.
INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS
This is a crucial step to growth and improvement, but tread lightly when it comes to spending. There is so, so much out there. Don't spend money on courses and eBooks you aren't going to take action on. Don't put $10k on a credit card to pay a high-end coach when you have zero income coming in and can't pay your mortgage.
Invest wisely in yourself and your business. For example, I invested in rebranding my business late in 2016. I was preparing for the shift of 2017, and I simply couldn't make the change without this money. I planned ahead and got a really great deal.
Now, at the end of this year, I'm investing in a business coach. I'm doing a group mastermind to keep the cost down, while still ensuring I get the full benefit. The group is incredibly specific to the certain area I know I need help with, so I feel really good about making this investment right now.
You can't grow your business without putting some money into it, but just be very careful and selective where you do spend. Think ahead, plan, strategize, and try to get a better deal. There will ALWAYS be another sale, so never rush into anything that doesn't feel right or give you enough time to make an educated decision.
MAKE TIME FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Another major change for me was forcing myself to make time for my own business development. The glory of finally achieving success with my own content marketing, a.k.a. having customers coming to me, rather than having to chase them, was really the ultimate confirmation of what I am doing here.
What I'm trying to say is that once I committed to doing for my own business what I was doing for others, things changed. It was just that simple. After a few months, I started receiving a steady stream of leads coming in and had the ability to select work that genuinely fulfilled me.
Flying by the seat of your pants just won't work. Take the time to create a plan. And, get real with yourself. If you had time to binge-watch the entire 6th season of Scandal, you have time to create and implement a business growth plan.
- What are your income goals for 2018?
- What are your lifestyle and personal goals for 2018?
- What type of schedule will allow you ample time to allow for both? Create one and stick to it.
- What specific things need to happen, for you to achieve your income goals? If you want to earn $10k/month, what needs to happen to achieve that? Work backward.
If you need help strategizing for your business growth in 2018, don't wait. Start now because it takes time, energy, and patience to watch your plans come to fruition.
I'm a Content Strategist. I help entrepreneurs create the strategy and content they need to start attracting their ideal clients.
If you're ready to crush your goals for 2018 and truly invest in your own business development, I'd love to help. I offer free content strategy sessions, with no strings attached. If you are unsure what type of content your ideal audience wants, or how to use content to land clients, I'd love to chat.
Don't delay - let's do it.
Founder, Malamax Content Marketing