The biggest challenge in my business so far was learning about business.
My Failure for You to Avoid
My back story is that in early 2000s I struck out on my own doing freelance full-time. Due to getting laid-off from the consultant firm I was working at.
Basically what happened was that the firm I was working for put all it’s resources into getting contracts from startups. It allowed for massive growth in the company, but would eventually be the undoing of that company.
Just to give you a frame of reference here, when I started with the company I was around employee number 600. In about a little over a year the company grew to 2400. When I was laid off just over 2 years from which I started, there were only 400 left.
At that time, I thought my path was pretty clear. I had a skill that was very much in demand, at least from what I could see, and instead of getting a job, I would just ramp up my side hustle and become freelance full-time.
Just shy of 2 years after that, I found myself sitting back in a cube at someone else’s desk.
It wasn’t my technical skills that was at fault here, in fact, even though the startup bubble had popped, there were plenty of jobs out.
What I hadn’t taken into account was all the other things I needed to run a business.
- I lacked sales and marketing skills
- I lacked knowledge around contracts
- I lacked processes and systems to help run a business
- I lacked the knowledge to even know what those should be
I was a developer without a platform to develop on. That being clients.
LEARN FROM FAILURE
So what I found was a lack of money to sufficiently pay bills, which sparked me having to get work since my savings account was essentially wiped out.
But because I knew what I wanted, I pushed ego aside and reflected on where I was and how it happened.
Sure it was a tough pill to swallow that I failed.
Yes it was a punch to the gut that I had to go find a full-time position.
But it taught me a valuable lesson in taking something that most would see as a failure and learn from it.
I went back to the cube and said, I’m going to let me development skills stay the course but I’m going to ramp up and learn all I can about marketing, sales process, and learn all that I can about the stuff I don’t know about.
And so I did! 4 years later I quit and I’ve been my own boss since.
You Are Not Alone
If you’ve been on this journey you understand the ego bruising. But it’s not a journey that you have to be alone on.
Your skills are honed, it’s the other things around your awesome skills that need work.
I’ve built a coaching program and built Feast with the pieces of the puzzle that I had to put together. I’ve been lucky enough to have some of the most inspirational and talented folks go through my coaching program and Feast.
Just last week, only after one-month of working together, I had a client (a husband and wife team) land their first client on their monthly services. They had a monthly service, but it was much like all the other maintenance packages you’ll see on the web.
We worked on figuring out how to market to their ideal client, how to present the service offering, and what the backend of the sales process should be.
They had the game plan and executed it perfectly to land a client that before we started, they would’ve needed 10 clients to bring in the revenue per month this one client was.
My passion is really to help folks reach the goals they want to by way of their freelance business.
This client wants to be able to spend time with their kids and build a business that will allow the husband to leave his full-time job and work solely on this business.
That’s my fire, my aim, my goal in life, to help you avoid the struggles and bumps in the road that I went through. To avoid the biggest challenge I had in my business.
More episodes in this topic:
Do you struggle with work, family, sick kids, etc?
How to work from home effectively?
How does the house run with 2 stay at home, freelancing parents?
Isn’t it hard to have self-discipline when you work at home?
What did your parents/partner say when you told them you wanted to freelance?
How to freelance when you are depressed?
How did you do it?
How did you find/determine your niche?
What is the best thing about being a freelancer?
What has been the biggest challenge in your business so far?
Do you have a tip to get over thinking I don’t know enough?
What is your mantra or personal manifesto?
How do you make time for your side projects?
How do I go from self-doubt to being confident?
What do you want for your birthday?
What is your favorite quote?
How do you stop comparing yourself to someone else?
How is parenting as a freelancer?
How is business going?
Why I didn't set goals for 2019?
One year in, what's the next 5 look like?
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