What is your “day job” and how many hours do you work in a week?
I lead a web development team which builds software solutions in the legal industry. I work 35 hours/week.
What is your business? (What do you sell/who do you serve and why?)
I help entrepreneurs who want to share their expertise + increase their revenue, build online memberships and courses their members will love. It’s an incredible feeling to know that you are contributing to something which could be life changing for a family.
For how many years have you run a business alongside your regular job?
I started dabbling in this area about 2 years ago, but officially hung my shingle out in January 2016.
Why did you decide to start a business?
At first it was to see whether I could actually create a business. I love a challenge! But as the business started to grow, I started embracing the idea of having an additional revenue source…I have two girls who will be attending college soon! I also love research and became fascinated with the whole process of building online businesses as well as the technology that supports it. Good stuff!
In your first 6 months of starting your business, please list out the top 3 pain points you struggled with:
- Finding clients
- Being ‘out there’
How did you overcome these pain points?
The clients trickled in at first, but as the story goes, they told two friends who told two friends and so on. Word of mouth is still the primary source for bringing leads into my business.
Initially pricing was a huge challenge, but a biz bud referred me to Brennan Dunn’s doubleyourfreelancing.com and the rest was history. He really helped me to see the value that I bring not only to my client’s business, but also to their lives. It became easier to charge based on that value.
Being ‘out there’ was by far was the biggest challenge. I’m a very private person and while I love to lurk online, I hated being seen online. Launching a business with a website whose domain name is my name, was a HUGE deal. Thankfully I had friends who would not let me hide behind a rock and while it wasn’t easy, I came out of the shadows. I’m not fully out there, but I’ve come a long way.
How good are you at delegating tasks to others?
Initially I had reservations about delegating some tasks, after all I felt that my name and reputation were on the line. But there’s no way one person can do it all and expect to grow. I’m not sure where I first heard the phrase “hire slow and fire fast”, but it’s something to live by when it comes to outsourcing. I’m a delegating ninja now.
Do you feel you have a good balance between your job, business and personal life. If yes, how did you achieve this? If no – why not?
In the beginning, definitely not. Because I was just starting out I took on projects that had unrealistic deadlines or deliverables, whose scope was not well defined and some that simply were not a good fit. I ended up staying up all hours of the night to meet deadlines. I became a cranky, sleep-deprived killjoy. A close friend encouraged me to set top priorities and live by them. It made a huge difference.
Now, I rarely work late into the night except on occasion during a launch. My productivity at work has increased, my business is growing and I have quality time with the family. Win-win-win!
What are your top 3 tips for people starting a business alongside their regular jobs?
- Do not sacrifice your sleep/health for your new venture. Don’t be in a rush to make it happen overnight. It will happen.
- Find like-minded people to connect with. Either on Facebook, forums or other places. It’s so important to build supportive relationships as a solopreneur.
- Since you are still working a regular job and have a salary, don’t be afraid to invest in your business. Todd Herman’s 90 Day Year and James Wedmore’s Business By Design are two great programs that will help you gain clarity and focus. If you’re a freelancer, I highly recommend anything by Brennan Dunn including his Double Your Freelancing Academy. Programs like these will help you work smarter and move your business forward quicker with less overwhelm. Hint: It’s also a great place to find those like-minded people I mentioned.
- And one more if I may…. Because your hours are limited, start building a team of reliable people to work with sooner rather than later. You should be focused on tasks that will grow your business rather than creating images in Canva (unless that’s your business). I love that stuff, too, believe me, but it doesn’t grow businesses.
If you could change one thing about your start up process when you started your business what would that be?
I would not have sacrificed my sleep and I would have delegated work sooner.
Do you have plans to transition to full time business owner? Why?
After 15 years, my 9-5 still provides exciting challenges for me, so I have no plans to make that transition.
Link to freebie/promotion: http://triciastephensadams.com/membership-checklist/