Hey PB fam.
Dean here – Paige’s assistant!
That’s me. ☝️
Exhibiting my usual level of awkwardness in front of the camera…
(Seriously, what does everyone else do with their hands in photos??)
So what am I doing on your blog roll?
I’m not 100% sure myself…as Paige will tell you, I’m the last person to want to appear in the public eye in any way, and that my happy-place is usually being a BTS worker bee.
But since she and I are getting ready to celebrate TWO YEARS of online-business-bestie-ship, I thought it called for a little stroll down memory lane, and an Ode to all the things I’ve learned from her along the way.
These are obviously not all the things (how much time do you have??) but just the things I’ve felt most helpful in my own little entrepreneurial journey!
We have a template/process/checklist for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G we do in Paige’s business.
And even if we’ve done a task a gazillion-and-one times and feel like we could do it in our sleep, we still crack open our handy checklist to make sure we aren’t missing a single step!
Plus, it’s crazy how productive you can be when you don’t have to spend 30 minutes Googling at the start of every project, trying to remember how you did this thing the last time. ♀️
Having a repeatable process you follow the same way every time also seriously cuts back on the number of times you wake up in the middle of the night with that ‘oh !” feeling that you forgot to send that proposal, or you missed adding a thumbnail to tomorrow’s blog post.
This is not just important for you as the business owner, but also for anyone else who happens to come along behind you!
Our pre-built templates and processes are actually how we are able to quickly and easily train new team members in their roles!
So she basically got me set up in Asana (where we store all our templates/processes/checklists) and then threw me the keys to her entire business and peace-ed out for 7 whole days. ✌️
And you know what? No one died.
(Because she already had those templates and processes in place!)
So if you dream of outsourcing someday, start creating those processes now! You’ll thank yourself when new team member orientation basically handles itself!
One of the quickest ways to scale your business is to find a way to hand off those daily time-devouring tasks and free yourself up for bigger and better things!
Obviously, outsourcing to an actual human is one way to take those tasks off your plate, but you might be surprised at just how much time is saved each week by leaving some things up to the robots instead!
Yes, it can sting a little having to part with another $10, $15, $30 a month for yet another software subscription…
But if it’s something you are doing frequently in your business, and it’s currently taking up a solid chunk of your time or even just unnecessarily crowding your mental space, it’s worth automating!
And since time is money when you own your own business, the cost of these automation tools is quickly outweighed by the ability to move on to tasks with a much higher return on your time invested!
Think of the way you’d like your average day/week to go in your business, and then set boundaries around that.
Do you dream of answering texts and fielding calls from clients at 9 PM when you’re trying to get your Netflix on?
Does your product or service come with unlimited 24/7 email support forever and ever until the end of time?
Or could your business benefit from some solid business hours, and setting clear expectations about what is included in the price of your offering?
Setting boundaries about when and how you’ll make yourself available is about more than making sure you get time off.
And it can protect you from becoming bitter towards your clients and customers, which–if you’re not careful–can start to show up in your work.
(Which basically equals ‘Bye Bye reviews!’)
The other type of boundaries I’ve learned from Paige are the ones we set for ourselves.
A few examples could be:
How long will you give yourself to work on a specific project?
How many ‘edits’ will you allow yourself to make before calling it good and done?
If you give yourself forever to work on something, that’s pretty much how long it will take…
– Parkinon’s law (but I learned it from Paige!)
But if you put a cap on the number of hours you have to devote to that thing, or the number of edits you’ll allow yourself to make before being content with your work, then you’ll be surprised just how much quality work you can get done in a much shorter time.
When you picture a successful online business owner, you’re probably imagining early mornings, knocking back 2-3 oversized mugs worth of fancy K-cup coffees, and hammering out entire projects before 7 AM.
She likes to have the morning to just be. And she often does not sit down to work until 10 AM Germany time.
That works for her.
Maybe you’ve heard that taking frequent breaks is a must in order to keep your mind refreshed and working at maximum capacity?
For some people, absolutely it is!
But Paige and I are both the type to power through, doing our best work when we know we have several solid hours of undisrupted time to devote to a project, not moving from our spot on the couch until it’s done.
(And then quickly closing the laptop and heading out to play. Because we are also big believers in enjoying the freedom of being your own boss!)
So don’t get too caught up in what other people are doing, and don’t worry if your preferred way of working doesn’t seem to fit the “successful entrepreneur” mold.
There are endless ways to market your business, and endless places for your business to be showing up online.
Sometimes it can feel like in order to be successful, you need to give a piece of the pie to every single strategy out there!
But I promise you that’s a recipe for burnout, for stalling growth, and for just generally dreading sitting down to work.
You’re just one person, but even with a whole team of people, there’s no way you can do it all (and do it all well!)
If you try to juggle too many things, or are always hop-skipping around to new trendy strategies as they hit the scenes, you’ll never really have the bandwidth to give each strategy the time and focus it needs to have a return for your business!
So find the one thing you love, the one thing that you know you’ll be able to commit to doing consistently and longterm, and make that your strategy!
In a way, this falls under “Learn how you like to work and ignore what everyone else is doing.”
We tend to put off the tasks that we are worried we won’t be good at, and often perfection keeps up from ever hitting ‘publish.’
But one thing I’ve learned about online business is that everything is always evolving and changing, so what was “perfect” a year ago, might not be a reflection of what it is you do in your business TODAY.
So when it comes to building your website, starting your business, creating new content, designing a new product or service (whatever it is!) it’s better just to start, and pivot as needed along the way!
You can guess and plan all you want, but the best way to improve is to put it out there and get real life feedback, or measure real-life results, right!?
Besides, people won’t know what it is you are offering if you’re always just ‘one more edit’ away from launching.
So this is your little push if if you’ve been rocking a “Coming Soon” page on your site, blog or business idea for months now, it’s time to put it out there where the world can actually see it!
One of the first things I picked up on about Paige that totally sets her apart from other business owners I know is that she is constantly asking herself “is this really moving the needle in my business?”
And then if it’s not, she immediately gives herself permission to never do that thing again.
No more working for the sake or working, or doing something because you see other business owners doing it!
A perfect example is when she decided to take a year off Instagram.
Unheard of, right?
Well, she loved that year so much, she took several more!
And meanwhile her business still grew like mad, because she was focusing her efforts on things that (while not as popular as Insta) were gaining her the most traction for her time invested!
The coolest part is that she has given each of her team members that same power!
She doesn’t always get to see what exactly what is is we are working on day in and day out, and so it would be super easy for us to carry on doing things that honestly just don’t end up mattering for the business in the longterm.
So each team member is responsible for looking at their list of to-do’s and deciding what it going to get the team closest to their goals for that quarter and what basically amount to ‘extra fluff’ in the biz!
I’m a die hard Do-It-Yourself-er, and relentless stubborn when it comes to figuring things out for myself.
On top of that, I’m about as frugal as they come!
So paying actual dollars to take a course was something other people did. Not me.
But as my role grew in Paige’s business, new tasks started to pop up on the daily that were simply not within my (very narrow) wheelhouse.
Our options were:
A. Outsource that task forever and ever until the end of time, always relying on someone else to help us get the project done (and on their schedule).
B. Quickly become an expert in that thing ourselves, saving time, money, and a whole lot of necessary back and forth with third party service providers.
Find the go-to person for that industry, and find a way to get inside their course or coaching program.
You can spend months trying to Google what you don’t know, but that’s just it…you don’t know what you don’t know (and therefore half the time, you’re not even sure what you should be Googling!)
And while you may be able to find a super helpful free step-by-step tutorial on the subject, it’s the “best practices” and the insider ‘aha’ moments that come from time spent just doing the thing that are really what you are paying for when you invest in a course.
(That, and the fact that all the how-to is in actual chronological order for doing that thing right the first time. )
Constantly trying to reinvent the wheel with each new task or project in your business takes valuable time, and a lot of expensive and disheartening mistakes.
When you commit to learning from the best in your industry right out the gate, you’re taking years of someone’s successes and failures in a specific industry or niche, and condensing it all down into the surest path for getting there in a fraction of the time.
So I’m happy to report, that after taking courses for everything from running Facebook Ads, to efficient time management, and learning Squarespace, I’m officially an online course convert!!
Podcast episode: 012 My VA tells all. Behind the scenes business lessons