5 months ago me and my wife quit are full-time jobs, moved to Austin, and I opened a media business.
Do you ever wake up and think -- what do I even do today? After quitting my job, I ask myself that most days.
Until a friend of mine, Michael Millay, and I had a conversation one night in October of 2017. Michael is a well established photographer in Cincinnati, Ohio and the CEO & lead photographer of Rooted Media House. (Follow him on social media @millayme)
I was asking him about social media and business. Questions like "how much has your business been impacted by social media?"
He turned the conversation away from social media very quickly. He stopped me in the middle of my next question and asked me the question that has helped me the most over the past 5 months.
"What are you doing every day to grow your business, not your followers?"
When I first started my media business social media was all I thought about growing. His question was very sobering.
After that conversation I started to do some research. Where does most of my business coming from? Like most of the world (with a few exceptions) the majority of my income does not come from social media. Most of my business comes from friends, family, and clients who refer me.
I realized what I thought was actually going to grow my business wasn't doing very much at all. Which isn't good when you've quit your job and have a wife.
So the question I ask myself every day?
What am I focusing on TODAY to grow my business?"
Disclaimer, not everything I do every day has a $ attached to it that hits my bank account, but I try to focus on the things that will lead to $ hitting my bank accout. And not everything I have on my to-do list will help you, but I hope it helps lead you to do the things that will grow your business.
Below are the things that are on my to-do list for today. Today, not tomorrow. Focus on today.
1. Finish this article.
- How does this article help my business? It grows my email list and when my email list grows my potential client reach grows which in turn grows my income.
- Research shows that for every 1 email subscriber your business will grow $1.
2. Client contact & follow up.
- Happy clients refer. Not happy clients won't just not refer you -- they will refer all their friends and family NOT to work with you.
- Send a text to a previous client. Maybe send them some coffee. After all, you have money in your pocket because of them.
3. Finish the projects that are bringing in income.
- It's easy to work on personal projects. But projects that are paying me must come first.
- Always deliver early. Underpromise and over-deliver. Don't do the opposite.
These are just a few things I've picked up over the past 5 months that have worked for me and aren't necessarily meant to work for you. I list those things to pose the question -- what do you need to do today to grow your business? Or what are you doing today that isn't growing your business?
In my next article "working smarter, not harder" I will walk you through what I did when I realized only 20% of my work was leading to 80% of my income.
Growing a business takes hard work, but it doesn't have to be long work.
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"What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do."
- Tim Ferris // Author of 4-hour Work Week