Updated: May 23, 2022
It's been a big month for Stack Strategies. I quit my day job on March 17 starting my independent journey on March 18, 2021. The ideas behind what I guessed would happen in that month versus what's actually happening... well, let's just say every day has been different and fresh and new. I'm learning every day, and I hope to never stop. I'm thankful for my experiences, and you should be, too, so you can learn from my successes and steer clear of my mistakes.
So, I'm a business owner now. I'm in charge of making sure I'm legal and that the bills get paid. Opening a business isn't just filing your LLC and you're all set. Once you file with the state, you then need new bank accounts (yes, plural), terms to your service, to build a client base, to start a website (which has at least twelve steps involved), to create and print marketing materials, to develop a solid business process, and the list goes on...
Somehow I've made huge progress on this to-do list while also managing and completing my clients' marketing projects. And, I found myself an associate to work for me, because I realized quickly I can't do this by myself. I blame this successful month on a few things:
My incredible support system at home
An extremely thorough routine and scheduling system
Organized files - on my computer, in my drawer, and on my phone
Some well needed personal time
Support Me Supporting You
Things at home are beyond-belief good. I've never experienced a relationship where our individual lives are so blended and balanced, and yet we are so intertwined. I love every second of it. I'm in marketing and travel, and he's a commercial real estate agent. Our work crosses over because we make it that way; we're building an empire together. But in a small Cleveland city apartment, that can be tough as we're both working from home.
The not-so-easy moments are found if we're both talking on the phone trying to whisper so our clients don't hear cross-over conversations. Or when we book appointments at the same time and clearly can't be in two places at once! We learned quickly to communicate our schedules together several times a day. Plus, we try not to get mad if the other person needs several reminders.
Something we found that helps is our weekly planner expo board. I love this one on Amazon, which you can purchase using my affiliate link, because it offers a little more room than mine. Plus it has a small cork area for notes. We keep our board hanging in our kitchen. When either of us makes an appointment, it goes on the board. We both make a solid effort to tell each other about our schedules, so there are no surprises during the day. He knows what to expect from my millions of calls, and I know when he might be too busy for date night because he has an open house.
Building Your Routine & Scheduling System
Obviously, life at home typically influences our schedules a bit. But the next priority is my clients. I have clients that have day jobs where they can only chat on certain days or at certain times. Then, I have clients that are available all day, who may call or text me several times a day. It can be a lot to receive so many phone calls, Facebook messages, texts, and emails, but hey, I'm a business owner and I'll take all the business I can get.
I prefer my clients to set an appointment and I'm not afraid to say it. Please reach out to me at any time, and we can chat for a few minutes, but to start a project you'll need to schedule a consultation using my calendar app. (Fun Fact: I build scheduling systems as a marketing service!) Every marketing appointment starts the same.
In my opinion, the workweek starts on Sunday. It's my day to look at my upcoming workload. I'll check in with my boyfriend to see what his goals for the week are and how I can help, and he does the same for me. When I wake up on Monday, I'm so ready to take on my task list.
My mornings now start at 6:30 am, and that's a little late according to most business coaches. But, one thing is for sure, I am up early enough to see the sunrise. To be above average in your work, you must be willing to work outside of average hours. I catch up on most work in the morning while enjoying some coffee while my boyfriend's at the gym.
My Organizational Asset
I wish I could tell you everything I do to stay organized, but for the purpose of this blog post, I will only share my favorite thing that helped me this past month...
My Internet Username & Password Book - I would be lost without this. The idea behind an online auto filler is a huge headache for me and never works. This little book is a heaven-send that sits right next to my desk and is a one-time cost, rather than a monthly cost. You can purchase any of these password books on Amazon for less than $10 using my affiliate links. Click the image below of the one you like most!
Take Some Time For You
Things happen in life, and sometimes you just need a little time for you. Give yourself a day off here and there. It's truly for your sanity. I made a promise to myself this month that I will not lose myself in the mix of my business.
If there's something I'd rather do, I'll simply schedule an appointment in my Outlook calendar, invite no one, and block out a decent amount of time. It's okay to do that! That's the beauty of making your own schedule (and using a digital scheduler!)
It's been a big month as you can see for me and for Stack Strategies. I promise you'll see even bigger months from me in the future. From one dream chaser to another, I encourage you to pursue whatever makes you happiest. Even though this may be a wild ride, I've never been happier. Cheers to the next few months in business - I survived my first.
I'd love to provide your small business with the ultimate digital solutions. To start a project with me, please schedule a consultation.