Working with clients one on one can be tough.
Does this situation sound familiar to you?
You’re maxed out. You’re not making the money you thought you would and you’re not necessarily getting the freedom you pictured when you started your business either.
Is there any hope for that to be better?
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your business’s growth is to do something I honestly struggle with all of the time.
Find some help.
Last week, I went to my first intensive conference and I want to tell you exactly why this was the best thing I’ve ever done.
Don’t Tread the Same Ground
When I say the word “coaching” you might cringe a bit.
Unfortunately, the coaching community has its bad apples that have certainly given it a bad name.
But when you find the right coach who has a helpful community attached to their program, you can literally shortcut some major pitfalls.
In my own business, I’m often finding myself wanting to make change but letting clients get in the way.
Emergencies happen, big projects come in, and then I’m 100% sucked in to what my clients need, not what my business does.
But when you have a guide – or a coach – and a community of people who have been there before you can step ahead of those places that you’ve struggled with and literally get ahead of the game.
Stop making the same mistakes you’ve been making.
Find a Community in Your Industry
You might say, “But I can’t scale a service-based business. I don’t want a large team and I love what I do.”
Sure that can pose some challenges, but you’re not the only one who’s tried to do this all before.
When you find a community in your industry of other business owners and entrepreneurs, your business life can change dramatically.
I recently attended my own coach’s in-person conference in San Diego. I was able to meet people in person that I’d only ever talked to online, build deeper relationships, and spend four days comparing notes and talking shop.
And it was amazing!
Get Inspiration from Others
Over the course of those four days, I got the most clarity and inspiration from the others around me. We all are coming from different areas of the world at different stages in our businesses, but we’re all facing some very similar challenges.
Some may just have those challenges on a different scale to me.
Listening to just how someone else like me operates their business? Mind-boggling! Drawing inspiration from them because “why didn’t I think of that?”
It’s definitely going to be life changing for me and my business.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
This is something I struggle with a lot, but don’t be afraid to ask for that help.
Others in your community have been through it before. Maybe they’re several steps ahead of you or in a similar situation, but you can easily compare notes.
I certainly loved being able to brag on Erin, my OBM, and talk about the systems and things she’s set in place for me.
But I was also able to listen and ask for help on how others find new team members, how they manage their team, or even how they craft and sell their offers.
Avoid Common Mistakes
Having a community that you can turn to can be huge to avoiding some of those common mistakes.
As service providers, we’re all facing some pretty similar challenges. Clients demand a lot of our time, we don’t prioritize our business, and I bet you struggle just a big with keeping those boundaries.
As digital agencies, we have a unique set of challenges with technology, client communication, and more. Being able to be in a room with 50 other agency owners and talk through those same issues? I can avoid those!
If you stay active in the community, you’ll be paying attention to those things your other community members are struggling with and potentially be able to get ahead of those problems in your own business.
Once, almost 20 years ago, I told my brother I wanted to code my own blogging platform. He asked me why I wouldn’t just use this new thing called WordPress and let someone else do the hard work for me.
That advice has followed me throughout my career.
Take Advantage of Dedicated Conferences
If you have a chance, I highly recommend taking time away from your normal environment and focus.
If you listen to the podcast regularly, you know that I just went to Colorado a couple of months ago to do this very thing.
Doing it by myself was one thing. Going to a conference, run by experts who have been there before?
I have a structure now to make trips like Colorado far more successful, but there’s nothing like having not only educational resources available to you, but other people in the room with you dealing with the same thing.
In 10 minutes, I had a better message than I’d spent 6 months trying to say because I had feedback from someone who’d been there before.
Go Further, Faster without Growing Your Team
You probably think the only way to grow your service provider business is to hire a team. Get other people to carry out the services you’re doing and be able to sell more.
But there are a lot of ways that you can scale that doesn’t necessarily mean hiring people.
Especially if you’re like me and a bit afraid of being “the boss,” looking at different ways to scale your business can be a game changer.
You know who might have ideas to help you go further, faster?
A coach or an industry community.
They’ve been there, done that. Utilize their expertise.
How to Find Your Community
So this all sounds great, but how did I luck into such an amazing community?
I’ve actually been following the founder and owner of this community for years. I finally decided to jump in when I was ready to get and ask for help.
I chose Troy and his team because they’re all former and current digital agency owners who have scaled their businesses, grown their teams, and done exactly what they’re telling me to do.
But I also picked them because I knew they had this invaluable community of other agency owners attached.
When looking for a coach, look for one who’s actually done this. Not just theoretically, but they’ve been there.
They might teach you their system, but they need to be flexible to the fact that your business is a little unique (though not as unique as we might think…).
They also should hold space for you to go quiet, to mess up, to ask for help with the same things over and over again because face it – we’re all human.
Follow a few communities and choose your mentor and people wisely.
If you do, it could be just the thing you need to shortcut your own business’s growth.