In the past seven years, I’ve learned some counterintuitive money lessons from being a full-time entrepreneur. Here’s the one that freaked me out the most: You have to spend money that scares you. Sometimes you must invest scary amounts of money to propel your business to the next level, even if it means emptying your biz savings account.
When I left traditional employment behind, I thought I knew everything about business and money. I worked at two banks in college before spending 13 years as the vice president of accounting for a manufacturing company. I received my certification as a financial counselor in 2008. So, who knew that in order to take my business to the next level of success, I had to defy conventional money wisdom?
How I Learned I Had to Invest More Money in My Business
I did everything the right way when I started my business. My husband and I refinanced our mortgage and reduced our monthly bills so we could pay everything on his salary if need be. I saved almost a year’s worth of my corporate salary in my emergency savings account. Unlike many entrepreneurs, I launched my business from a very stable financial platform, which I highly recommend.
At the end of 2017, my business hit a plateau. My income flattened out and I wasn’t fully booked with my ideal coaching clients. I knew I could empower a great number of people online to rescue their financial dignity, but there was one little problem: My website sucked.
I created it years ago with minimal (free) assistance from a tech-savvy friend, and it showed. My website didn’t reflect the high-quality financial coaching and keynote speaking I was offering. It definitely didn’t attract my ideal clients: high-earning professionals and entrepreneurs with variable income.
I interviewed a highly recommended website and branding expert named Fabi. Here’s what she told me: “You’re offering a very high-quality service. The problem is that no one is going to pay gourmet meal prices if you serve them on a paper plate.” Yikes, my website was the equivalent of a paper plate! I decided the time had come to upgrade to fine china.
The price tag: $10,000.
My business savings account barely contained the $10,000 needed for this. This flew in the face of everything that I taught my clients and followers: Make sure you have an emergency fund. Be careful with your spending. Immediately after I hired Fabi, I thought I might throw up or have a panic attack.
Even though spending this kind of money scared the crap out of me, it absolutely propelled my business to the next level. Now, it didn’t happen in an instant and there were nights when I would lay in bed thinking, “What have I done!?”
What Going ‘All In’ on My Business Taught Me
First, when you bet on yourself and there’s no going back, it lights a fire under you to do whatever it takes to make yourself succeed. Failure is not an option.
Second, there comes a time in your business when you need to hire a professional to take your success to the next level. DIY-ing will only take you so far. Well-vetted professionals are worth the money and return a profit on your investment. The money I paid Fabi for my website and branding is back in the bank as a result of clients finding my fabulous website, booking me for speaking engagements and hiring me as their money coach.
Third and finally, you will have to spend money that scares you to invest in your success over and over again if your business is going to continue to grow. I just hired an amazing online business manager to increase sales of my online courses, and every time I pay her, it freaks me out a little bit. The return will come, but there’s always a time lag between spending the money and reaping the dividends. I’ve decided as an entrepreneur to view that uncomfortable in-between feeling as excitement instead of terror.
Click through to read more about side business ideas that you can start without quitting your job.
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