Playground Smarts for Entrepreneurs

Wow, this year has been a whirlwind so far!  I’m pumped about using bookkeeping to help entrepreneurs grow their business.  Since launching in December, I’ve met so many great people online and at local networking events.  Aside from parenting, this is the hardest job I’ve had yet!  So many new experiences, so much to learn.  With 15 years of business experience, I thought I knew it all!  Well, I’m learning more every day, just like you.

Like many of you, flexibility for family is one reason that I started my business.  It’s powerful to hear my 2 ½ year old daughter say words like client, networking, referral partner, and so on.  I started my business for my career, but also for hers, in a few decades...  A recent trip to the playground inspired this article… 

My family at the park, both child and parent gaining confidence with each step.

My family at the park, both child and parent gaining confidence with each step.

There’s a fantastic play area at a local park.  The play structure has three ways up to the slide, all of which look awesome to a toddler, and terrifying to parents. Last year, at 1½, my daughter needed a lot of help climbing up the easiest way.  She'd crawl up, our hands hovering over her.  Her look of triumph at the top, and excitement as she went down the slide, was priceless. 

For your business, consider the thrill of the slide is your business growing right in front of your eyes.  The energy and excitement - you can’t get enough!  Unlike the playground, there are more than three skills needed to grow your business.  Things like marketing, public speaking, website stuff, social media, creating systems that support your business, and so on. 

Like my daughter choosing the fastest way to the slide, we must make choices for business growth.  Kids and entrepreneurs have many moments of success and struggle.  Decisions and actions are part tentative, courageous, graceful, painful, confident, or doubtful, depending on the moment.  You may ask yourself:

  • How do I tackle this marketing/networking/administrative thing which I don’t know how to do?  
  • Should I get help with this time-consuming activity which isn’t making me money?  
  • Can I afford help from an expert who can probably do it faster and better and free up my time to make more money?  
  • What if (insert awesome but untried idea here) doesn't work?  Or, what if it does? 

Of course, most things becomes easier over time.  My daughter just mastered the ladder (gulp! is that safe?).  She is constantly finding her footing as she grows, and it’s my job to guide her and support through the stumbles, while protecting her from major falls.

In business, you probably start out doing many things yourself – from the money-making to the mundane.  And you learn the hard way – spending 4 hours on an administrative project that would take an expert only 1 hour.  I know that I have!  

Of course, there are many different people who can guide and support you and your business.  People who know the short-cuts to the top of the slide, helping you grow your business faster. 

  • A business mentor, to help with all the nuances of marketing.  I use one, she’s prompting me to do the newsletter!  Trust me, this wouldn’t have happened without her!  The accountability is tremendous – it’s easier to keep on top of things when you have to report your results on a periodic basis.
  • A virtual assistant to help with your website and the administrative details of your business.  Do you really want to be an expert at your website service, or have more billable hours? 
  • A bookkeeper to set up your monthly bookkeeping, so that can make savvy business decisions based upon current numbers.  It’s hard to grow your business if you don’t know where you stand today.  

Consider the value of having experts in your corner, who can help you (a) master the skills you need to grow your business or (b) give you more time to grow your business.  You can leverage their expertise in their field, as well as their knowledge of other businesses similar to yours.  The view from the top of the slide is pretty sweet, and the ride down is even better.  Wouldn’t you like to experience it sooner rather than later?

What kind of support do you have for your business?  Does it enhance your skills, or give you more time to focus on your core money-making activities, or both?