How to set boundaries
When was the last time you had to make a really hard decision, whether in your life or your work?
It may have been when you realized you needed to reduce expenses and let a contractor go, or it may have been when you decided to move cross-country for a new opportunity.
Tough choices are called tough choices for a reason, but they’re often the only choice that makes the most sense for a given situation. In the end, we usually discover they were the best choices, too.
If you’re in a season where you have to make some tough choices, I’d love to introduce you to photography copywriter and mom, Rachel Greiman!
She made a transition in her business over the last few years, becoming the head of a team of copywriters. And while this transition was out of necessity more than anything, Rachel knows this was the right decision!
In the beginning of the pandemic, Rachel and her husband both worked full time and had two kids that were in childcare much of the day. Of course, when COVID-19 hit and the daycares shut down, they had two little ones at home and two very demanding jobs!
Rachel very quickly learned that working was now a luxury — she had to work when she could, and not whenever a client needed her. So by default, she began bringing in team members and offloading as much work as possible.
And now… she is unstoppable! Having a team means she can take on more work without increasing her capacity, and she gets to provide other people a work-from-home income.
For Rachel, it’s not simply about getting clients in the door. It’s about getting the right clients in the door… and helping them do the same! “So they feel like they just hang out with friends all day!”
But as a self-proclaimed lover of control, outsourcing this huge responsibility to team members and other copywriters was NOT easy. In the end, though, and after getting used to it, Rachel has found that it’s actually easier than working alone — she has a team to support and who can support her in return!
Delegating as a Business Owner
Delegating is one of the most terrifying things we can do as business owners, but Rachel found a way to shift her mindset around this.
The more you can delegate, the more clients you can serve, and the more businesses you help grow.
But the journey to finding amazing help wasn’t easy — or fast. In fact, it was almost a 4-year journey for Rachel to feel like she’d hired a strong team that could really help run her business so she could stay in her zone of genius.
She’s hired a project manager, and has trained each of her 4 writers to not only create copy for photographers’ websites but to edit each other’s sites as well! Now, she simply focuses on marketing and responding to each client inquiry to match them with the right writer for their site.
If she could give one piece of advice to any business owner looking to delegate: “Hire slow, and onboard slow.” One of the biggest mistakes so many entrepreneurs make is bringing on a new team member fast, and then piling the work onto their plate.
The other thing? Rachel took a paycut during her team growth phase. But as a result of the step back, Rachel almost tripled her business revenue in 2021.
She made a tough decision — to relinquish some control and get help — only to make massive leaps forward in her income within less than a year!
Balancing Daily Life
Rachel and her husband partner up for most of the daily childcare tasks, ensuring that each one can prioritize their work needs when necessary. Rachel has a few tips to make this easier:
The Family Calendar
First, they live and die by their family calendar. As Rachel says, “If it’s in there, we know the other one saw it.”
Her mother-in-law helps with the kids at least one day out of the week, and whenever they need additional help, Rachel has some awesome neighborhood babysitters on speed dial!
The balance of a calendar and clear communication is the key to survival. Yes, Rachel and her husband both work from home. But since they both work demanding jobs, having a clear reference point they can look at is imperative.
Her other saving grace? Having hired help as much as possible.
Being a working parent is not easy, especially when you run your own business and have to manage clients and team members. Even though societal conditioning says that we should be able to do it all, Rachel knows this isn’t true.
Growing up Mennonite, there weren’t many examples of working moms around. So at first, the idea of hiring childcare or household help wasn’t even on her mind.
However, after struggling to do all the things all the time, Rachel realized something extremely important: it’s so much better to hire out than risk things falling through the cracks, whether that’s in personal life or business.
Making Tough Choices
In life and business, there will always going to be tough choices you need to make. About a year and a half ago, Rachel took an Instagram break for 8 months.
We’re all so conditioned to believe that we need to constantly market ourselves on Instagram and all the social media platforms in order to make our business work. But waking up every day at the height of COVID, feeling that comparisonitis flare up… Rachel realized that the platform was doing her so much more harm than good.
So she took a break.
And her business didn’t suffer much. Thankfully, she had so many systems in place to bring in leads, she was able to cut back on her own writing and fill the calendars of her two team members.
This break allowed her to come back to Instagram with a fully fresh perspective. She unfollowed most of the moms she’d been following, stopped posting about her kids, and really drilled into following like-minded businesses and talking almost solely about copy for photographers.
The result? She feels much better on a daily basis and she is also much more honed in with her marketing. Everyone on her team has a job and she doesn’t have to worry that she’ll be triggered everytime she opens her phone.
In this episode, we talk about:
- The ways COVID-19 changed how we all think about work
- How Rachel and her husband manage 2 kids, demanding jobs, and running a household
- Rachel’s accidental scaling story (how she TRIPLED her revenue)
- The key to making tough decisions
Resources Mentioned In This Episode
- When You Work Full-Time And Run A Business: Productivity & Sanity Tips
- How To Cut The Mental Clutter With A Better Calendar System
- Hustling Toward Burnout: Are You Walking The Fine Line Between Hustle And Hard Work?
- You Have A Choice: A Step-By-Step Guide To Choosing Joy With Abbie Mirata
- Subscribe & Review in Apple Podcasts
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