I sat down with my very good friend Marieanna, Brand Manager & Integrator at Stay Wild Love, to talk about how we as entrepreneurs can build intentional seasons of rest into our businesses. Burnout for entrepreneurs is all too common and I am so excited to share this chat with all of you in hopes that it will encourage other business owners to set boundaries within their businesses and take routine periods of rest. Check out the video below to listen in as we discuss how you can implement several strategies to grow your team and have intentional seasons of rest in your business!
who you are, what you do, and how you ended up working in the creative industry?
Marieanna: About 3 years ago I was working in the non-profit world as a Project Manager/Event Manager for what I would like to say was a total dream job. I was planning large galas where our goal was to make a million dollars, we would have over 700 people in attendance, and I was working with C-suite executives. It was the ultimate dream job. It was also the first season of my life where I actually realized that I was a work-a-holic and I hit complete burn-out. I had a lot going on with my personal life at the time; we were trying to start our family and we were struggling so I felt like a zombie there. But I was also waking up super early in the morning and working really late and all hours of the day because I was so passionate about what I was doing. I started to see this zombie-circle happening in my life where I started to not enjoy what I was doing. I started to really feel a lot of unhappiness in both life and in my work. I finally had a moment when I realized that, “This is a dream job… but it’s not MY dream job anymore. I have to let go of it because it is a dream job for someone else…”
…I ended up walking away. I didn’t have a backup plan, I had no idea what I was going to do. I was following a few people in this “creative world” that I didn’t know existed on Instagram and I noticed them talking about a Virtual Assistant… I started to do a ton of research and started to learn about digital marketing. It felt like I was starting over again learning all about digital marketing! So I started to hop into this industry and one of my friends told me, “I have a friend who is looking for a Virtual Assistant. You would be perfect!” It was a little bit of a step back probably for me compared to what I was doing before, but I was re-learning a new industry and getting my feet wet. I started working with an incredible entrepreneur who I was with for almost 3 years. She was the first one to invest in me, trust in me, and the first one to hand over pieces of her business to me. I started to get fired up about business! I realized that I really love supporting others inside their business…
… I started to see more pieces of her business starting to grow that I could take off of her plate. That’s when I started to step out of being a Virtual Assistant and into that Project Manager/Brand Manager role. I now was helping to create strategies and the overall picture and handing it over to contractors. I was making sure projects were completed from beginning to end so my client could sit in her zone of genius. I started to realize that this is was I was good at…
…Through all of this, I realized it was actually a lot harder for me to run my own business than it is for me to sit in my clients’ businesses. So I learned, personally, that I’m not a visionary. I’m not the CEO. I THRIVE in detail, I thrive in chaos and I love to be able to bring order to that chaos and be that leader to the team.
I thrive in sitting down with a CEO and the leadership team and being able to help create a business plan and then going out and making sure it gets done.
What It’s like working inside someone else’s business
Working in someone else’s business can bring so much fulfillment! It might be different for other people, someone may feel the opposite where they hate working in other people’s businesses and they would rather be their own CEO. It’s one of those areas where you have to really figure out what brings you happiness. What a lot of business owners, contractors, and freelancers starting out don’t realize is that you can have your own business and still do what you love most while working on and being a part of a team if that is something you enjoy! Sometimes the answer to finding more freedom in our work/life balance isn’t always to “go out and start your own thing”… sometimes it’s teaming up and working together to accomplish a common goal. Being on a team doesn’t mean you lose your flexibility or freedom! It can actually help you gain it.
What to outsource first if you are looking to grow a team & how to know if you’re ready to outsource
As entrepreneurs, we so quickly fall into thinking that it’s just easier for us to do everything ourselves instead of handing off tasks to someone else or training them. It can be scary handing off parts of your business to someone else and figuring out how to delegate! But it is necessary for growth and in order for you to build seasons of rest into your business. To help you figure how what do outsource and if you’re ready to do so, try the following exercise:
Grab a piece of paper and make 3 columns or “buckets”.
Label each bucket as:
For a whole day, write down every single task that you do. Each task needs to fall into one of those buckets. This exercise will help you determine what you should and need to be doing in your business and what you should not be doing and can hand off to someone else.
how to make sure we are Pricing for profit so we can bring on team members & scale our businesses in a way that is sustainable
When bringing a team member on, you can always start small and scale up in tasks, projects, hours, and budget. You have to budget yourself out by determining how much you can actually afford. Making strategic hires is another way to ensure that you are pricing for profit. Finding someone who can grow with you and your business is one of the best ways to outsource and invest in growing your business.
If you did the exercise above, look at your “delegate” bucket and quantify it. Put a price on it and determine how much it would cost for you to outsource those tasks. This will help you to determine what you can afford at this point. As time goes on, this will change!
Bringing on team members is an investment, and can truly help your business grow in ways that you may not able able to scale on your own.
how to deal with seasons of “hustle” & build in seasons of rest
The hustle mentality is very prominent in the creative industry. Many are afraid of being left behind or forgotten because it is such a large and competitive industry. And it can actually be HARDER for us to intentionally stop and force ourselves to rest than it is for us to continue hustling and going after the next milestone.
The first step is to recognize that those seasons of hustle are just that… a season. During that time, it’s OK to be hustling and all-in! It is a “yes” season and a time of growth. But those seasons end. It’s important to recognize when they end and when to incorporate seasons of rest and recovery.
Determine what your boundaries are and stick to them. “No” really is a full sentence! Have set times for yourself when you are clocked in and clocked out so you don’t hit burn-out.
How to maintain your boundaries & use your time intentionally
It is always a work in progress and you have to give yourself grace when you slip up. Create a schedule for yourself… have set hours or only specific days when you are working. Or maybe you have a workday that is set aside for you to just work on projects and you don’t take any client calls during that day. Setting up an auto-responder email in your inbox for specific days can help keep you accountable.
Creating a “dream schedule” can also be helpful! This is a schedule that you create for yourself that is based on what you want your schedule to look like. Again, give yourself grace and be flexible with it. But having this can help you reach your goals of maintaining your boundaries and intentionally using your time.
how to build a business that fires you up, excites you, & doesn’t drain you of all your energy
As entrepreneurs, it’s so common for us to be dreaming and thinking ahead to the next step. In the process, we forget to slow down and live in the moment… to realize that we are living out our dreams and to truly enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Take some time each year (or even each month) to reflect and journal about what you want your life to look like. Are you already living that dream, but are hustling too much to really enjoy it? Or is this a season of hustle that will allow you to reach that goal of what you want your life to look like? If so, make sure you slow down and rest in that when you get there!
there is more than one way to have a successful business | how can we make sure we are building our businesses around the goals that fire us up?
In this industry, there is a lot of talk about the money side of business (which we all need and have goals in). So often we hear about certain dollar milestones which are great goals to have! But revenue isn’t always the end-all goal for everyone.
Ask yourself the question, “Who is it that I want to be known by?” Is it that you want to be known by people in your industry? Do you want to be known by your clients? Do you want to be known as the expert in your field? Or do you want to be known by your family and those closest to you? Which people you being known by will truly bring you happiness?
There is no right or wrong answer here! The answer to what success looks like for you is what you determine it to be. Whatever that is… chase after it!
You can learn more about Marieanna at staywildlove.com!
If you enjoyed this video, leave a comment below! Tell me your thoughts and what other topics you would enjoy hearing more about in the Build a Better Brand series!
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I’m Katie, the brand strategist, designer, dreamer, and entrepreneur behind Artful Brands. Dreamy typefaces, clean layouts, and soft color palettes are my love language— but more importantly designing strategic brands that book.