A Fork in the Road: Growing a Business

Like I mentioned in my last post, I do this business as a part-time thing. But lately, it hasn’t been part-time. It’s been sucking up every free moment I have, and, in turn, sucking the life out of me. And that’s no fun. I do this job because I love it.  Period.  I’m not only passionate about web design, but I’m also passionate about meeting small business owners, learning about their business, and helping them bring their best to the web. I feel a responsibility to my clients to offer my knowledge about web design and technology so that they are promoting their business in the best way possible. Lately, I’ve barely been able to keep my head above water. Don’t get me wrong; this is an awesome place to be. Growing a business is not easy and I’m lucky to have such awesome clients like this and this that have helped me grow my business. The “how” of growing a business is the challenge; there’s no exact path or guidebook to follow. When I come to these forks in the road, I’m the one responsible for making the decision on which path to take.

I recently returned from a great trip to San Francisco and California.  But, on our flight home, this feeling of dread started creeping over me.  I had been away from my computer and work for just five short days.  But I knew what I was returning to.  An overwhelming to do list.  Clients waiting on me to complete their request.  Maintenance updates. Proposals. My stomach was turning over at the thought and it felt so wrong to me.  I love what I do.  But that feeling of drowning in my work and not being able to come up for air is horrible. I knew I was at a fork in the road: I could stop taking new clients and just maintain my current workload, or I could figure out a way to grow my business.

After thinking it over, and discussing it with my husband and my business coach (who is amazing, by the way; check out Essential Shift if you’re in need of any kind of growth or career direction!), we came to the conclusion that it was time for me to hire someone.  What an amazing, yet scary concept.  I felt this huge surge of relief as I started a list of tasks I wanted to offload.  Things like WordPress and plugin updates, website testing, setting up hosting and email accounts, and adding website content.  Tasks that take up a lot of my time, but don’t necessarily need my skill level to complete.  What does this mean?  I’m hoping this means that the person I bring on board will be able to quickly come up to speed on the multiple tasks I have planned and I’ll have more time to do the stuff I love: designing websites, meeting new clients, reaching out to old clients, doing some more graphic design, and promoting my own business.

You know when something just feels right? That’s how I feel now.  This pretty big weight has been lifted and I’m feeling more optimistic about my business than I have in months.  Sure, there are a lot of unknowns right now – finding the right person (I’ve got a prospect and we’re starting a trial run), the logistics of working with another person, and how to keep the workflow consistent for her.  I’m totally up for this challenge.  And the most important thing is that my clients will be getting more of *me*.  I plan to have more contact with my clients and I want them to feel loved and that I’m always on the lookout for their best interest.  I want to help them grow their businesses.  Most importantly, I want to follow my passion and have fun doing what I do best: designing websites for passionate business owners.

Image by Noah Siano (CC BY 2.0) via flickr

4 Comments

  1. Mom

    Reply

    Terrific blog!! So great of you to reach out to others and realize that dread doesn’t have to control your life! I’m so proud of you. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

  2. Rachel

    Reply

    Good luck on taking the jump and growing your business! It feels good to finally make a decision and not waver in between. I think this is a smart professional and personal move and I’m excited for you!

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