Embracing business

Today, I’d like to talk about embracing business. As creators of product, we’re always after the shiny object. If you’re like me, we’re constantly chasing the opportunity. Chasing an opportunity leads to a lot of conversations, hanging out at events, and spending time prepping your story. All the while we’re building the product, adding features, and pulling the 16 hour shifts.

We’re out there beating the streets and setting the world on fire. Before you know it, we’re making sales and that client list is growing. Naturally, we are embracing social and talking to everyone, who has time for business?

Hopefully, us.

Why do so many folks hide from Business?

Chris, everyone — everyone, Chri… oh you’ve met him before?

If you’ve spent anytime in the WordPress space, especially the entrepreneurial side, you know who I’m talking about. He’s the man that has blessed us with so many passionate stories and lessons on business. Here’s what I derive from his tweet yesterday:

So many of us spend time talking our game, building our product, and thinking of the promotion — we forget the lackluster world of operations, support channels, and team building. 

Not that the latter is boring or dull, but for a go-getting business owner, it’s just not as flashy. It’s the stuff that ends up on the to-do list getting pushed out from week to week.

  • I really should start tracking my hours on this project.
  • Support docs? Yea…I’ll get to those.
  • Is my pricing sustainable?
  • My code looks like spaghetti, I should really hire a developer to help.

These are just some rudimentary areas of business we shy away from. There are larger aspects of business like insurance and legal coverage that push us further into the “I’ll get there eventually” netherworld.

If you’re doing a weekly journal, now is a great time to review the business aspects you have been dodging.

Selling? You’re not selling.

Guilty as charged.

Look up to the right-hand corner. You should see a banner for my product Conductor. If you’ve been reading the last few days, and especially my year in review, you know about my product, now.

But for the last two years, I’ve been guilty of not selling myself.

I was the example Chris gave. I showed up every week and ran a podcast predicated on helping people with their business, but I did nothing about mine.

Just because you’re making the noise, doesn’t mean people know who you are. 

In fact, towards the end of 2014 I had a few larger agencies reach out to me and ask me if I wanted a job. A job?! I have my own agency! How would they know? Recently, I talked to a Matt Report listener who told me he had heard me mention it in some of my episodes, but never distinctly knew I ran a real business.

Le sigh.

2012599-le_sigh

Crush it

So let’s not forget why we are here. Don’t get lost in the noise of the hustle. Go with confidence in your offering and challenge yourself to make it.

Where do you go for business advice? Post in the comments below!

3 Comments

You’re definitely not alone in this. I think a lot of people tend to fall into the category of of being more creative (and thus tending to find the business-end distasteful or dull) or being more business-minded (and not able to find bandwidth to explore creative solutions).

I’d imagine it’s a left-brain/right-brain thing?

“Just because you’re making the noise, doesn’t mean people know who you are.”

^^ Yup. I know too many amazing people with awesome stuff just sitting on the shelves because of this.

For me this scenario got better when I merged my web shop with another and now have business partners. We are codeBOX where we do custom WordPress sites with a lot of custom integrations and build plugins like http://lifterlms.com and https://wordpress.org/plugins/fusion-forms/ We all have very different skill sets and lead different parts of the company and still do overlap in places.

I spent most of today doing the non sexy HR hiring work for new development talent and optimizing our HelpScout support processes for maintenance clients and plugin customers. It would have been much harder to carve out the time to do this when I was a solo leader juggling marketing, operations, and production at the same time.

Maybe take it as a compliment that agencies are trying to recruit you. I’ve always known you were Slocum and a plugin entrepreneur.

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