Your limiting factor

Last week I received an email from a newsletter I really enjoy following. It’s chock full of great tips and actionable advice, which I appreciate. But last week’s topic about email marketing had my wheels spinning with ideas. I took notes and snagged my husband to brainstorm how we can better serve our community at Spruce Rd.

But something unexpected happened.

My husband stopped me in my tracks and said: “you’re over complicating it!”

NOT the first time I’ve heard this from him! (Do you have a friend who speaks this truth into your busy brain?!)

And you know what? He was right. I let myself drift into complexities that I have no business messing with. If you’ve ever researched email marketing in depth, you know what I mean. Sequences, segmenting, tagging, clicks… blah! I. Can’t. Comprehend.

So it’s only fitting that we close out our 4-week studio of one series diving into simplicity. Protecting our little businesses from burnout, unnecessary complexities, and tasks that shouldn’t take priority.

Let’s strip the complexity out of our business. Before I dive in to chat about a few remedies, let’s first talk about the problem.

You are your own limiting factor.

My husband, Elliot, reminds me of this statement often. Because we like to keep things small but mighty around Spruce Rd., I need to acknowledge that I’m my own limiting factor. The more tasks I take on, the less I can focus on other aspects of my business. It’s pretty simple.

So in this case, if I choose to focus on complex email marketing strategies, I will be limited to my time spent on this task. I will be limited and not be able to spend that time working with my designers, clients or heck, even creating the content for the emails!

Instead of overextending ourselves, we need to shift to a simpler business model. I love how this quote sums it up:

“Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.” — C. W. Ceran

Let’s get to the remedies for our complex business! You’ll notice that I recommend extending beyond yourself and asking for help from others. I’m no fool, and I recognize the irony of this article as a part of the “studio of one” series! So yes, I am a studio of one, but I also know that no man is an island. You can be a studio of one and still work well with others. This takes you further than if you try to do everything on your own.

This series was created to celebrate being small, but it isn’t here to celebrate burnout.

Ask for help

In order to simplify your studio, you have two options:

  1. Remove the clutter, and focus on 1–3 priorities. (you can’t do it all!)

  2. Ask for help.

Even with option 2, I recommend also removing the clutter for your own sanity!

If you’re ready to grow your business, it’s time to reach out for some help. This can take the form of hiring subcontractors such as designers, illustrators, production artists, web designers, developers or photographers. The list could go on! Subcontractors are great for client work and allow you to expand your skill set and offerings. It really is a win/win/win for yourself, your designer/subcontractor, and the client. This has been the Spruce Rd. business model for the past two years and I’m SO grateful I made the switch!

Another means of asking for help is through hiring other services. I’m a big fan of this as well, and have seen the benefits pay for themselves! Hiring services for the skills or tasks that hold you back will propel you forward. I’m not kidding when I say that I hired a copywriter, and my sales doubled for my course enrollment. Mind. Blown. And as a designer, I know that quality brand design has the same impact… wink wink ;).

A few services that make for great investments are copywriting, business coaches, marketing, shipping products, Facebook ad services, photography, accountants, lawyers, and virtual assistants to name a few!

Although I’m a studio of one, it doesn’t mean I can’t get help. Remove the complexities in your business, trim it down to the core, and seek help! This will help your “studio of one” thrive, while also being sustainable all the while.

Hope you enjoyed this series as much as I did! Here’s to celebrating being small but mighty :).