Demystifying Business Systems

Is it just me or is the newest way to “guarantee success” for your side-hustle or “make your business scalable” is to make sure that you’re using the right systems for your business. Of course, to learn those systems you must sign up for this course or that course. Maybe it’s free (and if it is, you’ll learn a bit, but you’ll get hooked into buying into a more expensive course). Maybe it costs hundreds or thousands of dollars. Look, I have no problem with anyone looking to make a profit off of what they know. That is, if they actually know anything. The issue is that from my now six years of full time experience as a business owner working from home, there are some things that most, if not all, of these webinars, courses, email lists, and books do not tell people like you.

Nothing Guarantees Your Success in Business But You

There. I said it. There is not a single business system, funnel, landing page, email course, mentor, business coach, online course, podcast, government entity, or rich unknown to you uncle that will guarantee the success of your business or side hustle. Nope. The only guarantee for even a modicum of success is you. It is not the economy. It is not the political climate. It is not your religion. It might be your inability to shut the fuck up and your inability to hold a civil conversation with someone different than you, but that still boils down to you and only you.

Related: How Not to Commit Social Media Suicide

It is your commitment to your business. Are you willing to get up early if necessary? For a long time, I woke up at 4 or 5 in the morning to work before anyone else woke up and before I had to go and teach at the college. Class started at 8 am. My class only lasted until noon, but then I had to work at the law firm from 1 pm until whenever I was finished. Then, I went home and worked more as well as made dinner and spent time with my family…as well as handled all the duties associated with mom life. Oh, and yes, my husband was and is supportive (in fact, he works with me now instead of going out and slinging concrete, but it took time to grow my business to the point where he could choose to stay home and learn copywriting).

Are you willing to say no to some things for a while? Imagine the things you could get done if you knew exactly how much time you spent on social media every day. Clearly, I am not talking about anyone who works as a social media manager. I am talking about the mindless scrolling. Seriously, take two or three days and take an honest account of your time. What if you took even half of that time and put it toward your business? I mean, it’s not like that social media drama and arguing won’t be there later. Season five, episode 12 of Cheryl’s 15th love of her life (which probably seems like a monthly subscription at this point) will still be there. You won’t miss anything.

It is all about priorities. It is all about time management. You are the only person who has control over how you spend your down time. And if you think otherwise, you’re lying to yourself.

Related: How Do I Do It? Motherfuckin’ Time Management, That’s How!

No Experience in Business Likely Means You Don’t Know Which Business System Will Work for You

If you have little to no experience in business, especially if it is just something you’re doing on the side, you probably have no idea which business system(s) will work well for your business. Oh, you may have some ideas. And you may see some sleek, sexy, expensive systems with va-va-voom names out there that just scream BUY ME NOWWWWWWW because “limited time” “doors are closing and we may never open them again!” Just so you know, that is a sales trick. We copywriters do that to trick you, the consumer, into buying right now. They will offer it again. They will open it up again in the future, especially if it is an established brand.

You need to have a clear understanding of your goals as a business, how you want your business to operate, and what it is that you need these systems to do for you and your business before you make any type of investment. Because the system may look good and it may work well for others…you may hope it works well for you because you do the same sort of thing, but that doesn’t mean it will. I am a copywriter and an editor. Guess what? I don’t use shit like Trello or Slack, if I can get away with it. Sure, if clients use it and they add me, I check it every now and again…but my clients know that email is the best way to get a hold of me. If I really wanted anyone to have constant fucking access to me, I’d work in a goddamn office, now wouldn’t I? Well, except working from home affords me other luxuries such as setting my own schedule. I know copywriters and editors that live and die by instant messengers with their clients. I do not. A large part of that, though, is probably my next level introversion.

I just use Google Calendar. I sit down on Sunday night and I plan my week. I aim to plan out the whole week. That doesn’t always happen. Sometimes I just get one or two days planned. So, I have a recurring event at the end of each day that literally says “Plan how I will make tomorrow my bitch.” Also, as clients reach out to me or as new clients come on, I add it to my week. I add editing Danny’s work to my week as well. How he plans his stuff is on him. I don’t babysit him.

I do love project management software, though. That is a system that works very well for me. However, it is also very time consuming because I am very detail oriented. So, I stick to Google Calendar for now. It is a simple system and it is free. With my agency page on Facebook, there is a calendaring feature. People can schedule consultations through it and it automatically loads onto my calendar. Simple and, again, free.

I had to learn what worked for me, through trial and error. And I did that without paying a ton of money and taking expensive courses. I did download various free guides and ended up on mailing lists. I have free workbooks and such. Some are helpful…some are not…

Regardless, though, business systems of any kind will not work unless you know what you need and unless you put the work into your business.

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