A Peek Behind The Curtain: My Biz & Life

You all know I’m a huge fan of transparency- sharing the good, the bad and everything in between.

Today, I want to give you an even closer peek behind the curtain at what’s going on in my business and my life. Because there’s A LOT happening…and I want you to be a part of it.

Let’s get right to it.

Let's get transparent! It's time for a peek behind the curtain at what's going on in my business and my life, the good, the bad and everything in between.

Behind The Biz

I FILED FOR MY LLC! I know. It took me seven months to take this step, but to be honest, I wanted to make sure I was 100 percent in with this whole biz thing before taking this next leap. Obviously, with seven months under my belt, I’ve determined that this is going to be a long-term career move for me, so I made the decision to go for it to make it official. The LLC filing process was a little more complicated than I thought, but I am so happy I finally checked it off my list. It takes about a month for the LLC to go through, so come October, my business will be LEGIT.

My business now has a name. Another reason I put off filing for my LLC was because I couldn’t pick a name for my business. Serious problem. What I do is already complicated enough to explain (communications consulting, public relations, teaching yoga, teaching PR, personal branding, public speaking…it’s a mouthful), the thought of coming up with a name was super daunting. However, I’ve come up with something that just feels right in my gut when I say it out loud. I can’t share just yet (need to wait until it’s approved in the LLC process), but hopefully I’ll be sharing the news with you in just a few weeks!

I brought on my first team member. I never really understood all the hype about building a team. After all, I’m a solopreneur, solo being the key word here. However, after half a year of running a business completely on my own, I realized something: I was drowning. And I needed help. Fast. When faced with the opportunity to work with my dream client (see below), I immediately thought to myself, “AH! Which client do I cut to make space for this new client?” My sister said to me, “Uh…why don’t you just hire someone to help you?” DUH. More to come on my newest team member soon, but suffice it to say, she’s only been officially working for me for two days and I already feel a massive sense of relief and weight off my shoulders.

I welcomed my dream client. For years, I’ve admired Alexis Grant. I’ve essentially been following in her footsteps for the past several years. Lexi was a journalist and blogger who quit her job to start her own business. She started as a solopreneur, then built a team and eventually sold her company and now heads up editorial at The Penny Hoarder. She’s a #girlboss in every sense of the word. She’s also the founder of The Write Life, a blog about writing that I both love and contribute to monthly. When I saw that The Write Life was seeking a new managing editor (essentially the job that I currently do for my two largest clients), I jumped at the opportunity to apply. I was selected for the role and starting next week will be training to be the managing editor for this popular writing blog.

Behind My Life

I’m settling nicely into my apartment. I <3 my new apartment. As many of you know, I lived at home to save money as I prepared to quit my job and start my business, so living on my own has been a welcomed change. I love having my own office. I love my bedroom. I love my couch. I love the peace and quiet. I love walking into my apartment and knowing that every single item in there is mine. I’m also loving my new neighborhood and its proximity to pretty much everywhere I go on a regular basis. I’m having a housewarming party this weekend and I can’t wait to have my friends over to see the space. That said, I still have a long way to go when it comes to decorating, but it’s a process, right?

There’s a whole lot of new happening around here. New apartment. New clients. New team member. New relationship. New yoga classes. New opportunity teaching at Temple University. Lots and lots of new going on. It’s all good stuff, but welcoming a ton of new things at once can definitely feel overwhelming. Along with new things happening comes change. I’m definitely making some changes in both my personal life, my business and here on the blog. I’ll have more to share soon, but I know I’m also feeling a little crazed because of the changes I’m making in my life. Through all of this, I’m trying to take each day for what it is, appreciate these amazing moments and not get caught up in thoughts or expectations about the future.

I’m doing a meditation training next weekend. Even though I haven’t been meditating daily as I did from April-August, I’m still excited to participate in a weekend-long meditation training to learn how to teach meditation to others. Adding meditation to my toolbox blends nicely with my yoga teaching and the public speaking I do about stepping out of your comfort zone. I’m also hoping this training jumpstarts my daily meditation habit again.

Your turn! Share a peek behind-the-scenes of your life or biz. Leave your updates in the comments below!

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Becoming CEO: Month Seven of Solopreneurship

For those who are just catching up, in December, I made a career (and life) changing announcement. I resigned from my job working in public relations to take my business, blog, brand and teaching full time. I’m bringing you along for the ride, giving you a glimpse behind-the-scenes of the exact steps I’m taking to make solopreneurship work in the Becoming CEO series.

You can check out previous posts in the Becoming CEO series here.

In the Becoming CEO series, I detail how I'm starting and running my own solo biz. Here are reflections (& an income breakdown) from month seven.

Let’s take a look at month seven of solopreneurship! Here’s my month by the numbers, an income breakdown, lessons learned, the ups, the downs and how I’m feeling.

Month Seven By The Numbers:

  • 10 phone/Skype calls (as compared to 8 last month)
  • 1 in-person meetings (as compared to 4 last month)
  • 11 meetings total (as compared to 12 last month)
  • 18 yoga classes taught (as compared to 13 last month)

Month Seven Income Breakdown:

Each month, I share a percentage breakdown of my income.

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-5-06-43-pm

A few thoughts on this month’s income breakdown:

  • My consulting category returned in the month of August! A new yoga studio in the area purchased a package of consulting hours to use with me on various initiatives. We split the hours between actual consulting (teaching, showing the owner how to use Mailchimp, social media, etc.) and having me do tasks on her behalf (writing a pitch for the media, sending it out, setting up an email template). I love this type of consulting work because it’s nice extra income and also fun to work on a short-term project that has a clear beginning and end.
  • Writing continues to decrease as I take on more content management work. I’m sad to not have as much time to write, but I’m also excited about the unlimited income potential there is with content management.
  • Content management is quickly becoming my most profitable and busy stream of income. The income you see above is currently spread between two of my bigger clients. I just added on one more content management client, so in future months, I expect this percentage will increase even more.

Lessons Learned from Month Seven:

  • I want to do much more public speaking. Getting up on a stage to speak is downright terrifying…and downright rewarding. I spoke at the Florida PR Association Conference in early August and while I was so nervous, the experience was amazing. It was the first time I spoke about my blog/brand message, rather than PR or personal branding, which was different for me. The room was packed, the attendees were engaged and I received really positive feedback after the presentation. I can’t wait to give this presentation again soon. Curious about what it entailed? Check this out. I feel so energized after this experience and know that I want to do much more public speaking.
  • Procrastination actually seems to work for me. Confession…I have *always* been a procrastinator. For some reason, I thought when I started my business that might change, but it definitely hasn’t. I stressed myself out to no end by waiting to do my presentation for my big speech in Florida until the day before I left. Yes, I knew I had months to prepare and I did think about it a lot, but I didn’t actually sit down to do the thing until just hours before I had to leave Philadelphia. I finished the presentation on my flight and made final touches right up until 15 minutes before the presentation. The levels of anxiety I felt during these hours was insane, but guess what? The speech went as good as I think it could have gone…better even than if I had prepped weeks before. This is a vicious circle- procrastinate, stress out, still do really well…procrastinate even more. I know some people thrive under pressure and I think I definitely fall into that category.
  • Major breakthroughs come from anywhere. After months of feeling foggy, all of a sudden, I had three major breakthroughs and instantly felt more clear and focused. It all happened on a random Tuesday afternoon, completely out of the blue. I wrote about the poignant experience here. These three realizations gave me so much clarity and while that moment didn’t last forever, it definitely gave me a sense of purpose and new direction.

The Highs and Lows:

There are always going to be good days and of course, there will always be not-so-hot days. Here are the things that made me super smiley and excited this month, along with some challenges I faced.

The Highs:

  • I had three major business breakthroughs. Finally, a moment of clarity!
  • I spoke at the Florida PR Association Conference and it was amazing! I loved the entire experience and can’t wait to do more speaking.
  • I officially joined the Solo PR Pros group and I am already benefitting so much from the knowledge of the group and resources offered to members. Highly recommend!
  • I attended a yoga training at my favorite studio down the shore, Golden Buddha Yoga.
  • I started teaching a new yoga class at Y2B Fit in Mt. Airy, which as an added bonus, is five minutes from my new apartment!
  • I accepted a position teaching an undergraduate Advanced PR Writing course at Temple University- more on that next month!
  • I developed two new yoga workshop ideas and scheduled a few fall workshops.

The Lows:

  • Moving to a new place + running a business really took its toll on my sanity this month. See below.
  • I still struggled with finding time to work out in August…and I practiced yoga way less than I normally do. Already in September I’m seeing an improvement, but August was definitely rough.

How I Feel:

In month seven, I felt downright crazy.

My days were spent running around the tri-state area looking for furniture, while simultaneously taking client calls and attempting to keep up my normal work schedule.

I know there will be times where I need to focus on other areas of my life, but it was really challenging to balance life stuff and business stuff this month. I’m hoping to feel much more settled later this fall, now that I am fully moved into my apartment.

The business itself is going very well and for that I am grateful. Financially, I’m doing way better than I ever expected, but in terms of my sanity…this was a very challenging month.

Onto Month Eight! Stay tuned- I’ll continue sharing these recaps monthly.

Have any questions about becoming CEO and my seventh month in business? I’d love to answer your questions and hear your thoughts about this journey!

Want more gutsy content delivered straight to your inbox twice a month? Be sure to sign up for my FREE #GetGutsy e-newsletter filled with inspiration, ideas and action items to get out of your comfort zone. When you sign up, you’ll also be sent a FREE copy of the Get Gutsy ebook, filled with 19 inspirational stories to help you get gutsy.