The mistakes Business Owners in the messy middle make
In order to create any meaningful change in your business, you first need to understand what problem you’re trying to solve. My goal for this conversation is to create awareness around 5 common mistakes that I see business owners in the messy middle make and what you should do instead to nurture a sustainable business aligned to the life you want to live.
Growth is essential, but growing too quickly can actually be detrimental to your business. I talk about making sure you have the systems, operations and structure in place to sustain your level of growth and what can happen if your business grows too fast.
Another important aspect of business is strategy. Without a solid strategy in place, you’ll find yourself following the advice or tactics laid out for you online, which is a quick path to shiny object syndrome and a mismatched content strategy that doesn’t land for your clients. I talk about why you need to deeply understand what your business is, who you want to serve and the vision you’re working towards.
Another easy trap to fall into is making things too complicated. I talk about overhauling your entire business to simplify and make things manageable for you, not just creating offers for the sake of it. The great thing is, you don’t need to do business the way it’s been modelled to you. You get to rewrite the rule book.
Something I’ve often spoken about on the podcast is the importance of designing a business for the type of life you want. You are not designed to work around the clock for years on end. This isn’t sustainable and it certainly won’t allow you the time and energy to enjoy life to it’s fullest.
I also talk about embracing the journey and not getting fixated on the destination. Yes, goals are important, but destination addiction will stop you from finding joy where you are at now. I encourage you to think about what is bringing you joy in your life and business today, and celebrating the wins along the way.
I hope this episode resonates with you and that it brings some insight as to where you might be needing to tweak things in your business today.
Topics We Covered:
[00:00:00] Kristy: There's a lot of pressure and expectations placed on business owners, and one of the things that's been really important to me for this podcast is to ensure that I create content that uplifts anyone who's listening. I don't want to create any content that leaves my listener feeling confused or overwhelmed, or that they're doing the wrong thing in their business.
[00:00:24] But here's the thing. It's impossible to create any meaningful change in your business unless you are aware first that a problem exists. So that's my goal with this conversation is to create awareness around common mistakes that I see business owners in the messy middle make, as well as the impact that these mistakes will have on your business, on your growth, but also on you personally as the business owner.
[00:00:52] Are you ready? Let's go.
[00:00:54] Hello boss and welcome back to the Run Your Business Like A Boss Podcast. As I said at the top of this episode, I have seen a passion of mistakes that many business owners in the messy middle make. And in this conversation, I'm gonna step you through my observations of these mistakes, with the goal of creating awareness so that you can first identify that those mistakes are happening, and secondly, you can figure out what to do instead. Now before we dive into those five mistakes, I wanted to let you know about a new coaching offer that I have rolled out in 2023.
[00:02:09] It only occurred to me just before I was recording this episode that I haven't actually mentioned it on the podcast I have talked about it over on Instagram, but if you are not following me on Instagram, then you may not know that this actually exists. So this year I am now offering once off, 90 minute one-on-one coaching intensives, and these intensives are for business owners who really don't need that ongoing coaching support, but would like to work one-on-one with me to either resolve a challenge that they're experiencing in their business or to unpack a potential opportunity that they would like to roll out.
[00:02:48] You'll be amazed at what we can achieve in these 90 minute intensives. And they have been so popular since I rolled them out, and the business owners who have been going through these intensives are already making great headways in their business as a result of having this direct one-on-one support.
[00:03:06] So if you've been thinking about working with me, but the ongoing nature of my containers haven't quite worked for you, head down into the show notes, grab the link, take a look, and be sure to apply today.
[00:03:17] Okay, so onto the five mistakes that I see many business owners make in the messy middle. The first one is growing too quickly. Now, this sounds counterintuitive because I know there's a strong chorus of voices talking about how to grow to that six figure and then onto that seven figure as quickly as possible. Now, growth is absolutely essential. Let's, let's just be really clear about that. I want you to have financial freedom through your business.
[00:03:49] However, I want you to grow in a sustainable way because if you grow too quickly, this can negatively impact your business. Now, here's what I've seen with business owners who have grown their business too quickly. if you don't have your business operations in order, what can often happen is that you are taking on a higher volume of clients. You don't have any structure or systems in place.
[00:04:17] And what I mean by that is you are needing to onboard your clients in a manual way. You're needing to do everything manually from scratch, and nothing is documented in your business. It's all in your head. And so what that means is that a, you can't bring in any support into your business by way of contractors or team members, because that would require you to take time away from serving all these clients that you've brought in and document your processes to be able to enlist in the support and train your new team members. And the second thing is, is that you don't have any tools or systems or automations in place.
[00:04:57] And again, that's gonna take you away from delivering all of this client work that you've promised to be able to sort out any of the systems and processes in place in your business. But here's the thing, without the ability to be able to bring team members on or to create automations, you are needing to do everything from scratch all the time manually.
[00:05:19] And that requires so much more energy and time. And what can often happen is one, You have inconsistency of client experience from one client to the next. It also too, can result in you making mistakes, silly mistakes that you wouldn't otherwise make. But because you've just got so much on your to-do list, you're feeling overwhelmed, you're, you're quickly moving between tasks.
[00:05:45] You're trying to deliver everything in a timely fashion to meet your, you know, deadlines for your clients, et cetera, et cetera. And the third thing that can happen is that you are working all the time. You have no space to work on your business. No space for creativity, no space to, you know, enjoy life because you are filling up every single minute, hour day with work to be able to deliver on what you have promised for your clients.
[00:06:15] So growing quickly may look amazing on paper, but if you do not have your business operations sorted to be able to support the volume of clients that you're bringing in, It'll have a detrimental effect on your business. Now, if this mistake resonates with you, head into the back catalog and listen to episode 21, the downside of fast growth. The second mistake that I see business owners making is not having a business strategy. Now there's a lot of focus around branding, around content marketing, creating sexy offers, all the things. And what can happen is that if you don't have a strategy in place for what you want your business to be, who you want to serve, the type of offers that you're looking to create, the vision that you are working for, the mission, which is the purpose for why your business exists, you'll find yourself following the advice or the tactics that are laid out for you.
[00:07:17] And this can lead to you, you know, following bright shiny object syndrome, maybe having a mismatched content strategy and nothing really lands well with your audience cuz you're shifting and changing things too quickly if you are out there creating content and you don't have a solid business strategy in place, it's really clear, like I can spot it from a million miles away because your offers are not deep enough to create a incredible transformation for your clients. You're not really speaking directly to one person and it feels very generic and it feels much like everybody else.
[00:07:54] So before you go out there and create a new marketing strategy or a new content plan, I really encourage you in the messy middle stage of business to double down on building a business strategy, getting really clear on the vision that you hold for your business, and how does that fit in with the vision that you hold for your life and really designing your business in a way that feels good for you moving into this next season. When you are clear on that, the branding will be so much easier, creating content will be so much easier. Building offers that align to this new ideal client will make so much more sense, but without that business strategy, everything just remains at a surface level.
[00:08:33] If this topic really resonates with you, there's a few episodes in the back catalog that might speak to you. So episode 42, build Your Business Your Way. Episode 44, what to focus on when preparing Your Business for the next Level and Episode 48, growth, why Business Transformation is necessary for small business owners.
[00:08:53] Okay, so moving on to the third mistake that I see business owners make, which is making things too complicated. Often business owners have come from the corporate world and when we are working in the corporate world, we have a number of different colleagues that we're working with across all different types of departments, but when you are working your own business, certainly in the early stages, you are often on your own and then in the messy middle, you often have a, maybe a very small team that's supporting you of people that maybe it's a combination of contractors that you are outsourcing tasks to, to maybe an in-house team member.
[00:09:33] But the reality is, is you don't have a big engine supporting your business. So keeping things really simple and manageable is absolutely essential for your business. I think that often we think that the more complicated we make things between our offers or our marketing or you know, whatever it might be, the better it is in our business.
[00:09:54] But certainly in my experience, the opposite is to be true. Getting really clear on what are the things that are important for your business and for your clients is absolutely essential. And I've spoken about this on the podcast before around really zeroing in on the one thing but it goes so much deeper than that. As I said, it really comes down to overhauling your entire business to make sure that you don't have things in there that are not necessary.
[00:10:24] Often we create so many extra tasks because we think that that's what we need to be successful or we have so many different offers because we think we need to offer something for everybody. Or inside of our offers, we have so many different steps because, you know, we have to add value and we are often feeling like, you know, as women, I, I know that many of you who are listening are women, not all of you, of course, but we feel like we need to justify everything.
[00:10:50] We need to justify our business, we need to justify our price tag, et cetera, et cetera. And we often do that by filling in space with tasks or with things. That's just not necessary. I myself run a very lean business. I run a very minimalist business, and that allows more spaciousness, but it also allows me to create more impact on the things that I do, either with my content or with the incredible clients that I serve.
[00:11:18] my question to you is, are you making things more complicated? is that putting extra pressure on you to do more things than you have time to do? And are you feeling really overwhelmed by all the deliverables in your office as well as all the deliverables in your operational model, and that's really leaving you with very little space for you personally?
[00:11:40] The third mistake, as I said business owners make in the messy middle, is making things too complicated. My last point on this is that we are in this beautiful generation where we are rewriting the rule book, we don't need to do things. We don't need to do business in the way that's been modeled to us.
[00:12:01] You as a business owner get to design your business, and if you are doing things that just feel like you're ticking boxes or that you feel like you should be doing them, but they're not really creating amazing impact for your business or for your clients, then that is a question you need to ask yourself.
[00:12:17] Am I making this too complicated or can I just let that thing go? If this conversation is something that you wanna dive deeper into, head into the back catalog. I've got a few episodes there. Episode 40, What is a sustainable business and why aim for it? And episode 33, stuck in busy work. Three ways to simplify your business.
[00:12:38] The fourth mistake that I see business owners make is not making time for you. now, in the early days of business, I would say most business owners are a little bit addicted to working and the thing is, is that you are experiencing something new. You absolutely love your business. You're getting momentum. Things are feeling really good and really exciting, and it feels so expansive, especially compared to working in nine till five. And it's so cool seeing the work that you're doing and the results that it gleans. But here's the thing, you are not built as a human being to be working that hard for a sustained period of time, okay?
[00:13:20] You are not designed to work around the clock for years and years and years on end. And it's really important that you do pace yourself and that you do make time for you, which is why on the podcast I talk a lot about holding the vision that you have for your business as well as the vision that you hold for your life.
[00:13:41] Because it's too easy to get locked into, you know, all the things that you're creating in your business and forget to live this beautiful life that you are looking to create for yourself. Let's face it, most business owners originally start their business for flexibility, and then yet you end up working harder than you've ever worked before.
[00:14:02] Now, that's not to say that you are not gonna have seasons in your business where you're gonna work so hard and your time is gonna need to pour into your business, and that's gonna feel good for you. That's not what I'm talking about here, because that's necessary. What you wanna do is to get to this point where you're not sacrificing every single thing that you love in your life for the sake of your business.
[00:14:27] And I've mentioned on the podcast a few times around, uh, My crunch moment many, many, many years ago when I read Ariana Huffington's book Thrive. And she talked in that book a lot about how, you know, her moment was when she was thinking about, her obituary. What would people say about her, you know, after she's gone and, she sort of came up with this idea that all they would say is that she's just built this amazing business, but nothing on the personal side of things.
[00:14:57] And it's really funny because when I read the book at the time, I really wanted to resist that one piece, and there were a few different signs that happened in the days following that that really made me dig into it. And at the time, I was obsessed with working. Like I sacrificed so much for working at that time, and That passage in the book created a space for me to look objectively at my situation and realize that working that hard all the time for the sacrifice of relationships that were important to me was just not worth it. this is really common for business owners to be addicted to work and to love the results that they get inside their work.
[00:15:38] And maybe it's a control thing. You feel like you can control things by, you know, you do this over here and that results in that thing over there, but it's really important if you wanna have longevity in your business, if you wanna be in business 10, 15 years from now, that you get really intentional about enjoying your life, creating space to have things outside of your business that bring you joy.
[00:16:04] So if you are looking for another conversation relating to that topic, head into the back catalog episode 22 looking after yourself during busy seasons in your business might be a good one. Okay, so the final mistake that I see business owners making in the messy middle stage of business, but I'm gonna say this is, you know, all stages of business even is destination addiction. I spoke about this on, uh, Instagram recently, that we get so fixated on the goal, we get so fixated on when this happens, I'll insert the blanks.
[00:16:42] And the truth is, I know you've heard this before, this is not, this is not anything new or fancy, but the joy, the life, the business building happens in between the goals, right? The goals are just something to aim for, but all the work in between, you know, bringing in amazing clients, developing amazing offers, showing up more in your business.
[00:17:08] You know, building a strategy and, and really reinventing your business or building a business that you love, it's all in the day to day, right? Like, because the reality is that when you achieve any goal, you are gonna take a moment, you're gonna celebrate, but then it's gonna be gone. That's so finite. So if you're living from goal to goal, you are only feeling joy for such a small amount of time.
[00:17:31] So rather than being so, fixated on the destination, really flipping it and thinking about what's bringing me joy today? What's bringing me joy in my business right now? What's feeling good? What little results are happening right now in my business that you know, didn't happen last week or last month, or last quarter or last year?
[00:17:53] Just enjoying what your business is bringing in today. And the reality is with businesses, it ebbs and flows and there's always going to be times where, as I said before, things are busy and hectic and you know, you got all the things going on and that might be exciting. There might be wins in that because things are changing and evolving, but then when things pull back and slow down, then maybe the winds in that feels like you've got space and expansion and that you can just really enjoy your business without, you know.
[00:18:22] The intense pressures and the highs and the lows, et cetera. So goals are so important. I don't want you to think that I'm saying don't set goals and just be freestyle and see where it takes you, because I don't think that that's the answer either. But remember that goals are just, that's just where you are aiming the rocket ship.
[00:18:40] The journey on how to get there is more important than the goal itself is all I'm. So if this conversation really resonates with you, heading to the back catalog, episode 55, a Pep Talk, or what's the rush So, that's a wrap on the five common mistakes that I see business owners make in the messy middle stage of business.
[00:19:01] I'm curious to know if any of these spoke to you. I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to shoot me across a DM on Instagram or if you wanna share this. Please feel free to copy the link for this episode and send it to a friend. I have a huge goal to be able to impact more business owners so that they don't feel so alone in this business journey. And I think that often it's really easy to feel isolated as a business owner. So if you know someone in your network who's a business owner that really could benefit from hearing the topics that I covered in today's conversation, grab the link and send it to them.
[00:19:39] I know that. Would be very grateful to be able to receive this information and to be learning just like you are boss. Thank you so much for listening to today's conversation. As always, I look forward to chatting with you next week.
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About your host, Kristy
Hi, I'm Kristy, thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like a Boss Podcast. My purpose for the podcast is to help Business Owner’s in the growth stage of business (messy middle) have a sustainable business, they love.
I’m an online business coach, based in Brisbane, Australia. I provide 1:1 business coaching, to Service Based Online Business Owner's and a group coaching program commencing in 2022. I believe whole heartedly that having a Business Coach is what gives you the competitive edge. As your coach I support you to overcome challenges quickly, uncover blindspots and make business decisions with confidence and clarity. All of which keeps you moving forward and maintaining momentum.
As your Business Coach, my role is to help you organise and formulate your ideas, turn them into a goal and then into an actionable plan! All while meeting you where you're at and providing you relevant tools and support along the way.
Thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like A Boss podcast!