Episode #259: Evolve, Don’t Revolve
TAYLOR BRADFORD: You were listening to episode number 259 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today, I’m talking about evolving your business, not revolving it. On to the episode.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Better Help. Again, I keep talking about this, but it is so incredibly crucial to make sure your mental health is taken care of. We cannot do the things that we do without our mental health being on point. And that is for ourselves, for our businesses, for our family, and for our friends, everybody around us. However, our mental health is at a given point is reflected in the relationships that you have and how you function in your business, or move your business forward, or whether or not you can even move your business forward. Mental health is so important, and there’s no shame in asking for help. I’ve asked for help. I’ve asked for help multiple times in the past because I felt so overwhelmed that I couldn’t deal, like, couldn’t handle. And just knowing that you have somebody that you can talk to, in a super unfiltered way, allows you to just move forward and take care of that mental health. Take care of yourself, take care of everything on the inside, so that you can be the person that you need to be for everyone in your life and your business. So Better Help will assess your needs and match you with your own licensed, professional therapist. You can start communicating in under 24 hours. It’s not a crisis line. It’s not self-help. This is professional counseling done securely online. And there’s a broad range of expertise in Better Help’s counselor network, which may not be locally available in your area, which makes this nice because it’s available worldwide. You can log into your account anytime and send a message to your counselor. You’re going to get timely and thoughtful responses, plus you can schedule weekly video or phone sessions, so you won’t ever actually have to go anywhere physically, this can all be done from the comfort of your own home. Better Help is committed to facilitating great therapeutic matches, so they make it easy and free to change counselors if needed. It’s more affordable than traditional offline counseling, and financial aid is available. Visit trybetterhelp.com/bossgirl to receive 10% off your first month of service. That is T-R-Y-B-E-T-T-E-R-H-E-L-P.com/bossgirl.
Hey, welcome to Episode 259 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. I’m your host, Taylor Bradford. I’m excited that you’re here. 259, wow. We’re getting close to, basically, five years of podcasting. We are almost, we’re about a month and a half away, about six weeks away from the five year anniversary of Boss Girl Creative, which is crazy pants. And what a journey it’s been, for sure. And we’re still working through Corona. We’re still working through how to move our businesses forward. How to pivot, how to leverage, how to move forward, how to just get out of bed some days, how to just take care of ourselves. Self-care is so important, mental health is so important, like all of this, you know, is part of our business foundation. And it’s all important. And we’re going to talk about evolving your business. And your business is going to evolve, regardless of whether the world is falling apart or not. It’s just the nature of who we are. We’re very curious creatures, and things change in our lives. We have different loves and likes and dislikes, and our tastes change as we get older. And what was once important may not be important now. And that also can happen in business. And so I feel like it’s really important to talk about evolving your business and not revolving your business. And, you know, adopting and thriving as you evolve. My businesses are always evolving. I think that’s apparent if you listen to the show, week in and week out, especially if you go back early in the archives and hear from the beginning and move yourself forward through the show. I know that’s daunting because there’s, this is Episode 259, which means there’s 258 episodes in the archives, and if you’re listening through Apple podcasts, they only hold my last 100 episodes. So if you really want to dive into the early stuff, just go to the website bossgirlcreative.com and click on the episode guide, and you will get to episode number one. And you can move forward through listening that way. There’s other podcasts listening apps that you can use that might get you further back into the archives beyond Apple podcasts, but they’re there for you if you want to dive in. You can binge them. You’ve got time for that right, with COVID right now? We got lots of quarantine time left. Texas is trying to open. I think they’re trying, but “Oh, things are spiking.” And I feel like once the gates kind of like reopened, people are disregarding the social distancing. I literally watched through someone InstaStories this past weekend. There was a rodeo going on. And first, I didn’t realize sports were given the green light. But the amount of people that were there, it was just mind-boggling, and there definitely wasn’t social distancing. So yeah, that was crazy.
But getting back to evolving. Our businesses are going to evolve, and it’s more important that they do evolve and not revolve because things are going to happen. And we’re going to grow, and like I said earlier, we’re gonna have different opinions on what’s important now and what, you know, is going on in the future and what our likes are, what our dislikes are, etc. And, again, my businesses are always evolving, and even during COVID I have added on a couple new business models and ideas, but I’ve also really focused in on the things that I struggle with, and getting better at doing those things. And I want you to always be aware of where you want to go next, and what you want to focus on next, and how to get there because that is what evolving actually is. It’s important to redefine your business and your marketing strategies to reflect the constant evolution and change, what is actually needed to be changed so that that fits with the needs of your clients and also the needs of your own interests and of your business.
So how do you set goals for yourself if things are always changing? Being an entrepreneur is being able to do the work you want to do and work with the people you want to work with, plus create your own space in the world. So I want you to hear me on this. You are allowed and strongly encouraged to say no to work, or no to an opportunity, that you just don’t want to be doing or that you don’t feel like aligns with your brand. You are also allowed to break up with a client or to fire them, or to literally dig your heels deep in and stand your ground with your existing policies.
I say that because as I’m recording this, this past Sunday, I had a bride reach out to me who has a wedding scheduled for this coming Saturday. And she has chosen to cancel it due to forecasted rain, forecasted rain through the week leading up to her event and on her wedding day. And she wanted to know what our refund policy was our refund policy and I do Don’t have a refund policy. I have a cancellation policy that is in place that says if you cancel within 30 days of your event date, there are no monies refunded, and your credit will be held for a full year from your event date to use towards future service. So I explain that. I copy it out of the contract, her and her fiancé both signed my contract, and she writes back, misinterpreting a portion of that cancellation policy, choosing to read it as she wanted to read it and says, “Well, we paid in full. So what is our refund policy?” and I wrote her back and said, “To be clear: if clients choose to cancel their wedding within 30 days of their event date, there are no refunds. Their credit is held for a year for a future event. For clients that give a written 30-day notice prior to arriving at the 30-day event mark to their date, they are not obligated per my contract to pay their final balance that is due at 30 days to their event date, but they will not receive a refund on their initial 50% non-refundable retainer.” So, in effect, there are still no monies refunded. And then I didn’t hear anything until just a few moments ago when I paused recording this episode to answer the Sugar Creek phone number and spoke to the bride’s mother. And while she was very pleasant and kind on the phone, she wanted me to give her daughter’s money back. And I’m sorry, this falls under my cancellation policy. I don’t have a government mandate preventing me from working. I offered to help her find another venue space as a backup plan. I offered for her credit to be used in my own petite studio wants to become available in a few weeks. She mentioned that she’s expecting her third child, and I offered the space for a rental for a baby shower. I also suggested a backyard dinner party for her closest best friends. But ultimately, no, she didn’t want that, she just wanted a refund, and the mom just wanted a refund. And she starts off some of the conversation – well, I answer the phone – and she started off the conversation with, “May I please speak to a supervisor or manager?” “Well, you’re speaking to her.” And then she apologized for assuming that I wasn’t a small-run business. And then she gave me this story and really wanted to get me on the phone and not do all these emails back and forth, and hope that that would play to my sensibilities to refund her daughter’s money back. And I again explained that they both signed my contract. They knew the rules going into their event. I’ve offered, you know what it is that they can do. I don’t even have to honor credit. That is a gift. I don’t have to honor a credit. But I’m going to because that’s the right thing to do. But I also have policies in place to protect me as an entrepreneur and business owner because when you book with me, those rentals are no longer available for another client on the same day. So I can’t book them. I can’t make revenue on those things, and if you cancel, and you expect your money back, and I had the opportunity to sell those rentals on the same day, that I’m double-losing money, and that’s not how any business functions. And she made it a point to tell me her husband runs a small business and she understands, but that she’s hoping that I would just do this one thing for them. And literally, silence is your best, your best answer when somebody is trying to push you into a corner you don’t want to go into. So I, for the most part, kept quiet and let her do her talking and then answered when it was appropriate for me to answer. And the very end, she said, “Well, I’m very disappointed, but I understand your policy, but I am really disappointed.” Well, all I said was, “Okay.” And then she thanked me for my time, and we hung up. I can understand you’re disappointed. You’re disappointed in your daughter. You’re disappointed in the situation. You’re disappointed in COVID. You’re disappointed in a lot of things, but you can’t be disappointed in me because I haven’t done anything wrong. I was holding up my end of the contract by showing up for her daughter’s wedding and trying to figure out how to make her daughter’s wedding still happen outside of the rain. But also, in my contract, I have a rain policy, and if there is no backup plan in place for me to go with my rentals, I don’t even bring them out of the trailer or the truck. So they would have even been more pissed at me had I shown up on site but then refused to get anything out because there was no rain plan. I wouldn’t have let it get that far; I would have reached out the Wednesday before the Saturday event and said, “What is the backup plan?” and here’s what you agreed to.
But all this to say, as evolving our businesses, I have made additional investments in shoring up processes and shoring up systems and getting more things in place so that these things are hopefully prevented in the future. Will they be prevented? No, everybody’s gonna push your buttons, but, or try to occasionally. We all want something, and sometimes what we want isn’t fair to other people, but we don’t care because we’re short-sighted or blindsided or whatever.
So you are allowed to break up with a client or fire them. You are allowed to stand your ground. This is your business you’re running. This is a way you’re trying to put food on your table. Evolving is being open to change and willing to make adjustments as needed. And we have to do that in our businesses. Moving forward in your business, you should be continuing to redefine what you do best and keeping yourself in a position where your clients and the projects you take on, stay in alignment as you evolve. So whether you’ve been in business one month or one year or five years, I need you to keep asking yourself as you evolve, what do you want? Do you enjoy working on this? Are you happy with the types of projects you are working on? What do you want to do next? Do you have an opportunity to try something new? How do you do more of what you want and less of what you don’t want? Whether that be hiring a team member or virtual assistant, starting a CRM, like Dubsado, I absolutely love Dubsado. If you need a CRM, Dubsado is legit. I actually love to Dubsado. Been using it for over a year for my Sugar Creek business. If you test out their platform, tell them I referred you, say “Boss Girl” in the referral, that would be awesome. And whether you’re trying to get more organized, aka Dubsado, or investing and things you need more help with, which is what I’ve been doing lately, is trying to get processes streamlined and systems in place.
But I need you to never stop redefining what makes you happy in your business because that is the key. And then going back to those systems, your systems create structure for you, and it’s how your work gets done. It allows you to make tasks happened faster. It allows you to have processes for larger products. It helps you to identify who on your team will do what and how the processes will apply to the systems on the projects or tasks that you’re doing within your business. The systems are the big picture, the actual container of your processes, but your processes are the steps, the game plan, the roadmap that makes up your system, the sequence of activities to actually do those things in your systems. So if you haven’t had a chance to do those things, this is, like, the best time ever to do them. And especially because we’re coming into summer, which is slow down for a lot of us.
And get yourself in order, and you can do this by taking notes. A friend of the community used to do this. I don’t know if she still does but she if she really wanted to know how she was spending her time, and how effective she was in doing the processes and systems that she already had in place, or if she didn’t, she would sit down and catalog, like an attorney, every 15 minutes of her day, of her workday. That might get a little tedious if you did it for your full day, but if you truly wanted to know how you’re spending your time, this is a great way to catalog it. And do that for a solid week. And then go back and analyze. And how, analyze how you, you did in that week, and what could be better, what could be a system, what could be a process, and get those things in place, so you’re most efficient because we don’t need to be spending 70 hours working in our business. We need to be spending 30 hours working our business, in and on our business. We need to not be hustling ’til we can’t hustle anymore because then our mental capacity goes down the tube, and then you’re gonna really want Better Help. Which, again, no shame in that y’all. trybetterhelp.com/bossgirl.
So all that to say, our businesses need to continually evolve. As things are presented, whether they’re good or they’re bad, we will constantly be in an evolving state. Just don’t be the revolving door that just never changes. We will grow, our businesses will grow, new things will present themselves – again, good and bad – and we have to make those pivots, and we have to make those tough decisions, and we have to make those giant leaps of faith to keep going forward because we need to continue to evolve.
Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. Shout out again to today’s show sponsor trybetterhelp.com. Again, my listeners will receive 10% off their first month of service: trybetterhelp, H-E-L-P.com/bossgirl. I will be back next week with another one episode of Boss Girl Creative podcast. Until then, I hope you have a great rest of your week.