Friday #2a: Give to Get
When mapping out our 5 Fridays to Funemployed coursework, my streak of indecisiveness reared its ugly head. On one hand, it’s supposed to be 5 Fridays. On the other hand, I’VE GOT INFO TO SHARE! I’m not one to be stingy, so I figured, why the hell not break a few rules? I mean, it is my series, right?! So here we are with Friday #2a.
Last week, I talked about the importance of establishing a platform, which included separating your social media profiles, building a website, and establishing an email list. (If you missed it, send me a shout out and I’ll bring you up to speed.) Today, I want to take this platform talk a step further, and delve into all that building a platform (and a business, really) entails: investments.
A little backstory before we dive in: I’ve been blessed with an amazing mother who’s easily the wisest woman I know. She also happens to be the most blessed woman I know. I’ve had the privilege of growing up watching her run a very successful medical practice, a practice that my brothers, cousins, and I all worked for at one point. Because she often brought her work home, I got to see first-hand what it takes to build and sustain a successful business, and try my hardest to implement those same things today.
My mom is also the queen of dropping gems; she has life mantras that she types up and places on my desk when she’s sensing that I’m in need of a good word. Without a doubt, the most poignant piece of advice she’s ever given me was this:
What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.
Throughout my lifetime I’ve been inspired by her munificence; I’ve seen her provide jobs, pay for schooling, purchase cars, help launch churches…you name it, she’s throwing herself into working with and spending money to help others. She made giving a cornerstone of who she is even before opening her practice, and I try to live my life the same way.
Janna, where are you going with all of this?
Too often in business we want to do everything ourselves, keeping every penny we make close to our vests. If we make $100, we want to keep $100.
But that’s not how good business works.
As we start out on our entrepreneurial journey, we’ve got lots of needs—needs that we realistically can’t meet on our own. We’re not Jacks & Jills-Of-All-Trades; we need people with a specific expertise to help us grow, to help polish our brand, and to take things to the next level.
Simply put, you can’t reach the next level if you refuse to invest in the tools needed to get there. You can’t grow your business if you refuse to invest in its success, and your potential customers can absolutely tell when you’re investing in your business…and when you’re not.
So, invest in others.
Book a session with a photographer for professional photoshoot.
Hire a professional web designer to revamp your site.
Contract a copywriter and/or editor to write/review the content on your website (is it clear, concise, well-written, and typo-free?).
Pay a graphic designer to create your logo.
Use a business coach to help you gain clarity in your business model.
Connect two people who could potentially collaborate (If someone needs a DJ for their party, recommend the DJ, but throw in a great event photographer who could perfectly capture the evening.).
Are you catching my drift?
I make it my personal mission to plant seeds of support for fellow small businesses through spending money and connecting, and you can bet that this goodness makes its way back to me.
Every time I pay for someone’s coaching course, I’m planting a seed.
Every time I feature a small business in my weekly articles, I’m planting a seed.
Every time I buy a friend’s jewelry, I’m planting a seed.
And I hate to break it to you: Liking a post isn’t support. A shout out on Instagram isn’t support.
You know what is support?
It’s the only way businesses can grow and sustain. Not through retweets, not through shout outs, not through the barter system. Cold. Hard. Cash.
AND PAY FULL PRICE.
Propose a payment plan if you need to, but never ask a business owner or freelancer to do full-price quality work at a discounted rate. If they offer a special rate just for you, great! Otherwise, you're sending a message that yourbusiness needs trump their need to make a living.
So, to wrap things up, stop being stingy. Get rid of the mindset that hoarding your money is the way to get rich. It isn't.
If your hands are closed when it’s time to give, those same closed hands won’t be in a position to receive.
What you make happen for others, God (or the Universe, or whatever you believe) will make happen for you.
Identify areas in your business that could use some help. Examine your platforms, your practices, your business model, your photos, etc. and think about what’s in need of a boost. Then, find a small business owner or freelancer who can help you level up.
Until next Friday,
-Janna M. Hall