Are your ready to grow your business into something more than just a side hustle? Are you chomping at the bit thinking about all of your earning potential? The idea of making six figures in your business is enticing, and some people make it look soooo easy. But, I’m here to tell you the truth about what it’s like getting your business to that place. Nothing but cold hard facts here.
And believe me, I know what I’m talking about. I started my business from the ground up. A few years ago, I only had $5 in the bank and had just gotten through a not-so-fun divorce. It was super tough! But I knew that I wanted GYST Ventures to be successful. In just three short years, I managed to scale my business from zero to six figures managing a business online. How cool is that?! I’m grateful to be able to do what I love, AND teach others how to organize and grow their dream businesses too.
Here’s another thing – I’m a firm believer that there IS enough business to go around. No scarcity mindset here! Community is so much greater than the competition, which is why I have a passion for building up other biz owners. If you want to get to earning six figures, I have no doubt that you’ll be able to make it happen. But, I’m here to give you a real look inside what it takes.
I know, I know. I’m sure you’ve heard it’s not easy a bunch of times already. But it’s true! Once you accept that it won’t be an easy journey, you’ll really start to understand what you need to do. I’ve seen so many businesses grow over the years (including my own) and not one time was there a quick hop, skip, and jump to profits. You’ll change paths, get new ideas, try out new business models, and more on your way to success, and that’s okay. It’s a process, but you’ll get there if you just keep going.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to have to make sacrifices for the good of your business. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s going to happen. For me, that looks like working evenings and weekends. It also means that I can’t fully unplug when I’m on vacation. I want to make sure my clients are always taken care of to the best of my ability, so I make sure that I’m accessible.
You’re going to sacrifice sleep, events, and more all in the name of supporting your business. Now, this is more likely to happen when you’re just getting started. A good tip to minimize these sacrifices is to establish healthy boundaries in your business. This will make sure that you still have time to be “off.” I mean, one of the reasons to become self-employed is to have more freedom, right? Another tip is to hire help when you’re getting too busy to do everything on your own. Online business managers, copywriters, virtual assistants, bookkeepers, and more can provide a lot of value AND cut down your personal to-do list.
Ooh, it’s getting juicy now. When a business owner says that they make six-figures, it’s not ALL profit. I know it might seem that way sometimes, but here’s a well-known secret – people on social media curate their lives so you see what they WANT you to see. And sometimes, they might make their businesses look a bit more glamorous for your benefit. That’s led to a bit of a misconception about what it really means to make six-figures, and sometimes people just assume! But here’s the tea – every dollar doesn’t go into your personal bank account. Your take-home pay is only a percentage of what you bring in as a business owner.
So what else takes away from your total income? Well, for one (big) thing, there’s taxes! Yup, that’s right. People forget that entrepreneurs need to set aside money for their taxes. They’re not working for a company that takes them out beforehand, so it’s up to you alone. If you’re confused about how to prepare and pay for your taxes, I highly recommend working with an accountant.
Business expenses also majorly cut into your profit when you’re a business owner. It costs money to keep things going! Now, online businesses will (usually) have less cost to keep the business running, but there will ALWAYS be something to pay for. Not fun, but necessary.
I think it’s important to be transparent about these things because people have high hopes for making six-figures without realizing that they won’t get to keep every penny. Yes, I earned six-figures last year with my business. Did I put all of that money into my pocket? Absolutely not.
Questioning yourself or questioning your business, in general, is completely normal, especially in the beginning. I questioned myself so often that I really had to put in a lot of effort to build myself up. Some of the general knowledge questions might sound like, “What the heck is an LLC? Do I need one?” or “How do I find someone to support my business?” You’re going to feel overwhelmed, and that’s okay. The good news is you have a world of resources at your fingertips! Do some research, watch Youtube videos, read blogs, connect with others in Facebook groups, and just get yourself out there.
The times during which you question yourself might be a bigger hurdle, but trust me, you’ll figure it out over time. You just have to decide what’s important and what’s not. Where do your priorities really lie? I know that I constantly questioned myself about not only my knowledge but my true wants and needs. I wondered, “Is this the right path for me?” Questions about my family and how they were affected by my business also popped into my head. After a lot of reflection, I knew that I wanted to move forward and continue building my business.
You’re going to have questions, doubts, and concerns. Get used to it! Just know that if you keep pushing forward you’ll get to where you want to be.
Okay, okay. This one sounds a little cliché, but there’s a reason people say it a lot! Entrepreneurship is not an easy journey (see above 😉). Finding a group of like-minded individuals that are also building their businesses is a great way to create a network of support. If you ever have a question or just need to vent, you’ll have your people! It’s pretty cool, honestly.
So you might be thinking, “Michelle, I don’t have any friends that are starting businesses. Where do I meet new people?” Here’s my answer – you’re going to have to search outside your current social circle. Heck, what’s the point of having the Internet if you don’t take advantage of it? Find people online! You’d be amazed at the friendships you can make with other entrepreneurs even though you may never meet in person. And being a part of a community is a powerful thing for your resilience and confidence.
I’m personally a member of the Rising Tide Facebook group and I LOVE it. Seriously, I’m so grateful for the connections I’ve made with some of my biz besties in that group. We cheer each other on, bounce ideas off of each other, answer each other’s questions, and share in our wins and struggles. I strongly encourage you to find a similar group of people that you can bond and form friendships with.
Here’s a quick little exercise for you – sit back and think about a client that you would be thrilled to sign. What’s their name? What do they like? Do they have any hobbies? What are their values? I also encourage you to think of the type of business or service your ideal client has. Basically, work on creating a whole persona for the person you’d most like to work with. This is your dream client and everything you do should speak to them so they’re drawn to your business.
If you don’t define your ideal client, then you’re going to struggle to find them. Sure, you could be putting in crazy long hours and making sure that you show up online regularly, but if your messaging isn’t in check then it’s not going to yield results. So many people skip over this step, but it is IMPORTANT.
Whew, I know that’s a lot to take in. Are you scared yet? If you are, I’ve got good news – if you decide to put in the work, then you WILL be able to grow your business. If you put in a consistent effort, you’ll be rewarded both financially and personally. It’s a gift to wake up every day and feel like you truly LOVE what you do, and that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about! You got this 💪🏻