How To Identify What To Focus On Right NOW

If you’re like many Graphic/Web Designers and other creative services providers, you might be overwhelmed with choices about what work to do. The client work is usually easy. It’s the running and growing the business where many get confused faced with a barrage of ideas adn conflicting advice…

What You Will Learn In this Show:

  • Which steps are right for your business - 0:09
  • Why your business is like a car - 2.40
  • An explanation of the 4 different stages of business - 3:47
  • The "Which Creative Entrepreneur Are You?" Quiz - 15.26

Key Takeaways &/or Action Points

  •  When you focus on the right steps for your stage of business, it stops overwhelm and makes it easier to grow your business.
  •  You can't skip these steps or your business will stop growing and/or be a nightmare to run.
  • While it might feel frustrating if you realise you're not as far ahead as you'd like, at least if you know you can do something about it and accelerate your results.
  • Take the quiz to identify what steps are best for YOU to focus on right now.

Show Notes:

Stay tuned to find out more about how to know which steps are right for you to take in your business.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Una Doyle. I’m the founder of and my business helps creative business owners in creative services such as designers, web designers, graphic designers, animators, PR marketing consultants, photographers, videographers. If you do a creative service, then I can help you grow your business.

One of the things that happens quite a lot with people is that they can get very easily overwhelmed as to what are the right steps to be taking in their business because let’s face it, we have so much information at our fingertips. We can Google things. We can watch videos on YouTube. We can be watching everything and reading everything on Facebook. All the emails that we get. There is no end to the amount of information you can get a hold of.

Plus, you have the people in your life. Your peers and other people who might also be giving you some advice.

Because this is something that happens quite a lot. I think one of the things is that it’s natural really if you haven’t been shown what to do because we all end up with these ever-increasing to-do lists. There’s so many things that you can choose to do. How do you know which are the right steps for you to take?

This is where I have set up a quiz and it’s called the Which Creative Entrepreneur Are You quiz.

This quiz will help you to identify which stage of business you are actually at. This is so important because you don’t want to be trying to run before you can walk.

Think about it with the point of view of a car. If your car right now is like a normal kind of family car but you would like to have something that is much more top end. Perhaps you might even fancy doing Formula One at some point.

The thing is, is that you can’t go from where you are now to Formula One without actually learning to be a better driver. You’ve got to actually learn the skills of how to drive that different vehicle. It’s exactly the same when it comes to what you’re doing in your business. You’ve got to learn entrepreneurial skills from where you are now and which steps you need to take to get to the next level.

There are four different stages.

The dreamer.  

This is where somebody is trying to get off the ground. They haven’t really got the traction that they want yet. They might be making some sales but they’re not making a kind of proper living from it yet.

With that, it’s really important that they get to understand what are the things that they need to be focusing on right now in order to move their business forward. It is so tempting to think, “Oh, well I have to have a fully blown website and business cards and all these different things.” Actually, they quite often don’t make any difference. That isn’t actually what you really need right now.

Sometimes people are tempted to start doing advertising campaigns but they haven’t actually really figured out how to structure and package what you have yet in a way that actually earns you a good living.

Quite often at this point, people are trying different things. They try this, it doesn’t quite work. They try something else that might quite work. They try something else. It’s good to have some trial and error but if it isn’t done in the right way - in a structured way - it can just end up coming across like you’re all over the place.

Sometimes I’ve had some of my clients say to me, “Well, I’ve been in business 5 years, 10 years, even one person said 20 years and they actually felt like they were in this stage.

You can have money coming in but it can be much much harder if you haven’t put the right steps in place for it.

The worker.  

At the worker level, you are earning. This is where you probably get new clients primarily by networking, social media, word of mouth, and you haven’t quite yet figured out how to grow your business without cloning yourself or killing yourself in the process.

The things that need to happen here are you’ve got to get structure around your sales and how you’re running your business. You have to be able to streamline all of that. You’ve also got to start really building awareness and your brand in a much more thorough way.

This happened to me before I understood this and even a couple of times even after I knew it. You’ve got to implement these strategies for a while to get them really to sink in sometimes.

At this stage where people are getting sales coming in, they might think, ”Right, I’m going to scale up now.” However, they don’t always have enough things in place to do that. It’s almost like when they’re spinning all these plates and then they go, “Right, I’m going to go and run a promotion. I’m going to have some sort of a campaign.” So their attention turns over here but then all these plates that were spinning, they just fall and crash. So, it’s really important to do things at the right level. You’ve got to put some things in place first before you look to scale your sales.

Quite often, people are kind of halfway straddled between the worker and the builder level where they are starting to build their team. It’s time to scale the business but they’ve got to do it in such a way that they know who they're selling to. They know what works and they’re outsourcing, they’re starting to build their first team but the danger there is that you’ve got to put the right structure into the way you plan your business and systemizing your business. If you don’t put those things in place, then your team is going to end up being really expensive.

You’ve got to build that solid foundation so that the business could actually run without you because at this stage, at the builder level, this is really the pure lifestyle business where you’re earning a great income. You have the support that you need but the business still depends on you at this point.

You should be able to go away for awhile and things are still ticking over but really without you after not too long it is just going to start fizzling out. Maybe if you’ve ever had an experience where you had to come out of the business maybe for health reasons, maybe you were travelling, or maybe you had family that you needed to help out.

I had this happen to me a couple of years ago when my parents were getting ill and they were passed away. I had to take loads of time out from my business, which was great of course to go and spend time with them in Ireland. That was great to be able to do that and to have the freedom to be able to do that. However, it had a massive impact on my business. It’s really important to be able to build the right systems and structures around you so that doesn’t happen.

The leader.  

This is where you’ve got- you know have got teams of employees. They’re not just outsourced people. They’re actually working for you. Even if they’re working remotely, they are employed by you and you are not the only one delivering. You can have other people delivering to the clients whatever your products and services are.

And at this point, you ought to be able to go away for two or three months and the business would run without you. In fact, sometimes people find it runs nearly better without them if they have been setup in the right way.

So and here, you know, you want to be focusing on new products and ventures, you know, perhaps new markets. And so, the challenge most people have at this level is they haven’t figured out how to step back from the business. And they’re kind of too involved in the day-to-day. And so- and they’re kind of having got the teams working in the right way so they keep getting pulled in. So that’s what I would typically do. Team workshops as opposed to one-to-one coaching and, you know, group coaching that I would do with the other levels.

Now, obviously I’ve only got a few minutes here to talk about this and what I want to do is just explain to you that I have- I’ve setup this quiz and you can go and take the quiz. I’ll drop the link into the comment.

And I want you to go and do this because this quiz is going to help you to identify which level are you at now. And when you get to the results page, you’re going to find that there are three steps for you to take – these are the things for you to focus on.

And there are also three mindset shifts that you need to make, to make these steps work for you as well. Okay?

So, in doing those, then you will be able to really focus in on what’s important. Get rid of the rest. Either ditch it or just park it for later. You know, I’m sure you have loads of great ideas of things you could do. But is now the right time to be doing them? Or maybe you’ve been hesitating about doing something and then you’ll see, “Oh right. Okay, actually yes, I do need to go ahead at this.” Maybe by not changing the steps that I’m working on, I’m actually holding myself back. So you can kind of go either way.

Now, what I’ve done is I wanted to give people more- more information and insights around these steps and mindset shifts. So, what I’m doing is a live video series. And for those of you who do the quiz, you are going to get those emailed to you as well. So, if you miss out, that’s not a problem.

But around 5 or 6 every day for the next few weeks, I am going to do a live where I’m focusing on one of these steps or one of these mindset shifts starting with the dreamer and working my way through the different stages.

So click the get notification button to make sure that you don’t miss out on these even if you can’t attend live. If you click the notification it will be there for you when you actually want to get it, you know, when you’re ready to watch it.

And, you know, please if you have any questions, pop them in the comments and I will come back and answer them.

And I think, yep. Talk about the builder level. Okay. Did not talk enough about that. I’m not sure if I missed that.

The builder .  

This is where you’re starting to grow your team. And what you need to do is enhance your planning and your systems. Okay? Because what happens is when your team- you start bringing your team on and you have been used to do doing everything yourself. If you don’t create the processes because quite often the people you’re bringing in, they’re running the parts of your business that you’re not maybe not so excited about. And- so that’s quite often processes, you know, the things that have to happen over and over again that for us more creative and entrepreneurial types can be a bit dull.

So, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting all these things organized and structured so that you can- can actually outsource them to other people.

And the other thing is, is that when you- when it’s just you at the dreamer or worker level, you could do what you want when you want but when you are starting to have other people around you, then you need to plan more long term. Okay?

So the planning that I would do with someone who’s at the dreamer or worker level is different than what I would do at the builder level. And then at the leader level, it’s completely different again.

So- and that’s the thing that I think a lot of people don’t understand is that the steps you take have got to be different depending on where you are in your business and where you want to go. Like for some people they might go, “Oh, the lifestyle business sounds great. I just want to be there. I don’t want to have loads of teams.” And that’s absolutely fine. But you also have to know what to do to stay there so that you don’t slip back or that you don’t end up going further than you want. Do you know what I mean?

And really my- my- I want everybody to get at least to that builder level because that’s where you stop having the money stresses at the dreamer and worker level. It still feels like it can go at any point and it tends to be that feast and famine thing happening. Whereas, at the builder level, when you’ve done all those steps and occasionally sometimes people need to go back and do one or two steps. Then, when you have all those steps in place, then it’s going to work well for you.

Okay, so. I think we got everything there. Brilliant. Amazing. I totally am going to be there, Nilofer. Great stuff. I look forward to seeing you there.

I’m going to wrap this up now. Take the quiz and you’re going to see the results page and then over the coming weeks, I’m going to be able to send you out this video course with more detail around it. And that going to really help you to implement it.

Okay, have a fantastic day and week. I’m going to be here tomorrow at 5PM GMT so that’s 12 noon EST and I’m going to be talking about the first step for the dreamer to take.

Okay, I will see you then. Bye. 

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Una Doyle

About the Author

Una Doyle

Una is a Business Coach & Strategist for Creative Services Providers (Design, Animation, Marketing/Digital Agencies, etc.). She helps them to stand out from the crowd confidently & profitably so they can attract high-level, 'Ready to Invest' clients, doing creative work that fills their hearts with pride - WITHOUT selling their soul or adding extra workload.

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