Episode 110: 5 Rules I Run my Businesses By

May 17, 2022

Chasing Simple Marketing


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I'm  Amanda — simplicity-focused content marketing strategist.  I'm here to help you fit your marketing into your business.

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While every small business is different, each should have a set of guidelines or "rules". Today I'm sharing my 5 rules of small business.

5 Rules of Small Business

When it comes to running my business, over the last few years, I’ve developed 5 rules that I live and die by and today I wanted to share them with you. But first – I want to preface this episode by saying that these are the rules that I personally have for myself as a business owner. I am NOT saying that these rules need to be your rules. I am merely sharing what I use to guide myself and and my business. If you want to take inspiration from these, be my guest. But if you have different opinions, I respect that as well. And now that we are clear on that – I’m your host, Amanda Warfield and you’re listening to episode 110 of the Chasing Simple Podcast. Let’s dive in.

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When it comes to running my business over the last few years, I’ve developed five rules that I live and die by. And today I wanted to share them with you. But first I want to preface this episode by saying that these are the rules that I personally have for myself as a business owner. I am not saying that these rules need to be your rules.

I am merely sharing what I use to guide myself and my business. And if you want to take inspiration from the. Be my guest, but if you have different opinions, I respect that as well. And now that we’re clear on that, I’m your host, Amanda Warfield. And you’re listening to episode 110 of The Chasing Simple Podcast.

Let’s dive in.:

 I want to start this off by clarifying what it is that, I mean by rules now I am an Enneagram one, which if you know anything about the Enneagram ones live in die and thrive by rules, and that is no different. That is me to a T. you might’ve heard. Other people talk about, or even me possibly talk about core values in your business.

And while that is similar, it’s important to know what your core values are. When I say rules, these rules are different from my core values of my businesses. You’ll definitely see some overlap, right? Because of course your core values should be threaded into every aspect of your business by nature of core values.

But these are different. If you’d like to hear more about what my core values are for my businesses, let me know. And I can do an episode on that for sure. I think that would be fun, but these rules are more so guidelines that I use as boundaries for myself and my business. And also as encouragement. For myself when I need to keep things in check, whether that is a boundary that I need to keep in check, or it is a mindset issue that I need to keep in check.

You’ll understand a little bit more as I tell you what the rules are, but that’s kind of what this is. They’re not really my core values. Although I could see people saying that their core values are their rules in business, and that would absolutely make sense as well, but these are just a little bit different.

So the first of my rules. It’s just ask the worst that they can say is no. And this is something that. Has honestly by abiding by this rule, it has brought me so many opportunities, frankly, almost every opportunity that I have gotten, whether that’s being on a podcast or speaking on a stage or a collaboration that I have done almost every single one of the.

And that’s a lie. I’m going to say every single one of them has come because I just asked even when it was hard and scary, because even the ones where someone reached out to me first, the only reason they thought to reach out to me is because I have been visible in other areas of my business, because I wasn’t scared to ask.

I could not tell you how many different podcast pitches that I have sent out over the years. I could not tell you a hundred. And I’ve been on a small fraction of those. And so often we hold ourselves back in business because we’re scared of that. No, we’re scared of the rejection and the best thing that I have done, one of the best things I’ve done for myself as a business owner is put up a barrier where it doesn’t matter.

The rejection doesn’t matter because it’s not personal, it’s strictly business. when I sent a podcast pitch to someone, they’re either going to say, yes, they’re going to ignore me, or they’re going to say no, but if they ignore me or say, no, it’s not necessary. Because of me it’s because whatever it is that I’m pitching, whatever it is, the high topic I’m pitching is just doesn’t fit with their audience or their lineup.

Or they just are like me. Often people send me pitches all the time and I have to tell them no, because I just simply don’t have the space. And it’s not about them. It’s about my time. And I only have so many podcast episodes that I can put out each year. Right. So just asking. And not being afraid of the no has been a rule that I have lived and died by in my business.

And this isn’t just in situations where I’m pitching to podcast or speaking or any of that stuff. This can also apply to, if you’re thinking about putting a new offer out there, if there is a topic you think you might want to start talking about, put out feelers in your audience. Throw out the email and ask, is this something that you could see being beneficial?

Is this something you would like to hear more about putting a boat, a story, an Instagram post, a Tik TOK, whatever the case may be, just ask the worst that can happen is your audience says no. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know whether it’s the right move or not though. So this is a rule that I live in die by my business because

it keeps my mindset from getting in the way and from stopping myself, it isn’t a matter of, am I good enough to speak on the stage? It’s a matter of, do they think that I fit it? Isn’t a matter of, is this an offer that I can actually put out there? It’s a matter of, does my audience want this for me? It’s not about me.

It’s about how I can serve others. And the only way I know is if I ask. Now, the second role that I have is don’t spend more money than you have. And I’m going to be honest. I have broken this rule and that has only caused stress and overwhelm in my life. If you listened to episode 108, 2 episodes ago, where I am sharing about my business journey, I shared a little bit about a.

Year four of business. I got to a place where I was not sleeping. I was not eating. I was stressed for about a month and a half straight because of my business finances. And I was terrified that I was going to have to use our personal savings, our personal finances. To fund and float the business and it ended up not happening who came close.

It came real, real close, honestly. And it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. There was definitely a lot of what’s the word?

I was putting pressure on myself. I’ll say that I was putting pressure on myself to not have to do that because it made me feel like I would be a failure if that was the case, which is not the case stuff happens. But I had made poor choices financially because I spent more money than I had in the business accounts.

And it put me in a really. Not fun predicament where I was stressed. Am I going to make ends meet this month is the money that’s in the account and the money that’s coming in going to be enough for all of the expenses that is not a fun place to be in business felt much more fun when that was not a stress of mine.

It feels more fun now that it’s not a stress of mine. This is a role that I broke. I had it, I broke it. I will not break it again because I enjoy my business so much more. If I am spending from a place where I know I have the means. I know that this is a very controversial topic. Not everyone agrees with this, but for me personally, this is a rule that in my business just makes the most sense for me.

I am not, I know there are a lot of business experts out there. That’ll say you have to spend money to make money. You grow by investing back in your business. And I’m not saying they’re wrong. I’m just saying that that mindset doesn’t work for me personally.

 But I’m also not striving to make seven, eight figures. That’d be great if I get there one day, that would be cool. Right. But I want to run a business that supports the life I want to live. I want to run a business that allows me to take a ton of time off and to just spend time with my husband and travel and go on vacation.

I want a business that supports my life. Just like a lot of people want a nine to five that supports the life. They live outside of their nine to five.

I want to help others. I want to serve others. One of my core values is a servant hearted approach because I really do want to help other entrepreneurs, other women, business owners, women identifying business owners. I want to help them build the business of their dreams, but the business of my dreams is just to serve others really well, to make a decent income doing it, and to be able to work for myself.

And I’m happy if that’s what I’m able to do. So for me, that was a very long explanation, just because these are, my rules does not mean that they need to be your rules, but this is a rule that I will not break for myself again, because business is more fun when I’m not stressed about finances.

My third rule is that if you don’t put the real work in you, aren’t going anywhere now by real work. What I mean by that is intentional strategic work versus busy work. I absolutely 100% do not encourage anyone to let the administrative tasks slide in their business. Because if you’re on top of things, like keeping your, your computer files organized and on top of your inbox and keeping up with whatever the tasks are that you have for your own administrative category, if you’re on top of those, you’re going to feel better as a business owner.

You’re not going to feel as overwhelmed but understanding what you need to do to move the needle is incredibly important so that you can spend the precious time you have working, putting in the work that’s going to move the needle. I spent at least the first year of business putting in busy work, writing blog posts, making new editorial calendars.

Doing research that led nowhere going on, on and on and on. I put in a lot of busy work for the first, honestly, probably couple of years in business that didn’t really move the needle. And there is a time and place, especially at those beginning few years, right. Where sometimes you don’t know what the next best step is, and you are just kind of throwing spaghetti on the wall and I’m not discounting that that is an important part of your business journey but

there also becomes a time and place where if you’re not putting rework in, you might, could just step away from the office. And that is something that I have to remind myself of constantly, because I like to check all the things off my to-do list, but often there are things on my to-do list that could be put off or that actually don’t matter.

And they’re not going to move the needle for me in my business. And another part to that I think is that we can get so caught up in making sure we’re marketing our business and serving our clients that we don’t actually do the things that we need to for our business. We’re not actually taking steps forward.

I see this a lot with some of my clients. They’re so busy serving their people, which is important, which is very important. And they’re so busy trying to get marketing out to get more people. That they’re not able to work on the backend to clean up their workflows, to make a better client experience, to create that course of they’re wanting to create.

These are the kinds of things I’m talking about. When I say real work, the things that are going to transform your business and take it to the next step. But on the flip side of that rule, number four is that hustle. Isn’t the only way to succeed. And I really have to marry the two of these in order to find that balance within my business, I need to make sure I’m putting in real work.

I’m moving myself towards my goals that I have, but I also need to make sure that I am not rushing through life and rushing through business and not enjoying the moment. And just trying to hustle, hustle, hustle, hustle. I think there’s a time and place for hustle. I don’t think hustle is necessarily the dirty word that we believe it is in this business space, but I also.

think that there is, there’s a lot to slowing down and doing what you can and being okay. Here’s the real key thing for me, for myself, is being okay with what I truly have the ability to get on, get done in any given amount of time. That for me is the biggest trap with trying to hustle is that I put too much on my to-do list for what is.

Logical what I can actually, what is achievable in any given amount of time. And then I ended up in the hustle mindset because I haven’t given myself enough time to do that. So when you marry these two together, number three, if you don’t put the rework in you, aren’t going anywhere. And number four hustle, isn’t the only way to succeed.

 When I’m doing that? Well, it looks like I have this amount of time to work on this. This is the project that I’m working on and I’m going to take as many steps forward on this project as I can. And then I’m going to feel accomplished and happy. So in practical, actionable terms, Wednesdays is my day to work on projects for my Disney business. My travel agency, right. Tuesdays is my day to work on projects for this business. And on those project days, if I am marrying the two of these, well, I give myself. One task list. This is what, this is the project I’m working on right now.

I only have one project at a time. That’s the goal? Let’s say so right now, one of the things I’m working on as this airs, I don’t know where I’ll be with this, but as I’m recording this, one of the things I am thinking about implementing and working on next for magical escape vacations is a shop. So people who.

I don’t want to work with a travel agent. They want to do it themselves. Something that gives them tools to plan their own vacations. When I get to Wednesday in an ideal world, when I’m marrying these two rules work together well, that would look like, okay, here’s my, my project Trello card as for the shop. And then here are all the things I still need to do for the shop.

I’m going to start with the first one. I’m going to work on it until it’s done, or until I run out of time. And then I’m going to put that project away until next Wednesday in an ideal world. That’s how that works for me. Again, these are rules that I am constantly having to remind myself of boundaries.

Then I am putting in place for myself. But that’s how that works in an ideal world. For me, I am working, I’m moving the needle. I’m putting that work in, working on my business and not just in it, but I’m also saying, okay, I got them what I could in this time period. And now I’m putting it away until this time period opens up again next week.

And in my fifth and final rule is that. Are the priority in everything that I do. Like I said, my most deep core value with these businesses is to have a servant hearted approach. I talked about this a bit in rule number two. So I’m not going to go on and on about it, but I’m here.

Because I wanted to work for myself and I wanted to take all of the gifts that I have and use them to serve others. Well, I really love teaching. I really enjoyed teaching preschool, but I knew that I could take my teaching skills and do something even more with them. And now I’ve gotten to this place of being so passionate for helping other business owners simplify their business so that they can live.

Their life. And so rule number five is people are the priority in everything that I do. My clients are the priority. My students are the priority. When I’m working on marketing, my audience is the priority in everything I do. The focus is how can I serve my people? Well, So those are my five roles.

I’m going to run through them again. The first is just ask the worst that they can say is no. The second is don’t spend more money than you have. The third is if you don’t put the real work in you aren’t going anywhere, the fourth is hustle. Isn’t the only way to succeed. And the fifth is people are the priority

like I said previously, just because these are, my rules does not mean they need to be your rules as well. So your action step this week is to make some space, take some time in your week, this week and sit down and think about what rules you have for running your own business. What are your rules for running your business by?

And once you have those, shoot me a DM and share. I would love to hear them. And this week’s book recommendation is People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry. I’m really good at explaining these every week. It’s a meet cute, but they’ve already met because it was a friendship.

And then they were no longer friends and they were trying to rekindle their friendship. It’s really, really cute though. It’s a great fiction read. If you are putting books on hold for the summer, this is one definitely to put on hold. It is a incredible summary. I highly recommend it. So that’s People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry as always.

I will have that link in the show notes and don’t forget to shoot me that DM, let me know what rules you have for running your own business. And until next time, I hope that you got. And Uncomplicate your life and biz.

Hey friend! Just a head’s up — this post may contain affiliate links!

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