For this entrepreneur, 2014 was a building year. I obtained more contracts than in previous years, yet I came away with less cash. A year from now I plan to reverse that last statement. In 2015 I am going to do less, but come away with more and I wanted to share with the Black Enterprise community how you too can accomplish this feat.
1. Be intentional. Saying you want to “make more money in 2015” is a start. However, there’s a lot more work to it than that. How do you plan to make that money? Are you going to speak at conferences, write books, start a podcast, sell T-shirts, subscriptions to your website, host live events, become an affiliate? Are you going to increase your rates for current clients or just charge your new clients more? Will your business be completely online so you don’t waste money and hours traveling or are you going to “go where the money is” and do more work on the road?
Before you do any of that how are you going to get people who want to buy those things? Are you willing to work for free to build your tribe and your network, have you reached out to your contacts and let them know what projects excite you for 2015 and asked them about theirs? Have you researched changes in social media platforms to make sure your message is getting out to your existing followers and to figure out new ways you can amplify your message?
Making more money means doing more internal work for the money. You have to have a plan if you want to make every hour in 2015 make more money for you.
2. Know who you serve well. I’m really good at a lot of things. This isn’t new. However, it is new for me as an entrepreneur. I want to be “good” for everyone; but as a business plan that isn’t the way to go. I can’t serve every market or contract as an entrepreneur. Trying to do so has lost me more clients than I’d like to admit.
How am I going to be intentional about changing this in 2015? I’m going to hone in on who I want to serve. Just because someone has a problem I can solve—and wants to pay me to solve it—doesn’t mean they are the client for me.
When we solve everyone’s problems (for money or not) we leave a bigger situation for ourselves. We lose time and focus; we give them our best leaving us too depleted to work hard on priorities. If you’ve truly done the work to cultivate the best money making plan you don’t need the extra. And by “extra” I mean extra stress of trying to fit a new client in when you are working on your book or have project meetings planned for website expansion.
Making more money in 2015 could mean referring more people to other sources for their solutions. Give that money away to friends, colleagues, and even your competition (although they aren’t competition if they aren’t serving the same customers). Focus your best on those who you serve the best and watch your business finances flourish as a result.
3. Give to get. Yes, more of this.
This year I’m going to spend a lot more on myself and my business. There are plenty of free YouTube videos, mentors, programs, Coursera courses, etc. out there, and they have served me well up to this point.
However, in the next 365 days, I plan to invest in my business. I’ll be hiring a coach, upgrading my website and my brand, and really looking at how many hours I’m putting into finding and putting together “free” training versus how much value I can get by going to a professional on that next level who has real best practices; someone who can plainly see what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong, and put me on a better path.
What I’ve realized lately is that I’m spending billable hours blindly leading my blind self. I’ve done wonders and I’m so proud, but it is time to put my money where my mouth is and move to that “next level” with an investment in myself. We’ve all heard bootstrap stories, but at some point in the story there is a leap, and those leaps usually came with taking their last few pennies and putting them in someone else’s pockets. I’m definitely ready to give that kind of investment into a different outcome for 2015.
Making more money isn’t always about just getting more dollars; it is also about choosing more wisely how to get those dollars, from where the dollars will flow, and the best way to use them once you’ve obtained them. Entrepreneur to entrepreneur, this is how we are going to come out of 2015 making more money than we did in 2014.