198: How I Nearly Quadrupled My Revenue
There’s a lot of advice out there on how to double or even triple your revenue. And to be honest, I feel like I’ve consumed it all. I’ve taken courses, attended conferences, read books, and obsessively analyzed my income reports. However, nothing beats trying things out yourself and learning from your experiences. And it all starts with having a plan. Business revenue will not increase without a plan to identify the desired outcome and the processes necessary to achieve it.
My business almost quadrupled its annual revenue in 2021. And it wasn’t an accident, neither was it a fluke. It was a tactfully crafted plan combined with a fierce dedication to execution and setting boundaries. Nonetheless, it first required a shift in thinking and the understanding that my business is worth more than most people assume. 2021 has taught me that potential clients will never take a business seriously until the entrepreneur understands the value they bring to the table.
Go Get the Bag and Don’t Apologize For It – 02:19
Even with everything that happened, 2020 was a good year for me and my business. My business ended the year in better shape than I thought it would and pulled in record revenue numbers. And for those of you who know me know that I believe in ‘go big or go home.’ So, 2021 was going to be bigger and better than 2020. I planned it all out and built a foundation around adding more value, setting boundaries, and reassessing rates. Sounds easy, but it wasn’t.
It was one moment that really stood out to me. I ended up declining a proposal after initially tabling a number and almost getting it approved, but then after internalizing it and talking to my assistant, the number didn’t make sense. Mind you; it wasn’t a small number. But like I said, this year was all about setting boundaries, even though it meant sometimes turning down business collaborations. Where am I going with this? This year, it dawned on me that I wasn’t comfortable with a few things in my business, and it all came down to three reasons.
Is It Because I’m a Black Woman? – 10:40
Sometimes I walk out of meetings reflecting on why the deal didn’t go through. And most of the time, if it’s a pricing issue, I almost immediately think it’s because I’m a Black woman. I know it’s unsettling to have these thoughts, but to some extent, it’s true. Some clients, unfortunately, assume that just because I’m a Black woman, I should be cheaper or charge less. But then again, why should I charge less? It’s not like I don’t possess the skills or talents to execute the project with excellence. I believe I’m good at what I do, and the least I can do for my business is charge what I’m worth.
My Childhood Money Mindset – 12:43
I grew up in an environment where most people around me weren’t rich. My money mindset was built upon assuming that not everybody could grow rich or make lots of money. I didn’t realize that most of the money narratives I had as an adult came from the financial behaviors I adopted as a child. So, every time I got into a meeting and a number was tabled, the first thing that came to mind was, “who am I to charge such an amount?” I was also really sensitive to budget issues, such that when a prospect said they didn’t have the budget, I would gladly take whatever was offered to me. Regrettably, this poor money mindset made me accept proposals that weren’t worth the effort I put in– a trait that nearly crippled my business.
You Better Not Charge Too Much – 14:34
There was this influential person whose opinion I really valued. The person was an industry expert and from our interaction, I adopted this idea of “don’t charge too much.” I didn’t know I had it in me, but every time I negotiated price, I often found myself charging less–sometimes I’d end up losing money on a project.
What I’m trying to say is that the type of advice you listen to matters. You may not notice it at first, but the consequences can be detrimental if it’s the wrong advice.
Do What’s Right For Your Business – 18:06
Like I said, this year, I had my mind set on growing my business. It was only until later in the year that I realized that growing a business is a lot more than scaling the technical aspects of your business. It’s also about developing you as an entrepreneur and differentiating yourself from the business. Remember, you and your business are two different entities. You might be the face of your brand, but that doesn’t mean what’s good for you is what’s good for the business. Separate yourself from the business and never let your feelings stop you from doing what’s right for your business.
Here’s the thing, the first step towards caring for your business is investing in your business. This year I almost quadrupled my revenue, and it’s all because I did three things. I focused on business development, proper marketing and invested in human resources. All these things demand that you operate in the right mindset. I believe business success always starts within. If you don’t believe you’re worth the pay or your business can succeed, then success will be a thing of your dreams.