My name is Sarah and I'm so glad you're here!
This blog is where you'll find all my best tips and tricks to organize, simplify, and streamline your business and life.
Last week, the day after celebrating our nation’s birthday with the regular pomp and circumstance, I had another celebration of my own because on July 5, 2019, Love & Spreadsheets officially turned two!
In the spirit of celebration, memory, and sharing as much of this business journey as I can, I’m continuing something I started last year when Love & Spreadsheets turned one and sharing a few things I’m glad I did during my second year of business!
More of a video person? Scroll to the bottom to watch the video of this post!
It’s a little bit bonkers to me that this business of mine is already two-years-old, and yet it feels like so much longer because so much has happened since I threw up a website in the summer of 2017 and announced this venture to the world.
Just like year one, year two was full of a ton of ups and downs, mistakes made, and lessons learned. I launched two new services, co-created my very first course, did my first podcast interview, updated the graphic elements of my brand, went to my second business conference, asked a lot of questions, cried a lot of tears, and so, so much more.
Of all of the many things that happened over my second 365 days in business, what are the ones I’m most glad I did? Read on to find out!
My nephew is in the “why” phase of life right now. If you tell him anything, there’s a 99% chance his response will be “Why?” And his response to your response will, once again, be “Why?” And you go around and around again until you run out of answers and resort to some cliche like, “Because I said so” or “I don’t know.”
As frustrating as repeated why’s from a 3-year-old can be, at its heart, asking questions about things in life and business is a really good practice. It’s one I’ve always had, but I made an intentional effort of employing during my second year of business.
At least once a quarter, but usually more often than that, I asked myself regular questions about what was and wasn’t working in my business. Why did the things that were working actually work? What was the good about them? And why were the things that weren’t working not working? Where was the bad or inefficient or frustrating?
When my innovative brain would come up with a new idea, I learned to take a step back and ask myself questions like… is this the best option? Could I accomplish this another way? Will this benefit my business or harm it? Is this the right timing? Do I really need to do this?
As I step into my third year of business, I’m intending to create a defined process for asking these types of questions (if you’re surprised, you really shouldn’t be). At the end of each week, each month, and each quarter, I’ll be asking myself regular, probing questions that ensure I’m always taking time to keep my head on straight.
When Love & Spreadsheets turned one, I launched the original Systems Overhauls.
Over the last 12 months, I’ve done a lot of testing and tweaking, launched a couple other services and products, and continued asking myself questions along the way.
The result was a refining of my offerings at the beginning of 2019. I took the things that already existed in my business, ran them through the strainer of those probing questions, and refined them to create improved services I am completely in love with. I’m excited to share these offerings with my clients because I have full confidence in the value they provide.
And some of the changes I made keep these services in better alignment with my personal goals for what I want my life outside my business to look like!
Collaboration was the name of the game in year two of business and I am so, so glad I said yes!
The first and biggest collaboration by far was, of course, creating Trello Like a Boss with my amazing business bestie, Alexandra of The Productivity Zone. TLAB started because I told Alexandra I was thinking about creating a Trello course and she suggested we do something together. I’m so glad she threw out the idea and so glad we had each other for support and encouragement as we stepped into the crazy world of course creation for the first time!
I also had the opportunity to collaborate with some other amazing business owners through summits, guest expert teachings, podcast interviews, and more.
And you know what? It was so much fun!
The collaborations I got to do with other business owners were some of my favorite experiences of this past year and I’m so excited to make it an even bigger part of my business in year three!
Beyond collaboration, the biggest game changer for my business in year two was stepping into the education space. And it’s something I never expected.
Sometime in the spring of last year, I was talking to Alexandra about how I batch write all my content for the month in a single day. She asked if I could teach people how to do it and while my general response was, “Maybe,” I basically told her I don’t teach people things.
I know. I know.
It was just a few months later that Alexandra threw out the idea of creating Trello Like a Boss together and, well, the rest is history.
Since then, I’ve had the immense privilege of teaching at my local Tuesday’s Together group multiple times, leading workshop sessions, being a guest expert for online communities, and an educator for Creative 24/7.
It has been an absolute blast and, without a doubt, my favorite thing that I’ve stepped into over this most recent year of business. It’s such a delight to share the knowledge I have with y’all in various capacities and I’m looking forward to more opportunities to do that in the year to come!
As an educator myself, I obviously love all the opportunities that are out there for business owners in the form of courses, masterclasses, and the like, but sometimes you just need that one-on-one support to get down to the nitty gritty of what’s happening in your business.
When I started making my financial plan for 2019, I knew I wanted to invest in some sort of conference again, but I also knew I wanted to invest in working with a business coach. Even if it wasn’t on a recurring basis, I wanted to get a second pair of eyes on my business and make a plan to take things to the next level.
There are tons of different coaches out there, but I knew I wanted to work with Ashley Gartland. Months prior on a coffee chat, she’d made the comment that she’s got her services streamlined, her marketing plans in place, and just does her thing. Her business was pretty boring, according to her.
And that’s exactly what I want for my own business, which is why I didn’t even have to question who was the right business coach to work with.
Working with Ashley helped me streamline those services and really hone in on what I want to be known for in the industry. She gave me feedback and asked questions I simply couldn’t have gotten from a course or masterclass. The experience was worth every penny.
While working with Ashley and refining my offerings, I knew it was once again time to increase the price tag on working 1:1 with clients.
It’s always a scary thing to increase that number next to the dollar sign because there’s always that fear that this is the number that will make a client go from, “Heck yes!” to “No way!”
But if a client is your dream client, it’s going to take a lot for the number next to the dollar sign to stop them. It probably won’t be as large a percentage as it was last year and this year, but you better believe my prices will continue to increase in the years to come.
Last year was crazy. A lot happened in 2018 as a whole and a lot happened in the latter half of the year after Love & Spreadsheets turned one.
By the start of the fourth quarter, right after Alexandra and I launched Trello Like a Boss, I was exhausted. I felt like I was in perpetual catch up mode and struggling to keep my head above water because, even though I’d made a plan for the year, so many things had changed after I made that plan.
But I had made a plan at the beginning of 2018 to take two full weeks off over Christmas and New Year’s, which I so needed.
When I mapped out my year for 2019, I made the intentional choice to build rest into the schedule and plan for the year, and it was one of the best decisions I could’ve possibly made for my business.
There are seasons for everything in your business, including hustling and making #allthethings happen. But in order to hustle and show up in your business well in those seasons, you need to allow yourself time to rest and recover.
I’ll be sharing more about how I do that in the months to come, but if you don’t have an intentional plan for rest built into your business already… get on that, girl! You’ll thank me, I promise!
Well, that’s it, friends. Seven things out of many that I’m extremely glad I did during year two of business.
As for year three, well, I guess we’ll have to see what’s in store!
What are some of the things you’re glad you’ve done over the last year in your business? Sound off in the comments! I’d love to hear!