Over the years I’ve spent a donkey schlong’s worth of money investing in my business.
I’ve had a fucking HUGE team (20+ staff), expensive software, multiple websites, coaches, training programs, spending $500k in one year on printing workbooks… I’ve spent a decent whack of cash.
And I wanted to share with you what’s been hands down the best investments I’ve ever made. So you can learn from my mistakes & successes without having to spend as much dosh as I have!
Coming in at number five we have: My software soulmates of Kajabi and Canva!
They make my business sooooo. much. simpler.
Mama loves simple.
And I don’t like spending a shit tonne of money on contractors… Kajabi and Canva make managing my online business & creating designs doable just with me & my part-time assistant.
Kajabi is an all-in-one workhorse that I base my business on. It runs my mailing list, all my customers and my e-courses. I could also run my website + blog over there buuuut with over 2000 blog posts here, I decided to stay put on WordPress, for now.
PLUS!!! Kajabi give you PRIZES for reaching certain milestones.
Gimme all the presents *grabby hands*
I used to use a bunch of different software cobbled together to do what Kajabi does. When I signed up with Kajabi, it meant I could kill off Infusionsoft, Memberium, Vimeo, Leadpages and more.
Plus with Infusionsoft it was so bloody confusing I had to hire expensive Certified Infusionsoft Consultants to make any changes. Which is about the dumbest fucking thing on earth. Pro tip for software companies: if your users can’t even use your damn service without hiring pricey tech peeps, you’re doing something wrong.
I’ve never had to hire a “Certified Kajabi Expert” to do anything – I don’t think they even have any. What me and my assistant can’t work out, we’ve been able to quickly get sorted using Kajabi‘s free chat support.
Canva‘s my other software soulmate. Canva makes it easy to design images without needing to buy crazy-priced Adobe software and spend a lifetime learning it.
In the last big brand refresh we did with Soul Stirring Branding, they uploaded all our design elements into Canva with templates and recommendations on how to use them. So now, whenever me or my assistant need to make a new graphic, we can make something super easily in a few minutes. Business and creating at the speed of life!
Simple. Quick. Effective. Cheap.
Number four! A customer service VA!
Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) to answer customer service emails for me was one the first big splurges I made for my business… and it’s still one of my favourite favourite things to spend my business cash on now.
I started with someone who did maybe 3 hours a MONTH – billed in six minute increments. And then over time, built up hours as needed.
Seriously, seriously, seriously. Get someone on board, even just for a couple of hours a month, to answer your customer service enquiries.
You could spend ALL your time in an inbox or social media DMs just answering questions and, oh? What’s that? Not getting any actual work done? The absolute woooooorst.
Having a customer service VA will save you time AND money. You’ll go in and check emails a hundred times a day, read them, think about answering, get distracted, come back three days later, still not answer it. It will seem like answering emails takes you for-fucking-ever. A VA instead will go in your inbox, process each email, set up and use canned autoresponders to commonly asked questions, be super professional, won’t get emotionally attached and will get out. In like 20 minutes. Easy peasy.
Gift yourself the opportunity to work on the things that will propel your business forward instead!
My current VA/OBM started out just running customer service a couple of hours a week, and now, nearly 3 years later, she does all sorts of things behind-the-scenes for me for 20 hours a week. One part-time VA is my sweet spot. Yours might be a full time team, and that’s totes magotes grand too. You just won’t KNOW what your sweet spot is until you try it.
But don’t go answering customer service emails yourself.
You can’t give from a depleted well. And neither can the people working for you. It’s really fucking important to nurture self-care within yourself and your business.
Reminder: you are not your business. you are a person.
Take time off. Delegate to your team. Make sure your team aren’t burning out too.
Burnout is a rough road to recover from. Better to avoid it all together if possible.
What does self care look like?
- Having boundaries around what you will do and what you won’t do… and FOLLOWING those rules.
- Having times when you can work undistracted… and hours and days of the week where you don’t work at all.
- Have hobbies outside of your business!
- Taking care of your mental health: therapy! Medication! Supportive relationships!
- Taking care of your physical health: massages! Osteopathy! Bodywork! Nutritious foods that are easy for you to eat! (For instance: I bulk buy Lara Bars to have on hand when snackkky.)
- Taking care of your spiritual health: women’s circles! Connection time with friends! Creative side projects! Solo time! Dedicated time each week to fill your well!
#2: My favourite laptop
SO. I have somewhat of an odd purchase to share with you… one that I think makes me seem a bit RICHY RICH. But I think it’s well worth it.
Here’s the story:
I have finicky hands (like the rest of my body). I have hypermobility which means my bones dislocate more easily than they should, and I’m prone to inflammation, muscle and joint pain and strains. In the past this has meant I’ve had carpal tunnel and RSI in my wrists and fingers. I’ve tried all kinds of keyboards over the years. When I worked at Window desktop machines at my office job, I would always need to pair it with an ergonomic keyboard to save my hands.
But as a writer and entrepreneur now, I much prefer to work on laptops. Laptops are always tricky though – they need to super thin so the front edge doesn’t press into my wrists when typing. Touchpad needs to be small so I don’t need to spread hands too widely around it. Keys need to be fairly responsive to touch so I don’t need to type hard.
Currently, the only laptop that fits those parameters is the Macbook Air (2014-2017 era). After then, they changed the touchpad and keys and they fucking SUCKKKKKKK on my hands. So I had one prized laptop that worked for me for 6 years until its battery started failing a year ago and I was like OHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WOT AM I GOING TO DO. So I had the battery replaced, but the experience scarred me: what on earth would I do if my one precious laptop failed and I couldn’t get a replacement? THINK OF MY BROKEN HANDS, I BEG OF YOUUUU CRUEL WORLD!
I bitched about this at length to my husband, and then fortuitously decided to bitch to the local IT store salesperson. And he was like: “Let me check… but I’m pretty sure we still have stock from 2016 that hasn’t been sold?” I was all: “Shut your mouth and bring it to me now, you magnificent bastard!” And he did. And that’s how we decided to fork out $2k for a laptop that had been sitting in a store room for four years. I’ve never treasured something more before.
I actually did have some money blocks about it, as DDT would say. I was like “Who am I to have TWO laptops? It feels VERY RICH! And to be so pretentious as to want only an old model version as well!”
My husband was kind and thoughtful. “Honey, you’re a writer. And every writer has their weird hangup about what they need to write on. Some have a beloved typewriter. Some will only handwrite on one kind of paper. It doesn’t really matter. Plus, whatever it takes to keep your body from hurting, we need to do that. It will save on medical bills later!”
No R.S.I for me, thank you very much. I need these beautiful hands of mine for creating and mothering and writing vast tomes about donkey schlongs and gesturing wildly when reading romance novels.
Very important shit.
So: the tool of my trade. SORTED.
And finally, in the number 1 slot… EDUCATION!
I remember the very first business course I ever bought back in 2007/8. It was $100, and I SHOOK when deciding to buy it. It felt huge and enormous to me.
But I learned SO MUCH from that one course. And very quickly, brought in $10,000 that I wouldn’t have brought in without it. And that’s when I really saw: education has the best return on investment.
I wasn’t born great with money or marketing or business (or much else for that matter, except for being a creative space cadet!) but I was able to LEARN how to be great through courses and books.
Like: how amazing is it that you can GET INSIDE THE BRAIN of people who are super smart and betterer at other stuff than you? And they will teach you how to be betterer! And then you can be betterer! Revolutionary!
I’m fucking glad for every penny I’ve spent on education, coaching, books and programs. All up I’ve probably spent close to $200,000 on learning and it’s been the thing that makes the biggest difference to my business success.
Hope this has been useful!
I’m definitely not somebody who likes to spend a lot of money normally – but I am very happy to spend money when it makes me $$$ and gets me closer to my goals!
And don’t forget – only a few days left to enrol in Sales Star. If you want to know how to grow your income & market more successfully than ever before.. it is an essential business training, and the cornerstone of my programs.
To your shining success,
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