Here’s how it feels at the start of your business journey: We’re excited, motivated, energised, ambitious, optimistic. Like you can conquer the world!

And here’s how it often feels when you get going: WTF was I thinking? I can’t do this! I’m utterly exhausted, have NFI what to do next & I cannot possibly work any harder than this. 

We start to despair that we can ever achieve our goals. We lose faith that things will ever change for the better. We start to believe our current reality is our forever reality…

And the worst part is – when we feel like that, we often feel like we’re the ONLY one who feels like that! 

Why? Because everywhere we look we see other brands kicking goals and being amazingly successful. 

(Hint: don’t EVER confuse the social media highlight reel with the reality behind-the-scenes!)

The other day I met with a gorgeous client of ours who is struggling in this pit of despair right now.

She’s been working a full time job, juggling a 4 year old who hardly sleeps, AND trying to build her brand that she launched a year ago. 

She’s reached the 6-figure mark (getting to $10K / month revenue within 12 months is a bloody great achievement in my books!)

But she is utterly exhausted and on the verge of burnout. Her business has taken up every waking moment of her life for a year (including many she ought to have been sleeping). 

Her husband and child are getting pretty sick of it now too. They want to support her dream, but cannot stand to see the woman they love feeling so exhausted and overwhelmed all the time! 

Her confidence has taken a big hit too. She’s gone from having big dreams of building a premium brand and having her own warehouse and team – to now just wanting to make back what she’s invested into it. 

Have you ever felt like this? 

I have. Many times in fact! I’m the kinda gal who really likes certainty. Being stuck in that ‘messy middle’ and trying to figure out a way through when there is no obvious pathway forwards is VERY challenging!

But please take my word for it – experiencing this kind of reality does NOT mean your business will stay like this forever! 

Typically what it does mean is – you need help. You’ve become the bottleneck in your business because you simply do not have the time to ‘do it all’. 

Side note: As a 40-something year old woman – I definitely grew up being fed the message that women could (& should!) do it all! 

Have the high-flying career and the family and balance it all because women are great multi-taskers…

What bollocks is that! Physically, our brains actually cannot multitask and trying to do so only results in us taking a lot longer to finish anything. That’s a proven fact. 

Trying to “do it all” in the business will only hamper your growth. 

And yes, I completely understand that it can feel risky to hire any kind of help if your business is not currently making enough profit to pay yourself yet. 

But without buying some time and expertise, how will you progress otherwise? 

I’ve seen businesses try and 9 times out of 10 they take a lot longer to get anywhere and it actually costs them a lot more as well. (Costs more time, costs more in mistakes, and costs more in lost opportunities.) 

I’ve also seen some absolutely incredibly products and brands fizzle and die (or just plod along and never achieve their potential), all while the owner is struggling in a constant state of stress and overwhelm.

Not sure about you, but I didn’t start my own business to work like that!

But I did work like that for many years. It wasn’t until I got really, really sick one year that I realised I had to change the way I worked. 

First it started with the flu. Then I started to experience crippling migraines and anxiety attacks. I was so exhausted, but couldn’t sleep. (My daughter was a toddler at the time and she didn’t sleep either. It was ridiculous really!)

And every little thing I tried to do – even simple things like writing one post on social media – just took forever. So my productivity completely tanked. 

Yet, I felt like I just had to keep sitting at my computer till I got it all done, till I ‘fixed’ the situation. 

But turns out, that’s actually counter-intuitive.

I was keeping myself busy doing ‘busy work’, but it wasn’t shifting the needle at all. 

Here’s what actually helps:

1. Start with a plan. 

This is not a plan: “Monday – social media posts & pack orders. Tuesday – send email newsletter & pack orders. Wednesday – work on new product design & pack orders.” etc etc.

That’s a task list. It’s not a strategic plan. 

A plan should give you the clear path forwards from where you are now to where you want to be.

And to prepare a plan that will generate those results, you must start with in-depth analysis of your competitive landscape and target market, plus a detailed audit of your current performance across all channels and platforms. 

Then, you want recommendations around the strategies you need to employ – tailored specifically to your business situation. 

After that, you can go to town on a task list! But not before. Don’t put the cart before the horse.

With a plan like this in place, you will immediately feel a sense of relief and confidence. Because you won’t have to keep guessing what to do to improve things. You’ll know EXACTLY what to do to move your business forwards.

2. Then implement.

Unfortunately I see a lot of people start here. Even other marketing agencies do this. They fail to do the audit and analysis and planning first, and go straight to implementing tactics. 

And then what happens is – you end up with a kind of frankensteinian marketing, where the ads and emails and social media content and everything else is all different from each other. 

There’s no consistency with message or promotions or tone of voice or even the visual design.

Can you imagine being the customer watching all this? It’s pretty confusing to say the least, and definitely doesn’t give you the best results. 

It’s also really hard for you – the brand owner – to try and project manage all of that. It’s like the octopus of marketing systems, which is why things continue to feel stressful and overwhelming even as you grow. 

Instead, starting with the detailed strategic plan helps you to control the message from the top, and then that message can be rolled out consistently across all the marketing channels you use.

And what if you’re at the point in your business journey where you simply do not have time to implement everything you need to do?

You must get help. Even if you feel like your business can’t afford it. Trust me – you can’t afford NOT to get help – it is the only way to break through from where you are now to where you want to be.

(Presuming, of course, that you do actually want a business that generates you an income without you having to trade dollars for hours!) 

Yes, this does require taking a bit of a leap of faith that your business growth will keep up with the new expenses. 

That is why it’s essential to start with the in-depth plan first. This is what gives you the confidence to proceed. 

Because you can see – exactly – how you will become profitable.

What’s possible on the other side? 

Well – what do you want? 

A 7-figure (million dollar) a year business? Your own warehouse with a team?

Or, a profitable lifestyle business with everything outsourced so you can be location-independent? 

All totally possible with the right plan and consistent execution 🙂

If this is where you’re at right now, and you’d like some help to break through to the other side, then book a no-obligation call with us and let’s talk about how we can bring your dream business to life.

Click here to find out about working with Catherine Langman

Yours in success,

Catherine x

P.S. Just like the many now successful eCommerce brands I’ve worked with, it CAN happen for you too. I have a great track-record of turning ambitious people, products and ideas into lucrative brands. That’s my zone of genius. If you’re sick of feeling like the worlds’ best kept secret, stuck in the slow lane whilst other brands scoot past you, then click here to get started right now!

P.P.S. — as there is only one of me — space is limited!