Every woman has her story origin: Lynn Smargis
Reflecting, Recovering and Moving
Teaching middle school students was a hard job. Not only was the age hard to teach and keep their attention, but I taught in a Title 1 school, so many of the students didn’t hold education in high regard, and so I spent much of my time on utilizing effective discipline strategies to keep control of my classroom so that I could teach to the kids who wanted to learn.
And one day, when my 8th graders had their technology project due online, only 12 of my 70 students had turned in a project. Half of them failed. I remember standing in my classroom with these students, thinking to myself, “I have three Master’s Degrees and I’m essentially using them to babysit.”
At this point, I decided to leave teaching and started planning my exit strategy.
Planning My New Entrepreneurship
Once my brain started churning on what I needed to do, I quickly figured out that step one was figuring out what new career I wanted to dive into. Since I love being creative and had a podcast already in production, my new direction would be in the creative vertical.
I remember listening to a self-help podcast and the guest commenting about where to steer your career. He said, “Think about what you would do if money wasn’t a barrier, and go out and do that thing.” My mind quickly came up with the solution: be a travel writer, share my travel experiences with the world and write content for other travel professionals.
Becoming a Writer
Before I could jump ship from teaching to writing, I needed to save up enough money to live off of for the next six months. This is where the silver lining to a bad car accident fell into place with a substantial settlement that covered my living expenses. So now I can get down to the business of writing!
I started my writing business and immediately got into networking with other business owners and podcast producers to offer my services directly and as a white-label service to their clients. A year-and-a-half later, I found myself being wholly booked with work, with many of my clients in the travel industry and looking to hire team members. I was also scaling my business and creating passive income with a content club, so I didn’t have to create original work consistently.
Unfortunately, COVID hit, and I lost half my clients the second week of March in 2020.
Rebuilding My Business After COVID
Post-COVID has been an uphill battle for those of us in advertising. For the first year after COVID, many business owners held onto their money, afraid to spend on advertising or content copy. But, it’s finally starting to change.
The silver lining with losing all my clients was twofold. First, I had time to do philanthropic work and teamed up with James Mwenda, a world-renowned conservationist, to create website content and help him build his business.
Most recently, I decided that I could rebuild my business to scale and put elements in place to rebuild with a new team so that I can work on my business instead of working in my business. This has changed my perspective on my business and has renewed my passion for my business as I have a better role, along with new insight as to where I can bring my business. All of these elements give me a renewed purpose in my business and move me closer to achieving the goals in my business.
Managing My Small Business Post COVID
In addition to moving me closer to achieving my goals, my new position gives me the ability to use my time with more creativity and flexibility. Moving from a primarily writer position (working in my business) to utilizing more of my time in a managerial position has given me the keys to open doors that I once thought were closing in this era of post-pandemic small business ownership.
Hiring a Coach to Reach My Small Business Goals
After spending a substantial amount of time thinking and looking at many different types of coaches, I’ve finally found the right person for the direction I want to go in for my small business. I recently decided to hire a profitability coach as her process using financial numbers and tangible action items that I can take now to move the needle on my company has been a new experience for me and makes sense for my small business. Amanda, my profitability coach, will be the one to help me connect the dots to raise the bar and create a scalable business model so that I can do less work and get paid more. Because isn’t that the top of the iceberg that we want to achieve as small business owners?
So now, I’m focused on bundling, becoming more profitable, and creating a super-focused marketing approach to bring more quality retainer clients into my circle. After having my business for four years, half of the ownership through the pandemic, I’m finally coming to a point in my business where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Lynn Smargis is a content creator, author, speaker, and podcast consultant based in McMinnville, Oregon, in the heart of wine country. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling, podcasting, making out with her cat Jack (and brushing her teeth often), playing with her three dogs, and working outside on her new farm.
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