Do you have the mindset of a business owner?
Just over four years ago, I embarked on the journey of self-employment after spending thirty-plus years employed in big companies, many of which were household names.
Self-employment took me back to basics as I set up my business as a writer and writing mentor.
What started as being empowering, quickly became overwhelming.
As I gained momentum and my client base expanded, I found myself at a crossroads—between the familiar role of a writer and the challenges and opportunities of being a business owner.
As a freelance writer, you are the master of your craft. However, as a business owner, you must juggle multiple roles. Having been a senior manager in my corporate life, many of these roles were familiar but not always welcome. As a creative writer, I have always been more comfortable with words than numbers, so managing the business’s finances hasn’t come easy.
As I grappled with the various challenges coming my way, I was given a sound piece of advice by my business mentor – “you need to see yourself as the CEO of your business.”
A change of mindset was needed
It was simple. Some may say it should have been obvious. But we don’t always have clarity at the outset. It often takes a third party to point out where we are going wrong. That is where a mentor comes into their own.
I made myself a small sign to put on my desk – I chose the label managing director, but it did the trick. From that day on, I had a different mindset and a more positive approach to my business. Here are some of the lessons I learned.
Strategic Planning for Long-Term Growth
As a freelance writer, it is easy to see the next writing project as the goal.
A business owner thinks beyond the next project and embraces strategic planning for long-term growth. This involves setting clear business goals, developing marketing strategies, and positioning your writing business for sustainable success.
Client Relationships: Building Beyond Projects
While freelance writers focus on individual projects and client satisfaction, business owners cultivate long-term relationships. The mindset shift here involves understanding the value of client retention, building loyalty, and providing services that extend beyond the scope of a single project.
Financial Management and Investment
The business owner mindset incorporates a deeper understanding of financial management. From budgeting to investing in tools, marketing, and professional development, thinking like a business owner involves making strategic financial decisions that contribute to the growth and stability of your freelance writing venture.
Effective Time Management:
Freelancers often focus on project-specific deadlines. Business owners, on the other hand, embrace effective time management at a broader level. This includes allocating time for client acquisition, marketing, and business development, and maintaining a balance between operational and strategic activities.
Brand Building and Marketing Strategies:
Transitioning from a freelance writer to a business owner demands a shift towards brand building. Develop a strong brand identity, establish a compelling online presence, and implement marketing strategies that position your freelance writing business as a recognized and trusted entity.
Embracing Innovation and Adaptability:
Business owners understand the importance of innovation and adaptability in a dynamic market. Be open to exploring new writing niches, adopting emerging technologies, and staying ahead of industry trends to ensure your business remains relevant and competitive.
Creating Systems for Efficiency:
While freelancers often excel in managing individual projects, business owners focus on creating systems for efficiency. Streamline your processes, invest in project management tools, and establish workflows that enhance productivity as your freelance writing business grows.
Networking and Collaboration:
Elevate your networking efforts from a freelance level to that of a business owner. Actively seek collaboration opportunities, attend industry events, and build a network of professionals who can contribute to the growth and diversification of your writing business.
Mindset of Resilience and Leadership
Finally, as a business owner, cultivate a mindset of resilience and leadership. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, lead by example, and inspire confidence in your clients, collaborators, and the team members you may bring on board.
Transitioning from a freelance writer to a business owner involves more than just a title change; it’s a shift in mindset. By embracing the responsibilities and opportunities that come with entrepreneurship, you position yourself not only as a skilled writer but as the master of your destiny.
As a business owner, I still face the same challenges as I did four years ago. However, now I do so with a strategic plan, a brand, a healthy network of collaborators, and a positive mindset that is ready for whatever lies ahead.
If you are struggling to adapt to running a business, book a call. I’ll be happy to guide you and share more of the lessons I have learned.