Why you must stop trying to do everything on your website on your own
I want to tell you a fictional story, that might be a little bit ridiculous (at least I hope you see it that way). My husband went to law school and I want you to imagine what it would have been like had he been hesitant to ask God for help because he felt a little embarrassed or guilty about the fact that he was going to law school. What about if he felt so much guilt about the burden it was placing on his family that he decided not to finish?
Was law school a burden for our family? Absolutely. It was hard stuff. We had three and a half kids while he was in law school. We had our twins just a few weeks after he started. It was hard, but wouldn’t it have been ridiculous if he had felt guilty about his desire to support his family? What if he had decided not to take any internships? If he didn’t really want to go out into the world and figure out if this was something that he really wanted to do, in a real life practical example.
What if he never asked his teachers any questions? What if he didn’t really value their opinions? And what if he never even went to class? What if he didn’t believe it was worth paying for so he decided not to go to law school at all? Or what, if he was convinced that he had to save up every penny, hundreds of thousands of dollars before he could go, how would our life be different?
Now, I want you to know my husband is not an attorney. He went to law school, he graduated from law school. He did exceptionally well in law school, but because he did do internships, he realized that was not where he wanted to spend his time. It’s not where he wanted to live out the rest of his life.
You might wonder, well then do you regret that he spent all that money and burdened your family and took all that time, years of education, in order to get a law degree that he’s not even using?
No, we don’t regret it. We learned so much during that time. It pulled us together. It pulled us closer to God. It made us grow as a family. And he does use his law degree. He works in the medical device industry. Typically, you have to have some sort of a science background in order to get into this industry. He didn’t, he graduated in history from BYU but because he had a law degree, they were willing to consider him because there’s a lot of legal jargon and work that goes into the medical device industry. He is in the regulatory department and works directly with the government of many different countries in making sure that medical devices fit their regulations.
It has been a wonderful career for him; everything turned out okay. As is usually the case when we ask for help.
The downside of not asking for help
What are the consequences of not asking for help in your business? I have seen the following, both in myself and in many of the women that I work with:
- putting profits before people
- taking a lot longer to make any real money or any real impact in the world
- resentment towards spouses and kids
- resentment of a spouse and kids toward the business
- creating products that nobody wants
- not being able to communicate the value of your products
- no connection with the people that you’re serving
- doing things you hate
- being stretched too thin
- resenting the people you’re serving in your business
- everything taking longer
- lots of opportunity costs
These are the consequences of not asking for help in your business; of insisting on doing everything yourself.
The 5 places you need to get help from
I believe that there are five places that you need to go for help in your business.
- Your family
- Your ideal client, the person you’re trying to help
- Paid help
Why you need to ask God for help
Let’s start with God. I have met so many women, and I myself have fallen into this category on many occasions, that are hesitant to ask God for help in their business.
This is especially true in the Latter-day Saint community. I believe that it is because we have a belief that we should not be working for income. It is true that our doctrine teaches that the calling of mother is divine and should be a top priority in our lives. I 100% support that, but I do not believe that that means you cannot have a business.
We’ll get into family next so I’ll give you some more details on what I mean by this, but I believe that my business has greatly blessed my children and enhanced our relationship. And yet there are times where I am hesitant to go ask them to help me run a business, to help me make money, to help me succeed.
Why? It would be so silly to imagine my husband being hesitant to ask God for help at law school. I know God wants to help you. I don’t believe that every single woman is supposed to start their own business, but if you feel called to be here, if you felt prompted, then ask God for help! I asked him for help.
3 ways to involve God in your business:
How do you do that? I have three suggestions.
First, trust that prompting. There will be times when you will doubt it. I still do on occasion, so I write it down. When I am feeling really confident that God wants me to be here in this business, serving you, I write it down. That way, when I feel a little less confident and I am wondering if that prompting was real, I can go back and read it.
Second, put God first. I believe this wholeheartedly. I do not always live it. It’s something I have to come back to again and again. But when I put God first in my life, when I kneel down and pray before I do anything else in the morning, when I make sure He is at the center of all the decisions I make every day, things go much more smoothly.
In fact, I believe this so strongly, I personally believe that God can manipulate time. Why couldn’t he? He’s God. I believe he could slow it down and speed it up. He doesn’t live within the confines of time. I have had many experiences where something that should have taken three or four hours, took one or two hours after I had really involved God that day. I told him what I was planning on doing that day and I had asked for his help. I look up and the clock only says 10 o’clock and I think it should be noon, but it’s not.
I believe that when he wants you to have something done, he will help you. That does not happen all of the time, but that is one of the ways in which I see his influence in my life.
Third, involve him in your decisions. Praying about what God wants you to do, asking for his guidance, and then trusting those answers. There is no reason why you cannot pray about your business.
In my previous business, I prayed about it and I took it to the temple asking if I could quit. The answer was ‘no’ for years. Then, eventually, the answer was ‘yes.’ The answer was actually ‘yes, right now’ and the business was sold within a couple of months.
He wants to be involved in your life, whatever you are doing. And he loves that you are using your talent, growing, changing, creating – those are divine qualities.
I have found that when I do not involve God in my business, I am much more likely to doubt myself. I become discouraged more easily. I also tend to lean towards putting profits before people without his influence in my life. And everything seems to take just a little bit longer.
I don’t want that for you. I want the opposite. I want confidence in your abilities and in what you’ve been called to do. I want you to put people before profits and I want you to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible. Please involve God in your business.
Involve your family in your business
How do you involve your family in your business? How do you get their help?
My number one suggestion for this is a family council. Sit down with your entire family on a regular basis and talk about your business. Tell them why you want to run a business. Tell them about the promptings you’ve received. Tell them about who it is you want to help. Those women or men or children that you care so deeply about and that you want to help. Who are they, why do you want to help them? What do you hope you can change in their lives?
Ask your family how they want to help. Involve them in decisions about when you work, how many hours you work. You can even involve your kids in helping you keep those boundaries and only work during work hours. My 11 year old daughter has the passcode to the screen time on my phone. I know my passcode to my phone, but I have screen time limits set up and she sets the passcode for that to help me keep those boundaries.
Additional ways you can ask your family for help:
Beyond family council, I have three additional suggestions.
First, share the typical mom jobs with your kids. Things like laundry, making dinner, cleaning toilets – teach your kids how to do those things.
Even when my kids were little – meaning 6, 7, 8 – they could make things like macaroni and cheese or a grilled cheese sandwich. If I had a really busy night, they could make themselves something for dinner. They’re a little older now, they’re from 11 to 14, and they can each make three or four real dinners like enchiladas or pork chops and mashed potatoes. There are many nights when they make dinner.
They also know how to do laundry. I believe that these things are a blessing to my kids. I like control. To be completely honest, I think that if I wasn’t working, I would not want them doing it. I would have a hard time letting them do the laundry, letting them clean the toilets, letting them make dinner, because I would want it done a certain way.
Having a business means that I simply do not always have the time to do all the things. I’ve had to ask for help and it has given them incredible skills. I’m not saying you can’t do this if you don’t have a business, but for me and my personality, this has been a great way for me to overcome that obstacle, that perfectionism, that need for control, and be willing to turn some of that over to my kids.
I’ve turned some of it over to my husband. My husband actually does all the laundry on Saturdays. My kids can do the laundry, but right now in our life, he does it on Saturdays. The kids always help sort and fold it, but he makes sure that it gets sorted and done every Saturday. So you can ask your husband for help as well.
The next suggestion is to pay your kids first. If your kids are old enough, involve them in your actual business, give them a job. Have them edit photos, have them take photos, ask for their opinions.
I have a daughter who is extremely creative and I ask for her opinion on a lot of the designs that I create. Does this look good? Does that look better? What do you suggest? And then she feels ownership of that. She feels involved.
Have them schedule your Pinterest pins, have them schedule your Instagram posts. There are so many things that our kids can be taught to do. In a world that is becoming more and more online, these will be essential skills for them in the workforce. What a great thing that you can give to your children.
If your kids are still very young and not quite ready to help in those ways, I suggest that you work on your business during their naps. When they are awake, you do the housework with them by your side.
When my kids were little, when they were toddlers, I would give them a paper towel and I would go around and I would wash the windows and they would wipe them behind me. They were involved. They would wipe the table. I would give them a wash rag while I was cleaning the table.
Another way I remember doing this is I would teach them to how to fold two socks together, really simple. They would do it and then I would mess it up and they would do it again and then I would mess it up and then they would do it again while I did laundry. They felt like they were involved. They were spending time with me. We laughed together. We talked. It allowed me to use their nap time to work on my business.
So, what is the downside of not asking your family for help?
In my decade plus experience, it’s been resentment. I either resent my family because they’re interrupting and they don’t get what it is I’m trying to do or my family resents me because I’m always putting this business thing ahead of them and they don’t understand why it’s important.
Resentment in family is toxic. If you are going to own a business that is successful by all definitions of that word, you need to involve your family because no other success is going to be able to make up for damaged relationships in your family.
2 ways to get help from your ideal client
You need to ask for help from your ideal client. This might sound a bit out of place, but I actually believe it is essential. If you have listened to me for awhile, you’ve heard me talk about something called an information inventory, where you write down the things that your ideal says. You write down the problems they have, the solutions they want and excuses they give themselves for not solving that problem.
When you get to know them on that level, it doesn’t really matter where they buy their magazines or even how much money they have. What really matters is the problems they have, the solutions they want and the excuses they give.
When you understand that, when you get that help from them, you are going to be able to create products they actually want. When you ignore their input or don’t seek their input, you create a product, spend months or years, hundreds or thousands of dollars creating a product that they don’t want or at the very least a product that you cannot communicate the value of because you don’t have the language to communicate the value of it.
Maybe they really want it, but you don’t know how to describe it on your website in a way that they’re like, “oh yeah, she’s reading my mind. I need this. I must have this.” That is done by learning the problems they have, the solutions they want and the excuses they give themselves. And getting their own language, not your language, to describe those things.
In addition, if you don’t know them that well, it can be very easy to slip into profits before people, instead of people before profits because you don’t feel a connection with them.
There are two ways that I suggest you seek this type of help from your ideal client.
- Spend time where they are. Figuring out what Facebook groups they’re in. Go to websites like Quora, go to Instagram accounts that they’re following, read the comments, read the questions, read the things they complain about, and then write them down. Keep them somewhere where you can refer back to them as you create products, as you write emails, as you write sales pages.
- Once you have a large enough audience, a thousand people plus, start asking them questions and telling them that you want to help them by asking them for their input. Not only will this help you create better products, it will build trust because they will see that you are seeking their advice and help as you create solutions for them.
2 types of paid help
There are two different ways you can seek paid help.
You’re not hiring an actual person, but you’re paying for some sort of a tech tool that simplifies things. One very easy obvious example of this is email marketing software.
When I started my very first online business, I was helping people with emergency preparedness, specifically food storage at that point. People wanted me to send them emails, so I started collecting emails through a Google form. Then I would manually take those emails and put them into my Gmail contacts list. I would then put them into groups and I would manually email that group every week.
That was a lot of manual work. When I finally decided to invest in a tool, then it would happen automatically. Someone put their email address into a form and they were automatically added to a list in MailChimp and then automatically sent emails.
Tools like this can change your business. Some of the tools that I love and highly recommend are:
- Canva (affiliate)- to help you design graphics. This is so much easier to use and to learn than something like Photoshop. If you already know and love Photoshop, go ahead and stick with that. But if you don’t, Canva is so much easier to get started with and extremely powerful when you really know all that it can do.
- Convertkit (affiliate) is now the email marketing platform that I use. I love it. I love everything about it. It’s the perfect balance between not too hard to use and plenty of capabilities. It has far more capabilities than something like MailChimp and can really grow with you as your business grows but it’s also not super hard to use, like Keep or Ontraport.
- Descript (affiliate) is another favorite tool. If you edit videos or podcasts, you need this tool. You edit it like you would edit a Word document. It’s crazy sauce. It’s so easy. You copy a sentence, or you can cut a sentence and move it up. You can go through and then in one click get rid of all your ‘ums.’ It is a fantastic, time-saving tool.
- Elementor Pro (affiliate) is the solution for people who don’t want to pay thousands or tens of thousands to a web developer or web designer, and those who do not have the skills to design their website on their own. Elementor Pro turns your WordPress website, the type of website you need to have, into a drag and drop.
- Ivory Mix (affiliate) is another favorite tool. It’s not actually a tech tool. It’s a huge library of beautiful stock photos. So if you don’t do photography, if it’s hard for you to take pictures, this can be a great way for you to supplement them.
- Searchie (affiliate) is another one. I am using Searchie to record this video right now. I can use Sarchie to record my screen, to record my face and it automatically uploads to the cloud. I can share it anywhere and all the videos I record on Searchie are actually searchable. You can actually search this video.
- Smart mockups (affiliate) is a great way to take a picture of your digital products. It’s really hard to sell something to someone that they can’t see, but how do you actually help them to see an e-course or an ebook? Well, you take a screenshot of it and you put it in to Smart mock-ups and it looks like it’s on a computer, or it looks like it’s in a book. It’s a fantastic tool.
- Tailwind (affiliate). This saves so much time when it comes to scheduling Instagram and Pinterest posts. If you want to be present on these platforms, this will help you do it in less time.
Tools are probably the least expensive way to get paid help, and you can start with tools at the very beginning of your business.
I hired my assistant, Audra, way before I could really afford to hire her. We pulled money out of savings to be able to pay her every month, for multiple months, but doing so made my business grow so much faster. I turned over so many things to her that freed up my time to work on really helping people, creating the content that would help you. She’ll then edit it. She’ll handle the photos, she’ll handle the social media posting.
I create this content for you and hiring her allowed me to do that while also allowing my business to grow. If you don’t want to hire someone in your business, you could consider hiring a house cleaner or somebody to come do your laundry.
When my kids were little I hired babysitters, especially during the summers and on Saturdays to come over and watch my kids for a few hours so that I could work. They got the opportunity to be exposed to other people, which was a great thing for my kids.
What happens if you don’t seek any paid help in your business? You’ll deal with a lot of frustration. You end up doing things either that you aren’t very good at, or that you don’t enjoy doing. You’ll get stretched way too thin, which will wear on your family and on your own mental health. And you might even start to resent those that you’re trying to help in your business because they are taking so much of your time.
Spread that out, get people to help you even before you can afford it. I know that it is scary, but it is an investment.
You need a mentor
I hope if you’re reading this post that you see me as a type of mentor. If you do not yet have the money to spend thousands of dollars on coaching, that’s okay. Start with books, start with podcasts, but I suggest that as soon as you possibly can take some courses, hire a coach.
Why? Because if you don’t, your business will grow much slower. There is a huge opportunity cost to not having a mentor. Oftentimes we are afraid of investing in our businesses, but how silly would it have been if my husband had thought he could go to law school without paying any money?
You cannot really learn how to run a business without money. It’s too much. It’s too big. It’s simply is. I tried for many years and I did learn some from failing and failing again and failing again and failing again, and then finally figuring it out. But part of what I finally figured out was that I needed help.
It took me years to invest in my first e-course. Since that time, I have spent probably close to $70, 80, $90,000 on education in marketing. I don’t expect you to go out and spend that immediately, but take your first course, hire your first mentor. Hire your first assistant. Invest in a tool.
Not having a mentor of any sort is like not going to your classes at law school or when you’re there, refusing to ask any questions. It takes humility and meekness to admit I can’t do this completely on my own and I need help.
2 Ways you can work with me
If you are ready to take the next step with me as your mentor, and you are not on my email list, I suggest you get on my email list. Do it. I am going to be changing how my emails work soon, but if you get on now, you are going to get a special offer that all of my existing email subscribers will get.
Go to DesignedForGoodness.com/join. It’s a good place to be. I send lots of helpful content and I’m going to start sending even more helpful content, not necessarily more emails, although that will be part of it, but very well researched, very customized emails.
If you are already on my email list, I suggest you join Website With a Purpose. Take that course, learn how to create a website that actually has the potential to make you money, that collects leads for you.
So many websites are a waste of money and I don’t want that to be you. That’s the solution, that’s the problem that Website With a Purpose solves. It creates a website that will actually create leads for you so that you can make money. So you can have a real business instead of just a hobby.
Whether you choose to work with me or not, I hope I’ve convinced you to stop taking on ALL of the work in your business. Will it still be hard? You bet. Will it be just a bit easier with help? Absolutely. No one was meant to do this mompreneur life alone.