This is episode #32 of The Goodness Squad podcast. Thank you for being here with me today. In this episode, we’re discussing something really important, particularly for us as Latter-day Saint women.
You cannot treat your business like a hobby
In the last episode, I told you why I believe content marketing is such a great match for Latter-day Saint women. But there is one thing that we get hung up on that makes creating a business out of content creation very difficult for us.
It has to do with the fact that we are very frugal and very busy. Would you agree with me that, as Latter-day Saint women, we tend to be busy and we want to spend our money wisely? This is a good virtue, but we run into a problem when we try to build a business that way.
I want you to think about something people might more easily see as a business, like opening a restaurant. What would you have to do if you wanted to open a restaurant? Well, you’d have to get educated on how to do it and you’ probably pay a good amount for that education, both in money and in time. Then you would have to rent a place, buy the supplies and hire employees. This is all before you can make any money.
People go into that type of business understanding that there is a risk to being an entrepreneur. As Latter-day Saint women, I think that we are attracted to this idea of content marketing because it doesn’t feel like as much of a commitment. We don’t feel like we have to go to school for years. We don’t feel like we have to invest any money to get started.
Treating your hobby like a business requires a mindset shift
But what happens when we adopt that mindset is that we create a hobby that sucks a whole lot of our time because we’re wanting it to be a business. We’re spending enormous amounts of time but we aren’t profitable because we don’t really see it as a business and we aren’t willing to take the risks that are associated with being an entrepreneur.
Now, that being said, the risks of starting a content marketing business are far less than the risks of starting a restaurant. That is a huge benefit. You don’t have to hire employees at the beginning, or ever really. You can hire virtual assistants as independent contractors. You don’t have to buy a building or rent a building. You don’t have to spend years and years being educated before you can open and start a content marketing business. Your education is your life and what you have learned through life.
But there is a mindset shift that is needed because you do need to treat this like a business. There are a lot of things I could talk about and list here with you today, but I want to keep it simple. There are two main things you need to do in order to treat your hobby like a business.
2 things you need to do to treat your business like a business
#1 – Invest Money
Now notice I did not say I want you to spend money. I want you to invest money. I want you to understand that you cannot get time back. You can always make more money. That doesn’t mean that every time you spend money, you make money back. But there is more money to be had. There’s more money out there in the world. You can find the right job and earn more of it. You can stop being an entrepreneur and go earn more money.
You can’t ever get time back. Once you spend time, it is gone forever. I want you to understand this concept and value your time in your business as much, if not more than, you value the money that you spend.
Now, I don’t want you to go all willy-nilly and just spend a huge amount of money because that’s investing in your business and you’re going to be successful simply because you’re spending money. That is not true. I want you to be wise and I want you to invest in tools and in education and in people that will save you time.
If you have a limited amount of time to spend on your business, say you only have 15 or 20 hours a week, if you can spend money so that things take less time, then you will get a lot more done in that 15 or 20 hours than you would otherwise. Your business will move forward much more quickly. You will be profitable much sooner, and you will be able to help more people sooner. So I want you to be willing to invest money wisely into your business.
My husband went into debt in order to invest money in his career. He went to law school. That’s a lot of money, but he did it as an investment in his future. That’s how I want you to look at your business.
Think about the tools you’re purchasing. Think about the education you’re investing in. Think about the people you are hiring to help you. If they are helping you to save time, then I want you to very strongly consider spending that money, investing in those resources, because you will get it back because your business will move forward much quicker.
Stop trying to DIY everything. Stop it, get the help you need to move your business forward. Commit to the fact that this is a business. What does it mean to actually commit when we spend money? I think many of us are afraid to spend money because then that might makes it real. That means that it really is a business and if you’ve invested money in it, then you really have to do it.
You have to commit to it. You’ve got to make it work now because you spent money on it. As long as you haven’t spent money on it, you can always fall back on, “Oh, it’s just a hobby or it’s just something I do on the side.” It’s not that big of a deal, but you’re never going to move forward that way. If you are still scared of commitment, I want you to go back to episode #31.
I want you to understand how impactful your business can be on yourself and on the world. I want you to understand how you can help people for free and get paid. I want you to be able to commit to treating this like a business.
#2 – Set Work Hours
I can just hear you in the background because the same alarm bells go off in my head. “How the heck do I do that with kids?” It is difficult. It is so difficult. And with kids, your work hours will need to be somewhat more fluid than they would be without kids. But this is true, even if you had a job at Target.
If you’re working at Target and your hours are 10-2, but your kid calls from school throwing up you’re going to have to adjust those hours, right? Or you’re going to have to find someone else to help them. That’s how I want you to treat this business. I want you to set work hours and I want you to work during those hours.
Set that boundary. I want your kids to know about that boundary. I want your spouse and your other support people – your friends, your family, your mom to know what those work hours are so that they can support you in keeping that boundary.
These can be fluid. This is one of the benefits of working from home and working for yourself. My work hours have been fluid throughout the summer. I will tell my kids at the beginning of each week, we sit down and we have a little family council and we discuss what my work hours are going to look like that week. What their needs are that week. In general, right now I am working from 8:30 am until 12:30 pm, five days a week. So that’s 20 hours a week. That’s how much I’m working.
But, sometimes my kids want to go to the water park and I would much rather do that in the morning when it’s cooler and less busy. So we’ll go to the water park in the morning and I will move my work hours to the afternoon that day. They can be somewhat fluid if you have kids, but I want you to set a boundary. No one else is going to treat this like a real job unless you do.
If you were working at Target from 10-2 and your friend called and said, “Hey, can you do lunch on Thursday?” You would say, “no, I’m working.” She wouldn’t think anything of it and you wouldn’t think anything of it, it would not be offensive to her. You would not be embarrassed. You wouldn’t feel pressured.
Somehow we have this idea that because we work from home, we need to be able to meet every other need and we need to be able to say yes, and then we move our work hours or just not work that day because someone invited us to lunch.
You need to respect this business if you want other people to do so. So treat it like a business, set your work hours, and then do your very, very best to keep those work hours.
How you can help a friend who is starting a business
If you are enjoying this season of The Goodness Squad podcast, where we are focused on monetizing your content marketing business, then I would like to invite you to invite someone else to come listen.
Do you know someone in your life who is trying to start a business, who is struggling to get a business off the ground? Who’s been a blogger for five years, but isn’t profitable? I want to help them! Send them my way, send them early on in this season so that they can truly benefit from all the episodes in this season.
They can get something to sell ready by black Friday, by Christmas, by the time people set New Year resolutions. These are some of the best times of the year to have something to sell. I want you to be ready and I want that person that you are thinking of right now to be ready as well. So go let them know about the podcast.
In the next episode, we will be talking about the very first step in turning a hobby into a business. Now, this step is something you do after you decide that it is a business and you commit your money by investing it and your time by setting hours to your business. That is step number zero. That is bottom line. That has to be done. You have to treat it like a business.
This step is something different. This is the step you need to make to actually start turning it into that business you’ve just committed to. There are actually three steps and I will be covering each one in the next three podcast episodes. I will see you there.