About The Collective…
The Upspeak Collective was founded by myself, Meg Witt, and consists of a team of independent contractors. I started my business with around a $600 investment (website, llc, professional images) last December and within 3 months I resigned from my full-time day job because I knew I could support myself with my business. Upspeak had replaced my income and I was only putting 10-20 hours a week into it at nights and on the week-ends. I believed that I could double my success if I dedicated my full-time efforts to growing it. Sure enough, my first month as a full-time business owner I made more than I ever had in one month in the entirety of my career. I was only half shocked. Half of me knew I was doing what I was meant to do! What a fulfilling and encouraging feeling. I was hooked!
I know the grind of pursing your passion just like every other business owner. There are times when I feel like it’s a 24/7 commitment and quite a few times I’ve considered wrapping it all up and going back to slinging coffee. I’m saying this because I want to demystify the process of growing your small business and also to let you know that you don’t HAVE to hate life and work your ass off for years and years before you turn a profit!
I know, right? How is the big question and because we’re all in different fields, there’s no easy answer that fits everyone. A big piece of the puzzle is dedicating each day to becoming an expert in YOUR business. What do your people want? What do they not seem to care about? What’s important to them? What do they not seem to know that they need but you can so clearly see that they DO need? Asking yourself these questions helps you craft a clear message that supports your efforts to become relevant to your audience.
“OH, BUT MEG… YOU DEFINITELY DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M UP AGAINST. THINGS ARE LIKELY EASIER FOR YOU…”
Hmmm… that may very well be true. I’m not sure what you’re up against. We all have mountains to climb and no two look the same. Just to level set with you though… here were my mountains:
I started The Upspeak Collective:
one year after going through a divorce to my son’s father
as a single mom sharing custody & all that comes with it
having just moved into a new house that I had to fix up to sell (and then spent the following year fixing up with my partner as I built my business)
working a full-time job as Managing Director of one of the biggest events in the city (The Cleveland Flea)
with zero dollars in savings
without a business loan
without investors of any kind
not knowing how to use Squarespace (I taught it to myself as I built my website)
with chronic anxiety & depression (thank god for therapy and medication!)
TRY TO KEEP IN MIND THAT YOUR HURDLES MAY BE UNIQUE TO YOU, BUT IT’S NOT UNIQUE THAT YOU HAVE THEM.
Everyone does. They aren’t an excuse to stop or to go slow. They’re just part of your path towards your dream job and they’re often the very thing that will contribute to your feelings of success one day! Most of my clients fit into the “overcomer” category. They’re people have been through hell and back in some way, shape, or form and they are pushing forward anyhow. They want to do something new. They want to work for themselves. The want to be an example to their kids. They want to share their voice with the world.
Here’s the thing though: there are business owners I talk to who have made less than $5,000 in their businesses over this past year even though it’s supposed to be their primary focus. Meaning: they don’t have another full-time job. While it’s normal to start out small obviously, I’ve noticed these people have a tendency to over-think, over-plan, over-organize and pretty much “over” everything EXCEPT sell their actual service or product which is the very thing that will make them money and allow them to continue doing what they love.
WHAT’S GETTING IN THE WAY OF PEOPLE MAKING THE SHIFT FROM “WORKING ON THEIR BUSINESS” TO ACTUALLY RUNNING A THRIVING BUSINESS?
A lot of things get in the way, but the big ones I’m noticing are:
Still feeling hesitant to take the big leap (risk aversion)
Enjoying “feeling” like a business owner and telling people, “I have a business” without being whole-hearted about driving the business forward
Lack of confidence (I don’t think I’m truly ready yet…)
Lack of clarity around what steps to take next
An aversion to sales (I don’t want to be pushy!)
A scarcity mindset (I don’t want to take from others… I don’t deserve to succeed)
Can you relate to any of these?
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US GETS STUCK FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT IT’S CRUCIAL THAT WE CALL OURSELVES OUT ON IT AND MOVE THROUGH THE DISCOMFORT TO GET TO THE OTHER SIDE. DON’T RESIST. PERSIST.
Here’s a checklist for you if you want to move forward fast and start making money:
Do you have a website home for your people to visit that you’re excited to share and know how to use/update and that totally 100% represents who you are and what you’re up to?
Do you have professional images of yourself and your service/product that show the world you’re serious and that you’re committed to quality in all that I do?
Do you have a clear message?
Are you attached to your stuff and unwilling to let it go when it’s not working?
Are you clear about what you’re selling?
How are you using social media and your newsletter?
Is your content too salesy?
Do you have clear financial goals each month and are you tracking what comes in?
If any of these topics are relevant to you then you’re in the right place. I’m so happy you’re here & I would love to support you! Let’s do it.