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3 Years of Business In 7 Thoughts

This has been a pretty monumental week, as yesterday marked the third anniversary of The Write Stuff Agency.


Running this business has been a roller coaster, as running any business is in its earliest years. It hasn't always been easy, but the mission is the same as it was from day one - to help tell stories better to those that need to hear them.


Personally, I never thought that I could take this on. I had no business background, and was terrified of entrepreneurship and all of the variables that it entailed. I truly did not know what to do next, or where I would find the answers. I did know, though, that if I bet on myself I couldn't lose.


Slowly but surely it all came together. Entrepreneur friends were incredibly supportive with advice and encouragement, and tips from their own wisdom. Family and close friends all quickly became cheerleaders, supporting even the smallest wins and keeping spirits buoyed during the hardest hits.


Amazingly, friends also trusted the work, and have been gracious enough to keep referring those in their inner circle who could use writing services - even to this day.


I'm no expert, but here are a few lessons that I've learned on this journey:

  • Define your own success. Success in your world may not be a certain amount of revenue, or a certain number of clients. If it is, those numbers can look very different from colleagues in your field. That's alright! Set goals that keep you working hard, but not ones that will burn you out along the way.


  • Celebrate the wins - large and small. Celebrate the big milestones, but find smaller ways to celebrate each time to get a great testimonial, or land a new client. All of those wins are what make your business spectacular, and celebrating them reminds you just how important every client is.


  • You're probably undercharging. Pricing is hard, especially in a creative field where there are no set benchmarks. There will likely always be someone cheaper than you, and there will always be someone more expensive. That said, re-evaluate your pricing every year, and think about raising it at regular intervals. The cost of living is going up, and you don't need to starve for your art if you're providing value.


  • Get (at least some of) the money up front. It's great to believe in the kindness of your clients, and most will be wonderful (hopefully they all are!). Yet even if all of them are well-intentioned, it's important that they have some 'skin in the game' so to speak. If you're taking on a significant amount of work, don't hesitate to ask for at least some of the funds up front - it keeps you both invested in the project.


  • If you think that everyone knows what you do, they don't. Even if you think that everyone knows about your business, most people might only have a vague notion of what you do. That's okay! You don't need to ONLY talk about your business, but staying present helps keep you top of mind.


  • Don't leave someone to guess at how they can work with you. Listen closely when prospective clients are talking - they're likely telling you what they need even if they don't realize it. Come up with creative solutions and offer ideas of how you can fit into their world without expecting them to come automatically into yours.


  • Lastly, have some fun along the way! Life is short, and it's not always easy. There's an expression that "if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life." That's absolute nonsense - even the most fulfilling work is hard work, and it won't always be enjoyable. Find the opportunities to get creative, and have some fun doing it. You'll only be more invigorated, and that positive energy is infectious for your clients.


I'm not ready to write a business book, but I'm always happy to share a little homespun wisdom, and I'd love to hear yours as well. Feel free to reach out anytime at shaun@thewritestuff.agency or through any of my social channels.


I've also just launched a newsletter to celebrate, where I'll be sharing content in addition to this blog. Please feel free to sign up (I promise not to bombard your inbox).


In the meantime, this week is a special one - and I plan on savouring every moment.

The author holding a piece of ice cream cake with a number 3 candle on top, lit aflame

Cheers!