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The lies I tell myself about money.

“… and the 3-digit code on the back of your card? Okay, you’re all set! Welcome to Infusionsoft!”

It’s a little bit nerve-wracking for me to spend big chunks of money my business. I’ve got this thing about money… I want to hold onto it and see those numbers sit steadily in my bank account. It makes me feel secure.

We didn’t have financial stability growing up. My parents were teenagers when they had my older sister. We moved around quite a bit for my dad’s job and by the time we settled in Columbus when I was about 8 years old, both my parents worked to pay the mortgage, put food in the mouths and clothes on the backs of their three young daughters. There was rarely enough money to last the month, and I remember lots of stress over how we were going to pay all the bills. Money ultimately broke apart our family.

So it’s no surprise to me that I have some issues around money, and why I have the tendency to invest TIME before I’ll invest MONEY in my business. Why I’ll find all the best free tools and cobble them together to make something that meets my needs instead of pulling out my debit card. While I’ll spend hours trying to get some el cheapo plugin to work instead of paying for the one that will take 10 minutes to set up.

So when I completed that Infusionsoft purchase, I had lots of different thoughts pop into my head… If I don’t make any more money, how long can I pay this monthly fee until I go out of business? How can I teach my students to use Mailchimp and all these other tools when I’m not going to be using them myself anymore?

You know what that translates to? “What if I fail? What if they think I’m a fraud?”

That’s FEAR rearing it’s ugly head. If I just spend my TIME, then if it all goes to shit, I can tell myself I didn’t lose anything. I didn't lose money, so I didn’t fail.

Ask my friends and family and they’ll tell you that by spending time instead of money, I’ve lost a lot – all the times I said I was too busy to hang out because I was spending time on my business so I wouldn’t have to spend money. All the times I wasn’t paying attention to my husband because I was researching the crap out of how not to spend money on something.

It’s funny how we lie to ourselves.

After unpacking all my dysfunction around money, I asked myself, “Am I teaching people how to build their own WordPress site as cheaply as possible because of my own hangups about money? Am I projecting my fears onto others?”

And I can honestly say, the answer is no. I fully believe that when you are just starting your business, it’s important to not only invest your money in the right places, it’s also important to learn how the technology that will be running your business works so that you don’t get screwed over. But that doesn't mean that there aren't things worth spending money on that are going to allow you to grow your business faster and better serve your clients! And there will come a time when you outgrow the initial systems you’ve set up, and you reach a point where it’s time to position yourself for the next chapter.

In the first 6 months, I invested as little money as I could and as much time as I could in my business. At the time I told myself it was because I wasn’t sure if WP+BFF was going to be a success so I didn’t want to sink a lot of money into it, but I now see that was my fear of failure in the driver’s seat, not a strategic decision based on reality.

And while I’m an expert at building websites, I’m not an expert at running a business (yet). #workingonit So in the spirit of making strategic decisions based on reality, I deciding to start investing in some areas of my business where I needed help.

1: Professional Photography

My first big investment in my business was a professional photographer (shout out to Benjamin and Jennifer at DerksWerks). In the free 5 Day Website Challenge I tell you how important the know, like and trust factor is, and knowing who you’re buying from is paramount. I knew I had to do a better job of showing who I am, and iPhone selfies just weren’t going to cut it anymore!

2: Graphic Design

I love me some Canva, but I’m no branding expert so Kacie Erickson of I Killed the Joneses was my next big investment – and I’m in love with what she created for me. I created my own graphics when I launched and people still signed up for my training (so my amateur stuff was totally good enough), but I just couldn’t get onto Canva what was in my head. Kacie’s an artist, and she pulled my ideas out of my brain and organized them into pixels!

3: A Premium Online Course

People were signing up for the free 5 Day Website Challenge faster than ever, but they weren’t buying my advanced course. I came to the realization that giving people a ton of value to get them on your list wasn’t going to get them to buy anything from me. I needed to figure out how to SELL my services.

I’m really good at giving stuff away for free, but I recognized that I needed to be okay with asking for money in return for my expertise. I don’t know where that insecurity comes from, but admitting you have a problem is the first step to solving it. So I invested in Sales School by Kendrick Shope, and it was a fantastic 6 week course packed full of valuable information. I immediately recouped my investment just by tweaking a few key things in my business, and really started to internalize that selling is helping and it can be done in an authentic way.

4: A Mentor

After Sales School, I realized that I had all the tools that I needed in my tool belt, but I was still unclear on the vision, the path to get me from teaching WordPress as my side gig to a WordPress empire that empowers thousands of entrepreneurs to start a business online. And I knew just the person that could help. She was a star student of the 5 Day Website Challenge, and she has sent hundreds of entrepreneurs to me to learn WordPress. She saw that her clients needed some web services that no one offered and reached out to me to create them, and has been so amazing in sharing her ideas and giving me encouragement.

When I realized I needed someone to help me get to the next level, the perfect person was right there waiting for me – Vicki Fitch. Vicki has helped me with my confidence, pricing, products, sales techniques and strategy. She sees the larger vision and is great at helping me get out of my own way.

If you’re in need of some direction, some vision, some clarity and all the steps you need to take to get to where you want to be, schedule a free 20 minute consultation with Vicki. This is hands-down the BEST thing I've done for my business so far.

5: A CRM

After 10 months of small consistent actions daily, I’ve reached the point where I’m running out of time. Still working my day job and while helping thousands of small business owners learn to build their own website for free, and I’m floundering. I’ve got information in 5 different systems. I don’t know who is likely to become a customer. I’m missing all kinds of opportunities to connect with people who need what I have to offer.

That’s where Infusionsoft comes in. Just like with Mailchimp, you can set up automation and kick off certain actions based on the behavior of subscribers – but Infusionsoft lets me track interactions with you guys, schedule followups, tag you based on certain actions you take and target you for certain products you might be interested in. It also has e-commerce functionality and so much more magical stuff that saves me a ton of time. It’s like my personal assistant/private investigator!

With all of these tools in place I’m planning for an amazing year in 2016!I’ve got a lot of exciting new tutorials coming your way, new products that I’ve discovered and new ones that I’ve created that I can’t wait to share with you!

What I want for you to have the ability to be strategic about how you grow your business, and have the choice between investing time and investing money come not from a place of fear, but from a place of confidence and knowledge. That’s why in 2016  I’m going to continue to meet you where you are in your business – if you’re a beginner that needs a basic set of tools to get started or you’ve got thousands of contacts and want to figure out how you can better automate your sales and marketing, I’ll be there for you.

I wish you all the best this holiday season, and look forward to serving you in 2016!