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EPISODE 92

Sustainable Growth: Build Your Business without Burning Out

sustainable-business-growth

Sustainable Business Growth

Achieving sustainable business growth without burning out is a delicate dance. As entrepreneurs, we are hard wired for growth and thrive on seeing our business succeed. While it’s great to have ambition, this nonstop drive can quickly lead to burnout and resentment.

I’m speaking from experience and know what it feels like to always want more, more, more. However, over the years, I’ve learned that busyness and burnout is not a badge of honor. Today I have some very practical strategies that you can use to set limits, avoid overwhelm, and still see sustainable business growth.

Together, let’s prioritize guilt-free self-care and strike that elusive balance between business expansion and personal well-being. After listening, take a minute to choose one of these strategies to add to your routine!

02:53 -The power in saying “no” and how to decline opportunities in a way that will still allow for future collaborations

07:17 -What to consider about delegation, and examples of tasks that you may want to outsource

11:56 – Automations that can help accomplish sustainable business growth

13:41 – Why you need to prioritize yourself (and what that actually looks like!)

Kristen 0:03
Okay, TPT sellers. Ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place. Welcome to the savvy teacher seller. I’m Kristen Doyle. And I’m here to give you no fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sale. Let’s get started y’all.

Kristen 0:22
Hey, hey, y’all, and welcome to another episode of The Savvy Teacher Seller podcast. I’m your host, Kristen Doyle. And today I am tackling a topic that I know hits close to home for so many of us, myself included, and that is growing your business, but not burning yourself out in the process.

Kristen 0:41
See, as entrepreneurs we are hard wired for growth. We thrive on seeing our businesses succeed and grow, whether that’s through increasing income or launching new products reaching more clients. But here’s the thing. That drive for growth can often lead us down a very dangerous path toward burnout and resentment in our business.

Kristen 1:06
Trust me, I have been there done that I’ve got the t shirt to prove it. So in today’s episode, I am sharing some hard earned lessons and strategies for building your business without burning out. Alright, let’s kick things off just by acknowledging the elephant in the room.

Kristen 1:26
That same thing inside of us, that drives us to be entrepreneurs in the first place that drives us to be successful entrepreneurs, it’s the same thing that also drives our hunger for growth. Now, don’t get me wrong, ambition is a fantastic thing. You should have big dreams and goals for your business.

Kristen 1:46
But when it’s left unchecked, that strong ambition that we have, and those driving goals that we’re trying to reach, those can lead us straight to burnout. I will be the first to admit that I have at times been guilty of pushing myself too hard, both in my teaching career and now as an entrepreneur.

Kristen 2:08
It’s almost like I have this motor that is just perpetually running inside my brain. And it’s always pushing me to do more, earn more, grow more, serve more clients more, more, more. But here’s the thing, burnout is not a badge of honor, neither is being busy.

Kristen 2:28
And really, we should start looking at those signs of burnout, that feeling of always being so super busy, as a warning sign that something’s gotta give learning to recognize that and respect those limits that your body is trying to give you is really the key to sustainable growth. So let’s talk about some very practical strategies that you can use to avoid burnout.

Kristen 2:53
One of the biggest lessons that I have learned on this entrepreneurial journey that I’ve been on for the last decade plus is that it is okay to say no. In fact, sometimes it is necessary to say no. As entrepreneurs, we get bombarded with opportunities left, right and sideways.

Kristen 3:13
Whether it’s speaking at a summit or a conference, bundle sales, collaborations with other sellers, you name it, it’s out there. And trust me, I get it, the FOMO is real, you want to do all the things because you want to show up in as many places as possible to reach your target audience.

Kristen 3:31
But here’s the thing. Not every opportunity is the right opportunity for you. Some of them aren’t worth your time and energy. Some of them might be great opportunities that are totally worth your time and energy, but you just don’t have that time or that energy right now. So you’ve really got to learn to weigh the pros and cons.

Kristen 3:51
Think about whether this opportunity lines up with your target audience and your goals for your business right now. But more importantly, think about whether or not you have the time and the energy right now to take on this particular opportunity.

Kristen 4:08
It is really all about being selective and strategic and protective of your time. In fact, there have been a couple of times over the last six months or so that I have had to tell people I would have loved to collaborate with, that I just can’t do this thing that they’re asking me to right now. And the only reason is because I am too busy. And I don’t want to overextend myself.

Kristen 4:30
And believe me when I say, people who are putting together events, whether it’s a collaboration, or a conference, or summit or whatever it is, they appreciate that honesty in that candor, because that tells them that when you do say yes to an opportunity, you are going to be all in. You’re not going to be the kind of person who has overextended yourself over committed and now you can’t meet deadlines and all of those things.

Kristen 4:53
Now I know if you are a people pleaser like I am, it is one thing to decide that no is the best answer right now and it’s another thing all together to actually tell a human person on the other end of that text message or that DM, or that email, No, I can’t.

Kristen 5:12
So here are some ways that I have found to phrase that no, that honor their request, and that leaves the door open for future collaborations. And for me, as the people pleaser, these are some ways that feel good to me. They don’t feel as much like saying no.

Kristen 5:29
So the first one is one that I believe I heard, I believe I heard this from the very wise, Angela Watson several years back. And it is I can’t say yes, because…

Kristen 5:43
That is such a good way to phrase things because it immediately indicates that you would love to say yes, but I can’t say yes, because whatever your reason, is.

Kristen 5:54
One that I have used recently, actually, these next two I have used recently. One is I don’t have availability in my schedule right now. But please keep me in mind next year. So I’ve definitely taken the opportunity to tell people I am just too busy right now I have too much on my plate. Cannot commit to doing this. But I really want to please keep me in mind next time. And every time I’ve had to say that the person has come back and said, yes, absolutely, we’ll be in touch next time. So keep in mind that that is a great way to say no right now. But I really still want to.

Kristen 6:32
If the offer just doesn’t quite line up with your target audience right now, then you can say something like, I don’t have anything for that particular audience or topic, whatever it is. But if you ever do something for this, then I would love to join in.

Kristen 6:49
That sets the stage that you are open to collaborating with them, it lets them know that you are interested. But it also tells them here are the things that I’m good at, that I want to present on or contribute a product about, or whatever it is for this collaboration.

Kristen 7:05
Overall, just be honest with the person about why you’re saying no, they will appreciate that honesty, and they will really appreciate you not overextending yourself if that is the reason that you’re saying no.

Kristen 7:17
Now let’s talk a little about outsourcing and delegation. That might make you cringe a little bit. In fact, I used to think that as a solopreneur, I had to do everything myself. And I think that was partly out of guilt, about hiring help. And this feeling that I should be the one to do the things. But also because I had kind of convinced myself that no one out there could do whatever it is better than me.

Kristen 7:44
But boy, am I wrong about that. Turns out, trying to do everything yourself, really is just a one way ticket to getting burnt out and overwhelmed. And there are people out there who can do certain things as well as you or maybe even better than you.

Kristen 8:00
So definitely take some time to think about the tasks that you’re doing. And which ones do require your personal touch versus which ones don’t, which ones maybe you could hand off to a VA. It really is all about freeing up your time and your energy to focus on the things that really matter. Serving your customers, your clients and growing your business.

Kristen 8:23
So some very specific things that you might think about outsourcing some things that I have at times outsourced. If you are running an E commerce business, if you’re a TPT seller or an Etsy creator, think about things like proofreading. In fact, you should be outsourcing your proofreading because as we all know, if you have made the mistake yourself, chances are you’re not going to notice it when you read back over it.

Kristen 8:23
How many times have I looked at something I wrote, thought it was perfect, and then someone else finds three or four typos in it. So hire out that proofreading. That’s a great way to not only free yourself up some time, but also make sure that you’re putting out a better quality product. You’re delivering a better experience for your customers.

Kristen 9:05
Another thing you might consider outsourcing is creating those thumbnail images or previews, those sorts of things that get done after the product creation. And last but not least, when it comes to uploading your products, whether you’re selling on your own website or marketplaces like TPT and Etsy, that upload process is very repetitive. It doesn’t require a lot of your thought and input outside of some things that you could hand to a VA like the price and what you want the SEO keywords to be and things.

Kristen 9:34
But you can easily hand that part off to someone else. And especially if you’re listing on multiple sites, you can hand off either the entire process or maybe you post on the primary site that you sell on whatever is the most important one to you, and then hand it off to a VA to duplicate that and post it on all of the other platforms that you sell on as well.

Kristen 9:57
Now if you’re a service provider, it can sometimes be a little more tricky to hand off parts of your job because when someone has hired you to perform a service, you want to perform that service for them. But there are some things that I have found, I am able to hand off to a VA, and let them help me with that don’t affect the clients experience at all. In fact, it might make the clients experience even better.

Kristen 10:21
So the first one is handing off any of those pre work tasks, things that need to be done in the background. For me, a lot of times that’s going into a WordPress website and cleaning some things up in the backend. Taking a backup, duplicating that onto a staging site, some of all of those things don’t really need my personal touch, what needs my personal touch is the strategy with the client and the design that is happening.

Kristen 10:48
So I hand off some of that pre work some of those background tasks that get done for every client, I hand some of those off to my VA, and she does an excellent job of those. And it leaves me more time to focus on the things in my zone of genius, which is strategizing with the client, and doing the design work itself.

Kristen 11:09
That way the client is getting more of me in the places that matter and is still getting supported by a really great assistant in all of the other things. Another thing that she often does is answer preliminary questions or really simple questions that the client might send over, either in their prep work or in an email or somewhere like that, she often is the first one to read those and take care of answering the easy questions for me, and then hand me the more complicated ones that really do need my input.

Kristen 11:36
All right, next up, let’s talk automation. Automation is an especially good strategy to add, if you are just getting started. And you might not be quite ready to hire a VA just yet, because it’s often much, much cheaper to sign up for a service that will help you automate things than it is to actually hire a person to do it for you.

Kristen 11:56
So start by identifying those tasks you find yourself doing over and over and over. And any of those tasks that maybe you don’t do them as frequently, but they require the same exact steps every single time. Those are perfect things to automate. And just take one more little thing off of your plate.

Kristen 12:15
Then look for a tool that’s going to be compatible with all of the platforms that you’re using for those tasks and set up an automation. Personally, I use Zapier for that purpose. There are a ton of other options out there. Most of them like Zapier are really easy to just visually build out an automation that says when this happens, and you can pick all of the specific details, then do this.

Kristen 12:40
And you can even depending on what plan you’re on and what service you’re using. You can even add in filters or additional steps. So maybe you want when this thing happens to do these three things afterwards, or when this happens, and if it meets these filter guidelines, then do this thing. You can make all of that happen in tools like Zapier, or any of the others that are out there that are available.

Kristen 13:04
Whatever you choose, just make sure that it is compatible with what you need by checking the list of apps that they integrate with and the triggers that are available and connections that are available for those apps, so that you make sure you’re signing up for a platform that is going to integrate with all the different tools that you use.

Kristen 13:22
Another thing you can easily automate is sending out links to people who request them in your social media posts. I talked a lot about that in episode 90 about how I’ve put my Chalk and Apples social media kind of on autopilot. But the tool that I use for that is ManyChat. So if you want more details about how that works, definitely go check out episode 90.

Kristen 13:41
Now last, but absolutely not least, maybe most important. Let’s talk about prioritizing yourself. As entrepreneurs, it is all too easy to put our businesses and other people ahead of ourselves, whether it’s our kids, our spouses, our clients. But here’s the thing. We all know that you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Kristen 14:04
But it’s a lot harder to apply that to yourself and to say, I can’t pour from an empty cup. But trust me, I have tried it. And it doesn’t end well. For anyone. It didn’t end well. For me. It wasn’t great for my family and it wasn’t great for my clients or customers either.

Kristen 14:21
So make a point of doing the things that help you to take care of yourself. Here are a few things that I have been doing lately just to give you some ideas, because self care is one of those terms that we hear thrown around all the time. And a lot of times people apply it to things like taking a bubble bath or going to get a massage and for me I have found that those are not the things that really helped me fill my cup again.

Kristen 14:47
Yes, a massage is nice and it makes my tired shoulders and back feel better. But it doesn’t fill me up in the way that a lot of these other things do. Alright, for example, I have started lately, making a point of carving out time during what typically is considered the work day to go to the gym and get some exercise because I know that movement is good not just for my physical health, but for my mental and emotional well being to.

Kristen 15:13
Does it take time away from when I could be working? Yes. But is it worth it isn’t important? Absolutely. Another thing I’ve been doing lately is taking the extra 20 minutes to and from so actually 40 minutes to drive in to my co working space. If you are watching this right now, you might notice I am not at home today I am in my co working space.

Kristen 15:37
And this gives me a chance to a get out of my house. Because when you work from home and you live there and you take care of your kids there, it’s just a lot of being in the same place. So it gives me a great opportunity to get out of my house. But it also helps me work more productively.I always find that I get more done when I’m here at my co working space than I do when I’m at home being distracted by a million other things.

Kristen 16:01
And then the last one I have really been making a point of doing lately is allowing myself to say yes to a lunch or a coffee date with a friend every now and then. Now do I do that every day? No, because that would eventually start running into my work time and causing some problems. But every now and then once a month or so, I tried to go out for lunch or go on a coffee date with a friend.

Kristen 16:24
Even though these things might seem counterintuitive, because they all take away from the amount of time I can spend on my work. Those little self care things actually help increase my productivity. And my overall well being which at the end of the day is ultimately going to help me both in my work life and my personal life.

Kristen 16:42
So I am encouraging you today to give yourself permission to prioritize your self care guilt free. I hope you found these strategies for avoiding burnout while you grow your business both helpful and inspiring. Here is your action step for this week.

Kristen 16:57
Take a minute or two to reflect on your lifestyle on your business practices, and decide which one of the strategies you might be able to either add to your routine or maybe improve on to help keep you headed in the right direction and avoiding burnout.

Kristen 17:15
As always, I love to hear your thoughts and experiences so make sure to drop me a message on social media at @kristendoyle.co. Thanks for tuning into this episode. Don’t forget to hit follow on your podcast app for more tips and strategies for hustle free business growth. Take care and I’ll talk to you soon.

Kristen 17:35
I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you did, please share it with another teacher seller who would also find it helpful. For more resources on growing your TPT business, head to Kristindoyle.co/TPT. Talk to you soon.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place.

I’m here to give you no-fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sales. We’re talking SEO, improving product listings, leveraging your website, and more. 

About Your Host

Your host, Kristen Doyle, has a decade of experience selling on TpT and has made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to! As a web designer and the go-to SEO expert in the TpT world, she loves helping TpT sellers stand out in the crowd & grow their businesses with passive income strategies.

Tune in to hear Kristen cover all aspects of running a TpT business – from leveraging SEO, to improving product listings, to effective TpT seller strategies for your store and website.