Today on the Balancing Busy podcast, we’re diving deep into the five biggest mistakes I’ve made during my 15 years in business. The raw truth is that we often don’t recognize these missteps in the moment, and it’s only with hindsight that we see how they impact our success, growth, and personal life. So, find a cozy spot or grab that pile of laundry and let’s chat about the pitfalls and lessons that have shaped my entrepreneurial journey so you don’t have to learn these lessons the hard way!
Setting Boundaries: The Heroic Act of Saying “No”
When I first started my business, I dove in headfirst, all hyped to snag clients and see those dollars roll in. Which I’m not gonna lie, this is a super exciting part about building your own business, But here’s the plot twist – While I was busy building a business, I forgot to build the boundaries! I had no plans, no system, no hours – just pure chaos.
Ever felt like a 24/7 hotline? Yep, that was me!
But now I know better. Setting boundaries in your business is by far the most important lesson I have learned. Plan your availability, know your work hours, and clearly manage your client response times. It might take some work and trial and error in the beginning, but build those boundaries!
Consistency is The Magic Spell for Success
When I look back to the golden days of my photo biz – I can pinpoint one big thing that really made that business soar:
Emails, blogs, you name it. I was the consistency queen- reliable and comforting. Consistency builds trust. So, note to self: Stay true to your strengths, keep showing up, and let the magic unfold.
Stay in Your Lane
When you try to be everything for everyone, you will not be anyone’s first choice. It’s important to know your strengths and play to them! Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Getting focused on exactly what I do and who I help instead of trying to be everything for everyone was one of the biggest game changers for me in my business.
I narrowed in and got more clear: I help busy women find a balance so that they can live their dream, make their impact, and not have to compromise their homes, their health, or their happiness.
That is what I do. Find your niche, own it, and avoid the chaos.
The Product must be a Solution
A successful business is like solving a puzzle for your customers. They come to you with a problem, and they need a solution. Plain and simple. It’s easy to get distracted by the sparkly things, but when we stick to selling what solves a real problem, that’s when the magic happens. So keep it simple, keep it effective!
Hiring the Right Squad
When building a business, there comes a time when you’ll need to hire some help because you just can’t do it all. I’ve learned a few lessons here with my biggest ones being – hiring the wrong peeps and the oh-so-tempting “cheap” route. Spoiler alert: it rarely ends well. Lesson learned – invest upfront in the dream team. Hire for the expertise, not convenience. Trust me here. And as the boss, you have to be ready to have hard conversations sometimes when it’s not the right fit.
Now, here’s the fun part – I want to hear YOUR stories, your aha moments, or any burning questions you have. Drop me a DM on Instagram @LeahRemillet or hit reply to any of my emails. And hey, if you’re not on the newsletter list, why not join for some exclusive behind-the-scenes fun?
🌟 How about sharing this episode with a fellow mompreneur who could use a sprinkle of wisdom and laughter? Tag them, share the love, and let’s create a community of powerhouse moms supporting each other.
Remember, you’ve got this, and I’m here cheering you on! Until next time, keep balancing the busy like the rockstar you are! 🚀💖
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[00:00:00] In today’s episode, we’re talking about the mistakes we make in business. More specifically, we’re talking about the mistakes that I’ve made in my business. And the thing about the mistakes we make is that we don’t realize we’re making them in the moment. I mean, clearly, if we knew we were making them, we would probably choose to do things differently.
[00:00:49] Leah: It’s not until we get a little bit of hindsight perspective that we start to see and recognize. That that thing that we did or what is often the case didn’t do. Really affected our success, our profitability,
[00:01:07] Leah: our growth, reaching our goals, all the different things. I’ve been in business for 15 years now.
[00:01:12] Leah: So thinking back over all these years, it’s become more obvious to me where I’ve really messed up, where I’ve hurt my growth, hurt my personal life,
[00:01:24] Leah: stunted myself from reaching my goals.
[00:01:26] Leah: So as I thought about these mistakes, there are five that I feel like were the really heavy hitters that affect my progress. I decided I wanted to share them with you. I wanted to tell you, okay, if I could go back, I would do this different. And I hope that maybe you can learn from my mistakes and just avoid altogether or.
[00:01:45] Leah: If you’re in it now, maybe you won’t stay in it as long. So here we go. Let’s jump in to the five biggest mistakes I have made as an entrepreneur over the last 15 years of being in business. Number one, this was so easy. It was like, okay, what mistakes boundaries that was so clearly the first thing that popped into my head when we start our businesses.
[00:02:09] Leah: We are so excited to just get new clients to just have money come in that we often don’t think about. Don’t set anything up for when those clients, customers. When the notifications of payments actually start hitting and so I had absolutely no boundaries. I had no systems. I had nothing to help and support me.
[00:02:34] Leah: I hadn’t thought about when my work hours were, when I was available, when I wasn’t available. What I mean by this is I just never sat down and really made a plan of when I would be available, when I wouldn’t, what I would say yes to, what I wouldn’t say yes to, what would work for my family and what wasn’t going to work for my family.
[00:02:54] Leah: And because I didn’t really have a plan and, you know, anyone who is naturally on that side of people pleasing, you want your clients to be happy with you. You might even have. entangled in that some fear that if you’re not always available, they’re going to leave you, they’re going to go somewhere else or they’re going to be disappointed.
[00:03:10] Leah: They’re going to leave you a bad review. There’s a lot of emotions and feelings that can be tangled up in what gets us to a place where we have no boundaries, where we’re available 24 seven.
[00:03:22] Leah: overcommitted. I said yes to so many things that I shouldn’t have said yes to in my business. And that then trickled in and affected my family. It affected my husband and my marriage because I was constantly having to say, I’m not available. I can’t. I need to go into my office. I need to sit down at the desk longer.
[00:03:41] Leah: And I would feel resentment and frustration. Like, why the heck do you need me? Don’t you see, I have things to do, which was completely unfair. Um, I felt it with my kids. I felt it with how present I was. I felt it even with the things that I used to love, but felt again, this resentment because they were on the calendar and there was so much other stuff that I needed to do.
[00:04:02] Leah: But when I finally, I was more forced into it, I didn’t choose to set boundaries, but when I finally did, it changed everything. And that looked like having hours knowing this is the time when I do not work after this point, having days that I did not work, having timeframes when I responded to clients.
[00:04:25] Leah: And when I didn’t, we’re either teaching our clients that we are available 24 seven or that we’re not. When we’re responding to emails at 10 at night or DMs at 9 p. m., guess what? We seem to be available 24 7 and that’s what we’re teaching them. It’s okay for them to email or DM us or reach out at any time.
[00:04:45] Leah: They’re thinking about it right then in the moment. That’s fine. Leave it unread and wait until your office hours to respond. Even me making those shifts. He really started to just affect everything in a good way. So setting boundaries and the first step to setting boundaries is we’ve got to sit down and figure out what we want, what we will accept and what we won’t accept.
[00:05:08] Leah: The kind of clients we want to work with, the kind we don’t. The times when we’re available, when we’re not, what our hours are. Just really getting clear about our boundaries. Number two absolutely is going to be all about consistency and three is going to kind of lean right into this consistency problem.
[00:05:28] Leah: But now with enough time, with enough ability to just have this like retrospect, I can look and I’m like, Oh, I know exactly why I was so successful right away. I, you know, hit some really impressive numbers. Really, really fast. I mean, I hit six figures within 18 months, actually, probably within year one. I was having 10, 000 a month easily.
[00:05:57] Leah: I had incredible clients. I had a wait list. I mean, all of that looked amazing. And when I look back, I was so consistent. I did what I said I was going to do. Now, partly, there was some boundary issues and I was making myself available all the time and that was not good, right? So there’s definitely this balance when it comes to this, but I was so consistent.
[00:06:21] Leah: It was so clear who I was for, what problem I solved. Where I solved it, how to work with me, and I showed up consistently, right? I showed up in your inbox every week, just like I said I would. I used to do Friday emails, and for years and years and years, every Friday, you were going to get an email from me.
[00:06:45] Leah: Every Friday. Even when I transitioned, From my very first version of my business, which was me as a photographer, okay? That was my very first business. That’s the one that I built to six figures within 18 months. I had a photography business doing family family pictures and Then I shifted and I started getting all these people asking me photographers asking me How are you doing this?
[00:07:08] Leah: Like what? What? How do you do your pricing? How do you do your sales? How do you do your marketing? And so I started teaching that and it was very, very clear. I am helping photographers learn how to build a six figure photography business. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not teaching you how to use your camera.
[00:07:24] Leah: I’m not teaching you how to edit. I am teaching you the business side. I am teaching you pricing, sales, marketing, experience, testimonials, everything around making the business side work. And I was so so clear about that and I was so consistent with how I showed up. Weekly YouTube videos, weekly emails, all those things, they were there, they happened.
[00:07:46] Leah: I had my blog content scheduled out for like six months in advance. Oh, it was amazing. All of it was in place, I was consistent, and it happened. Those were my best years. Then when I shifted, when I was like, Okay, it’s time to shift again. And I knew, I knew I was supposed to do it. Like, it was on my heart because I didn’t have any boundaries.
[00:08:07] Leah: I didn’t have any balance. Like, I knew how to make money. But I didn’t know how to feel good in the process. I didn’t know how to feel like, uh, great mom and your home’s going great and every, all the pieces feel like they are in motion together instead of in constant friction. So when I finally had to learn that part.
[00:08:27] Leah: I started realizing I am not the only, the only woman struggling to balance it all. And now that I’ve learned the systems, and the hacks, and the automations, and all of these different things where you can make great money, you can still make that incredible income, but you don’t have to Feel like you are drowning all the time.
[00:08:46] Leah: I knew I wanted to shift to that, but I didn’t quite know what it looked like. This is right around the time when we took our kids for a year and traveled the world. And I completely thought I was going to have this eat, pray, love moment where it was all just going to become so clear to me. I would know exactly what I was supposed to do.
[00:09:03] Leah: And. Then I would move forward. Well, it didn’t happen. I didn’t have this super clear path of what this next chapter looked like. So I kind of just floundered, honestly. Like, when I look back, I’m like, yeah, I was, I was sort of floundering for a while. I kept going back to the things that I Knew I was good at that.
[00:09:23] Leah: People knew me for that. They wanted to pay me for, but I’m also trying to branch out into this new area, but people don’t know me for that. And I don’t quite know how to package it. I don’t know how, what I’m offering and what that looks like. I. Was not consistent. I stopped sending my emails every single week.
[00:09:44] Leah: I stopped doing my youtube videos every single week There were so many things that I had done so consistently that you could have counted on me Under any condition I would have shown up and now I was just disappearing and that lack of consistency hurt my business Exponentially and that actually brings us into Number three, which is drifting from my lane, just getting too broad, doing too many things.
[00:10:09] Leah: So it’s right around that time where I did, I got way too broad. I kept going back to these old things. I was dabbling in in some other things that, you know, I was really capable of. And they were fun, creative outlets, and this is where it can be really tricky as an entrepreneur. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur without funds, which is what I was when I started my business, I had to learn how to do everything.
[00:10:32] Leah: And that’s been really great. It’s been an incredible blessing throughout my business. However, it also means I can do everything. And sometimes when you. Can do a lot of things it’s really hard to say no I only do this one thing even though I can do a lot of things This is the one problem that I solve and in that time when I was really unsure I didn’t have that eat pray love moment We got back from our year traveling and I’m like, now what, what am I supposed to be doing?
[00:11:04] Leah: I was all over the place and I was trying to do too many things. I was too broad. So I wasn’t really anything for anyone. That’s the thing. When you try to be everything for everyone, you will not be anyone’s first choice. And the funniest thing is I know that I have literally been teaching that for 15 years.
[00:11:21] Leah: You could go back to the very first webinar I ever. Taught in 2010 or 11 and I’m going to be teaching that I’m going to be saying that and yet. I wasn’t doing it. I just got confused. And even that, you know, it can be hard to not beat yourself up a little bit because you’re like, I should know better. Why did I make that mistake?
[00:11:42] Leah: Look at how much I slowed myself down, but it’s not worth it. Okay. It’s just not worth it to do that to ourselves because all we can do is take action. Now we can just start today. So as I focused in, as I narrowed in and got more clear, I help busy women find balance so that they can live their dream, make their impact, and not have to compromise.
[00:12:10] Leah: Their home their health or their happiness. That is what I do. So getting clear Knowing exactly what you do and who you do it for is so so critical and that it’s funny These are all really bringing me into the next ones because that does it brings me into the fourth Which is I didn’t stay focused on the product and the solution That really needs to be the focus for every single one of us in our businesses.
[00:12:37] Leah: You have to know this is the problem And this is the solution. The problem is where your customer is before they find you. It’s the before of any story. Your solution is positioned to get them to the after, to get them to the results that they dream of, and that has to be where we’re focused as business owners, we have to be focused on the problem and the solution all the time when we get focused on and I can do this and I can do this and I’m gonna offer this and I’m gonna share this and I’m gonna give all these other things.
[00:13:14] Leah: We need to have a product that we can sell. We need to sell that product all the time and it needs to clearly solve a very specific problem. It actually is that easy and yet it can be that hard. And the very last thing, the last mistake, as I look back over 15 years is. Within hiring, it was hiring the wrong people or not giving them the right resources or not putting them in the right position or trying to go to cheap.
[00:13:51] Leah: There were so many times where I look back and I was trying to go. Less expensive because I was having a hard time justifying the budget that it looked like it was going to take to get the really, really qualified people. And so I found someone at a fraction and I thought, Oh, I’ll train them. I’ll, I’ll show them.
[00:14:12] Leah: And most of the time it has not worked a lot of the times. They just never could get to that point where they had the eye and that’s not on them. I am the person who made that decision. I am the CEO. I am the boss. It falls on me. And you know, I think of one particular time I was trying to build out a new membership portal, like the backend of our membership.
[00:14:38] Leah: I was trying to build out a whole new thing and it was expensive and I needed to hire people to help with it. And I. You know, it was all adding up and I was like, okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna hire someone cheaper. I’m gonna buy a bunch of Plugins that will make the membership work better and they were expensive They were you know, two to three hundred dollars per and I was buying several plus this employee plus these different things and We never got it off the ground.
[00:15:08] Leah: It never worked. It’s still something that I kind of cringe at because I dumped thousands and thousands of dollars into building this new platform and it never launched. It’s still just sitting there. We could never get it to work. And now I look back and I think I was so afraid of front investing those thousands of dollars.
[00:15:31] Leah: So I started cheap and then I kept having to pour more and more and more in until I finally just, Called it and walked away. And if I had just been willing to invest that upfront money, it would have worked. I would have had that new portal. And instead I have one sitting in my archives that never was actually seen by anyone, but cost me thousands and thousands of dollars.
[00:15:58] Leah: And honestly, a lot of stress when we think about hiring, there is a part of us that can absolutely train and that’s important. I mean, you guys know, I love having. Bob best operation breakdown, right? So that my team, me, we could all see the right way to do things. And I absolutely am training, but it’s so important to get the right people on the bus to begin with.
[00:16:23] Leah: And I think a very, very easy mistake. For small business owners is we’re not looking for the right people. We’re looking for convenient people. So it’s our sister. It’s our friend. It’s our neighbor. It’s our, our sister in law. It’s our niece. It’s, you know, so often someone in our inner circle. And sometimes that works out great.
[00:16:42] Leah: Sometimes it does, but a lot of times it doesn’t. Then I think we need to ask ourselves, am I making this higher because it’s convenient? Or because this really is the right person. I have absolutely had the right people and it makes all the difference, but I’ve also had times where it wasn’t the right person.
[00:17:03] Leah: And that again, I’m going to say is on me. I am the CEO. It ends with me. I made the decision. I chose them. I hired them. And sometimes I kept them far too long because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings because I kept thinking, well, if I train them better, if I manage them better, then, then we’ll get it.
[00:17:22] Leah: When I should have recognized much, much earlier and taken my pride out of this scenario and said, this isn’t working out right. It’s going to be best for us if we just. And now. So there you go. Those are some of the biggest mistakes that I definitely, in retrospect, can see that I made. And that I’ve worked really hard to avoid making.
[00:17:45] Leah: But you know what? I’m gonna probably make some of these maybe again, or I’m gonna make new ones. And it might take me another 15 years before I realize all the new ones that I’m making now. Because if we knew we were making them, like I said, we wouldn’t be doing it. And it’s okay. Entrepreneurship, none of us have done this before.
[00:18:03] Leah: It’s new. We’re learning. We’re figuring it out. Even with 15 years in my business and as a small business owner, I’m still trying to figure it out because it’s always changing. It’s always evolving. What worked for me 15 years ago. Oh my gosh, it does not work anymore. And simultaneously I have to accept that.
[00:18:23] Leah: I can’t be holding on to what used to work for way too long because I’m like, but it did work, but it did work. It should work again. We have to be willing to evolve. And then there’s other things that are timeless creating a great experience. That’s timeless. That has been working for 15 years. I think it’s always going to work, but there’s other things that stopped working.
[00:18:44] Leah: Webinars used to work phenomenally for me. I would kill it on webinars. They were so profitable. I would charge for them. I would fill a thousand seats. I mean, they were amazing. That’s just not the case anymore. Webinars are a very saturated thing and not that there’s not always room when something’s really great, but it’s just about pivoting and shifting and looking for where the trends are going and trying.
[00:19:11] Leah: To be with them or even ahead of them sometimes versus behind them. And that goes for trends, but also the mistakes, right? We want to try to be ahead of those mistakes. I hope this episode helped you. I would love to hear If there’s one that you especially related to that you’re like, Oh, gosh, yep. I’ve done that.
[00:19:32] Leah: You are not alone, Leah. I have done that as well. So if there is one, if you have something that you would love to share with me, or if there’s an episode, you’d really love to hear it. There’s a topic that you’re like, would you just talk more about this? Share that with me. If you’re on the newsletter list.
[00:19:48] Leah: Then all you have to do is click reply to any of my emails and it will come straight to me and I will see it. Otherwise, you could connect with me on Instagram. Leah Remillet, L E A H R E M I L L E T. Send me a DM and share it with me there. Until next week, thank you so much for allowing me to help you balance the busy.
[00:20:09] Leah: This is possible and you are capable. It is your turn.Hide Transcript