Hobby V Business

Episode 36 – Do you have a hobby or a business?

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Hello and welcome! Today is going to be a little different. I like to mix things up between mindset and tactic and strategy. I say pretty frequently business is 90% mindset and 10% tactic and strategy. So many people get caught up in the latest strategy or instagram fad and that’s not what they need, they need a mindset shift or to be brave–like we talked about last week!

I get asked a lot from friends or fellow entrepreneurs, people that I know indifferent groups that I’m in. It all centers around what I like to say, “Do you have a hobby, a really expensive hobby or do you have a full blown business that’s based on something that you are super passionate about or your knowledge and your super skills that you want to really put out into the world and make a huge difference?”

I come across this a lot, there are people who think they have a business, but really they have a really expensive hobby. I have created a list of 5 things to focus on. So, as I go through this I want you thinking “Do I have these things set up and am I working on these things?” If the answer is no to probably 50% of them, then you may need to reevaluate.

I hear this pretty frequently and I was there too. People open up a business and they start selling things, and they can’t figure out why they aren’t growing… They usually came from a corporate environment and they don’t want structure or goals. I get it, I did the same thing in my business when I first started. Our financial planner would say to my business partner and me, “you don’t have a business ladies, you have a very expensive hobby.”

It made us mad at the time, but he was right. If you aren’t willing to do certain things in your business, then you don’t have a business, you have a hobby. I get that you came from a world of meetings, and content calendars, and marketing plans… but you can’t just wake up in the morning and let life take you where it wants to, that’s not the way to be successful. You have to have certain structures in place, because that’s the way you will be successful and then you will have that freedom you want.

So today we are going to dive into the five things you need to do, and these are things I work with my clients when we first meet. I had a client one time who used to be a teacher and when we met she was telling me that she was so stressed and overwhelmed about building the business plan and setting goals. I asked her why and she said it was because that was the world she came from and she didn’t want to do that anymore. I said to her that’s okay, but you need to realize that you don’t have a business then you have a hobby and you need to be okay with that.

That is why we are going to talk about these five things today that will get you out of the hobby stage and into the money-making business stage. We are going to break down what you need to do, and who you need to invest in, this isn’t going to be fuzzy and warm, this is going to be what you NEED to do… so let’s get down to the tough love.

Number one, the biggest thing, if you have a hobby then you don’t have it fully set up as a business. If you have a business then it needs to be set up as a business. This is what I mean by that is that you should have your business set up as a LLC, an S Corp, or you can incorporate. I would highly suggest getting an accountant, and having a lawyer on retainer to help you build your business and make the right choices for you. Now, if you can’t afford a lawyer on retainer there are other programs out there, for instance legal zoom and the likes. Personally I went with a lawyer to help me set up. This is important because when you set up your business as as business then they will also assign you an employee identification number. That’s what you use for tax purposes. If you’re a contractor, if you work with people one-on-one, at the end of the year, you fill out a W9, like I have contractors that work for me.They fill out a W9 paper and then at the end of the year, you 1099 them to show the amount of money that you’ve paid them and the income that they’ve earned. It keeps things set up. It protects you personally. It protects your business. You have things completely set up. If you have a partnership, you have the partnership agreement so everybody’s clear on what that looks like.

This is also important to set up a separate bank account for just your business so you can pay bills, pay yourself, pay your employees or contractors. I actually made this mistake in the beginning because I wasn’t paying myself, I was setting aside all my money to pay my employees and then would run out when it came to me. Lesson learned. Having this bank account is made easier by having an accountant. They can give you advice as you need it, setting things up, doing your taxes, getting advice and so on.

If you can’t afford an accountant then there are other programs out there, as I mentioned before. there’s a couple of them that I really like. There’s one from Bobby Klinck and I highly, highly recommend him. His program is called Online Genius and he has a bunch of standard templates that he provides to make it so easy for people to go through these processes. There’s a privacy policy that you absolutely need for your website, a GDPR with the GDPR edition addendum added to it, there’s Terms of Service, Terms of Use, just different templates, stock templates that he gives that makes it so, so easy. So again, if you can’t afford to have a lawyer on retainer that can create these documents for you, contractor agreements, privacy policy, Terms of Use for your website, an agreement that you would have with your clients. If you can’t afford to retain a lawyer to create those special for you, his program is great because he gives you these standard templates and all you have to do is just go in, modify them and add them to your programs,add them to your website, do whatever you need to do with them.

The whole point with number one is making sure your business is truly set up as a business. From an employee identification number to monetary tracking so you can see your metrics and have a scale for what you are doing. This will help your lawyer and your accountant. I had an employee who started with just an accountant who did their taxes, but as they grew they realized that it was really important to have a great accountant to help with advice to help them grow even more.

Along these lines make sure you are trademarking. If you have any intellectual property, recipes, programs that you’ve created, intellectual knowledge about events or classes or anything that you’ve created and you use in your business, you want to make sure that you get that stuff trademark and protected. You also want to make sure that all of that is housed under a separate entity for your business that owns all of the licensing for that and trademarks.There’s ways around it that especially, you can find a trademark lawyer. There’s a gentleman that I just met in one of the groups that I’m in. His name is Joey Vitale. He also does one-on-one work. He is a lawyer and does have a law firm. But then he also has online programs that teaches people how to go through the trademark process and he walks you through it and makes it easy to understand so that if you do have intellectual knowledge that needs protecting he makes it easy to do.

I cannot tell you how many business coaches I’ve seen out there that are just…they’re giving coaching advice on business and they’re not even focused on theLLC, getting the business entities set up, and making sure that their clients are protected, which is a big deal. That’s why I started it as number one.

Onto number two, not having a business and marketing plan. Again, I’ve seen time and time again, local businesses, business owners, who get the business set up and away they go and they don’t have any kind of a marketing plan. They’re just following what everybody else is doing. They set up a Facebook page, maybe they’re doing Twitter and they just follow what everybody else is doing. And then they can’t figure out why they’re not growing

When you have a marketing plan there are things you examine:

● Where are you right now?
● What is your target audience?
● What goals do you have for your marketing and for your business?
● What platform do you want?
● What is your platform look like to get your message out there?
● What metrics do you need to measure?

I’ve asked people these questions when I start working with them and they look at me like a deer in the headlights and I say to them, “Okay. Well,we need to do this stuff.” They don’t understand, well, guess what? You’re going to learn because that’s what being a business owner is all about. It doesn’t have to be big and fancy, but you need a map as to where you want to go.

Now that client I mentioned before, the one who didn’t want to be stressed… shortly after that meeting, she came back to me and said, “Well, I started putting together a plan.”

It just started out as a content plan for Facebook and a plan to start gathering emails from people who were visiting her store and then putting together a plan to start marketing to them. She planned to email them on a regular basis to let them know about events and promotions she had going on and a couple local advertisements, that was it. That’s how it started and that was enough to get her started, just to get her feet wet and have a plan so that she could stay consistent. She started doing it and within the first 30 days, she came back to me and said, “I can’t believe how good I feel. I don’t have to worry about things. I have it all planned out. I have things scheduled out. I know when I’m going to have my events, and I can see foot traffic start picking up.”

You guys! That’s the point!!

If you haven’t done anything to start building a marketing or a business plan, take a look at again.

● Where are you right now?
● Where do you want to go?
● What platform do you want to use?
● What is your platform look like?
● Where are your people hanging out that you know you can reach them?
● What metrics should you be measuring?

Even if it’s just income and expenses to start with, and then engagement on social platforms, that’s fine. You can always build on that as you work with people. If you invest in one of these online programs to help your business entity get set-up, or even if you invest in working with an accountant or working with a business mentor, they are going to help you to put these plans together and to understand the metrics and you absolutely 100% need to know and understand to run your business, because if you are saying that you are getting great results but those same results haven’t been defined or explained then it isn’t going to get you anywhere.

For number three, ask yourself:

● Do you have a clearly defined vision, mission, and purpose?
● Do you have a clearly defined and are you taking full ownership of that vision? ( so that means you’re communicating and out to your team on a regular basis)

When I say your team, I mean everybody on your team and you’re not just communicating it once. You’re communicating it over and over and over again so that everybody understands what that vision is.

So many people I work with come up with a what when I ask them about their vision, but, I am looking for the why. They say I sell “X” or my restaurant makes “X” and that is great, but that is your what not your why. So you sell things, or make things, or feed bellies… that isn’t the driving force behind your business. That’s why when you work with me in the restaurant business growth formula or even the business growth formula, we focus a lot on building your signature experience that makes you iconic.

Your mission is beyond what you sell or what you offer it’s super critical to create that experience that makes you iconic and makes people want to come back over and over and over again even in difficult times. When you create that experience, it engages people and that experience is beyond just buying something. It makes it more meaningful and purposeful. Understanding and taking full ownership of that vision, mission, and purpose is so super important because that is the foundation and the GPS for your map–your plan.

What we want to do is create that vision so that it’s based on the future possibilities and is much stronger than where they are right now in their business. The purpose is to grow your business. Having a clear vision, mission, and purpose based on future possibility and based on what is the purpose in your business beyond what you sell, Super, super, super important. People who have a hobby solely just focus on because they’re passionate about what it is that they’re doing, what it is that they’re making. They don’t want the stress, they don’t want the anxiety, but they also don’t have that big vision so they aren’t going to grow.

Topic four, creating a plan. Success is not determined by the final goal or the outcome. It’s determined by the plan that we set up, the decisions that we make, and the steps that we take along the way to get to the outcome that we’re looking for.

When we have a business that’s a hobby, and this was a big mistake that my business partner and I made, you just set up the business. My business partner and I knew we wanted to help women and we were passionate about that. Helping women find their voice and helping artisans find their voice, helping people feel good. But we had no goals. We were managing our business in a vacuum. We had no budget.We had no way to get from point A to point B, which point B is achieving our goals or reaching our numbers because we didn’t know what those numbers were.

What’s helpful is when we can set specific goals and we also have a dedicated time. When we first had our store, we were working part-time and we still had our full time jobs. But even after we left our full time jobs, we were very laissez-faire with our hours. But, when you are building a business, a full blown business, there is a period in the beginning where you hustle and you are open and you really get the word out and you know what that higher purpose is in your business. You have that strong why that keeps you going and gets you up in the morning. That’s what really makes you keep moving when times get tough.

Having clear goals, having specific goals, not just financial. I mean financial goals are important, but also having impact goals, really having that dedicated time to work on your business. If you’re in your business full time, you’re dedicating time to create content to build your dream, build your team, to really fine-tune that vision so you can move forward and not stay stagnant. That is what sets you apart from the people that are “working a hobby” and not working a business.

Making sure that you have those specific goals, impact goals, financial goals, but also even more important, you have your own process that gets you from point A to point B. Working with a good mentor is going to get you set up so that you can figure out how to take your big vision and figure out what your achievable goals are. A good mentor is going to help you to understand and create your own unique process to do that. The framework’s similar, but people learn differently, people break down things differently, people have different times when they’re most productive. In my 1;1 programs, we tweak it for each person individually and that helps them to achieve their own definition of success. Not my definition, not some other person’s definition, but my client’s own definition of success.

The other part of this plan setting, no matter how old you are, is setting up a retirement plan and getting help setting up that plan sooner rather than later. My husband and I made this mistake–we both have 401(k)–but when I started my business we didn’t seek the help right away to set up a retirement plan. We missed out on starting to build that plan right away and because of that we missed out on those funds we could have put away. I love educating people on the importance of financial planning, even if it’s only ten dollars. That matters.

The last thing, number five, is investing in you. You can’t do this journey alone, you can’t figure everything out yourself–trust me I have tried. Down the road, or even right now you should be investing in a team. By doing this you are investing in yourself. You want to invest in refining your own skills as a leader, as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, as a creator, as an innovator.
Not enough people want to do that because they think, “I have to get things running first. I’ve got to figure this stuff out. I don’t have the budget to do it, I’ll do it later.” But I’m here to tell you, find a good mentor or a mastermind or a group coaching program that you can join. That way you can be around like minded people and you can get the help that you need to take your own skills to the next level. I wish I would have done this in the beginning because it took me a heck of a lot longer to get to the point where I am now. If I would have gotten that help sooner and not made some of these mistakes that I’m talking about here, I would’ve gotten to this place a lot faster.

You are your biggest investment because when you are feeling good about things and when you are achieving your own definition of success, you can help others do the same.

Let’s review:

Number one, getting your business fully set up as a business so that you have a full business entity set up. You have a business bank account, you have a way to track all of your financial information and can understand it at the same time.

Number two, you have a marketing and business plan that includes understanding your metrics and what you need to measure your platform, who your target audience is, and the goals that you want to achieve with your marketing.

Number three is clearly defining and taking full ownership of your vision, your mission, and your purpose so that you have a GPS in your business and you know what the deeper meaning is of your business beyond what you’re selling or what you’re serving.

Number four is having clear financial, income, and impact goals and plans, as well as making sure that you are focusing on your business every single day and you’re focusing on the right things. You know how to focus on those right things because you have your own process in place to achieve those goals that keeps you focused on important things every day.

Number five is investing in you. Finding a mentor or a mastermind or a group coaching program so that you can constantly up level your skills. When you’re in a group of people who are achieving the things that you want to achieve, it’s just human nature, it is a natural thing that you will then yourself up level. Finding and investing in the right people to help you to grow and achieve the results that you want to achieve.

As we’ve gone through these five things, ask yourself which of these things you have:

● Do you have a business, a full blown business that you’re passionate about?
● Do you just have a really expensive hobby?

If you have a really expensive hobby and you’re okay with it, that’s totally fine. But, if you really want to grow this and you really want to make a difference in this world, and you really want to make a difference in your area, and you really want to have this be sustainable and to achieve growth that you want to achieve, take a look at these things and maybe there’s stuff that we talked about today that you can fine tune and fix on your business so that you can make it totally legit so that you can achieve the things that you want to achieve moving forward.

If you enjoyed this episode and in some way, it inspired you to start taking action, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Send me a DM on Instagram @theresacantley and let me know what your favorite part was.

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If there is a topic you would love me to talk about or a question you may have, send it to us at theresa@theresacantley.com and we’ll feature it on one of our future episodes.


Episode 35 – About Being Brave

Episode 34 – Creating a Culture in Your Business

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