It’s always so easy to make assumptions about what other people are doing in their agencies or their businesses. We need to stop making those assumptions because that’s not good for our own well-being. I used to do this all the time until I started having conversations. Those conversations led to me uncovering the truth about running your own agency.
Here’s My List of Truths About Running Your Own Digital Agency
Truth #1: You Are Your Own Worst Critic
This is my number one discovery. It’s far too easy to assume what we think other people think about us. Please just stop the assumption. I think that there is nothing more interesting than listening to other people and learning from them. My take is that if I find other people interesting, then they actually might find me interesting too. We can all relate to the Imposter Syndrome, the feeling that we are not good enough and filling ourselves with self-doubt. There’s not going to be a day where you don’t get those feelings but you can actually be in control of it, rather than it control you.
For more about that, you can read How I Told My Imposter Syndrome to Shut Up and How You Can Too
Truth #2: It’s Scary To Take the Leap
There is not one person on the planet who does not get scared, nervous, anxious or worried about taking big (or small) steps to grow themselves and their agency or business. We do not know all the answers to everything and we are all learning as we go along.
The best advice I can give you is to take small steps at a time. If you are setting out to achieve a big goal, in one jump, you won’t. Break the big goal into small easy bite-sized steps and tackle each one, a step at a time. You’ll be amazed at what you will achieve doing it this way. After all, you can’t eat an elephant in one bite, can you?
Truth #3: You Can Be The Expert
The truth is that we were not born an “expert”.
To be an expert you need to know more than the other people in the room. Simple.
Think of an expert in another way. You learn what you do, you practice what you do, you become great at what you do. As you are doing this, you help other people so that they don’t make the same mistakes that you did.
If you’re in a different room, then there may be someone else who knows more than you about your subject. This is actually exciting rather than it being something to make you feel inferior or doubtful. Instead, collaborate and learn from them and their experience to help you grow yours!
“An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject, and how to avoid them.”
― Werner Heisenberg
Truth #4: Everyone Is In The Same Boat
The fact is we are all human.
We all have similar traits, similar thoughts, doubts, and fears. The best thing you can do is have a conversation with other people in business, in your industry, in your locality. Having these conversations will make you realise that some of the things you might struggle with are the same things that others struggle with. Funny that.
It’s a great feeling when you can share your own experiences and find that they help someone else. It really is the best feeling ever. I have been amazed at what I have learned from having conversations with people both in the WordPress community and outside of it. When you go to networking meetings, don’t go to “sell”, go with the mindset of “Who Can I Help Today?”, you’ll be amazed at what happens when you have those conversations.
Truth #5: No One Said It Would Be Easy
There’s no getting away from the fact that it’s not easy working in the freelance or agency space, far from it. The good news is that there are things you can do to make life easier. The biggest one is to be where you feel you are supported and have a safe place to talk to other business owners who are in a similar boat.
There are some fantastically supportive communities out there and a lot of them you will find on Facebook. They may be industry-specific, business related, mindset related, you need to find the ones that suit you. I have tried different communities over the years which have helped greatly at different stages of my career but again it’s better to be present in the ones that really make a difference to your life and ones you can give back to and help others too.
I was excited to be on The Agency Trailblazers #AgencyLife podcast to talk about lots of the topics covered in this blog. I don’t want this to be about me and self-promo but about speaking out truthfully about some of the things that have happened to me, so that it might help someone else.
I hope it may inspire you to take the leap and say “yes” to opportunity and maybe do something (like being on this video) that scares you but actually helps someone else a lot. It helps you get past the fear.
For more inspiring podcasts about running your own agency visit the Agency Trailblazer Podcast
So, if some of the topics above strike a chord with you, then why not watch the video below and if you have your own truths to add that have helped you in your agency and business life, then drop a comment below.