Nisa Neethling: When networking and administration won’t keep you paralysed
Working as a freelance Content Writer for approximately two years still saw me operating in “employee mode”. It was so much easier to find work on job boards, pitching to clients and being paid for my services. The problem with this was that many times clients overstep boundaries by adding more tasks without ever increasing your payment; like they do when you’re working for a boss. I was happy to earn good money. So, I often didn’t bother to increase what I charged clients as I believed that I was still making good money. But this in the end made me unhappy as clients became more demanding and began paying late. I knew something had to change, and I could only change myself and my business.
Kicking a mindset of lack to the curb
I soon realized that my mindset needed to change, and I did quite a bit of work transforming from a lack mindset to that of abundance. After all, I’d also realized that the high paying clients were often not as high-maintenance as the low paying clients. But I didn’t fire the clients, as yet. I set myself a goal of what I wanted to earn and gave myself a deadline. I also made myself the promise, that once I hit my deadline (AND my goal), that I was firing a few clients who didn’t value my work and time.
That’s when various things began to unfold. Instead of attracting clients only in my Content Creation brand, for female coaches, I was inspired to begin a fundraising campaign for an NPO. I knew that I needed to make a difference in the lives of others, but also knew that my passion is in communication. But what the founder of the organization did next, was to offer me a fundraising fee of what is raised. I immediately accepted the offer.
Networking (offline & online) is an important part of a business
The biggest challenge within my business, is Networking. Both offline and online. I’m an introvert, who’d much rather spend my time writing emails instead of actual talking. But, I had to suck it up! If I was going reach my goal of making good money (and fire some clients), I was going to do things that were different and way out of my comfort zone. I began networking in Facebook groups and generating new leads for my brand. In fact, I was able to show myself as an authoritive within my niche, which boosted my confidence. My main aim was to provide value with no strings attached. I really didn’t ask for any payment or try to sell anybody anything. The “payment” that I received was discovering parts of my career that I’ve been too scared to admit that it existed. A part of me that would often dim my own light so that people would resonate with me, or even like me. I soon realized that placed me back in “employee mode”. When changed, saw me rising up to shine my light again.
Bookkeeping is a daily mundane task that keeps your business running
The final “thorn in my side” was that my business had no accounting system in place. There was no invoicing process and no capturing of expenses. Every receipt that I collected was loosely gathering in my top drawer. I was so bad at establishing an accounting system that I was paying freelancers assisting me without an invoice, daily. This wasn’t an occurrence because of a lack of knowledge on how to do it, I loathe administration work. And as I said previously, I’d much rather write content and create a few videos than number crunching, balance sheets and bank reconciliation statements. This expensive lesson taught me that I have outstanding taxes to file, with no proof of what I spent the money on within my business. I’ve implemented an accounting system that I am adamant will not become a white elephant in my business.
I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I began looking for who it is that I really wanted to work with. It wasn’t a lightbulb moment, but a process of realizing that I admire the work of Coaches. In particular, Life Coaches, Business Coaches and Wellness Coaches. I also decided that I only wanted to work with women. But, a nagging feeling within me made me realise that I needed to improve my offering. I knew that in order to captivate the attention of these Powerhouses, I needed to deliver more than blog posts. I learnt how to create simple social media videos because that’s where the world is heading to and included this in my offering.
The future of my business is not a big conglomerate, but one that is service based and focused on transformation, love towards mankind, and stability.