March 17, 2021

What does growth mean to you?

About this episode...

What does growth mean to you?

This week I get my ramble on and chat about the unintentional side-effects 'brag' culture can have in marketing.

Growth means something different for everyone. For you it could mean freedom to control your environment, working with your favourite clients, learning new things and offering new services, or earning a particular income.

Seeing other people shouting about how great they're doing is a one-way trip to comparisonville and feeling bad about yourself.

There's no right or wrong way to grow your business, only the right way for you. Screw what everyone else is doing, do it your way.

Read the full episode in the transcript tab.

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Transcript of the Marketing Morsels podcast with Lauren Taylor

Lauren Taylor:


Hello, and welcome to episode 14 of marketing morsels. We're going to do things a bit differently today. I wanted to talk about growth and what it means to you. And because it's such a fluid topic, I decided we'd just have a bit of a chat rather than plan out step-by-step instructions. It's not that sort of subject. So let's have a chat about what growth means to you. And what triggered me wanting to talk about this this week is there's been an influx of guru type ads all over social media. You know the type, when people are posting, look how I smashed six figures, seven figures, and honestly, I'm sick of them. Yeah, of course. Growth is important in a business, profit is important, but shouting about how you did that and all the money you've made is not the way to get other customers to want to do the same as you.


It is a great way to piss people off and make other people feel bad about themselves. I think that's what I started feeling. I started feeling bad about myself and the choices that I've made so far in my business. And I know the choices that I make in the future are going to be different. I don't mean I'm going to be changing my mind, it just means decisions I'm making right now are based on what's happening right now and what I want to happen in the immediate future. But I don't know how I'm going to feel in a year to five years, time, things change really quickly. So things change people change. But what I don't want when I'm hanging around on social media is other people bragging about what they've achieved as a way to market themselves and how much of an expert they are, that sucks.


So I was curious about what growth means to different people. In business growth usually means making more money, getting more customers, helping more people, and essentially making your business bigger. Your customer base bigger, your team bigger. But as a freelancer growth can take whatever path you want it to take really. You'll know the reasons that you decided to go freelance in the first place. And it's important I think when you're choosing and making decisions about growth, you remember those initial reasons and don't get distracted by what other people are doing and what you think you should be doing. And don't put yourself under pressure to change who you are or ignore who you are because of the peer pressure of getting bigger. It's always important to remember to be true to yourself and your values and your purpose, and remember why you're doing what you're doing.


So it could be that growth to you is growing a bigger business, getting more customers, making a certain amount of money. Absolutely fine. It could be you want to achieve a certain lifestyle. Freedom might be your growth and being able to choose when, where, how you work, who you work with, the kinds of work that you do, that could be your growth. And the choices that you're making now are helping you get to that place and be able to achieve that life. And growth to you is doing stuff you really enjoy for people that you like. And if you know that that's where you want your business to go, it helps you make choices in the moment rather than under pressure to do what you think should be doing. So if a certain opportunity comes along for you, or if you feel like you should be doing something, just remember where it is you want your business to go.


And as I say, your path will change over time. There's loads of different journeys you can go on, paths you can take, but remembering the reasons behind your paths can help you make choices. Now that will help bring you closer step by step towards where you want to be. Growth to you could be outsourcing work to other freelancers to either help them with projects so you can help more customers to free up your time. So you can work fewer hours. Or you could be wanting to offer new services and new skills, building and little mini team. You might have a very clear idea about wanting to build an agency. So you know that growth for you is growing your team. And again, you know that's where you want to be. The choices you're making now need to be focused on helping you get there. So you're not seeing other things and getting distracted. Growth could also be developing yourself, learning new things. Growth doesn't always have to be about money or about the numbers of customers you work with or the amount of work that you do, projects you take on. It could just be personal growth. You might have something that you really want to learn about, something you've always been interested in, but have never had the time or the confidence to get started. That could be your growth. rowth could also be just finding fulfillment in your work.


And I know there's a lot of stuff out there about 'do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life'. It's so rare that people love their job. I think just doing something you enjoy and that helps you create the lifestyle that you want. That's more realistic and attainable rather than putting yourself under pressure to love your job. It's your job. You can make it as great and perfectly suited to you as you like, but still it's your job. So the whole having to love what you do side of things. It's a tricky area. I think just liking something enough to get out of it what you want out of it and help the people you want to help is enough. I think feeling the pressure of something that's very rare and kind of unattainable, inattainable? I don't know which one's right. Okay. I Googled it. Unattainable. Learnt a thing. Only you know what you want from this life.


And it's easy to get really bogged down by having to do the right thing right now. Firstly, what is the right thing for you? But don't forget that the choice you make now is going to be different to what you decide in six months, time, 12 months, time. You're building, if you're in it for the long haul, you're building a long-term career. You're talking 10, 20 or more years of your life if you know that freelancing is what you want to do. So take the pressure off yourself when you're making decisions right now. If you're trying to decide what you should focus on, what your next step should be, should you take a new project? Should you take a new opportunity? The simple answer is, does it feel like something you want to do? Will you enjoy it? Does it help you achieve what you wanted to achieve when you started freelancing? Then do it.


Then in six months, in a year's time, when new things come along, do the same thing. You might feel differently about certain aspects. You may make a different decision in six months time, but it doesn't matter. All you can expect from yourself is to make the decisions that feel right to you based on where you are right now, what you want right now and what you're going to enjoy the most. And we shouldn't be made to feel ashamed about the choices we're making, about where we want our business to go and what we want from our life. And I feel like what those icky adverts are doing from some of the experts and gurus. That's exactly what it's doing. It's making people that aren't achieving those numbers, that aren't seeing that massive growth, but aren't shouting about it like that. It's making other people feel ashamed that they're not doing as well, that they should be doing other things.


But if you can nail down what doing well means for you, when you see other people shouting about how great they are, it can help take the sting out of it a little bit and stop you from feeling under so much pressure to be doing things differently. And I don't want to tar all people with the same brush, not all experts or people like that are going about things in the same way. There are some really great people out there. But I can't get behind this culture of people bragging about how many figures they're making. It just, it just feels gross, but also you shouldn't feel bad if you don't know where you want your business to go. That's okay. Quite often, you'll just feel your way through it. And as you work with certain types of people, take on different kinds of projects, learn new skills, your preferences will change, and you'll start to feel your way through it.


Don't feel under pressure to know exactly what you want and where you want to go. Having something to aim for is helpful because it means you can tailor what you're doing in your marketing, the choices you're making to help you get there step by step. But that's only one way of doing things. You can also just see where the wind takes you and kind of chisel out your own path as it happens. And I know I keep coming back to this, but remember the choices you make right now are going to be different from the choices you make in the future. Just because of how things develop, how people develop, how your skills evolve, how your preferences and life choices evolve. When you're making decisions about where you want to take your business and what projects you want to work on, who you want to work with, what services you want to offer.


There really is no right answer. And so there's no wrong answer. There is only the answer that feels best for you right now. And then in future, there is only the answer that feels best for you then. Have a think about what growth means to you and ignore what everybody else is doing. Leave them to it. They're on their own path, doing it their own way. And so are you, and if you're not sure where you're heading or where you want to be, remember, go back to the reasons you went freelance in the first place. And if becoming a freelancer wasn't necessarily a choice, it was just your circumstance at the time. Think about what you've enjoyed between now and then, and what the growth version of that looks like to you. So you can focus more and do more of the things that you've enjoyed, and that can be your growth. Or you might have a very clear idea of the kinds of projects you want to work on, clients you want to work with. Either way there is no right or wrong way to grow your business or yourself, just do your thing, do it your way. It's the only way to really be happy and comfortable with your choices because you're following your gut. You're following your values. What's important to you. So follow the things that feel good to you.


Okey-doke thank you so much for listening. Have a wonderful week and I'll see you next time.

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Gentle marketing goodness for sensitive souls and anxious introverts. Once a month (ish) I share general musings about life’s little joys. Beautiful things I’ve loved and learnt on my wiggly journey to build a peaceful life as a sensitive business owner.