Stress impacts us all and in different ways. Some get depressed and defeated whereas others fight against it in an effort to overcome it, reduce their stress and enjoy the good things in life.
I used to be on the former side.
The agency that I wanted to love but couldn’t was comprised of clients I disliked, it lacked prospects, I personally said yes to everything even if I was useless at it, which resulted in me running myself into the ground.
I was defeated, deflated and I was about to quit my agency.
The reasons I wanted to quit
As an agency owner I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day. No matter how many hours I put in it was never enough. The ‘to do’ list kept growing and I felt like I was constantly drowning, never accomplishing anything of real purpose, that I would never get out of the hole I had dug… and my mental health suffered.
And to top it off, I was getting bogged down doing stuff I hate and that I’m no good at. We all know that we put off the things we don’t enjoy but when you run your own agency you don’t have that luxury. Everything needs to get done or you don’t get paid.
The impact on my life(style)
Due to the never ending loop of poorly paid and frustrating work I wanted to spend less and less time with my loved ones, and more time up in my office. I was home but I wasn’t really there.
I was working so hard I was at risk of burning out hard.
Instead of spending time with the people I loved, doing the things I liked doing, I was doing work that I didn‘t enjoy, I struggled to do and frankly didn’t have the time to be doing. It can be soul destroying doing work that you really despise doing and know that you suck at!
It felt like an impossible cycle to break but it turned out to be quite simple, once I knew how.
Reducing your stress
You’ll be glad to hear that it all changed with the help and guidance of dear friends in the WordPress community. I managed to turn it all around, reduce some of my stress and build an agency I love more and more by the day – NO LABEL Studios.
I’m going to share with you some tips on how to avoid agency stress and how to stop it impacting on your life(style).
1. Focus on doing what you love, are good at and that which helps you survive – It’s important to have an honest conversation with yourself, your partner(s) and peers in the industry. Focus in on what you do well and enjoy doing, whilst remaining mindful of whether or not this will put food on the table. It’s important you survive and pay the bills after all!
2. Cut out or outsource the “other stuff” – Depending on whether the stuff you hate brings in good revenue or not you may be able to cut it out entirely, or you might find that outsourcing it is the better option.
For marketing agencies we find that they are exceptional at planning and producing collateral for their clients. They have a knack for it. It’s what they love doing and do best. However, they may not be very good at designing or actually building a website that will compliment what they’ve written. Outsourcing these areas of their clients requirement to a white label agency keeps the revenue stream alive and stress levels down.
3. Make time for what matters – If you’ve opted to outsource the “other stuff” you’ve started to make a conscious decision to make more time for yourself and your loved ones. You may also find that you’ve saved so much time that you can dedicate resources to growing your agency, defining processes, securing new clients and much more.
Rather than getting stuck working IN your agency you get to work ON your agency, moving it forward in a positive way.
4. Re-define the work-life balance – So, we’ve identified time saving opportunities and unlocked those extra hours by outsourcing. You’ve also made a decision to make time for what matters. Now it’s actually the time to decide how much of that extra time is spent on personal or work related matters.
Dependant on what you want to achieve you can start to block hours or whole days and dedicate them to reconnecting and making precious memories with loved ones. Decompressing and having fun with those you love will reduce your stress in a major way!
5. Trust that others can do things as good as you, or better – One of the major blockers that will prevent you from taking action on the above tips is your possible inability to trust others to do what you do and do it well.
The thing is you are not great at everything… There I said it.
No-one can be the best at or enjoy doing everything. When we’re faced with things we don’t enjoy, or struggle to do, we push them further down the list. This creates a whole new level of stress for us, and results in unhappy clients because we missed a deadline. By outsourcing the “other stuff” to experts you get peace of mind that the best person is on the job and you get to add valuable expertise to your agency.
By adopting outsourcing in your marketing agency you too can begin to reduce stress in your life and be a part of an agency you truly love.
A key ingredient is the ability to identify the areas of stress and to remove them from your life. If you do that you’ll find that your agency transforms and compliments your lifestyle rather than taking a toll on you and your ability to enjoy it. Your loved ones will see a vast improvement in your mindset and your attentiveness to their needs. They will feel valued once again.
Outsourcing was only a part of the healing process for me, but a vital one that meant I could continue to work on my agency without being negatively impacted. There’s a better balance now and I will continue to work on this until I find my ideal happy place.