Before we were ever business coaches for creatives, Jesse and I were wedding photographers.
In 2009, we spent hours, probably days worth of time coming up with our business name alone: Limelife Photography (we don’t recommend taking this long to decide on a business name). In 2012, we invested $8,750 in a new website and promo video. That business was our baby. Our everything at the time.
As the years went on, we started having conversations about transitioning our entrepreneur journey toward what is now Idealust. (Thinking of making a big move, leap or transition in your business? Read this.) We continued to get wedding photography inquiries even though we updated our website saying we were no longer taking weddings. Even though we weren’t using it, we kept the site up because how could we not?! It was the product of a lot of blood, sweat, tears and dolla bills.
Before long, I got an email reminding me it was time to renew our hosting. For years we automatically renewed. Obviously. We needed the site to help market our business. Duh. But now, we weren’t pursuing that business, so…
Jesse and I had a conversation that included a lot of these questions…
“Do we keep paying for it even though we don’t need it anymore?”
“Should we take the site down?!”
“WHAAAAT?! We can’t take it down, can we?!”
“We put so many hours and so much work and so much money into it!”
“Does it make sense to keep it up just for the sake of keeping it up?”
“Do we need it anymore?”
We decided to scrap our shiny $8,750 website. Our photography business promo video (we obviously have a thing for upbeat and quirky promo videos…here’s our Idealust vid) still lives on our free WordPress blog that we will probably have forever. But, the rest of it (the beautiful galleries, the clean and colorful design, the copy), well, it’s gone. Yes, it felt like we were breaking up with or practically burying a part of ourselves, but in the end…
That website worked wonders for us at one point, but it was no longer essential for the direction we were headed. It no longer served a purpose. We haven’t needed it or thought about it in the last 4+ years.
Recently, we scrapped our free Facebook group for Idealust and have been solely focusing on our private community for our 1:1 clients and those in the Jetsetter Academy. One of the best decisions we’ve made in a while.
We’re such big believers in streamlining and simplifying our business that we coach our incredible clients to do the same, when necessary.
For example, when we first started working with Stefani of Stefani Jessica Studio, she offered brand strategy, branding design, copywriting and website design. She is capable and talented at all those things but she wasn’t making money from all of those avenues. And, maybe more importantly, she wasn’t excited about the work she was doing in some of those categories!
After a few conversations and some nudging from Jesse and me (it’s hard to let go of the things we’ve built), Stefani decided to solely focus on website strategy, design and development (in addition to educating other designers with her in-depth content).
Making that one switch, letting go of something that wasn’t working for her business, Stefani has been able to raise her prices, book dream clients and continues to book her highest package over and over again. Oh, and she’s actually enjoying her work 😉 Worth it, wouldn’t you say?
I’m not saying you should finish this article and go delete your Facebook group or shut down your site or delete half of your services.
I am saying do yourself a favor and take inventory of your tools, resources, revenue streams, systems, services, etc. and do a gut check on what’s working for you and what’s not.
A few questions to help you decide if it’s time to let go of something in your business:
- What are you spending time, money or energy on that no longer serves a purpose for your business?
- Do you pay for a service, app or system that you don’t use (as much as you’d like to be using and know that’s not going to change)?
- Do you offer a specific service because someone else offers that service but you really, truly don’t want to be offering that service?
- Do you offer services or products that aren’t making you money you’d like to be making with them? (Scrapping them isn’t the only option. It takes a lot of work to finetune marketing strategies and sales funnels, so those might be options, too.)
- Do you have a gut feeling about something you’re doing in your business, like maybe, you already know you shouldn’t continue down that path?
- Running a successful business takes smart plans and strategies but it also takes flexibility (and these things too). We have to be able to remove ourselves from the work and time and often, the money, we put into our businesses to make clear decisions that benefit the longevity of our businesses.
Sometimes, we have to cut our losses. Sometimes, we have to shift or transition. Sometimes, we have to scrap projects, ideas, services, lead magnets, Instagram ads or shiny websites, if those things aren’t serving their purpose.
It’s not always easy. But, if it’s the right move, we promise, it’ll be more than worth it.
We’d love to hear from you! What’s something that you let go of that’s made your business better and stronger? How did you feel once you finally let _________ go?