S2 EP4: Growth Isn’t Always Linear: How Emma Grew Her Writing Agency to $70,000 per Year
Our readers always come first
The content on DollarSprout includes links to our advertising partners. When you read our content and click on one of our partners’ links, and then decide to complete an offer — whether it’s downloading an app, opening an account, or some other action — we may earn a commission from that advertiser, at no extra cost to you.
Our ultimate goal is to educate and inform, not lure you into signing up for certain offers. Compensation from our partners may impact what products we cover and where they appear on the site, but does not have any impact on the objectivity of our reviews or advice.
Today’s guest is Emma Sloan. Emma is a full-time content creator in her business, The Wee Writer, where she and her team provide customized copywriting and editing services to small and medium-sized businesses.
Emma started her business in 2015 when she was still in university. She was in need of part-time income with flexible hours when she came across the idea to offer copywriting services. Since then, she’s has taken her business full-time and grown it to over $70,000 a year.
Throughout her journey, Emma has learned that business growth isn’t always linear, and growth for growth’s sake is meaningless (and often stressful). Sometimes you need to take a step back and regroup in order to see the bigger picture. She’s on a journey to continue building The Wee Writer into a business that feels aligned and supports her needs.
In this episode, Emma shares:
- A big mistake she made when cold pitching clients early on (and how you can avoid it)
- The mindset shift that’s helped her get more business
- Her reality (and the reality of many) in running a full-time online business (spoiler: growth isn’t always linear)
- Tips for getting clients when you don’t have any work to show
- Why she pivoted from her early service offerings
- Where her best clients come from (you’ve definitely heard of her biggest client!)
- The story of how she knew it was time to hire someone in her business and how she chose what to delegate
- The biggest piece of advice she has for anyone starting a business
- And more!
- The Wee Writer Website (tune into the Nifty Networking Showcase on the blog)
- The Wee Writer on LinkedIn
Note: This transcript was automatically generated and may include typos.
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Dollar Sprout Podcast, where it’s all about building a business that offers consistent income and flexibility so you can live life on your terms. And now your host, Megan Robinson.
[00:00:18] Megan: Welcome back to the Dollar Sprout podcast. Thanks so much for being here. Today’s episode is with Emma Sloan.
[00:00:26] Emma is a content creator and the founder of the We Writer, and I just. Loved Emma so much and I loved having her on the show. Just her message that growth in business is not always linear is one that really resonated and really hit home with me. If you’re a business owner, if you’ve ever started a business before, you know two things are true.
[00:00:52] It’s stressful. It can be very, very stressful and a lot of work to start and get a business off of the ground. And two. Growth isn’t always linear. You have ups and downs. You have some years that are gonna be higher revenue years than others. You have some years where you’ll grow your team and other years where your team will shrink back to where it was two or three years ago.
[00:01:18] Um, so I loved having this conversation with Emma and talking about where her business is now. So Emma has grown the We Writer, which is her content agency to $70,000 a year, and she is on her way to the six figure mark, and she shared so much wisdom about what she’s been through on her journey from starting her business while she was in university to growing it over the last.
[00:01:44] Seven years and through a lot of stress and a lot of ups and downs. Um, she talks about mistakes that she made in the beginning, particularly when she was cold pitching clients early on. Which is hilarious to hear her talk about because I’ve done the exact same thing before that, that you’ll hear her mention in this episode.
[00:02:06] Let’s be clear that it is a mistake and she mentions it so that you can avoid it if you’re starting a service business and doing cold outreach to clients. So definitely pay attention and stay tuned for that. Um, she also talks about mindset and the shift that’s helped her. Get more business that you might not realize If you, if you didn’t hear her story, you might not realize that that was the case or that that was the possibility for this, you know, type of mindset shift and this type of outlook on business.
[00:02:37] She talks about tips for getting clients when you don’t have any work to show the story of how she knew it was time to hire someone in her business and who she chose to hire, which I was surprised. But, um, made a whole lot of sense for what it is that Emma likes to do in her business. Um, and it definitely opened up my mind to what I should be paying attention to in my business.
[00:03:04] Um, the things that I like and the things that I enjoy doing, even if, you know, the traditional business advice is to outsource. Certain things and grow your business in a certain way. I think Emma’s story proves that you don’t have to always follow the quote unquote conventional wisdom of how to grow and scale your business.
[00:03:24] So great episode that you have to look forward to with Emma. And without further ado, please welcome Emma Sloan.
[00:03:33] Emma Sloan: Really excited to be here. Thank you, Megan.
[00:03:36] Megan: Awesome. Um, well, I would love if you could tell our audience just to kind of get started in your own words, what is your business? Where is it now?
[00:03:47] What do you, what do you do and sell and offer in your company today?
[00:03:52] Emma Sloan: Absolutely. So I’m the founder of the We Writer. We are a very small team that offers customized copywriting and editing services. Um, I started out as a solo entrepreneur and have since extended, since 2015 to be managing my own small team of subcontractors that helped me with various roles.
[00:04:12] Um, and we currently work with small to medium sized businesses across Canada, the states, and the.
[00:04:20] Megan: Oh, okay, cool. I didn’t realize that, that it was, you know, Canada, the States and the uk. Um, Very cool. Um, so you said in our survey we send out a guest survey to everybody before the, uh, recording. Um, and you said that you’d be comfortable sharing the revenue that you make in your current business.
[00:04:40] So would you mind to talk about. What your business is currently doing? Does all that revenue come from one source or how is it split up?
[00:04:49] Emma Sloan: Absolutely. So our current revenue is 70 K a year, and I wanted to come on here and talk about that because so often you see interviews of, you know, entrepreneurs making the ideal 500 K a year.
[00:05:03] 50 K year and I’ve been in business for seven years and it’s just a great opportunity to talk about how growth isn’t linear. Uh, for me, this is a fantastic milestone and even though we have a long way to go still, um, that’s still something to be proud of and celebrate. Um, right now that revenue comes from seven different marketing agencies that we work with, and that’s in a variety of subcontracting and contract.
[00:05:29] Megan: Fabulous. That’s awesome. Yeah, I totally agree. Uh, business is not linear in any way. Um, I started my L L C back in 2017 and there were definitely a couple of like negative years there in the beginning where I invested in courses and programs and things and then never really, um, built the business up. So we stayed in the red for, you know, a couple years, uh, and.
[00:05:56] Yeah, I, it’s, it’s not a linear journey at all. Um, so I think 70 K is amazing in revenue and you’re able to do this, um, full-time, is that correct?
[00:06:09] Emma Sloan: It is, yeah. We are full-time and we are fully remote.
[00:06:12] Megan: Yeah, I think that’s awesome. So, running your company full-time, how many hours a week do you dedicate to your business?
[00:06:22] Emma Sloan: It fluctuates between 30 to 40 per week, um, which is down from what it used to be. So that’s another milestone that we’re celebrating of not putting in that mandatory overtime. And also checking yourself about the kind of semi mandatory hustle culture we find ourself in. Um, I’m not sure about your specific sphere, but in mine it can often be almost a competition of who can work more.
[00:06:46] Who can work the longer hours, especially when you are remote. Um, so to be able to take a step back this year and scale down those hours, I think is a really fantastic step for me personally and for the people on my team. I think it’s disgusting the whole hustle culture, you know, racing to work the most.
[00:07:04] That’s like never something I’ve ever wanted to do.
[00:07:07] Megan: Um, yeah, I think one of the big reasons for me personally starting a business is to be able to work less eventually . So yeah, I 100% on the same page there. Um, so now that you have kind of built up your agency and you have other. Team members, contractors that you’re working with, what does a typical workday look like for you?
[00:07:29] Are you still doing any writing? Um, are you spending all of your time managing your team?
[00:07:35] Emma Sloan: That’s a great question. So right now my standard hours try to be nine to five, as I’m sure you know. If. Things pop up. Some days you work less, some days you work more, uh, depends on your client’s needs and what deadlines come up.
[00:07:48] Right now I actually am still very hands on in the writing department. That is what I started out being passionate about, and what I’ve actually done is delegated the managerial roles to my team members, so tasks like project management and whatnot. That might be interesting because I know a lot of, um, a lot of founders like to do the opposite and take that backseat.
[00:08:11] And do a lot of the overseeing. I’m the opposite. I was spending too much time doing the nitty gritty of project management and client communication. And the only thing I’m good at is writing. I’m not a talker as we’ll find out today, . So the less talking I can do and the more writing I can deliver a half year, most people are.
[00:08:30] Megan: Yeah. Well I think you’re doing fine. I think you’re a fine talker, Emma, but uh, yeah, I absolutely understand and I think that. Most people think about growing their business. Uh, I guess the default is kind of to step more into that managerial role, you know, get out of the day-to-day. Um, but I love that you’ve been able to kind of delegate that managerial work and continue to do what you love.
[00:08:56] Because I think that’s something that happens to business owners when they do get out of the day to day, they realize, oh, I started this business because like, I like to write. But now, , I’m spending my whole day in meetings and you know, managing other people’s writing and editing and I don’t get to do what I originally wanted to do.
[00:09:16] So I think that’s great. That’s awesome.
[00:09:19] Emma Sloan: Thank you.
[00:09:20] Megan: Yeah. So would you mind to take us back in time, and I wanna talk about where you were before you started your business. What were you doing in your career and what was the motivation for starting this business in the first?
[00:09:35] Emma Sloan: Yes. Okay. So this officially kicked off about seven years ago, and it actually started when I was in university.
[00:09:42] Um, obviously it took a few years for it to grow to the full-time venture it is now. Um, but what kicked all that off was I was doing a variety of PR and nonprofit work. Which in their own specs were extremely fulfilling. But I noticed that because I was working on these really small teams, um, so much of the essential marketing, such as good copywriting on your website, up to date, social media copy.
[00:10:12] Um, add copy, et cetera. They were all falling to the wayside. And what was happening in these really small teams was the foundation for your marketing wasn’t there, and therefore all the money that was currently being invested was going down the drain. Because I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a great ad.
[00:10:28] You’ve gone to their website and you notice that things just aren’t lining up, whether it be, it just looks very out of date. They’re advertising things on their site that you assumed were out of date by now, et cetera. Um, so once I got out of that, I decided to really offer to businesses like that, that really core foundation and.
[00:10:51] Also when it came to PR specifically, again, because I’m not a great client facing person, um, it all those things were a bit too chatty for me. So I took the introverted route of how can I offer similar things, um, but really harken back to what I enjoy doing and what I’m actually good at doing, which is writing.
[00:11:12] Megan: Yeah. I love that. So, um, you started this business when you were in university. That is such a hectic and crazy time. Um, I look back on, you know, being in college and I can’t even imagine starting a business back then. So what was, uh, what was it that drove you to start this company while you were still in school?
[00:11:37] Emma Sloan: I was finding it very difficult to find part-time work anywhere. At the time I was based in a very small college town, um, and I was also going back and forth to the mainland quite a lot because one of my relatives at the time was sick. So I was looking for something that offered flexibility and when I was looking online, I was noticing a lot of entry level freelance roles that were at least writing adjacent.
[00:12:02] So that was how that started, and I never expected it to pick up in the way that it has, but even some of those clients from back then, we still work for it. Um, just in a minimized role. So I am extremely fortunate to have kept some of those very starter relations, um, which obviously, um, snowballed into making more connections locally.
[00:12:25] And I actually, I contribute a lot of my initial success to those people and putting my name out there.
[00:12:31] Megan: Yeah. That’s awesome. Um, so you started this business when you were in college. Because you found that this was a need that companies had, um, what was the process of. Starting this business, how did you make those first few dollars and get those first couple of clients?
[00:12:52] Emma Sloan: Mm-hmm. . Initially I felt flat on my face. , as is a very story that started out on their own. And what was the real make or break for me on top of being incredibly persistent was I made. a faux portfolio. And of course it was, it was, um, distinguished as such. But it was just a variety of examples because when you’re starting out, so often you’re pressured into offering your services for free.
[00:13:23] And I feel that that can consist be a pitfall, especially if the word gets out that you’re doing that. Um, so what I did to circumvent that and actually get my foot in the door was take time. craft a really nice writing portfolio in the industries I wanted to mostly work in and then send those out for a very discounted rate.
[00:13:43] Um, and I was very fortunate that people put the leap of faith with me.
[00:13:48] Megan: Yeah, I love that. I, um, I think that so few people do that because it is hard when you’re first starting a business or something and you want to get those first clients. It’s hard to. You know, put in, it’s hard to want to put in that work upfront to create like a faux portfolio, um, so that they have, so that you have samples that you can share with potential clients, but it really makes you stand out.
[00:14:15] I’ve seen some people do that. I work with, um, software teams a lot currently in my business and, you know, I see some newer software developers do that. They’ll build like a small app or something, um, just cuz they’re right out of college and they don’t really. Work experience to show. Um, and I think that’s such a great idea and yeah, just can really, really help you stand out.
[00:14:39] Um, so what were the kinds of companies that you were focusing on when you first started doing outreach and what was that outreach like? I’m personally, I’m asking this question because I’m not a fan of networking and outreaching as very much an introvert, so I’m always curious what other people’s experiences with that, especially because it’s a lot of the time what you have to do when you’re first starting a service business.
[00:15:11] Emma Sloan: Yes, it is a necessary evil, and I, to be honest, everyone I chat with about this, we all have our list of faux paws that make us cringe into our body when we remember how we used to try to drum up work. Um, the industries that I used to try to outreach to, um, were very much centered in publishing nonprofit and general pr simply because that was the only things I had background in at the time.
[00:15:36] Um, from there I did reach out to, let’s say they knew people in the real estate industry who were in need of someone to hijack their website and get that, get that uh, flowing. Well that would happen that way. Uh, but when I was solely on my own and before I made those connections, it was a lot of cold calling, which I never recommend.
[00:15:57] It was a lot of cold emailing, which I also never recommend. And a big mistake I learned, uh, firsthand was when I was cold emailing in particular, because you want to prove that you’re going to be helpful. So what I would do in a very well-meaning way was point out things on your website or social media presence that I felt could be improved upon, which of course, no one wants to hear, especially from a stranger and a kid.
[00:16:25] So I think being told to get lost from that approach and people, people took time outta their day very kindly to outline why that wouldn’t be the best approach. I learned that within the first month of attempting to do that, which I very highly value and wish I could remember who told me that I would like to think I would write, I would like to write them a thank you letter.
[00:16:47] Cause if I’d kept doing that, I probably would’ve. Simply out of frustration from not getting any responses. What I do now is I’m very lucky to co moderate a freelancing Facebook group. Um, it’s hyper local to my area of Canada, and it’s a great networking platform because I don’t work off of a scarcity mindset.
[00:17:08] If I see a job pop up that I’m not good for, I would love to throw it into the abyss. My online network and see who else could pick it up. And it’s very reciprocal in that way. So I scratch someone else’s back. They will eventually scratch mine. Everybody’s happy. And that’s the avenue I stick to now.
[00:17:28] Megan: Yeah, I, I totally agree. I’m part of, uh, now as an online business manager, I’m part of a really great O B M community and there is for sure something to be said about having. People in your circle, having a community of people, even if they’re people who do the same thing or similar things to what you do. Um, , yeah. You can just always be helpful for one another.
[00:17:53] It doesn’t, doesn’t have to be seen as direct competition. So, um, that’s great. I’m, I’m glad you also have found that community. So I guess, what were those first few services that you offered, um, with when you were writing? Were they like very specific, um, writing articles for websites or? Yeah. What, what did that look like and how has that changed over time for what you offer now?
[00:18:18] Emma Sloan: Good question. It originated mainly as social media related copy for various platforms and very short form articles, um, that is actually almost directly pivoted in the opposite direction. I now very rarely offer social media related services. And I opt for a longer form content writing that is very SEO oriented as well as related editing services.
[00:18:43] Um, and that was simply because as I was going through social media, which is very in demand and continues to be, I realized it simply wasn’t something I was passionate about and the clients I was working with really deserve someone who was passionate about that. And delivering on that service. So when I do offer that now, that is subcontracted out to one of my team members, um, just for quality assurance purposes.
[00:19:08] Megan: What’s been one of the things that surprised you the most about running your own business?
[00:19:12] Emma Sloan: Another great question. I think, I thought it would, I thought progress would be more linear. I think to harken back to our original topic, I assume that every year would be a very linear growth structure, both in terms of team members I was bringing on and revenue from doing so.
[00:19:31] And what I’ve learned instead is that progress for the sake of progress. Doesn’t necessarily equate to that. For example, since bringing on my original three members, I haven’t continued doing so simply because they’re so great at what they’ve been assigned to do. And to continue to build on that simply for vanity or to say that I am doing that, um, it just isn’t worthwhile.
[00:19:54] And I would rather grow with those team members longer term and give them more coaching attention in that way.
[00:20:00] Megan: I work with a couple agencies and I’m considering doing the agency thing in my business. I’m not sure if I’m gonna take that route or not, but I’m curious your take on this, how did you know when it was time to hire another person in your business and how did you know what the right role was to look for?
[00:20:22] Emma Sloan: So in the May of last year, I was actually diagnosed with alopecia. Um, so for today’s call, I’ve kind of tried to do my hair up as best I can to hide it, and they, the doctor said that that was likely triggered by stress.
[00:20:38] Um, and it’s something I still, uh, go in for treatment for. And um, that was obviously also on the heels of the pandemic, which was stressful on everybody for various reasons. And when I really sat back and analyzed what could have caused a stress flare up that badly, it was the amount of time that I was spending managing those timelines, that client communication, especially the amount of time zones we currently work.
[00:21:04] Um, so that was when I called up my first subcontractor, went through that hiring process on Indeed, and I noticed a difference in my stress levels right away. Um, so I’m so glad in a way that this happened because it prompted me into hiring out during a stage where I would’ve stubbornly refused to otherwise.
[00:21:24] Megan: Yeah. Would, uh uh, Gift and also, um, difficulty. Um, I’m sorry to hear that you went through that and that that had to be the, you know, breaking point or the, the sign to tell you to do something different. But, but I’m glad that your stress levels have lowered and that you’ve hired the right people in the right roles so far.
[00:21:47] So thank you for sharing.
[00:21:51] Emma Sloan: Thank you.
[00:21:52] Megan: I know you kind of talked about this a little bit before, um, with some of your social media services that you offered in the beginning. Are there any other services or products that you tried out, um, throughout your business that you abandoned that didn’t work for whatever reason? And would you mind to talk about any of those?
[00:22:12] Emma Sloan: The only other one would be long form ghost writing, as in ghost writing novels.
[00:22:17] Megan: Oh, wow.
[00:22:18] Emma Sloan: Um, or very long form, let’s say medical content, um, which I did get a request for. And simply for the fact that unless your client is very direct, In what they need. The revision process is personally too long for my taste.
[00:22:35] Um, so that is something I do field out to my broader network now because I do have some really fantastic writer friends who knock that outta the park and are happy spending two years on the project. Um, for me, I’m a little bit more fast paced, so my monthly cadence of let’s bang out a really SEO optimized 5,000 word article for you, much more at my.
[00:22:59] Megan: Yeah. Awesome. Um, lessons learned, . I feel like there’s so many things that I’ve tried out in my business that I have abandoned over the years. Uh, For the better. You said you’ve been in business now for seven years. Is that, is that right?
[00:23:15] Emma Sloan: Yes.
[00:23:15] Megan: Yeah. Yeah. So what do the next few years look like? What are, what do you see happening with the We Writer and, um, what are your goals?
[00:23:25] What is it that you want your business to do for you?
[00:23:27] Emma Sloan: Um, I would love it to stop stealing my hair. That would be fantastic. Um, other than that, I would really love to get to a hundred K. Um, we’re on the brink of, of, um, securing some clients that could get us there and I also very much want to keep the team members I currently have with me.
[00:23:47] Um, so finding ways to enrich their own day-to-day processes is something I’m actually currently taking courses. because I, I have no prior management experience. So we’re all working together as a team to figure out what works for each individual, um, and what processes make both our work better and their time with me better.
[00:24:07] So all those together are, um, plans for 2023. We would love to get that iron out.
[00:24:14] Megan: That’s awesome. Um, I’m curious what these courses are, if you have anything that you have taken or that you’re taking and you like and would recommend, because I feel like that’s kind of a weakness of mine too. I I don’t think that I’m a naturally great manager or leader,
[00:24:33] So, um, if there’s anything that you have that you could recommend, I would love to hear.
[00:24:38] Emma Sloan: Mm-hmm. . The two that come to mind for me would be HubSpot has a couple that are management adjacent, and they’re more focused on processes, but depending on the segment they’re in, they do talk about how, and it sounds so basic, but when you’re in your day-to-day, uh, cadence, it can be easy to forget that, you know, not everyone likes to be managed the way that you like to be managed.
[00:25:01] Not everyone gleans the same assumption from directions that you might g. They may not be familiar enough with the client, et cetera. So those very basic reaffirmation for me are very valuable. Um, and I actually, we use Trello and Asana for our processes. Um, and we actually have a dedicated board in those, um, In those management tools, um, just as a way to easily communicate what’s working, what’s not, what could be improved, et cetera.
[00:25:31] And the other one for me is actually from a client of mine. I’ve been with her since the beginning, and she, herself is a coach. Um, so simply by writing her articles, her website, et cetera, on a monthly basis, I’ll also do, uh, podcast management for her. Um, I learned so much from her triumphs and failures, um, as she was in a very similar position I learned when she was first.
[00:25:58] Megan: I think that sounds great. I think it sounds like you’re building a great business and you know, you are really setting the foundation for something huge. So I’m looking forward to watching the We Writer over the next year and, uh, watching you crack a hundred.
[00:26:15] Emma Sloan: Thank you.
[00:26:16] Megan: Yeah. Um, so last question I have for you, before we move into the rapid fire, if you don’t mind, uh, sharing.
[00:26:25] I know you shared a little bit earlier about how you get most of your clients these days and with your network, um, networking, reaching out to people, having a community, um, I’m curious, where has your biggest client come from so far?
[00:26:42] Emma Sloan: Referrals. Um, how the way I look at it is no client is going to be a client of yours forever.
[00:26:49] So to get a good recommendation from them early and to consistently deliver on them until the end of your time together. Yields such fantastic return on investment long term. So all of my bigger clients have always stemmed from, I did a really good job for so and so. Our time has ended and I was the first name to come to their mind when a peer or friend also needs help.
[00:27:14] Um, an example of this is we are actually currently working with Etsy through an agency called Stretch Creative, and that was a direct referral. Um, and that’s also a project until December. So that is our large project to date. Um, and I’m extremely thrilled.
[00:27:31] Megan: So yeah, that’s incredible. Congratulations.
[00:27:35] Thank you.
[00:27:36] Yeah, . Um, alright, well I would love to ask you a few rapid fire questions if you’re up for it.
[00:27:44] Emma Sloan: Okay. I will try my best.
Rapid Fire Questions
[00:27:47] Megan: First question I have is, In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life and or business?
[00:27:57] Emma Sloan: That would have to be getting myself out of that scarcity mindset and to stop looking at other freelancers as competition.
[00:28:07] Um, in the beginning, especially when I had no work experience, it was easy to feel insecure about how accomplished everyone else was. And to feel the need to very much discount my rate as a way to entice people to work with me, that is completely the wrong way to go about things. What you offer is distinctly unique, um, and you can easily prove that to both potential and existing clients.
[00:28:30] And how I’ve actually flipped that around is on a monthly basis I do something called my nifty networking. And I actually bring on an article form a competitor on my website that I feature. And that has actually been a fantastic referral generation as well. Um, simply cause even if we offer similar services, we each have our own niche and we each have our own way of communicating and delivering.
[00:28:55] And that’s really what makes our breaks. What makes you compatible with the. So that’s been a really great growth journey for me personally.
[00:29:03] Megan: Yeah. Based on that experience of, you know, you said you discounted your services a lot in the beginning to try to get those first few clients. Um, I’m curious if you have any.
[00:29:14] Advice for someone who’s maybe starting out in, you know, a similar or a service-based business, um, as a, rather than discounting, heavily discounting your rates, what are some other things that you think would work for. Generating that initial revenue and getting those first few clients.
[00:29:34] Emma Sloan: I think two things, persistence and also an authenticity and passion.
[00:29:39] Um, so many clients I work with now bring on whether it be interns or um, temporary workers who don’t have a lot of work experience, but they were so passionate about getting their foot in the door, um, that it made these clients want to open that for them, and I’ve seen that time and time again. And I feel that it’s understated in today’s work climate, um, that people really do want to work with other people who believe in their mission and what they want to do and what they want to achieve.
[00:30:09] So I, I wouldn’t cross that out. That was something I crossed out early on that I shouldn’t have. And my second piece of it, advice, um, if they are thinking of doing that, is never price yourself in a way where you would be embarrassed following up for an invoice. Initially that was how I knew I was undercharging to the point of embarrassment, was looking at an invoice and thinking it’s not worth to follow up on this.
[00:30:36] And especially when you’re very young, if you, in your, uh, late teens, early twenties, it can be easy to fall into that trap, but you can’t. So my advice would be if you’re looking out what your charging. And you know, that it wouldn’t be worthwhile, um, timewise or, uh, pride wise to do that. Um, get someone in the industry or someone older to reevaluate your pricing sheet.
[00:30:59] Megan: Thank you for sharing. That is great advice. Um, what next question that I have in the rapid fire, which I told you is not very rapid . Um, , what is a common myth or misconception about running an online business or a lifestyle business that you wanna clear up once and for all?
[00:31:18] Emma Sloan: Mm-hmm. , in my personal experience, and maybe you have found this as well, especially as a woman in the, in the workforce in this way, um, there is this split between you either have to be dedicated to hustle culture.
[00:31:32] And you need to be putting in that overtime. This is your absolute passion of working yourself to the bone or you go into freelancing because you need the family flexibility. You know, maybe you’re a mother or other duties that you need to take care of, and this is a way to work very part-time during very flexible hours.
[00:31:52] And there seems to be no in between. Um, at least currently. And we also see that reflected on social media in terms of what we should aspire to. And it’s always these two very different options. I have found myself to be in the middle. I, I don’t lounge around in my pajamas all day, but I’m also not working 70 hours a week anymore.
[00:32:12] Um, and I just want people to be working on balance does exist and this type of work. Just what you make it, it’s not what anyone else tries to sell it to be. Um, so just to not fall into that trap of, oh, I’m not the workaholic, or I’m not the working mom that only works nights because of this. And it doesn’t make your business any less valid.
[00:32:34] Um, everyone’s just on their own unique journey.
[00:32:37] Megan: That’s so true, uh, that there is a lot of both of those extremes online when you see influencer or like, you know, influencer business owners or online business owners or whatever that Yeah, there’s a lot of the hustle culture and then there’s a lot of the like, oh, I work.
[00:32:54] Two hours a month cuz all my income is passive and you can do this too. And yeah, and realistically, like there’s a lot of in between and there are a lot of people who are working in their business regular 30, 40 hours a week, um, or 20, 25 hours a week. Um, and yeah, you, you, it can be balanced. . So I agree. Um, so next question I have is, when has a failure or a parent failure set you up for a later success in your business?
[00:33:28] And do you have a favorite failure in your business?
[00:33:30] Emma Sloan: Yes, I have so many. Um, when it comes to mind, they are all deadline related because obviously when you’re freelancing, the mantra is, Under promise, over-delivered. Um, but especially when you’re expanding, it’s so easy to take whatever is coming your way.
[00:33:48] And when I was first diagnosed with alopecia, I had a lot going on in my personal life as well, and I simply wasn’t able to manage those promised deadlines. So I wasn’t, I was over promising and not delivering at all. Um, So I would recommend to, if that ever happens, and I feel that it does happen in some capacity to everyone who strikes out on their own, um, to, to look at it less as a failure and just as a learning lesson that you’re not going to repeat again, because hopefully you’ve already learned your core lesson from that, um, from the get-go, uh, which was certainly my case.
[00:34:25] Megan: Last question that I have for you here before we wrap up. , what advice do you have for someone who’s just getting started or maybe toying with the idea of starting a business that’s, um, similar to yours or in your industry?
[00:34:41] Emma Sloan: Find a mentor. If I found a mentor very early on, I would’ve priced myself better.
[00:34:47] I would’ve advertised myself better. I would’ve found my niche earlier. And a lot of pain points could have been avoided very early on. Um, and my, my specific recommendation for that, especially for women in the industry, is there are a lot. Great online resources to find that if you find yourself in an area where that’s not readily available.
[00:35:10] And I would recommend for those women to look at Facebook groups like Women in Marketing or I think it’s just called Freelancers Group a Facebook. And there’s so many people who have been in the industry for a long time who are looking to reach out that helping hand, um, and simply offer advice on whether it be on an ongoing or a periodic basis as you.
[00:35:33] Megan: Yeah, Facebook is a great place to find support, surprisingly. I like that’s, the Facebook groups are the only reason I still have Facebook because there are so many good…
[00:35:43] Emma Sloan: me, too.
[00:35:43] Megan: Yeah. There are so many good like business communities. Um, I every day, you know, will wake up and go to the Facebook groups and see what questions people have asked and, um, Questions about things that I’m dealing with.
[00:35:58] So yeah, I think having that comu community is important and Facebook is surprisingly a good place to find it . So, um, well thank you so much for being here with us today, Emma. I really appreciate it. Um, this has been a great conversation. I’ve loved hearing more about the We Writer and yeah. Looking forward to seeing where it goes for you.
[00:36:20] Um, would you mind to share where can people find you? Where can our audience get into your world?
[00:36:26] Emma Sloan: We are mainly on LinkedIn at the We Writer and my website also at the We Writer. Um, I recommend people tune in for the Nifty Networking Showcase once a month, um, if only to find inspiration in their specific niche.
[00:36:41] Megan: Well, thank you so much. This has been great.
[00:36:43] Emma Sloan: Thank you for having me, Megan.
[00:36:44] Megan: Thanks so much for being here and for listening to the Dollar Spa podcast today. Be sure to check out the show notes for any links and resources that were mentioned in today’s conversation. And if you enjoyed this episode, then don’t forget to like, subscribe, and leave us a review.
[00:37:00] Wherever you’re listening to this podcast, thanks again for being here and for being part of the Dollar Spout community, and I will see you in the next episode.