January Contest

DustiO Administrator Posts: 715

We recently posted an article with some amazing advice from our Community Leaders, @perrysto @BITBLeah @Danielle_Penn @patrykkg @Stat @PomeranzLaw @Filip_Matic and @CurlyBartender. We really loved what they had to say, and we'd love to hear your thoughts, too.

Please comment below with your best piece of advice for the new year - advice about running a business, building a team, building your brand, or even a tip about how to take care of yourself when you're wearing all the hats. And be sure to check out what your fellow pros and Community Leaders had to say, here.

At the end of the month, we'll pick a winner to receive some Thumbtack swag!


  • Hello Everyone! Here's something I think can help.

    Running a business - My advice for anyone reading this no matter if you are a solo freelancer, small business, or established company is the same. Accountability. When you're personally accountable, you take ownership of what happens as a result of your choices and actions. You don't blame others or make excuses. You are in control of yourself or the people you lead. Also we owe it our clients to really give out best effort in the service we provide to them.

    Set weekly goals - The key to success in any business is growing and being better for yourself and for your client. Formulate a specific and measurable goal statement for different areas you want to grow and get better at, also do the same for things you are already very good at. Be ready to not hit all your goals, but if you sat 10 goals and only hit 6 that's better than not having set any goals that you are actively working towards and hitting none of them. Set deadlines, reminders, and time for your goals. This will keep you Accountable and be fun to have something to work towards, same goes for you employees if you have any.

    Building your brand- I'm a Hybrid professional meaning I do photo & video at a high level for my clients. Anytime I get hired to help build. brand for my client and they ask which one they need I am honest... they need both. You need both, I as a small business need both. People want to see that you can do what they are asking for no matter how many reviews you have or how big you company is, people need to see that you have successfully completed the thing they are about to hire you for. The more you can show a potential client your value with pictures and video the more likely they are to hire you to do the service you provide. Marketing is a very important part of building a successful brand.

    As a small business or freelancer you may be competing against big brands and companies with devoted customers and unlimited marketing budgets and resources. You have to do something that is sets you apart from everyone else that is doing what you do. The one thing we all can agree on is things we buy from brands we like help us, make us feel good, and most importantly we trust them. The main take I can provide for building your brand is build trust and care for the people you provide a service for and word will spread in a positive manner that can help grow you biz.

    Wearing all the hats- This is something personally I know very well being my own brand. I provide photo, video, marketing services. I also run my website, my thumbtack, and I am the host of my podcast (podcast are great for building a brand) and many other things we all must do as a small biz.

    Identify what is the most important and what is something you can outsource. While you may wear many hats make sure you spend time and effort each day in every department and try to get better as they all are important. Don’t get discouraged by failing in one area or another, it happens to all successful people and brands, LEARN FROM IT.

    Last thing I'm trying to focus on that may help you is just get 1% better each day. If you can do that by the end of 365 days. You will be a better version of yourself and be much better off for the new year going into your business affairs. Give yourself time to enjoy the little wins you can get and win you take a loss, let it push you to never lose again. I hope this helps!

    Lemar Griffin

    Lemar Griffin Films

    @lemargriffinfilms on Instagram :)

    p.s Sorry for any typos!

  • SimonK3
    SimonK3 Posts: 1

    My best piece of advice for the New Year is to ENJOY THE JOURNEY! Life/Buisness has its pitfalls and we are constantly working day in and day out to create what we've imagined our future will be. Today is yesterday's future so make TODAY what you imagined it would be and enjoy yourself while you're on this platform doing what you love to do!

    Happy New Year!

  • My best piece of advice this year is to RELAX and take your time when I to come to making big decisions. Also always have an outstanding first impression when meeting new clients !

  • What I've learned about running my business and wearing all the hats. Well, I always said I would never pursue money to a degree in which I was not able to spend time with my daughter. I was very successful at that until I decided to start my own business. I am an electrical contractor and I do everything that the business requires to run successfully, or on some days just runs. I have accounting knowledge as I at one point was attending school to be an accountant. After discovering that I love math but not so much entering numbers on one side of a form vs the other. But I still know enough to do the accounting part of the business as well. As soon as I obtained my license, I began to advertise. Before I knew it my company began to take off and I was soon putting in 12-hour days. Either going out looking at jobs, or typing up estimates, scheduling, accounting, inventory, oh and then I'd go and do the jobs come home just to start on the other half of running the company. I transformed my bedroom into my office and if I wasn't out and about that is where I spent most of my time. After about a month or two, I really can't remember because the first few months is still somewhat of a blur. But I began to notice my daughter trying to come in and sit on the bed, turning the tv on and wanting to spark up a conversation. I was very perplexed as to why she would do this knowing that I am so overwhelmed in my current position as CEO, President and Secretary of this company. I still did my parental duties of course and provided money and food when needed but our house became a very different place and before I knew it, we had become more like roommates rather than father and daughter. I would come home with the dinner and go straight to the office; my daughter would get her portion and retreat into the darkness. Basically, her room but she doesn't like the light to be on just the LED strip that covers about three fourths of the ceiling and is often itself a color that trends to the darker side of the light spectrum. As the days went on, I started to realize that the business was becoming my whole life and still there weren't enough hours in the day to accomplish all that was included on my hour long "Alexa what's on my agenda today" report. Then one day it hit me, the thing that I swore I would never do I was now fully immersed in. I decided to call an old friend, she was the service manager at a company I was once employed. I called to get some managerial advice for a situation that had developed at work that day and just overall advice on running the company. Lucky for me the advice she gave to me was not that of an old service manager and now controller. It was the advice of an old friend. I will share with you this same advice she gave to me. Don't try to do it all yourself. Hire an accountant, hire a manager, get a couple employees and last but not least take a couple days off every week and spend them with your daughter. I certainly did not think I was in any position to hire anyone, why I can do it all myself and make a lot more money. Then I thought about the last piece of advice she gave to me. The next day I started calling around for accountants, I put a now hiring ad on craigslist and rescheduled the jobs I had scheduled for that weekend. My daughter and I spend that weekend doing what we used to do which is plan our day and figure out what movie we were going to watch that night. Come to find out, I still make the same amount of money and even though I can do it all myself I'd rather someone else do it so that I can use that time to be a father with my daughter. So, the best advice I can give to someone wearing all the hats, take a few off and let someone else wear them and take that time to enjoy life.

  • DustiO
    DustiO Administrator Posts: 715
    edited February 1

    @SimonK3 @Devin_Smith @JeffWuest @Lemargriffinfilms Thank you so much for sharing. I love all of these. @JeffWuest your story definitely struck a chord with me as a working mom, thank you for the reminder!!! We will post the contest winner tomorrow, but I just wanted to thank you for your contributions!

  • DustiO
    DustiO Administrator Posts: 715

    Happy February, all! Thank you all for your incredible contributions to this Community. This month's contest winner is @SimonK3 - if you can DM me with your mailing address I will get your prize sent to you! And, check out February's contest!