Updated: May 29, 2019
Everyone wants to be a Boss Babe. It seems to be the new wave; women who take life by the laptop and turn coffee shops into their offices while leveraging their social influence to make that money, honey. I am all about that life. It’s the life of my dreams; doing what I love, on my own schedule, taking the jobs I want, picking my team and delivering on time.
After all, how hard is it to turn what I do best, creating, into a profitable business? Turns out, as with many artists and creatives, the creating is easy. The earning the money can be hard and even harder if you mismanage yourself.
It's much easier to mismanage yourself than you think. Miss deadlines, don't educate yourself, fail to create and stay ahead of the curve. Be lazy, claim you're not inspired and see JUST how long you're in business for. I've been through all of these stages. There's nothing worse than being the reason you're not successful. But what happens when you're doing the right things?
For years, I’ve written songs, hit stages, earned money, flipped that into a music video, turned that into more shows and more money, right? Sometimes. If we operate with the Utopian expectation that we get an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, we set ourselves up for failure.
Did I just say that? Yes. In my experience, even with providing the best service at the most competitive rate, you can still mismanage your business. I remember my manager at BuffBoo Records, Ray, having a conniption when I posted a blog on MySpace titled ‘Me and My Big Girl Panties”. It was a cheeky retort at a local promoter whom I performed for and who’d paid the international artist their fee, but told me that he couldn’t pay me; no deposit, no balance, just a broken contract and me performing on air.
Ray’s concern was more about me making my grievances public and burning bridges that had not yet been built than it was about my business (me) collecting the money that I’d worked for.
That’s when I understood the first concept of business management, there are factors that you can’t control that affect how your business is run. These factors include people on your team and believe it or not your clients.
Aside from being more selective with my clients there’s still no way to guarantee that as a small businessperson, I will get exactly what I’ve earned and worked so hard for.
For me, when things don’t go as planned, I check my list:
Did I deliver?
Did I exceed expectations?
What has the feedback been like?
What did I do wrong?
I ask myself these questions each and every single time I deliver rave-worthy services according to my clients, but still struggle to finance projects for my company. What exactly am I doing wrong?
Well, for one, I may be going wrong by doing it alone. But I’m not. Well, not really. I’ve assembled a core group of people that I work with and who pull their weight. After all, you’re only as strong as your team, right? I know who to call and how to motivate the squad when it’s time to ride out. We support each other, we help each other navigate and we always reach our destination; except when we’re derailed by life or other professional obligations. That’s when we get caught up in what seems to be bumper to bumper traffic and miss key deadlines.
It can be frustrating, because I know that I can’t do it all on my own and I also know my team, irreplaceable though they may be, is not getting what I need to get done. How do I manage that? You don’t want to compromise the quality of work that you’ve been making but at the same time, not meeting deadlines affects your reputation which in effect affects your bottom line. We all want our bottom lines to be in BOLD BLACK.
How do I not mismanage my team?
What I’m hoping you see, is that right now, I’m seeking to address the issues that affect me as a small businessperson. These are the issues that big-named celebrities have people to handle for them, but I’m not there yet.
I’m still at the in the garage, at my kitchen table with an obsolete laptop and a bottle of budget wine, balancing my day job with my full-time job (a la Google) stage. I'm still at the getting rejected by corporate with my secret recipe of herbs and spices (like the Colonel) stage. I'm still at the home with a million thoughts bursting from my head while my cat begs for my attention stage.
That’s why I’m taking this course at Synergy Bahamas in Business Management. I want to be Miss. Management not mismanaged.