Boss Responses

#14: How to Grow Your Skills and Your Business with Ed Gandia

December 07, 2023 Treasa Edmond Episode 14
#14: How to Grow Your Skills and Your Business with Ed Gandia
Boss Responses
More Info
Boss Responses
#14: How to Grow Your Skills and Your Business with Ed Gandia
Dec 07, 2023 Episode 14
Treasa Edmond

What do you do when you've reached a comfortable plateau in your business? You level up! In this episode, guest co-host Ed Gandia and host Treasa Edmond answer a question about improving your habits and skills so you can improve your business. This is one of Ed's areas of brilliance, and he offers a powerful exercise you can use to identify where you want to be in two years so you can reverse engineer your path to greater success. If you want to grow yourself and your business, you need to listen to this episode!

About the Hosts

Treasa Edmond is a content strategist and consultant, best-selling ghostwriter, and podcast host. On Boss Responses, Treasa and her weekly guest hosts explore how freelancers and small business owners can navigate the sometimes tricky path of client management and communication. She also teaches content professionals and small businesses how to create SEO-optimized content strategies so they can grow their businesses by connecting with their audiences.
Connect with Treasa on LinkedIn
Follow Boss Responses on Instagram

Ed Gandia is a business-building coach who helps established freelance writers and copywriters earn more in less time doing work they love for better clients. His High-Income Business Writing podcast is one of the top freelancing and writing podcasts on Apple Podcasts. And his insights and advice have been featured in Forbes, Inc. magazine, Fast Company, CNN Radio, CBS Radio News, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, DM News, AirTran Airways' Go magazine and The Writer, among others.

Download a free copy of his latest book, Earn More in Less Time: The Proven Mindset, Strategies and Actions to Prosper as a Freelance Writer, at www.b2blauncher.com.

Support the Show.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Boss Responses. Have a question you'd like answered? Send it to info@bossresponses.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What do you do when you've reached a comfortable plateau in your business? You level up! In this episode, guest co-host Ed Gandia and host Treasa Edmond answer a question about improving your habits and skills so you can improve your business. This is one of Ed's areas of brilliance, and he offers a powerful exercise you can use to identify where you want to be in two years so you can reverse engineer your path to greater success. If you want to grow yourself and your business, you need to listen to this episode!

About the Hosts

Treasa Edmond is a content strategist and consultant, best-selling ghostwriter, and podcast host. On Boss Responses, Treasa and her weekly guest hosts explore how freelancers and small business owners can navigate the sometimes tricky path of client management and communication. She also teaches content professionals and small businesses how to create SEO-optimized content strategies so they can grow their businesses by connecting with their audiences.
Connect with Treasa on LinkedIn
Follow Boss Responses on Instagram

Ed Gandia is a business-building coach who helps established freelance writers and copywriters earn more in less time doing work they love for better clients. His High-Income Business Writing podcast is one of the top freelancing and writing podcasts on Apple Podcasts. And his insights and advice have been featured in Forbes, Inc. magazine, Fast Company, CNN Radio, CBS Radio News, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, DM News, AirTran Airways' Go magazine and The Writer, among others.

Download a free copy of his latest book, Earn More in Less Time: The Proven Mindset, Strategies and Actions to Prosper as a Freelance Writer, at www.b2blauncher.com.

Support the Show.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Boss Responses. Have a question you'd like answered? Send it to info@bossresponses.com

Treasa Edmond:

Welcome back to the Boss Responses podcast and day four with our guest co-host, Ed Gandia. Today we are talking about the habits and routines that successful business owners and freelancers adopt that help them grow their business. You're not going to want to miss this one, especially Ed's suggestion for looking into the future when you're planning your business. If you're a freelancer, business owner or anyone who deals with clients, you're in the right place. I'm your host, teresa Edmond. I've been dealing with clients and running my business for nearly two decades and in that time I've dealt with my share of doubt, imposter syndrome and not knowing what to say when a client asks a question. I wasn't ready for. I created this podcast to empower you with the Boss Responses you need to grow your business. Each week, my guest co-host and I will bring you five episodes packed with practical insights. Monday through Thursday, we answer your questions, and Fridays, we dive deep to explore how our co-host embraced their role as the Boss of their business.

Treasa Edmond:

Welcome to Boss Responses. We are back with Ed Gandia for our last question of the week. Ed, the question is I'm ready to level up my business. I've been freelancing for several years and I have a steady supply of satisfied clients, so I want to focus on building up my skills in business and take that next step, whatever that looks like. Can you share some of the key habits or routines that you see consistently successful freelancers adopt in their businesses?

Ed Gandia:

I think it's a great question and there are many different ways we can address that and unpack it, but the first thing that comes to mind for me is that you need to understand that there's an inflection point somewhere in here. I talked I think it was on day one about how you got to buy a bunch of lottery tickets. Say yes to everything. You don't know which one's going to pop, so at first it's all about trying to get a bunch of reps to see what works and where that leads you. The problem is that a lot of freelancers stick with that mindset and they forget to make a shift. And it's all about working hard and about pleasing their clients and about saying yes to everything, and then they forget that they needed to have made that shift and little by little, you have to start saying no to more and more things. I find that really successful freelancers say no more than they say yes. They say no a lot, and then we could talk about habits and routines, which are important but really, in the grand scheme of things, are superficial when compared to more foundational elements such as your big Y in your vision, and I think if you don't, if you haven't addressed that by now, or if it's been a while. I encourage you to really give some thought to that.

Ed Gandia:

Your big Y is basically why your business exists, besides just making money. Making money is super important, but, okay, we could do a lot of different things to make money. So, why? What drives you? And then your vision is really something you may never quite reach, but this would be like your ideal situation, and what I would encourage everyone to do is to work with this journaling prompt. You need a couple hours to really think through this and write it out. So don't rush through this process.

Ed Gandia:

But it's two years from today. Pretend that it's two years from this day and you've taken the day off to reflect on your business and everything you've accomplished over the past couple of years. What would have needed to have happened for you to be thrilled with where you are right now? Okay, so it's future orientation right, you're in the future already and you're in an amazing place. What would have needed to have happened for you to be there, like, tell me what's happened over the past couple of years and that, in terms of a visioning exercise, can really set the stage for then the habits and routines, because those things are more superficial. You need to really get clear on what your business looks like two years from now and then work backward from there. Those are some thoughts, but I wanted to check in with you first to see if that's resonating.

Treasa Edmond:

Now it really is. That's essentially reverse engineering. Whatever success looks like for you.

Ed Gandia:

Yes, absolutely. The problem with present looking forward is that we harvest so many limiting beliefs that those are going to work our way into that visioning. So I want you to skip the next two years. It's already two years from today. Look back and things are amazing. What would have needed to have happened for you to be where you are right now? It frees up the creative part of your brain to really start coming up with ideas and possibilities, and that's what we want. We don't want to let those limiting beliefs get in the way.

Treasa Edmond:

That's brilliant. I think it's really easy for us as humans and as business owners to get stuck in a rut where we're fine, everyone's happy, just being fine. You mentioned the word no and I will freely admit that, as of about five years ago, no became my favorite word and I think saying no has moved me forward so many times, because by turning down something that was fine, I had to find something that was exceptional, and it really made a huge difference. I've not tried the reverse engineering and I'm going to do that because I have the limiting beliefs. My version of that has always been and I learned this a long time ago to set a big, hairy, audacious goal. I call them B-hags, which is that not the worst acronym ever? But set it really is.

Treasa Edmond:

Set a big, hairy, audacious goal, a goal that makes you incredibly uncomfortable. You're pretty sure you're not going to achieve it, but you're going to give it. You're all for a specific period of time and then when you meet it, it's amazing. No matter what happens, you've moved yourself on to that next step because it challenges you to move further than you have before. So goal setting in my world is a catch-22. I think goals themselves can limit you. I think if you have milestones that you're moving toward, that's fine because it's moving you toward something. But that big, hairy, audacious goal I remember the first time I set one I was at probably the $5,000 a month mark and I thought I was doing fine.

Treasa Edmond:

I was paying my bills, I was doing my thing, my business was just getting started. I was really, really happy. And someone encouraged me to set a big, hairy, audacious goal and they specified that it should be income related. So I decided I was going to make $17,000 the next month. No way, right. That's a heck of a leap. I did it with 10 days to spare and I almost killed myself doing it and I moved back to more reasonable goals for future months. But that broke something in my brain, a bad something, and it made me see I'm capable of more than I thought I was. So it almost reverse engineered that success, because it assumed a success that I knew wasn't possible. So, no matter what I did, it was going to be great and it was. I don't know it removed those limits in some way. So I'm really excited to try the reverse engineering, the setting that two years from now it showed you a lie.

Ed Gandia:

It showed you that was a lie. It was a story you were telling yourself. I mean, that's how the brain works. We're telling ourselves stories all the time. And you were telling yourself a story that 5,000 is fine and that's probably toward the limit of what you can do, and you showed yourself that it wasn't, that you could accomplish much more. It's not that you're going to necessarily want to stay at 17K or maybe right now, but it showed you that it was entirely possible. By the way, one quick footnote that question is a variation of a question called a Dan Sullivan question. It's one that Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach came up with, and so that's. I credit him for the idea. It's a really powerful journaling exercise, teresa.

Ed Gandia:

I think if I were to add more to this in terms of like okay, let's get a little bit more tactical right, I think what I've seen is highly successful freelancers are much more purposeful about the clients and the projects they take on. Again, this speaks to the whole saying no more often they push themselves ever so gradually to go after bigger opportunities and work with longer term clients. So one thing I did about six years in I realized you know what. I looked at what was working and whom I loved working with, what kind of relationships I enjoyed, and I saw that they were all longer term clients. We didn't necessarily have a retainer agreement in place, but they're all longer term. So I changed my positioning and I changed what I was telling new prospects and you know what I was saying to everybody.

Ed Gandia:

Again, new prospect they haven't worked with me yet. I partner with my clients. I only work with clients that have longer term needs because I'm in it for the long haul. I'm not in this for this white paper that you need help with right now. Now, it's fine, I'm willing to do a pilot project with you, but I just want you to know that this is the way I work and I want to get your feedback on how you feel about that, and I would just see what would they say, because if their reaction was kind of negative, then I knew that this was going to be a problem and maybe I needed to reevaluate this particular opportunity. But if they like that, then I knew that I probably had a really solid future client here in my hands.

Treasa Edmond:

Yeah, and that really resonates with me, because my goal is not just to make money. That's not my why. It helps support my, why I really become vested or invested in my clients, my clients success and you can't do that with a one off project. I can write a really great blog or a really great case study, or knock it out of the park with a white paper or even a book, but that's one element, and if all of the other elements that go with that don't exist, then it's limited success and I don't want to limit my clients any more than I want to limit myself.

Treasa Edmond:

So I think it's not hitching your value to someone else's star. It's honestly, like you said, partnering with them, feeding into them, providing your expertise and I've heard you say this so many times on your podcast. Find other ways you can support them. Say yes to the things that they need that aren't necessarily in your wheelhouse. It not only helps you grow, it helps them grow and they become your super fans, and super fans are the best thing you can have whenever you want to shake up your business and move it to that next step.

Ed Gandia:

Not only that, but then they end up hiring you at the next company they go work for.

Treasa Edmond:

Yes.

Ed Gandia:

Yeah, these are clients for life in some cases.

Treasa Edmond:

Yeah, Don't overlook that. So move your business forward. Back to the original question. Don't accept the status quo. Look at where you want to be in two years. Just assume where you're going to be in two years. It has nothing to do with the status quo. So do whatever it takes to get yourself there. So, like Ed said, start with two years from now. Look at what you need to do to move yourself to that point. I also highly recommend seeking a mentor or a business coach.

Ed Gandia:

Yes.

Treasa Edmond:

Because a coach can move you forward like you will never be able to move yourself forward, and that's probably one of the most valuable things you can do if you're looking to pivot your business or to grow it two levels from now.

Ed Gandia:

Yeah, I would say so. I had that in the category of get help for both, actually for everything for your writing, for your craft operations, admin and for your business. A lot of people are surprised to hear that some of the writers who tend to seek out coaching and mentorship the most are really successful writers. Yeah, so why wouldn't you need that if you're already successful? Actually, no, you really need that at all stages. But I think these people understand that. You know what, if I'm going to continue to grow professionally and personally, I need that kind of support. It seems very self-serving, right, because we help people, but it's really not about that. I don't care if it's whoever it is, it's somebody who could help you. Very important that you invest in that part of yourself and your business.

Treasa Edmond:

Yeah, and one thing that I think we overlook here peer groups are amazing. Peer groups offer support. They help you understand things. They're there to commiserate when you have that occasional bad client, which hopefully you don't at this point in your career. Coaches aren't there to do that, and neither is a mentor. They are where you want to be or they can help you get to where you want to be. They're nothing about the status quo. They're nothing about being comfortable.

Treasa Edmond:

It's taking those risks and doing the work to move yourself forward, and I don't think that peers can really truly help you do that because they are where you are and that's fine for them too, and if they don't have that hunger to move to the next level, it's never going to happen. So when you are in this position that our listeners in where you want to move your business forward to another level, you want to invest in it, in yourself and scale up in some way, the people that you're currently using in your support system or in a mutual support system are not the people to help you grow. So you need to look outside of that circle and find those people who are where you want to be and bring them on as mentors, or find that coach who specializes in moving people like you to where you want to be. So that's, I think that's just absolutely something that everyone should look at, and it should be part of your business financial goals to set aside the money to do that.

Ed Gandia:

Yeah, and, by the way, not to take away from your peers and in that kind of support mechanism, super important.

Treasa Edmond:

Yeah.

Ed Gandia:

But it's. Everything has a goal right. Everything has something that it does well, that it will help you achieve, and some things that won't help you with as much. So just understand the limitations of any one of these resources, yeah.

Treasa Edmond:

And don't get rid of your peers. Keep them. They're wonderful and you, moving up, will inspire them to do the same thing.

Ed Gandia:

Absolutely.

Treasa Edmond:

So don't underestimate the value of that. All right, that was our last question of the week with Ed Gandia. Tomorrow we're going to learn more about him, his business and how he's gotten to where he is. Make sure you join us for that.

Habits and Routines of Successful Freelancers
Peer Groups and Business Growth

Podcasts we love