Home + Work: What it means to run an intuitive business

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We are both in client services, Emilie with virtual executive support and me (Whitney) with copywriting services. We’ve taken courses, sent thousands of proposals, learned from the latest marketing gurus about funnels and paid advertising, and ultimately worked with hundreds of clients to take their businesses to the next level.

We feel grateful that we get to do what we love while making our clients’ lives easier and more joy-filled.

And when you check us out online, you may see our websites and pictures of us behind our computers, but what you don’t see are our processes for making the next big decision in our business— because that guru whose course we bought? They’re not the boss of us.

So, let’s say we’re in the process of making a big decision for our business. I’ll use myself as an example. I am growing my copywriting consultancy into a small agency from a team of just me, a support writer and a virtual assistant (from Emilie’s company, naturally).

There is a lot of noise in the world about how I should do that — and from a ton of different directions. I could even use confirmation bias to pick the person who says what I want to hear. That’s why it’s important I run my business intuitively, which for me means:

• Keeping up with my morning routine: guided meditations and rants from Abraham on YouTube, journaling, lemon water, quiet

• Getting outside for weekly walks (at minimum)

• Leaving notebooks around my house — especially near my shower (I know this might sound odd)—to jot down inspired notes and action steps as they come to me

• Checking in with my body whenever I have a new idea or an opportunity presents. How do I feel? Where do I feel that feeling?

• Waiting 24 hours before making big decisions

• Trusting myself that even if an idea doesn’t work out linearly, it’s meant to teach me something

In March, I hosted three free Zooms about different subjects to support my clients, network and friends in their lives and businesses. All were live and recorded, meaning if you couldn’t attend live I’d send you the recording. I’ve been working the past few years to get really comfortable speaking to groups.

On the second of the three Zooms, I was the only one in the room for half the time. This could have signaled to me that I’d failed to fill seats. I could have beaten myself up or canceled the session.

But, because I had followed my intuition to create, promote and host the session, I showed up and talked my happy little heart out, knowing the right people would receive the message, I was becoming increasingly practiced at honing my speaking chops, and that spending time with myself is one of my most favorite things in the world to do.

Besides, if my goal is to become comfortable speaking in front of groups of all sizes, staring at myself in the camera counted, too.

The reverse is also true. At the beginning of my business, eager for cash flow, I embedded a bookable, public-facing calendar on my website that allowed potential clients to book my time for free. Whenever I’d wake up to a potential new client meeting (in theory, an enviable thing!), my anxiety would climb into my throat, especially since, half the time, the clients would ghost. It didn’t feel right to have my time so easily overhauled by someone I hadn’t met or vetted. And yet, I was told or saw somewhere that’s what businesses like mine should do.

Against the advice of whatever guru, I removed the calendar from my website and now send the booking link to people who fill out an inquiry form first. It’s a decision that popped into my head one morning after wondering for months why I was so stressed looking at my calendar every day. I have fewer “leads” now, but the ones I do have almost always become clients.

So, here’s the invitation for you: Follow the hits, roll them around in your brain, change up your environment while you’re in solution-sourcing mode, journal and sleep on your options, and then make the next intuitive move for you and your business.

This applies to you if you are a small business owner and if you work for someone else. Got an idea you want to present to the team? Presenting about why you deserve that new title? Same process. Try it on and see what happens. Your ultimate responsibility is to you. Remember that, always.

Cheering you on.

— By Whitney Popa

Whitney and Emilie

Whitney Popa is a writer and communications consultant in Edmonds and Emilie Given is a virtual assistant agency owner in Lynnwood. They write this column together to share work-from-home ideas. They love where they live and are grateful the virtual world allows them to achieve more work/life harmony. They also co-host a weekly podcast where they share their entrepreneurship journeys while learning about those of others. You can learn more about Emilie here and more about Whitney here.

 

 

  1. Congratulations on your businesses and entrepreneurship! You’ve touched on some of the strategies I’ve shared from 12 important lessons learned in 30+ years as a solopreneur — in a recent book called NO BOSS! (www.noboss.me). Best wishes as you expand your business, Whitney. Yes to intuition, and courage!

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