$1M in Annual Revenue, Zero Full-Time Staff: How I Run a Lean, Profitable, One-Woman Business

Pat J. Fraley


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“Hire a group! You’ve obtained to employ the service of a workforce!

That is the guidance every person hears or gives when it arrives to breaking by to the subsequent stage in your entrepreneurial attempts. You want to get from five figures in income to six? Create a workforce. You want to cross the million-greenback mark? Use a team. 

I’m in this article to inform you: due to the fact 2019, I have been earning at least a million bucks a 12 months from my organization, Chatting Shrimpwith no choosing a workforce. 

If you are like me, that information should really come as a aid. 

I By no means Wished Workers

I did not want to job interview, handle, have conferences with, or truly feel liable for the livelihoods of a bunch of persons. In the party that earnings went down, I didn’t want to have to panic about producing payroll.

Any time I’ve observed a photo of a fellow entrepreneur with their workforce of ten people, I have thought, “Better you than me, buddy.” If this is the attitude of “playing tiny,” so be it. Captain Little, around below. I’m a supporter of modest — little, and lean. 

Quite a few of my colleagues, the types with significant groups, engage in a ton of dollars-creating and lead-building pursuits I resist, because they are a whole lot of operate and require…well, a team. These include things like online challenges, virtual summits, and –  the “must” I’ve rejected most stubbornly – one-on-one particular revenue calls. 

Most of my earnings arrives from marketing digital classes and products through email messages. It’s quite very low-fi, which is how I like it.

This isn’t to say I never have assistance in my business. 

As an alternative of Employees, I Hire Contractors

And they have been indispensable to my advancement and continued results. 

An impartial contractor is not an employee. They’re a expert. They appear in on working day one now knowing how to do the undertaking at hand, which saves you a whole lot of time and complications with attempting to practice them. Contractors also generally have a number of clients what you pay back them does not establish their complete livelihood.

Impartial contractors have their pros and negatives. Choosing to retain the services of them rather of an staff indicates less paperwork and cost for me, and – even though no organization added benefits – additional flexibility for them. They can perform for other shoppers, keep their personal firms, and keep numerous profits streams – and they do.  

Below are the two main gamers who’ve supported me in my organization from when it was much smaller and helped me cross the $1,000,000 mark.

No. 1: A Designer/Developer/Electronic Strategist

My pal Michelle Martello, founder of Minima Models, is what you’d connect with a unicorn, a Swiss military knife. She’s excellent at graphic design and style, website coding, and getting both of those observed and paid on line.

Above the years, I have hired her equally for initiatives I understood I needed, like overhauling my web site, and projects she had to convey to me I wanted, like overhauling it all over again four many years later on. (On line yrs are even extra accelerated than pet many years. Something that was clean in 2017 now appears like you set it up in the late nineties.)

She has also: 

  • Assisted me improve my site for signups to my newsletter
  • Made branded templates so I can quickly build my own Instagram quote cards in Adobe Photoshop
  • Turned materials I had now made into precious, sellable assets by suggesting interactive workbook sections and by generating them rather
  • Set up my initially (incredibly straightforward and simple) procedure for selling these electronic goods, so all I experienced to do was tell persons about them and give a url. The very first products she aided me set up, my 60-Minute Makeovers Copywriting Mini-Class, gave me a taste of scaleable cash flow, and I was hooked.  

At occasions, I have labored with Michelle on a retainer basis at other folks, a job foundation. While she’s not officially on my “team,” I owe a huge section of my organization growth to getting her in my corner.

No. 2: An On line Company Supervisor (OBM)

My OBM, Sandra Booker, has her individual company, Any Aged Job.

Inspite of my fruitful design jobs with Michelle, I originally resisted choosing any individual on an ongoing foundation, for the reason that I did not know what duties they could get off my plate, and believed delegating would generate additional perform than it would conserve me. 

I was so mistaken.

What persuaded me to employ the service of her? A fellow copywriter, Tarzan Kay, posted about Sandra on Facebook, indicating, “Since I commenced doing the job with Sandra, I’ve created so a lot more money.” Magic text. I employed Sandra, also.

At the time, my complete business was centered on a person-to-a person copywriting expert services. I aided my purchasers in serious time in a shared Google Doc. For a even though, Sandra’s role in my enterprise was typically to aid me manage my customer appointments.

She also started helping with my e-newsletter email messages, by checking them for typos and other oopsies prior to I hit ship. We named this job the “Check ‘n’ Deliver.” 

As we found extra responsibilities that had been getting me also extended and not in my “zone of genius,” individuals went to Sandra (and her crew, whom she manages), much too. She freed me up to pivot from just one-on-just one solutions to the company product I have now, centered on scaleable offerings.

Thanks to her aid, I was equipped to: 

  • Generate new choices, like my e mail copywriting course Inbox Hero and my team mentoring application, Shrimp Club.
  • Put far more power into promoting my current copywriting mini-classes and my signature course with lover Marie Forleo, The Copy Cure.
  • Be additional economical about, and gain extra from, affiliate promotions, in which, for a commission, I advertise colleagues’ courses I consider my audience will enjoy. 
  • Develop a lot more articles for my audience, AKA my “Shrimpers,” several of whom are business homeowners and writers and want to study all they can.
  • Compose much more emails, which suggests much more revenue, which suggests additional profits.
  • Place more power into the component I do best and appreciate most: writing.

Sandra and her staff help me in way too a lot of means to catalog, but in this article are a number of examples of how their contribution has permitted me to improve my revenue to 7 figures. 

In a regular week, they:

  • Tackle my inbox, fielding podcast interviews and other inquiries, replying from “Team Speaking Shrimp” in which acceptable
  • Provide buyer service 
  • Review and assist refresh my previous email start sequences
  • Tag and phase my email subscriber checklist so I’m sending the correct offers to the right people 
  • Index all my earlier content material and direct me to it so I can refresh and recycle when essential
  • Offer a fresh established of eyes and system smarts
  • Nudge me to reply, publish emails, and build trainings
  • Keep on to consider off my palms the tasks I consider will take “2 secs” and conclude up taking hours, eg: “Can you you should flip this movie of me pouring syrup on pancakes into a gif and drag it into the email?” 

Which is just the tip of the iceberg. Sandra and I converse largely by Voxer, an application which is like a walkie-talkie. Normally though I’m out walking, I think of items I want her to do or check with her about, and she reminds me about duties ready for me: “Remember to history the Q&A for Shrimp Club” or, “Are you going to write an electronic mail right now?”

My Tips For You

What should really you do if you want to grow or pivot online, but never want a staff of staff members? 

Seek the services of at least a single contractor to no cost up time and bandwidth. It’ll permit you emphasis on what you do ideal. 

Really do not test to do everything by yourself, or you’ll by no means be capable to do additional or crank out far more income than you previously do.

For several years, I’d listened to anyone say they want they’d employed aid sooner. I now say the similar. And who is familiar with, probably a person working day, I’ll be creating about how expanding to a team of 20 in-home workforce was the finest thing I at any time did, and how I acquired to the 10-million mark. So, under no circumstances say by no means. 

But for now, I’m joyful with my formal business position: little and rewarding.


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