Welcome to my reflection space, a new series called Deep Dive on the From Passion to Profit Podcast, where we get real about the gritty and rewarding path to agency growth. As I bid adieu to 2023, I’m here to share the candid insights I’ve gathered from my own experiences at Cheya Media. Buckle up because this isn’t your typical, sugar-coated advice column – this is a raw rundown of what it takes to turbocharge an agency in the real world. We’re going over the biggest lessons and celebrations of 2023— tune into this episode for the full deep dive or keep scrolling to get the TLDR; of the episode!
Early in 2023, I faced a tough but necessary lesson about prioritizing the needs of my business over my personal comfort. It was time for me to raise my rates, and truth be told, I was squirming. It’s uneasy territory, right? But here’s the thing: my agency’s survival and growth hinged on this decision. I learned that making these tough calls is the hallmark of a leader – it’s all about separating emotion from strategy.
Chronicling my journey further, I threw myself into a daunting 30-day content challenge. The goal? Simple: to catalyze lead generation and sales through sheer consistency. To my delight, the process paid off tremendously, with a surge in sales calls and deal closures. By demonstrating commitment and value through regular, engaging content, I was fortifying my agency’s role in the market – and it was getting noticed. My takeaway was crystal clear: prioritize your own content just as highly as you do your clients’.
As I continued to navigate the year, I had my fair share of hiring blunders. I made the all-too-common mistake of hiring based on potential rather than experience – and it hurt. These missteps led me to revamp my hiring process completely. I went from “nice-to-have” sentiments to a rigorous, skills-first approach. Implementing a process that involved initial applicant vetting, paid test projects, and face-to-face interviews, I laid the groundwork for attracting talent that truly aligned with my business needs.
Here’s a vulnerable admission: I had the habit of letting my emotions get entangled with business decisions. Such an approach was a roadblock to my agency’s potential. Gradually, I practiced compartmentalizing my personal emotions from the business, which turned out to be a pivotal shift. Through this, I understood that my business decisions should be driven by strategy and long-term objectives rather than the emotional tides of the moment.
As the year unfolded, a crucial transition occurred within me – I evolved from being a hands-on entrepreneur to adopting a CEO outlook. This transformation wasn’t just about a change in title, but also in my approach to business operations and strategy. Embracing a CEO mindset meant prioritizing my business’s long-term vision and making decisions that benefit the entire organization, not just short-term wins. The impact? A more systematic, growth-driven focus that truly transformed my agency.
Leading Cheya Media through this period was an expedition that required tough decisions, relentless content creation, deliberate hiring practices, and an emotional overhaul separating business from personal affections. These weren’t just steps; they were leaps in my growth as an agency owner and as a leader.
As I look forward to 2024 and beyond, it is clear that success is possible without all the usual trimmings – like high-end coaches or easy shortcuts. It’s about discipline, consistency, and a laser-focused mindset.
Whether you’re starting up or scaling up, remember that the entrepreneurial journey is your unique narrative, filled with plot twists and triumphs. Here’s to writing the next chapter with courage, intelligence, and a touch of personal flair!