MANIFESTO: From Freelancer To Free-E-O… What It Takes To Scale. 

Part 3 of 6: How To Take Back Your Time & Freedom

Meet Adriana*.  

She landed 4 big projects in a row and brought in tons of revenue.  

(Like, “$30k-in-NEW-monthly-recurring-revenue” tons, to be upfront about it.)  

She was pumped, but then profit tanked because she had to hire a bunch of extra contractors. (And they needed a lotttt of hand-holding.)  

Her bandwidth and time dropped to zero. (Or less-than-zero.)  

She couldn’t take on more clients which meant she couldn’t make more money.  

And even though she was bringing in a ton of revenue, it felt like it was just slipping right through her fingers every month once all of the contractors were paid.  

In fact, when she sat down and looked at the numbers, she noticed that her contractors were being paid more than she was paying herself!  

Now that she had bigger projects on her plate than she did when she was a one-woman show, it was a lot more complicated. She was frustrated, but she didn’t want to go back to the way she’d been working before... playing small and playing it safe.  

It definitely was EASIER just doing the plain ol’ retainer clients and small projects… but it wasn’t exciting to her.  

Still, jumping to the other side of excitement ended her up in total overwhelm. She took on too much, too fast.  

And even with team, things weren’t working the way she wanted them to… Balls were being dropped, details missed, and client complaints were coming in faster than she could fix things. 

This is the typical story of The Manager. Though most of my clients call themselves “The Firefighter” if I’m being honest.  

When you make a lot of money fast, one of two things can happen…  

  • You’re prepared for it - and you easily scale  
  • You’re not prepared for it - and it destroys your business, profit margins, and you.  

It’s kind of like a camp fire…  

When you’re prepared for it, things heat up really quick. Your business grows. Most times, your quality of life improves. You get to impact a bunch of people and you’re thankful you laid the groundwork for scaling. It’s not a complete piece of cake, but it’s pretty smooth sailing.  

...but when you’re not prepared?  

Everything gets engulfed in flames, and you need a firefighter STAT.  

Desperation. Panic. Chaos.  

(Let’s just say it’s not fun.)  

Or worse… You neglect the flame so much that it goes out completely. Nothing works, your bank account is in the red, and the business needs to be shut down. 

Going back to Adriana… she has HUGE goals and wants to meet that bigger vision of being a full service marketing agency.  

But how?  

She THOUGHT the answer was just to hire a bunch of contractors to help with her workload.  

Isn’t that what we talked about doing in the last page?  

Here’s the thing:  

It’s not just a one-and-done type deal.  

It takes time to find the right people, it takes time to train up, and sometimes if you do both wrong - it takes time to fix mistakes, put out fires, and redo the work that the contractor messed up.  

This is how most business owners get stuck at The Manager.

Basically, right now…  

The Manager is stuck in the day-to-day of the business. They micromanage employees. They get sucked back into client work even if contractors are working.  

Just look at that list up there. Sad state of affairs.  

Remember that client you listened to from the first page? The one who was “living the dream” somehow?  

He got stuck here too. Listen to what he had to say about this stage. 

All The Manager wants is Time Freedom.  

They yearn for it. They wish and hope and pray. (They’re getting desperate.)  

With Time Freedom, they’re able to step into the role of Free-E-O and enjoy Freedom #3...  

But how to get there? 

If you’re feeling like The Manager, you need to start doing the RIGHT work instead of just a big pile of busy work. Because it might feel productive in the moment, but it’s what keeps you trapped and unable to scale your business.  

We’ll talk more about that in just a bit in the next and final story…