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

PART 4 of 6: The 3 Freedoms Framework

It’s easy to get trapped in a pile of busy work. And It happens to almost everyone who starts an agency, so don’t go beating yourself up if you’ve gotten yourself buried in work and had to hustle your way out a time or two.  

But in the long term, hustle causes desperation and chaos.  

Guess what desperation and chaos turns into after a while?  

Stress. Panic. Burnout.  

And your business going belly-up.  

But Katya, I’ve been okay so far! Everything’s fine… ”  

That might feel true in the moment, but why settle for “okay.” Plus, it’s not sustainable. Sooner or later, it always turns into poison. And you get to be miserable the whole time you’re waiting for the poison to do its dirty work. Not fun.  

So if you’re in the chaotic hustle zone... you need a plan to get out and stay out, ASAP.  

And to get out of hustling micro-manager mode, you’ll need to step into the role of strategist.  

Let’s take a few examples of common situations that can be solved by either hustle or strategy: 

SITUATION #1: Getting more clients for your agency  

WHAT THE FREELANCER WOULD DO:

Messaging everyone… posting in a bunch of groups… procrasti-watching webinars that promise “the ultimate secret to landing high-ticket clients”... trying a ton of random spaghetti-at-the-wall tactics... getting on calls with everyone and anyone... hoping that a few clients will sign on, and blaming Mercury Retrograde when you come up short at the end of the month.

THIS...

WHAT THE FREE-E-O WOULD DO:

Getting crystal-clear on what your offers are, and knowing exactly who the ideal client is and where they hang out. Strategizing an action plan for gaining a ton of “know / like / trust” with the right people and offering them the right offer at the right time. Then setting up a system so that it’s repeatable (which means a team member can handle it for you in the future).

OR THAT...

SITUATION #2: Delivering a service to clients when you & your team are maxed out 

WHAT THE FREELANCER WOULD DO:

Hiring the first person you come across who’s decently priced and seems to do okay work. Checking in on them and fixing their mistakes constantly. Bringing on more clients because money needs to be made, and bills need to be paid… even though you’re not 100% sure you and your team can handle it. (After all, you know YOU’LL be cleaning up a ton of their work.)

THIS...

WHAT THE FREE-E-O WOULD DO:

Setting up clear systems and processes so that client fulfillment is fully documented, standardized, and repeatable. Taking your time with hiring new people because you know finding A-players for the long term is more important than bringing on someone random. Keeping a close eye on finances to make sure profit margins are where they should be.

OR THAT...

SITUATION #3: Dealing with a contractor that’s not delivering their best work 

WHAT THE FREELANCER WOULD DO:

Nagging them to do the work, double checking everything they do because you don’t trust them to do it right... or just ignoring what’s going on and fixing it on your own time (which means double or triple the work for you). Potentially losing a high revenue client & getting public complaints online about how the quality of your service has dipped...

THIS...

WHAT THE FREE-E-O WOULD DO:

Figuring out what the contractor needs to be able to do their job well and making sure you are providing those resources & support. Starting a trial period of 90 days to help them improve their work. Giving them clear expectations and goals. If the contractor still isn’t doing well, reevaluating their work with set KPIs and having a 1:1 conversation to see if it’s still a good fit to be on the team.

OR THAT...

You know these situations. You’ve made the choices between hustle or strategy.  

Neither is right or wrong, and there’s no judgement here around it. (I’m not about to make you wear a badge of shame on your chest for being in scramble mode for however long you’ve been there.)  

When you’re trying to scale a business, though… making strategic decisions is better for big picture.  

And the good news is that you get new chances all the time. There are countless situations that crop up in your business every single day. Every time you take an action, you’re choosing hustle or you’re choosing strategy, whether you’re fully conscious of it or not.  

So what happens when you’re in strategist mode for all of the situations that crop up in the day-to-day of your business? 

You’re in your true role as a creative, as a visionary, as a CEO.  

...or what I like to call The Free-E-O.  

This person has truly stepped into the role of visionary CEO… they’ve become The Free-E-O.

Don’t look at me all like, “Katya… waking up WITHOUT a pit of dread in my stomach? Feeling like my team can totally handle it? Taking a vacation? That ain’t happening for me with MY agency…”  

Because this IS possible for you, as long as you put in the STRATEGIC work around it.  

And what does life look like when you break past hustle and get to this level of freedom?  

You’re able to breathe, that’s what.  

And you’re able to dream.  

More important... You’re able to live out your dreams.  

You’re spotting great opportunities, taking action that’s inspired, and creating a life and business that’s in tune with what you ACTUALLY want to do with your limited time here on this planet. 

You’re able to grow beyond your business. (You know… as a human being.)  

At the same time, you’re able to grow your business beyond what you could’ve achieved in pure hustle mode.  

You get to have your cake and eat it too.  

This is Creative Freedom.  

Let’s talk about how we put this all together… 

CONTINUE