2017 has been a year of major business growth for me. But it’s also been a year of identifying and embracing big pivots in my business. It’s been a year of making big leaps, releasing control for the health of my business, and taking risks.

My lessons from 2016 were all about building and nurturing my team. But 2017 was the year that allowed me to leverage that foundation to catapult my business to a place I always wanted – but didn’t have the solid foundation to do.

These are the 5 most important lessons I learned in my online biz in 2017.

Take a leap and delegate the big stuff

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. My first few years in business for myself were a damn hustle. I slowly started to build out my team, but I was still responsible for all of the high pressure, high-value activities in my online biz.

In 2016, I built a team that could manage all of the “lower-stakes” clients who came through my door as well as the day-to-day operations of my biz. I still managed all of the high-level, launching clients in my business. And I was still in control of all discovery calls, lead management, and made all the calls about which team member could handle which clients.

In early 2017, I took one of the biggest steps in my biz to date. I delegated every aspect of my sales system to my right-hand woman.

It wasn’t easy. But it had to be done. And now, as 2017 comes to a close, I have no idea how I functioned before I made this huge change.

So much of my time on a daily basis was being sucked away by discovery calls and lead management. I was constantly hustling to close that next dream client. And while I thrive on sales (and LOVE IT!), I recognized early in 2017 that I wasn’t going to be able to explore and cultivate new projects in my biz when I was spending hours every month taking notes during discovery calls.

Releasing control is good (and healthy!) for your biz

Releasing control of high-pressure, high-value parts of your business isn’t easy. And I’m not going to lie to you: it definitely made me nervous in the beginning. That’s the achilles heel of every successful, bootstrapping entrepreneur I know! The early hustle often makes you feel like you can (and SHOULD) be doing it all. FOREVER.

But that’s not how empires are built.

I had a sales system before I delegated my sales to a team member. But after a year of releasing control and allowing her to make it her own: my sales system is a thing of beauty.

The foundations I laid made this possible. But you’d be amazed what can happen to some of the high-value systems in your biz when you hand them over to someone who doesn’t have the same visceral, emotional investment in your biz that you do. An outsider can identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies that you’ve been overlooking for years.

My favorite part about my new sales system? It’s all about dating potential clients before allowing them into contact with my team of badass OBMs. And when I was cracked out on the hustle of managing every single high-value system in my biz, it was harder to see that.

Strategically releasing control over certain parts of my business has made my business healthier. And me? So much saner!

Focus more energy on the shit you love doing

I had played with the idea of offering 1-off strategy sessions to entrepreneurs and fellow OBMs for about year. But when I was managing my sales funnel, I didn’t have much time to flesh out that idea.

Having a team member take over the management of my sales system reinforced this idea. Potential clients had been asking about it here and there for a while. And they continued asking even when I was no longer the “face” of my discovery calls.

But with the time I was saving on managing my discovery calls, now was the time to make it happen. I finally had the time to build out the system the right way, and ensure that it was profitable.

The best part? Deep-dive strategy with creative entrepreneurs is my FAVORITE part of my business. I thrive on it. I’m good at it. It’s easy for me.

When you’re responsible for too much in your biz, you lose sight of what’s possible. (Tweet it!)

You lose sight of why you started in the first place. And oftentimes, you lose out on golden opportunities to give the people what they want.

And 2017 was – finally – the year of giving the people what they want. And rediscovering my own magic in the process.

Don’t miss an opportunity to pivot

The first Breakthrough Session I held with an entrepreneur in 2017 was with a fellow OBM.

And this experience created a tiny little tear in the fabric of my reality. I know, dramatic. But this was an experience that lead to a monumental pivot in my online biz.

I spent my first 4 years in business catering my services to creative entrepreneurs. All my content was geared toward creative entrepreneurs. I talk to them about the importance of systems, delegation, and team building.

Creative entrepreneurs make up a decent percentage of my audience. But my Breakthrough Session with a fellow OBM made me take a second, third, and fourth look at my list.

And I realized something that shifted my entire business. The majority of the people on my list didn’t want to work with me. They wanted to work LIKE me. They are my fellow online service providers.

This changed EVERYTHING.

Go big or go home

In early 2017, I created a thriving free FB Group called The Confident OBM. It’s a community where VAs, OBMs, online service providers, or those considering a transition support each other on the journey.

In the summer of 2017, I launched my first online program: Team Growth Formula. This 6-week program supports established VAs, OBMs, and other online service providers as they implement systems and grow their team.

And during the fall of 2017, my team and I were hard at work to bring The OBM Certification to life and ready to launch in March of 2018.

Each year in my online biz brings new challenges and opportunities for growth. This year, I learned the power of leveraging my team, paying more attention to what people want, nurturing my strengths, pivoting like a boss, and going BIG. And I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store.

Now over to you: what’s the most important lesson you learned in your online biz in 2017?

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