episode 40

The Seasons of a Web Design Business

It is so easy to look at other people’s businesses, especially more seasoned businesses, and compare their success and progress to your own, tempting you to make decisions that aren’t aligned with the season of business you are currently in.

Today, Sam & Karyn discuss the different seasons of a web design business and how to understand and honor the season of business and life you’re in.

Show Notes:

When you compare yourself to others, you’re placing yourself on an uneven playing field that can make you feel like you’re not as good as others.
Highlighting a few of the different seasons of a web design business you may encounter.
Understanding how your life seasons can impact your seasons of business.

Understanding how your life seasons can impact your seasons of business.

Strategies to not only recognize what season we are in but to honor it and to get support when you get stuck.

Episode Transcript:

SPEAKERS
Karyn Paige, Sam Munoz

Karyn Paige 00:00
It’s not about what you should be doing. It’s about what you could be doing. And their space in there. Once you identify your season of business, if you get stuck with I don’t know what to do that if you have options of who’s who’s giving you advice, notice when somebody is telling you what you should be doing, versus somebody who’s offering and inviting you to understand what you could be doing, just giving you options, and you get to choose.

Sam Munoz 00:37
Welcome to Making website magic where we empower women to step boldly into their web design, businesses follow their intuition and claim the success they’re worthy of. I’m Sam Munoz.

Karyn Paige 00:47
And I’m Karen Page, where the Tech Wizards behind Sam Linnaeus consulting and the making website Magic School of Business, where two women here to talk about what it actually takes to run a web design business that’s aligned with your vision.

Sam Munoz 01:00
Spoiler alert, it probably isn’t what you think it is ready to hear about everything from refining your business vision, networking with intention and creating a magical client experience. Let’s do it. Hey, hey, Karen. Hey, Sam, how’s it going? It’s going super duper Well, today actually strike that. Not true. You know, it’s interesting, I think you and I have talked about this before is that sometimes there’s like, I know, for me, I have a tendency to just say everything is going great. And the truth is in this current moment, I’m tired. I’m struggling with how wintery it is outside. And I’m showing up in business. But I’m also being very aware of like, there’s a lot of life stuff going on. I’m not necessarily in my best headspace. Which, by the way, this is all going to connect to our topic for today. But I’m going to answer your question truthfully. And that is today. I’m doing okay. And I’m here. How about you?

Karyn Paige 01:59
I agree with and support what you just said, I feel very much the same. I’ve already had a quart of water and I still feel dehydrated, you know, like that. Okay, that’s it. What is that about? Beam? Clearly, I’m not drinking enough water, I need to replenish some water that was lost previously because of life. Okay, so side note. Yes. To your point, right. It is okay to respond to you know, I’m just okay. Or I’m adequate.

Sam Munoz 02:25
I’m here. Yeah. Right. It’s just like, it is what it is. Yeah, I think there is this tendency to always say like, I’m good, right? When someone asks you like, how are you? And today’s episode is all about the seasons of a web design and development business, and really honoring the season that you’re in, whether it be in business, or in life, or a combination of both. And just talking about this concept, because I think, you know, a lot of times we hear the advice to give yourself grace, to you know, love yourself and all these things. And I think that those are really powerful things to say. And I also think it’s important in order to do those things to acknowledge current reality, I think that that’s really a big part of this whole, like, seasons of business and seasons of life is like acknowledging your current reality. So let’s dive into this episode and start with why we’re actually talking about this topic.

Karyn Paige 03:21
Yeah. So as always, why are we talking about this at all?

Sam Munoz 03:24
I think that, especially in the online world, we are seeing and observing and taking in a lot of things about other people’s businesses, right. So we see the gambit of success, quote, unquote, we see people with these massive businesses, these huge teams, you know, they’ve got vas, they’ve got people on their staff, they have optins, they have all these different offers, they’re making all this money, they have all these things going on in their businesses. And I think it’s really, really tempting to see that and to want to kind of skip ahead, skip some steps and jump to a different season than we’re in right now. And I think that, you know, we talked about this in the episode around the myth of the overnight success, just the value of slow growth and honoring your own journey. And I think like seasons and your journey, and your current place, and time and all of that they’re all connected to that, like, maybe desired to want something else, but also really acknowledging where you are right now.

Karyn Paige 04:33
Yeah. And so that makes me think of, as you’re experiencing that, right? Like, if that’s kind of how you’re perceiving everything, it can be really easy to, quote unquote, should all over yourself, you know, and anyone who listens to the podcast knows that when we bring up the word should it’s incredibly intentional, right? And we try to reframe it and release that word as much as possible because what happens when you start Shooting on yourself, right? Is there’s really like a comparison there to other businesses. And those businesses may be in other seasons than yours. And so that’s like, really kind of setting yourself up for like an uneven playing field, right. And just the idea of should at all, when it is related to your business is actually like a little red flag that there’s some judgment, there’s some judgment attached to that statement through Yeah,

Sam Munoz 05:27
I’m even thinking about how, when we’re like reading stuff on on social media, and it’s typically something connected to some sort of marketing thing, right? someone’s telling us that, like, you should be doing this in your business, and I will teach you like the special formula to get you there. And that is really feeding on your fear, and your desire and your like, all of those like, lack type, mentalities, that really connects to you wanting to be in a different season of your business. And maybe again, jump ahead. And then it’s easy to say, oh, I should be doing this, I should be doing this and then feel regret and guilt for not doing those things. But then like you said, it’s like you’re already setting yourself up for failure, quote, unquote, because like, it’s just not congruent with what your capacity is, in this current moment, for example.

Karyn Paige 06:19
Yeah, it’s very much this idea of like, when we start paying more attention to other people’s businesses, and what seasons there are in, then we’re paying attention to what season we are in, in our business, right? That comparison, experience, that storyline will have a tendency to put us in the quote, unquote, loser spot, right? Oh, yeah. For thinking comparison, the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, or the business, we’re comparing ourselves, too, they’re often put in the position of, well, they must be right, they must be good, they must be better, therefore, I must not be good. And I should be doing what they’re doing in order to get to what they have. Right? So it’s like, that’s just a tornado of unhelpful thoughts that can all be mitigated or, like, just let go of if we come back to this idea of like, what season are we in, in our business, and let’s start from there, and not even worry about what we quote unquote, should be doing or comparing ourselves to other businesses that are in other seasons. Because high, were too busy running our own businesses, like living our own lives.

Sam Munoz 07:33
100%. It’s so interesting, because this is really connected to things that we do internally in our own business as well. Right? Like we’re constantly checking in with like, what are the things that we’ve added to our plate that actually don’t have to be there. And maybe we just like decided that we need to do something based off of this external schedule, when in reality, we’re in charge of the business. And even you know, you said something about like unhelpful thoughts come in, when we start to pull in other people’s ideas of what we should do in business, whether it be for the season that we’re in now, or a different one, that can really be harmful as we’re trying to run our businesses, because all of a sudden, we have our inner critic screaming at us. Why are you focusing on this thing? When really, you need to be creating a social media post? Why are you focusing on this thing, when you need to be building your email list? Why are you focusing on this thing when you need to be sending out this thing and doing all these like extra little tasks? But if we stop and consider where am I at right now, in my business, what are the things that are going to have the most impact for my business in the current season, and then maybe letting those other things go? So let’s start talking about what we really mean by seasons of business? And maybe even just like examples of what that could look like. Right? And I feel like the best one to start with is like the first season the establishing season.

Karyn Paige 08:59
i Yes, it’s like spring, everything is new. Everything is like budding, like an establishing season for business is it can be like you’re just opening up right? Like you’re establishing all of what you need to do to run a business. It can also look like maybe a recommitment. Like you took some time off, life happened, perhaps and then you’re coming back to this business and like re establishing it.

Sam Munoz 09:28
Even if you are like, still running the business and you decide to reestablish, right it’s like you kind of again, kind of like what we were saying before like you take a look at what’s going on. You’re like, oh my gosh, suddenly I was running this business. Fine. And now all of a sudden my hair’s on fire like client work is coming in late like I’m feel too, like super scattered. I feel like I’m exhausted all the time. I don’t have called on the count. Like there’s just chaos. That is also an opportunity to re enter the establishing season and I want to like mention the fact that we’re using the word season very intentionally because it’s something that you can move in and out of, right? There’s four seasons of the year, and we constantly rotate between them, right? We don’t just like have one fall in the entire humanity, right? Like, we come back to fall time and time again. Because it’s a season it’s it’s a time period, that is reflective of just different circumstances in your business that you can ebb and flow between and I love that establishing season, or re establishing or refining season, which is really just like, pause. I feel like that is such a valuable season to be in because it’s an opportunity to to pause, reevaluate, or evaluate for the first time and move through intention. And that’s something that we do in the mentorship actually, right, Karen, where we have everyone start with them. I feel like when we’re in that first class of the mentorship, it’s very much like establishing the season, it’s very much like refining season, like going back to the heart and soul of like, why you started the business. Like we can turn our calendars off for two weeks. And just think about that for a minute. You know, I mean,

Karyn Paige 11:05
yes. And like, my wheels are turning so fast right now, because I literally want to just create an analogy between like an establishing season and spring. Yeah, right. Because it, it’s very much like planting seeds, right, like spring, a new beginning as a time when you plant seeds. It’s also a time when things are really young. It’s not a coincidence that spring is associated with like, little baby chickens and like little baby bunnies and stuff, because it’s like everything is just kind of like starting fresh, right or so. Yeah, very much. And so like, an establishing season can look like you, like I said, like planting a lot of seeds, and also things being in a very youthful early stage, right, where things are still kind of getting figured out. Just like Bambi like came out. And he didn’t know how to walk at first like, yeah, like, you’re kind of getting your footing sometimes.

Sam Munoz 12:02
Absolutely. Okay, so that’s one season of business. And again, it’s like, we’re going to talk about this later in the episode about like, how you can actually honor those different seasons. But another season that I’m thinking of is having like a full client roster, so you have like, no extra capacity for more clients, you are very much in the work, right? You have projects booked, you’ve got payments being made, you’ve got client projects to fulfill, and you’re just in the work. And that is a totally different season than let’s say, a slow client flow season, where you don’t have any client projects to work on. And so like the things that you’re doing in those seasons are totally different. And just in terms of like honoring that season, it makes sense for them to be different the things that you’re doing in those individual seasons, right, with a full list of clients a full suite of projects that you’re working on. And those times when you don’t have a lot of clients to work on

Karyn Paige 13:01
this season of kind of like the full client roster is really like doing the work. Yeah. Right, like it is there, the momentum is in full rotate like it’s going it’s happening again, then it would be you know, kind of like a logical progression to go from, like the full client roster season into a season where maybe you decide to grow your team, or just have growth in general, whatever that could look like. Another season

Sam Munoz 13:30
of web design business is when you’re pivoting your business model, or you’re expanding your business model, like for a very tangible example, for web designers and developers, it could be offering templates, right? It could be like, Hey, we have a full client roster, I’m going to decide to offer this new offering that maybe create some passive income, right? Like there’s different ways to expand your business model. And when you enter those seasons, it makes sense to do that. In addition, you know, even something like oh, now I’m going to start offering retainer support, or now I’m going to start offering like this very specific package, because I’ve worked with all of these clients. And I’m going to pivot business model a little bit to focus on this particular thing, or strategy calls or whatever. But I hoping that by creating these distinct seasons, we’re really helping to shape like, oh, so I actually don’t have to focus on that when I’m in like the slow client flow season. Okay, good to know.

Karyn Paige 14:23
Yeah. You know, to kind of like put a finer point on it. You don’t have to create a digital course teaching people how to like do DIY web design, if you’re in the establishing phase, but that might be something where you’re pivoting into a business model of like expanding because you’ve surpassed the full client capacity, phase and season etc. Where you’re like exploring other ideas.

Sam Munoz 14:45
Absolutely. Before we kind of move on to some strategies or like how we can honor the seasons and just like a deeper conversation there. I also want to acknowledge like probably the most important season and the things that affect our seasons. of business. And that can be things like your life seasons. So can Demick. That’s a season. Things like having a child, your family growing different circumstances that happen. You know what I mean? Like really honoring the fact that you’re human, and life seasons are connected to the seasons of business?

Karyn Paige 15:22
Absolutely. I want to spend some time here, because we are all human. And we all have things that are happening in our lives. And oftentimes, especially as women, we put our needs to the backburner so that everything has this appearance that everything is running smoothly, and everyone is being taken care of. And that can be harmful to us if we’re not acknowledging that our life is in a season, right? Like you mentioned, things like pandemics, right? There’s also health scares, health care’s changed things moving across the country can change things, getting a divorce can change things, right. Like now we are functioning through this, this lens of as humans, we’re going through a season. And as business owners, we’re also going through a season. And so in order to keep things comfortable, sustainable, and just be able to move through the season and get to another season. Like that’s where you have to really acknowledge what’s going on here. Right? And then act accordingly. Yeah, and

Sam Munoz 16:33
I feel like that is the first step of truly, quote, unquote, honoring the season you’re in is noticing and being aware and almost like taking a pause and labeling. If that is helpful, like what season you are in currently, right? Just like taking a minute. It’s almost like when we learn to label our feelings, and then they become more tangible, right? It’s like, what am I feeling right now? I’m feeling angry, okay. Now we can move accordingly. Because we understand, like the root feeling that we’re experiencing. And so it’s the same thing with the season. It’s like, I am currently in a season where I am slow on clients, let’s say, right? Okay, that is going to dictate my capacity, my time, my energy, my focus, what I should be prioritizing, because I’m in the season, and then again, like taking a look at things that are happening in your life as well. Okay, I’m in a season of what’s a good season,

Karyn Paige 17:30
I can mention, we just got a new puppy, and I’m a puppy mom.

Sam Munoz 17:34
Right? So what does that mean for your time? Energy focus capacity, right? So just step one here is like noticing, observing, and giving it like a name.

Karyn Paige 17:48
I really with that, like I say, yes.

Sam Munoz 17:50
I kind of want to give myself a hard Yes. Yeah. No, I mean, it’s like, okay, life in business, like, what are these two seasons? And then what would be like, what is what is like the next thing that we can do once we recognize the season that we are in? How can we start to truly honor that?

Karyn Paige 18:04
So as we’re talking about, like, how can we honor what season we’re in? I’m actually feeling resistance right now in this conversation, because the shoulds are really coming up. Right? They’re really, really ingrained in there. Yeah. Like, okay, well, if you’re establishing, you should set up all the social media, and you should start posting, right. Or if you are at full capacity with clients, you should take on another team member. I’m getting stuck. And I’m stammering because in this conversation, I’m like, wow, it can be really hard to know what to do once you identify what season you’re in.

Sam Munoz 18:49
Right? It’s almost like in the beginning, we were talking about how noticing which season you’re in can help you so that you don’t create shoulds and create things that are not in alignment with that current season. So like maybe we’ve got that covered with like identifying the season that you’re in. But now it’s like I’m in this season. And there’s shoulds within the season. But the thing is to answer slash thoughts here are twofold. Number one, it really really starts. Like way before we’re talking about seasons. It really starts with you being clear on your goals, your vision, your values, your boundaries, your expectations, the way you want to run your business, because then when you’re in the establishing season, right? And things are coming up like I should be making a bunch of social media for all you know, I need to go get all the handles, I should be making sure that I have five pages on my website, I should have three portfolio samples, right like all of these extra things. If we start to look at what are my goals, how do I like to run my business? How do I like to communicate with people, then you can look at each individual decision through Have the lens of your values, your vision, your mission for your business and your goals, your voice, and you can start to identify, hey, is this particular thing in alignment? Right? This is actually like maybe even a deeper conversation that we could have on a different podcast, which is around like, how to look and make business decisions and grow your own confidence in your business decisions through your own desires, and your own voice and your own lens. Because until you know those things, you will always add the shoulds in because there is no way for you to discern, should I do this? Or should I not, you know, quote, unquote, and then part two of that is, if you’re thinking to yourself, Okay, I think I can get through the shed part. But I’m also still just not clear about what to do in each of these different seasons. Like, I actually don’t really know what I, what I what is even possible to do inside of a full client roster season. Like what what could I do? Maybe not what should I do, but what could I do? That’s where I invite you for support, right? That’s where I invite you to get into a space into a community into something like our mentorship, where you have people who have done these things before and have this whole offering of what’s possible. I have been loving peloton lately, like I don’t have the bike, I just have the app. And I did this ride recently. And he was I can’t remember who it was. But it was it like changed. Just the way he said this was perfect. He said, I’m going to give you a plate of offerings, right, I’m going to tell you some different things you could do, you could add resistance, and go a little faster. And he said it’s up to you to decide what you want to do for your workout. Same thing applies to something like the mentorship, right? With solid mentors and coaches that really have your best interest in mind and are unlocking with you your own capacity to make decisions. They give you offerings, they give you ideas, they give you potential strategies, and then you decide what feels good, but it is sometimes helpful to have someone say, Hey, this is what is possible. This is what you could be doing in this season of business. That was a long set of answers. But hopefully that was helpful.

Karyn Paige 22:07
It was super helpful. Because I’m listening. And like podcast listeners, you can’t see this, but like I’m holding like my face, and like I have my hands to my mouth. Because I’m like, trying to keep everything that that Sam just said like absorbed in because what I landed on through that was is not about what you should be doing. It’s about what you could be doing. And their space in there. Once you identify your season of business. If you get stuck with I don’t know what to do that if you have options of who’s who’s giving you advice. Notice when somebody is telling you what you should be doing, versus somebody who’s offering and inviting you to understand what you could be doing just giving you options, and you get to choose because it has been a theme on our on our show, to notice the shoulds. See how you can release them and how good that would feel if you did. But this is really the first time that we’ve talked about what what do you put in its place, if we let go of a shirt, it’s there’s all this space there now. And that space could be filled with a bunch of Quds things you could do?

Sam Munoz 23:23
Absolutely, kind of going back to what I was saying before, it really does require you to have your own internal coordinate system calibrated, if you will, by knowing where you are desiring to go so that when you’re presented with a series of options, all great options, all totally in alignment with the season you’re in, you kind of know which ones to pick and choose from. We have this class in the mentorship all about designing your strategic marketing plan. And in that class, we talked about different actions, you could take different tasks you could add to your to your own marketing suite. And then it’s really up to you to decide what feels good to me what feels in alignment, what really connects with the way that I want to run my business. So it’s again, it’s like, what could you do, and then what feels good for you. And then going back to this whole idea of seasons, it’s acknowledging that certain seasons, it does make sense to focus on certain types of things. And again, like maybe there’s 10 things you could focus on and you choose to, maybe you let those other eight, go for another season. And then you just kind of acknowledge, like, hey, there’s also some other stuff that I could be doing right now or maybe it doesn’t really fit into this season, but I can do that later. And it really helps let things go. I would love to give us like a kind of a tangible example. If that’s okay. Of course

Karyn Paige 24:44
it’s okay Sam.

Sam Munoz 24:48
For example, slow client flow season. I would like to talk about this and spend some time here because this is probably one that if you’re listening to this podcast you have experienced or maybe you’re currently experiencing this is really the time when you are seeking clients. And because of that, right? It’s like, what is the purpose? What is the number one focus and goal of this season, that can be a really great starting place? Maybe number one goal, when you have a slow client season is book to clients, right? Just like a tangible goal. My goal right now is to book two clients. Okay? So it was every possible task or action that you can take, you can just use that filter, along with your values, right? You can use that filter and say, Does this task helped me book more clients? Yes or No? If it’s a no, then maybe we put that to a future season 50s. Okay, great. Does it feel in alignment? For me? Yes, it does. Let’s move forward. Good example of that, sending out five invitations to get on your discovery call calendar, very directly going to help you with the purpose of booking those two clients. Whereas maybe creating a new graphic for your website, where you’re standing there and you’re posing, and you’ve got you know what I mean? Like, it’s just like, what is the task that can help you move forward in the direction for the season of business that you’re in? And maybe letting those other things go?

Karyn Paige 26:15
Sam, I am the voice of resistance. I am the voice of resistance as you say this, okay? Because I know there’s someone listening to that. And it says, okay, yes, I agree that I’m in the season of finding clients. And I agree that a goal could be booked to clients. But I really believe that if my website looks perfect, that’s going to help me book to clients, I’m going to focus on like, refining and redesigning my website. And I really believe that if I post every day on social media, letting people know that I’m available in the book a call, I really believe that those are the actions that are going to help me book those two clients.

Sam Munoz 26:52
Well, you know what I’m going to say, I’m going to say go back to the data, right? Go back to your past experiences, where maybe you’ve booked a client, and just consider how did that happen? Did they find you on social media? If so, awesome. Do you have proof that you have an ROI, like a return on that investment? For spending time on social media? Right? Okay. And this is this is where the whole like shouldn’t cook thing is so important, because there is no one way to do business. You might be listening to this podcast, and we’re talking about email lists, and social media and all that stuff. And you’re like, actually, that stuff works great. For me, it’s like perfect, put your time into that if you’ve got a system that’s working. But if you’re in a place where you’re like, I actually don’t know, maybe I don’t have an like, I don’t have past experiences to pull from to give me an ROI. We have conversations with women all the time, right? There are certain strategies that are more direct that connect you to your potential client that just work. Because the businesses that we’re running are based off of relationships, right, so much of what we do is based off of relationships, so it’s not to say that there’s only one way to do it. But if you’re like, I don’t know what to do, or I you know what I mean, like you don’t have that evidence to move you forward, it might behoove you to just observe what is working, and try something like that. Does that make sense?

Karyn Paige 28:14
Yes, I’m hearing their actions that are direct, and then their actions that are indirect. And the direct actions can lead to results. And what is it faster, more efficiently, more efficiently? And also, yes, go back to what has been working.

Sam Munoz 28:35
You know, we’ve talked about this on the podcast, and I think, you know, in magic minutes, and it’s something that I’ve brought up many, many times, to many different people is this idea of just like stacking the deck in your favor, right? Because we at the end of the day, we cannot control a lot of things, there are a lot of outcomes that we can’t control, and the things that we can control. It’s like what are the actions that are going to move us towards the desires that we have that are going to stack the deck in our favor. So if it’s more likely that you will book a client, if you have a direct call with them, or if you talk to them in the DMS or you talk to them in email, then that’s where I would spend my time. That’s like a straight strategy nugget right there like that is where I would spend my time, I would spend less time on these other things that are taking away from the things that actually are supportive of the season of business that you are in, currently, which is why identifying where you’re at now is so darn important. So you can understand what is my overarching goal in this current season?

Karyn Paige 29:38
That’s super powerful and super helpful. What is the likelihood? What is the likelihood that this action will result in the thing? That’s a great question. Yeah. It’s a great question to ask yourself. It’s a good starting point.

Sam Munoz 29:51
We’re definitely going to be revisiting this episode a lot, I think, because understanding the season of business is Such a an important part of making business decisions. We talked about this in Episode 39, about kind of what to put on your intake form, right? We were talking like we kind of like skirted around this idea, but we were talking about how there is this advice. And again, this is coming from people in a different season of business, which is why we wanted to have this episode. So we can all be speaking the same language. But there’s this advice, you know, maybe you make your intake form super long, so you can weed people out. And in my personal opinion, and in my own experiences that I’ve had, during that establishing season of business, it might make sense to lower the barrier to entry to people so that you can get in conversations so that you can have a little bit of experience on Discovery calls so that you can book a couple projects, get some money in your pocket, get some experience under your belt, working with actual clients. And then maybe later you are in that full client roster season. And you’re like, you know what, I only want the people who are willing to fill out this long form to come and talk to me, different seasons of business. So I’m hoping that we can kind of call back to this episode time and time again, as we’re talking about the different decisions that you might be making in your business. Because again, you are the one that gets to decide you get the offerings, you get all the codes, and it’s up to you to use these different pieces that we talked about the seasons, the values, all of these things that can help you filter decisions for yourself, versus just having someone tell you step by step. This is how you do this.

Karyn Paige 31:29
And in its core in its essence of running a business. It’s about you making decisions for that business, not letting someone else make the decisions for your business. Because then who’s really running the show?

Sam Munoz 31:45
Yeah, absolutely. So call to action for this episode here. I would say, maybe sit down, consider grabbing a sheet of paper, lighting a candle having a glass of water, and identifying what season of business Am I in right now? Maybe what season of life am I in now? And because of those things? What is my focus at this current moment? I would love to know what does that one observation change about how you approach different decisions different, you know, should I do this, or should I do this today? That’s my call to action for you today.

Karyn Paige 32:21
There it is. I think we got it, I think. Yeah, I’m still resonating off of everything. listeners. I have a feeling you might be in the boat with me on that one. And so yeah, thank you so much for being with us during this conversation today.

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