What I Didn't Expect in 2020 And A Little Advice I Can Give For 2021
Disclaimer: The grammar and spelling in this blog is all over the place. Sorry in advance!
I think we can all agree 2020 wasn't what we expected. Big life events were occurring for us since 2017 when my late father in law's cancer had taken over his life and my mother in law was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's after years of early onset dementia. My husband was still my fiancé and plans for a wedding were put on hold. In a family emergency we needed to move from Santa Cruz back to Huntington Beach. Our lives were turned upside down and at 29 I was caregiving for 2 parents with my heartbroken fiancé.
During all of this we decided to invest in ourselves and put Derek's 20 years of film expertise and experience to build a business that will fund our lives, fulfill our big ideas and dreams, create job opportunities, and build a legacy. We were ready for this investment to be lifelong commitment all while being full time caregivers.
After the death of Bruce Easley in 2018, just a week after the national shutdown in 2020 Becky Easley passed away. All of our projects in the pipeline were paused and things were getting scary. I can say now that 2021 is just a few hours away there are a few things I've learned in this short, long, crazy, a little boring, and a lot ridiculous year.
Sales is key in all aspects of life, not just your business.
Like so many people I always told myself I was a horrible sales person. I never realized how important sales is to not just your business but your very ethos. Learning sales gives you confidence and the ability to converse with people from all walks of life. If we can all agree communication and writing are essential life skills then sales is equally important and essential. Particularly in a global pandemic and nationwide shutdown.
It felt like a no brainer when trying to sell our services, why it is essential to create content online and build a social media platform with video. I can say as someone who is a natural introvert, staying home and accepting this shutdown was far too easy. The distraction of my favorite TV shows and "following the rules of staying inside" really aided to roll over and accept this. My drive to keep going was slowly diminishing each day. I needed my confidence back and to get myself out there and make money! It wasn't easy and I'm still working on it everyday. But I can say when you begin to put the right energy out there people feel it and work comes in.
A few sales pointers I've learned since I began at Derek Easley Entertainment:
1) Follow up with a client who says they will get back to you. You need them more than they need you so I try to find that perfect balance of insisting and not being annoying about it.
2) I try not to babble because when I start, I can't stop, and too much talking can talk you out of a sale. I try to ask more questions and get a persons creative vibe flowing. I love being behind the camera and not in front of it so I understand how a client may talk themselves out of a project because they don't want to be on camera. I just remind them that they are interesting and people want to hear from them and they always look better than they think they do.
3) I love asking questions about their business and learning why they are passionate about it. The reason I love it is because I love filming it. I try to remain my authentic self and be genuinely interested.
4) Follow up with clients who said no. Because...they might say yes this time? Who knows! You gotta try. Think about something you really want, if theres a sales person trying to sell it but you're a little scrapped at the moment, doesn't mean you don't want it. Just means you can't have it right now. Right? Same goes for our clients.
You Have To Wake Up Early Everyday
I have a hard time waking up early so for those of you who find it easy, I hate you. No! Just kidding! Kinda.
I've began to set my alarm for 5:30 everyday and finally get myself up by 6:45 usually. I shower, brush my teeth, do my hair, and get my first cup of coffee. I make sure I don't leave my office until 5:00p. My days aren't perfect and I should do more to create a system for myself but sometimes my day throws curveballs so I feel that as long as I reach out to at least 4 people for my sales, post a video/picture/ad content on our social media pages, then I feel accomplished. Its not exactly perfect and I could do more of course but when I try to do it all, I find I just shut down. Waking up early is something I can control and I do it with purpose everyday.
Expect Everything To Go Wrong And Always Have A Plan B, C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,Lmenop!
What I really mean by this is to try and not let your negative thoughts take over when things keep going wrong. Like this year. ha!
A huge help: Making money can boost your confidence and get you out of feeling negative. That may sound like a taboo statement but its true. Nothing can cure a sad person like getting a big client with a huge budget!
Listen To Podcasts That Will Inspire You And Interest You
I listen to a lot of financial podcasts that inspire me and I find the people I listen to I aspire to be. Its also the best advice and form of school I can get for free from the most innovative and game changing entrepreneurs in the world. So, why not? I mean, these people are incredible and they help me stay positive.
1) The Pomp Podcast: Love, love, love this guy! Anthony Pompliano is a bitcoin guy and start up investor. He's got a very fresh attitude about the economy and I love the people he interviews. Not one podcast has disappointed me and I love learning about all the different types of businesses out there. Its also a good place to network and reach out to these people to network. Why not? I can always be an email away from making the next Apple Commercial. We've made eBay commercials so its not too far fetched.
2) The Rich Dad Radio: Robert Kiyosaki is like the godfather of financial education. He has inspired so many people and I read all of his books and the people in the Rich Dad Company. I also own cashflow and play with Derek as often as I can! Running the film business is number one but not knowing how to take the money we make and turning it into more money is the stupidest mistake I can make. My personal financial education is super important to me and Derek.
3) No Film School: This is a great insight into the film biz. These guys and gals are great and create a fresh outlook on whats going on in the film industry.
4) The Wealthability Show: Tom Wheelwright is a tax wiz and he gives really great pointers on your business and how you can pay less taxes and invest more in your business.