free on demand class
Learn why you need to be concentrating on
5 specific systems and workflows to refine the backend of your business
(in order to grow your business)
I'm Dolly — a Nashville based family & branding photographer AND a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & SOPS to better impact the backend of their businesses. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
Episode 100 is a big milestone for me! I am so thrilled that I have been able to show up week after week to chat with you (and chat with other business owners) about all things Systems & Workflows. Thank you for taking this journey with me and I look forward to giving you all even MORE advice on how to streamline the backend of your business.
➡️ Don’t forget to sign up for the free class (getting started with systems, workflows, and sops to impact the backend of your business): https://dollydelongphotography.com/systems-workshop
➡️ Subscribe to my Youtube Channel: HERE
Dolly DeLong: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast. I am your systems and workflow BFF and guide Dolly DeLong. And today we are celebrating a milestone episode. I am so excited to share that this is episode 100 of the Systems and Workflow Magic podcast. I feel like there should be streamers that come down and balloons and just like all the celebration music, but episode 100 is a big deal and a big milestone for me.
And I’m. I’m so thrilled that I’ve been able to show up week after week and chat with you, the creative mind of the business owner, and feature other business owners and chat about all things systems. Workflows and SOPs and how to apply them to the back end of your business. okay. So other news, another milestone about episode 100 is I wanted to push myself and do something new for episode 100.
so I’m going to start incorporating. My podcast episodes. So my weekly podcast episodes to also be published on YouTube. So if you would rather see me talk through these episodes and you want to see what Dolly looks like? Oh boy. you’re in for a treat because you’re going to see all my awkward facial expressions.
you’re going to be in for a treat. I want it to be like, we’re chatting, like we’re meeting at. a coffee shop or we are meeting to chat about a certain strategy. So I want it to be a little bit more personal and for you to come step into just like my space. I don’t have a studio space.
This is literally if you’re watching this on YouTube, you should know that I work in a really small office area. So you’ll see it. You’ll see the real life. You’ll see how my hair, like in this episode, is. It’s sticking up and I’m like, what, whatever I am doing this, imperfectly, but I’m still going to show up.
So episode 100. Is a big deal for me. It is a milestone episode. And so now I want to invite you to tune in and listen in like you’re in my office and you are chatting with me. So anyways, welcome. I do also want to share that starting this podcast has been the best. Yes. I have said in a long time, in my business journey.
There have been many great yeses, but this is one of the best yeses I’ve made. Honestly, I know 100 is a big thing, but I feel like I’m just getting started and hitting the tip of the iceberg with some incredible topics, all centered around helping you. The listener gets more streamlined on the backend of your business.
Now, believe me when I say that I wanted to start this podcast. You’ve, if you are an OG listener, you should know that I wanted to start this podcast in 2019. So two years before I actually, hit publish on the first episode. but it took me two years to get over my fears. It took me two years to get over the comparison itis.
I still have those fears. and it took me that long to hone in. On the topic that I wanted to talk about and a topic that lights me up in a topic, I could go on and on about for days and days. That topic is systems and workflows and SOPs and how they work together to help business owners create especially creative-minded business owners, and especially creative minded.
Business owners who are running the show on their own. So solo business owners to showcase how to be more strategic with systems, workflows, and SOPs, and how to refine them with maybe possible strategies to use on the backend of their business. So you see, there are so many different types of gear that run your business.
There are different systems and every business owner is different and how they operate their business. There is never, I never want you to hear me say this there, or think that I’m saying there is a one-size-fits-all approach to business because there’s not. And if you’re listening to someone who’s trying to tell you that Don’t because they’re probably trying to sell you something that may not be the best fit for you. Like they may be what is that analogy where you are trying to fit a square peg into a circle, like a puzzle piece? Like it’s just not aligning. And that’s how that one-size-fits-all mentality is.
And. It may not be working for you. Okay. Instead, my hope and goal with all of these episodes so far, I want you to see that through these episodes, many different puzzle pieces can impact the back end of your business. And you don’t have to figure out the entire puzzle yet. You don’t have to figure out all of life, all of your business.
Yeah, all of your life. Yeah. But let’s just hone it down to your business. You just need to take a baby step and confidently step into one area that feels a bit chaotic. That feels a bit messy. And while you’re like, I need to do something about this one puzzle piece instead of jumping into everything and then giving up again, okay, I’m finally ready to assess like what’s happening in the back end of my business.
And while you’re taking an assessment of how to make it work for you and your business and your life, because hopefully you’re, you’re creating a business that, that was working around your life and. it’s working for you. You may assess that certain tools strategies and systems may be useful for you.
So you’re like, okay, these are useful for me. Or you may look at it and be like, these are not useful. And when you truly take. A step back to assess that one puzzle piece, you may discover you may need to tear it down to build it back up in a more refined way, in a more streamlined way, because then you’ll have more clarity on what is working for you.
Believe me, I have had to do this time and time again with different aspects of my business and it’s hard work. It’s hard work. the goal of this podcast, now these YouTube episodes, it’s to encourage you and just a little soft nudge to just begin implementing at least one puzzle piece to impact the back end of your business so that it can run smoothly.
Like butter, like my friend, Angela Tan of the systems are X likes to say, especially about tech and tools and systems and workflows that run the back end of your business. You want it to run as smooth as butter, regardless if you are doing it or you set up a system that it’s like a hybrid of you and the system working together, either way, you want to take an assessment and then make sure everything runs smooth as butter.
And I literally don’t want you to also think that when you work on the back end of your business, you have to automate all the parts and use all the tools and use all the apps and buy all the expensive programs to make it run for you so that you can take a step back. And what is it called? What do people say?
Drink a margarita on the beach? No, that’s not what I’m saying. some people aspire to do that and that’s, great for them. It’s great on them. But for me, I want to understand the back-end puzzle pieces of my own business before I hand it off to another person or before I even, buy an app or a tool or a system or a program to do that for me.
Like I want to comprehend. Okay. Take an assessment of this and what do I need to do that? It’s working to serve my business, my services, and my clients, not X, Y, Z. I need to stop comparing myself to other people because I want to understand the back-end puzzle pieces of my own business because it gives me clarity about where I’m going.
It gives me clarity about what I need to be doing versus what I can hand off in the future. It also gives me clarity about what pieces need to be taken out of my business, because I don’t, I shared this early. I don’t need to run my business the way X, Y, or Z person runs their business or guru, or this person who is way ahead of me or perceives to be way ahead of me.
And they’re telling me, this is what you need to do again, that one size fits all mentality. Overall, I want to know the pieces of my business. So I can cast a better vision for the future of my business and make more informed decisions that align with my values that align with my business values.
And I know that to look ahead for my business. And to make better-informed decisions, I truly have to take a step back from the slow down to speed up my mentality, but that is so hard to do. And let me be very clear. This is hard to do in the online space because everyone and everything is pressing go, go, go, literally, we are on the go constantly.
This is the fastest life. Has always been like, and it’s continuing to get faster and everyone, it seems like everyone, even the neighbor’s dog is making six, seven, eight figures a minute and everyone seems to get it. And everyone seems to be making traction. well, hi. I’m just a slow tortoise who is trucking along.
All right. And because I have chosen to slow down and assess some back-end puzzle pieces, those building block puzzle pieces of my own business, it has helped me make. More informed decisions on where I want to go, especially since I’m running the show, like no one is working on this except for me.
And I don’t mean it as a badge of Oh, look at me working all the time. no, I know my working hours. I know what it takes to run my business. No, I’m not sharing that to brag. This is just where I am right now in business. And I do want to hire out eventually in the future. So let me just be very clear on that.
it’s just literally me. And yes, I do have mega plans for my future, but right now I do realistically know it’s going to take time and strategic planning by assessing these backend building blocks. And now you may be wondering, okay, like Dolly, what are these back-end building block puzzle pieces you keep referring to?
And are they the magic formula? that’s going to catapult me. Like if I hear them now, is this going to be in the magic pill? As you all know, hopefully by now that I’m pretty sarcastic when I say things like that, the magic pill, the magic formula, First off, that’s cute.
If you think for real, it’s a magic formula. And yes, I do make a lot of Harry Potter references on this podcast and this YouTube channel. and yes, I love making the analogies that systems and workflows and automation, like they honestly do feel like magic, but the reality is the magic is how is when you learn how everything works together.
And again, that takes time. And when you see how things work together, it’s wow, like this is, this all feels so streamlined. This feels automated. it’s clear. It just. I don’t have to do all the things like I can do some of the things but not all of the things, but those parts, take time.
And to answer your question about the back-end puzzle pieces. The back-end puzzle pieces for me are always assessing these five different categories. so the first category is time management. The second is money management or financial systems. The third is SOP assessments. So standard operating procedure assessments.
The fourth is content marketing assessments. And then the fifth is email marketing assessments or systems. Now these are the five building blocks or puzzle pieces, or if you want to call them gears that help run the back end of my business. They all work together. And if one is off, it acts like a negative domino effect on the others.
Like I can feel it and see it sometimes play out time and time again. Like I will share this. I’ll be very open and honest with you time and time again when I sway off course from my own goals and I start listening to other people’s dreams and goals of their lives. And then I think, Oh, I need to make that my dream, my goal. I need a beach house, even though I don’t like the beach. I need to like, do go to Tahiti. Even if I don’t want to go to Tahiti, I’d rather go to a national park. Anyway, long story short, sometimes can make other people’s dreams and goals and desires, my dreams and goals and desires because of the way that.
Paint the picture. And then I think, if I do that, then maybe I’ll be successful too. And then I get off track and those puzzle pieces are even more scattered all over the place. And so I’m sharing that to give you some encouragement and tough love encouragement that you are not alone as you navigate the waters of owning and operating a business on your own or with a small team.
All right. Also encouragement to you to please slow down and allow yourself to take an assessment of your business, especially the back-end puzzle pieces of your business to see what is working and what is not working to assess the system. So workflows, the SOPs are all working together, to make your business a reality.
here’s a tough love. Stop pushing yourself so much to keep up with whoever you are trying to keep up with or whatever, like the elusive thing you’re trying to keep up with, because it is because the reality is if your backend, like of your business is scattered. It’s going to get all busted up, and then you won’t be able to run anything.
Okay, so slow down to speed up. And I want to encourage you with some words of wisdom that an elder from my childhood once told me over lunch at his house, yes, Like whenever I have the opportunity, I still visit my childhood elders, like from church, my church family. they played a huge part in how I grew up and I still keep in touch with them.
So relationships are huge for me. And he was giving this advice. To a friend who was sitting right next to me. And he shared with my friend and this is a phrase that I instantly whipped out my phone, I was like, I have to write this down
I just need to remember this because this is true, but he shared, that you got to blossom where you are planted. And so for me, this can mean so many different things, but concerning business, I took this to mean many things, but about business. If you truly want to enjoy your business and enjoy what you are creating, you’ve got to slow down.
Okay, slow down and assess what is going on in the back end. So the foundations, the soil, to make it thrive and blossom. You may have to endure some hardship and trials and errors. You have to weed out what’s not working. You may have to like uproot some things and re-plant them and create a better foundation.
And while you’re doing this, you can still blossom. Even if you’re not the most shiny flower on the market, you are still Allowing yourself to grow and to be nurtured in the right ways. And now I’m not an expert about growing things. Okay. Like my husband is listening to me as I’m recording this.
He’s probably thinking I should come in and tell them about all the dead plants Dolly has created through the years. It’s true. Don’t have a green thumb, but this analogy really struck me, for a business analogy, you still have to blossom where you are planted. You can still do that, but you have to take the necessary steps to do that.
And overall, I just want you, the listener, the viewer to still blossom where you are in business, you can blossom. And be happy and grow and learn at the same time. But you’ve got to do the work on yourself. All right. I’m not just talking about yourself, your personal life. yes, obviously, but I’m talking about business.
Okay. So let’s put on our business hats and you’ve got to do the work by taking a step back. And assessing those foundational pieces, those foundational systems and workflows that are running your business. And you have to understand what is going on in the back end of your business. Okay. You got to stop acting like you’re too dumb to figure it out.
So that’s why I decided for episode 100 as a milestone and celebration episode that I’m going to help you go back to basics with a free class, all about how to get started with systems, workflows, and SOPs for your creative business. So no matter if you’re listening to this episode when it airs on the podcast, or if you’re watching this on YouTube, wherever you’re consuming this episode if you happen to come across this later on, then this class is going to be available for you to tune into the life.
Like all you have to do is head on over to the show notes of the podcast or this video and sign up for this class. It’s free. Now in this class, I am covering those five back-in puzzle pieces. Those are the building blocks that helped me run my own business, but I refer to those puzzle pieces as the various systems workflows or SOPs that I’m constantly refining and fine-tuning to fit.
The goals needs and health for my business. And I’m pulling back the curtain for you to showcase how these five puzzle pieces work together. And honestly, I give a lot of tough love throughout the class and I am just very straightforward and honest with you. And I let you know that this takes time and real effort on your part.
This is not like a, Oh, if you pay me 10, 000, I will. give you this formula. It’s, it’s not that at all. this is not a class where I’m going to be selling you something from the get-go. Like I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m gifting you with my brain for 90 minutes and walking you through the systems that I have been refining.
And I hope that you can take at least one, just one of these points. And it will force you to look back at the back end of your business to refine your processes to impact your business. It would be so cool if you could do all five, but honestly, it would be wiser. Okay. Wiser to just take one point and run with it because when at least one gear is working, then you can move on to the next gear or next foundational puzzle piece.
And then when that is refined, you can move on to the next. Okay. Now, I seriously believe that learning how to apply systems, workflows, and SOPs to the back end of your creative business can be incredibly empowering and it is liberating. Like I know that sounds dramatic, but it feels very freeing, and as silly as it sounds, it’s like unlocking.
A hidden treasure, of efficiency productivity, and organization. It just makes you feel like you truly are a wizard, even if you’re a muggle like I like to say every week. And I’m so excited to help you take more refined steps as your systems and workflow BFF and guide. And I want to remind you again, that.
You ultimately have the power to decide if you’re going to take a step back to assess the foundations, these gears of your business, and the backend systems of your business. Or you can just continue to forge ahead and let life happen to the backend of your business and just continue to pay other people, throw out money, and just be like, let them figure it out.
I need to. quote unquote, scale my business. I need to be the CEO of my business. there is a time and place for that, but if you are not assessing, especially the financial aspects of your business, how can you know, if throwing money at a problem will? Solve it or it might make it worse.
So I want to encourage you to take a step back and assess. I don’t want you to continue to chase shiny object after shiny object, because honestly, I know it’s easy to pursue that shiny object. And it’s easy just to think, this is the solution to all of my problems. Because it’s harder to take a step back and have a real reality check.
it’s hard work and it’s tough and it sometimes feels grueling and that’s the unsexy part of running your own business. There are lots of hard things. People don’t want to talk about that. People would rather just showcase all their milestones and their 10, 000 million dollar day.
And I just made up that number, but I’m sharing it with you. I want to showcase. The good and the not-so-fancy parts of running a business. And this may seem ambitious, like taking a step back and assessing all of these gears of your business, but aren’t you at all curious to see if?
integrating systems, workflows, and SOPs will work for the back end of your business. let’s say you are brand new to business, you’re excited and you have no idea what I’m talking about. When I’m talking about systems and workflows and SOPs, you’re like, what are you talking about? Is this for me?
Check it out. It’s a free class. So if you’re ready to take a step back and honestly assess your puzzle pieces, I want to invite you to the class now, and the link is in the show notes. Plus, the link is going to be in the YouTube show notes as well.
So thank you so much for joining me on episode 100. I cannot wait to see what the next 100 episodes will hold for me so that I can better serve you the listener and until then have an extremely streamlined and magical week, you amazing muggle. Bye.
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