BBB #7: I almost lost my business

I have been struggling

Exactly 9 months ago, I almost dissolved my agency.

In those months, we have been really struggling.

I have been struggling.

As a leader, I was shaken to my core, facing new kinds of challenges I never faced when I was doing solo work as a freelancer.

Doing business is a game of execution. You can have the best ideas in the world but what puts you on the map is your execution.

In a matter of months, I have learned so much from actual experience, things I could not have learned through books nor in MBA โ€”

๐Ÿ‘‰ Hiring and firing

I learned that recruitment is the same as marketing and that hiring is the same as sales.

The same skills that I needed for marketing and sales are also the skills needed during recruitment and hiring.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Rebuilding the organization

I became intentional on building the organizational structure that will last the test of time, starting with my leadership team.

Instead of asking myself โ€œhow will I do this?โ€, it has been my conscious decision to ask myself first โ€œwho can help me do this?โ€

It has made all the difference in how I run things.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Being intentional about our culture

A year ago, if youโ€™ll talk to me about culture, I would say that culture is just about a team sharing a box of pizza on a Friday evening in the office.

But that changed a lot when our organization began to grow and morph into a living, breathing system.

It became clearer to me that culture is a collection of the diverse attitude, beliefs and responses of my team, glued together by our core values.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Sharing our vision

It has always been a puzzle to me: โ€œWhy does it seem that my team members are not as passionate as I am?โ€

Until I met my leadership coach named Jalvi who made me realize that what has been missing is the trust factor in sharing my vision to my team.

What a disservice for my team members if I had continued being selfish with the direction the company. Being unclear is selfishness.

When I started trusting more by talking about our vision as often as I can, I saw a fire ignited within my team members.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Profitability and cash runway

Numbers donโ€™t lie. In the early parts of the year, we have been on the defensive side when it comes to profitability and maintaining a healthy cash runway.

It was when I realized that the time is due that we play on the offensive side. Some things we implemented that made so much difference:

  • reviewed our contracts

  • adjusted pricing plans

  • productized our services

  • cut unnecessary costs

  • operated on a lean structure

  • focused on our core offers

๐Ÿ‘‰ Saying "no" to things not aligned to where we want to go

I learned that distractions often come dressed as "easy" opportunities.

I learned to say โ€œnoโ€. We learned to say โ€œnoโ€ as an organization on things that are not aligned with our vision.

Focus and discernment became our superpower.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Humility and admitting I needed help

Asking for help has always been my biggest challenge as I am used to doing things independently.

But when your vision is greater than yourself, you will definitely need a hand.

I am so thankful for all the people who helped us โ€” partners, mentors, friends and clients.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Maintaining my sanity as a CEO

It doesnโ€™t have to be lonely in business. To keep my sanity, I rediscovered old passions and hobbies.

I resolved to travel more (which I did successfully by scheduling 1 week trips for every quarter).

I sleep better and is not working on weekends as much as possible.

Ice cream time after an outreach event we participated in at Antipolo

As I am writing this letter today, we are celebrating our 1st year in business at Thrive Global CFO. ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿฅณ

I am so happy to share this picture taken today with some of my team members with their smiling faces.

If Iโ€™ll summarize the lessons over the past year, these are the few things that kept me (us) going:

๐Ÿ™Œ Remembering my who and why
๐Ÿ™Œ Knowing that clients rely on us (and prospects are even waiting for us to bounce back so we can work together)
๐Ÿ™Œ Realizing that the livelihood of the team and their families count on us
๐Ÿ™Œ Having peace in the fact that God is carrying me through it all

Crawl if I must -- no one stays in the mud forever if you learn how to pull yourself up out of it.

Believe in and work for better days!

You can be anyone you want to be. Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

Letโ€™s build better businesses,

Kathy Castro

P.S. We have few open seats for my FREE money system masterclass happening on Aug 26, 2023. Reserve your spot here.


or to participate.