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Episode 262: Series (Part 4): From Many Mistakes to Big Wins with Megan Porta

In episode 262, Megan continues the series, from many mistakes to big wins and what she learned. Today’s episode covers investing and how Megan invested in the wrong things and when you shouldn’t invest.

We cover information such as when you set clear goals, it’ll be clear when the right investment comes along, why the people behind the products and services are important as the products and why you need to hire a quality coach.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Takeaways

  • The tipping point in growing your blog could be investing wisely in a VA or outsourcing some work so you can focus on the right things.
  • When thinking about investing, it’s important to set goals and make a plan first.
  • Invest in people for your business and let the spear guide you when you’re considering outsourcing and investing in courses, education and resources.
  • The quality and motives of the people you bring into your team or hire to help grow your business, matter.
  • Research key elements before investing.
  • Good people who care about your success create products and services that are good investments. They will take care of you along the way.
  • Hire a coach and/or join a quality mastermind.  It will have a huge ROI with a massive impact on your business.

Previous Mistakes Episodes

Mistakes Series Episodes

Episode 244: Part 1 – Action steps to encourage your blogging journey.

Episode 249: Part 2 – Over-complicating everything.

Episode 254: Part 3 – No boundaries

Transcript

Click for full text.

Food bloggers! Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, THE podcast for food bloggers looking for the value and confidence that will move the needle forward in their businesses. I’m your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode 262. 

This episode is the fourth in a series called From Many Mistakes to Big Wins where I will talk through specific mistakes I’ve made in my own blogging journey and how YOU can learn from my struggles. 

Before we dive into that, I’d love to take some time here to share about all of the resources available here at EBT that give you a chance to connect, gain confidence, dig into food blogging in a new way and just LEVEL UP in your business growth and with your networking.

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Just to do a quick recap of the previous mistakes I talked about in the first 3 episodes in this series..

Episode 244 – Thinking I could do everything on my own

Episode 249 – Overcomplicating everything

Episode 254 – No boundaries

Before I dig into this episode, I will reiterate that I will not refer to my mistakes as “failures” because I don’t believe in failure. I embrace mistakes as a part of my business and a part of my journey because they are what help me to learn and grow.

Mistake #4: Investing in the wrong things and in some cases avoiding making investments 

This topic can get a bit tricky because it involves money.. And money can be a touchy subject (or even a trigger) for some of us. The money mindset I fell into for a very long time was that I couldn’t invest $x in my business until I made $x in my business. It’s like the chicken and the egg situation. Which comes first? The investing or the money? So for a very long time, I invested in absolutely nothing. Then I attended a small conference put on by an ad network I previously was with and I began chatting with a lifestyle blogger who started talking about investing in outsourcing work and I remember thinking, “There’s no way I could do that!”

I picked her brain a little bit and she convinced me that investing in even just a tiny bit of outsourcing would have a good ROI, so when I got back home that’s the first thing I did. I hired someone to help manage my Pinterest and Facebook accounts for something like 3-5 hours/week.

At first this seemed really scary because I was not making a lot of money from ads at the time (and ads were my sole source of income), but I took the plunge anyway. SO MUCH time opened up for me to work on other parts of my business that I’d been putting off because I could never find the time. That really was the tipping point for me as far as finally making headway and it gave me the confidence to make more investments in my business.

Admittedly, I have made a lot of mistakes as far as investing goes. I’ll run through a few of my doozies and then we can break down some points about how to ensure you’re making good business investments.

  • Hired a VA to work XX hours/week without first making a plan. After my initial foray into outsourcing, I found a great VA (who is still my VA!) and I allotted her a certain number of hours per week to work, but I did not think through tasks and how to break those down into hours. I filled her time with tasks, but in retrospect a lot of those tasks were time fillers and didn’t move the needle forward. 
  • Bought courses and other educational resources because they sounded useful. I purchased products/services that seemed like they were really valuable. I would either buy something because someone else recommended it or just because I got sucked into a sales pitch in my eagerness to learn and grow. I failed to evaluate the bigger picture before purchasing SO MANY THINGS and ended up completely wasting my money. 
  • Invested in products that weren’t being sold be reputable people. I can remember a handful of services/products I invested in that were sold by people who just wanted to make the sale.
  • Avoided high-dollar (yet important) investments. I avoided investing in SEO and getting technical help. I’m definitely not one of those people who will do something just because others are doing it. This has served me in some ways, but it has hurt me in other ways. Sometimes (after careful research, of course).. Sometimes the “herd” is doing that thing or buying that service for a reason.
  • Believed I could grow a killer business without coaching. For FAR too long, I believed I did not need coaching or mentoring of any kind. 

What NOT INVESTING WELL got me..

  1. Spinning wheels. I remember coming up with things to fill my VA’s time with. “Let’s create some roundups!” She made recipe roundups on my blog, but I put zero thought into why we were actually doing them. A few years later I figured out that those roundups got no traction and were structured around keywords that nobody was looking for. 
  2. Frustration. Investing is scary and hard! So when you find that you’ve put significant money toward something that is a let-down or that you find you didn’t actually need.. It’s really frustrating!
  3. Trust issues. Along those same lines, when you have invested money in a product or service and then realize that the person who sold it to you doesn’t actually give a crap about your success or experience, that is frustrating, as well.. And it can cause major trust issues. This can significantly impact the way you invest in the future.
  4. Missing out on key business elements. Avoiding making certain investments can hold you back in business because some investments just NEED to be made. If you are not technically savvy or if you are an OG food blogger and have a ton of content in your archives and have no idea how to organize or structure it for SEO optimization, you are going to need help if you want to keep up with the changes and GROW.
  5. A WAY longer growth journey than desired. I’d heard so many other entrepreneurs over the years talk about how they hired business or mindset coaches and every time I would think, “I will never do that.” Or “I don’t need that. I can figure it out myself.” This thinking results in a loooooooong journey that does not need to be so long. Think of a piece of taffy just out of the wrapper. This is your journey with GOOD, quality coaching. Now pull out the ends of the taffy so it stretches to 2 feet. This is your journey without quality coaching.

HOW TO INVEST WELL

  1. Set goals/make a plan. You will invest wisely in VA help or other outsourcing if you have a clear plan. This will also ensure YOU are making good use of your time, resulting in forward motion. Also, having clear goals will give you clarity about which courses/products/services you should invest in. If one of your big goals is to grow your email list, then investing in a course that guides you through email marketing is a good investment. Let your goals be your guideposts for the investments you make.
  2. Invest in PEOPLE. This is probably the most important point in this entire episode (and a lesson that took me far too long to learn). Do your research when it comes to the PEOPLE selling to you. Lean into your gut when you interact with them. Do they care about your success? Are they decent humans? THIS MATTERS. It matters more than you might think. If you are considering joining a membership or a mastermind or even if you’re looking to purchase a high-dollar course, the quality and motives of the people selling to you matters. 
  3. Research key elements. Connect with peers and learn what needs to be addressed within your business in order to move forward efficiently. For us, one of those key elements is staying on top of technical issues and also SEO. Research quality services and products and invest in them. And remember the last point.. Make sure the people behind the services and products care about your success.
  4. Hire a coach and/or join a quality mastermind program. I can’t tell you enough HOW important this point is. I went 10 years thinking I could grow without coaching and mentoring and now that I’ve invested in it, I can tell you that I’ve made at least 5 years’ of growth and progress in the 12 months since I invested. This can be a scary one because coaching is a high-dollar investment. If you hire a GOOD coach or join a QUALITY mastermind program, you’ll earn that money right back, plus some. 

That’s all for mistake #4! To recap, set goals and create a clear plan for your business and let this be your guide when considering outsourcing and investing in courses, education and resources. Invest in people above all else! Good people who care about your success create products and services that are good investments. Know what you need to pay attention to in your business and invest in those things. And last but not least, hire a coach or join a mastermind program that will have a huge ROI with a massive impact on your business.

The next episode in this series will be #267, published on 12/30/21, so stay tuned to hear more of my epic mistakes! Specifically I’ll talk about Mistake #5, which is Starting well and ending poorly (or not at all).


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Pinterest image for episode 262, from many mistakes to big wins, part 4 of 5.
Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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