Overwhelmed Overworked and Underpaid

Overwhelmed, Overworked, and Underpaid

Overwhelmed, overworked, and underpaid – those are like badges of honor for entrepreneurs because so many work extremely hard and don’t make it a priority to pay themselves. It’s particularly common among female entrepreneurs.

So, what should you do about that?

We know it takes time and money to build a business, but just as importantly, it takes planning – let’s look at this a little more closely in this edition of Shop Talk.

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When you start a business, you need to determine what type of resources you really need to invest in. I hear from people all the time that they don’t have money to hire a coach, and they don’t have money to hire a graphic designer, and they don’t have money to hire an assistant.

It should come as no surprise to you entrepreneurs, it takes money to build a business. That means that before you go into business, it’s a good idea to have some type of a forecast or a plan around who is going to do what to grow the business.

Time + money + planning = growing a #business. #Entrepreneurs have you done the math? Share on X

If you’re doing all the behind the scenes operational work, who’s doing the sales and marketing? Somebody’s got to sell, because until somebody buys, there really is no business.

The question becomes, how much money do you have to invest in the business, what are the things that you’re really good at and therefore you should do, and what are the things that you should hire out? You simply cannot do it all or you will find yourself overwhelmed, overworked, and underpaid…and that’s a perfect recipe for failure.

One of the most cost effective things that you can do in the beginning is hire a Virtual Assistant. The reason that I’m a fan of Virtual Assistants is typically they’re highly skilled in a multitude of areas. When hiring a Virtual Assistant you are in control of how the relationship works – you can hire them for a specific project, or for as many (or as few) hours per week that you want. You might hire them to do something as simple as send out your newsletter each week, or post to your blog, or even maintain your social media communities. Their purpose can be to make sure that you don’t become overwhelmed, overworked, and underpaid.

Figure out what things you’re doing that absolutely suck your energy. What are the things that leave you feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and underpaid that you could hand off to somebody else at a reasonable rate of pay?

A word to the wise, when it comes to hiring a Virtual Assistant there is a broad range of prices you can expect to pay for this service. There are a lot of marketers telling people, “Raise your fees! Raise your fees! Raise your fees!” And, a lot of people listen to them. But hiring a Virtual Assistant for $150,000 a year doesn’t make sense for most entrepreneurs.

Feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and underpaid? This edition of #ShopTalk can help! Share on X

You want to find somebody who can support you and your business at a reasonable amount of pay. And as your business scales, so does the amount of money you give them as a support resource. If their fees are high to begin with it’s only going to feed your overwhelm becoming part of the problem rather than the solution.

It’s really important when you start investing in resources in your business that you’ve got your eye on the bottom line and that you’re investing in resources that are going to help you generate revenue. If you don’t have any revenue coming in and all you’ve got is money going out, pretty soon you’re going to hate and resent your business.

A classic mistake that many new business owners make is delaying payment to themselves for their hard work. They say things like, “I am reinvesting the profits back into the business,” but the truth is they are spending their profits and not paying themselves.

When you open your business, make a point to pay yourself first. You are the one doing the work of building this business and if it wasn’t for you there would be no business. Create a habit around processing payroll every two weeks and pay yourself something. You’ll find that when you start rewarding yourself financially for all your hard work, the resentment you feel from working so hard starts to go away because you are actually giving your contribution value.

If your business isn’t generating any sales yet – you need to become the VP of Sales and generate some income! If you can’t do that, your business is simply not going to survive.

I love hearing from other entrepreneurs about the choices you made when you first started your business and the advice that you would give someone else starting off today. Like I always say – success leaves clues! Who was the first person you hired in your business? Did you get what you needed from that investment or did you get overcharged, or in over your head? Leave me a comment and share your valuable insight from your own entrepreneurial journey.


5 thoughts on “Overwhelmed, Overworked, and Underpaid”

  1. The very first person I invested in was another swim instructor. My mentor advised me early on to hire another instructor as soon as I had enough clients to give them my teaching roster. This scared the dickens out of me! But I did it anyways. Fast forward 3 years and we now have 9 fantastic swim instructors that work with us 🙂
    The second person I hired was a business coach! What a difference that has made!

    1. Love those choices! In your business, hiring a person is a “profit centre” meaning the work they do generates revenue so having 9 is GREAT. Hiring a business coach (Unless they are awesome and help you increase sales) is a “Cost centre” meaning they don’t generate revenue for you. You did exactly the right thing to invest in your profit centres first!

  2. I’ll raise my hand as someone who made a poor hire. Many years ago I hired a part-time (20 hours a week) assistant. I also hired an accountant to process her payroll, as I don’t know how to do that and even if I learned, I thought my time was better spent getting more clients and doing the client work. Between the pricey accountant and the assistant and the quarterly taxes I paid on the assistant’s wages (even though she wasn’t paid a huge amount), there were times I was only able to pay myself very, very little. Two other poor hires: CPAs. I happened to find two in a row (three if you count the prior accountant) who didn’t really know law firm books and how they are required to be kept. Lesson learned!!

    However, I see that that experience burned me so badly that I’m too reluctant to hire bookkeepers and assistants to this day. I’m still doing nearly everything. I do have a virtual assistant but feel my income needs to be higher to give her more of the work. Then again, I see that if I do NOT pass work on to her, then I don’t have time to do the marketing I need to do. Chicken or egg? When you’re a one-income household, it’s tough to decide spend money, even on things I know would help me. Especially when I have several bad experiences in the past with hires. Hmmm.

    Thanks, Lisa! Great video as usual! And great wisdom! Now to just increase my income! 🙂

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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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