Once upon a time in a land far far away, a queen built an empire.
The kingdom was good. And the peasants were happy. And the land was fruitful.
Then one day, the queen decided that running the kingdom with all its gabillions of subjects and moving parts was going to put her into an early grave.
So after much deliberation (and some minor stress puking) she closed the freaking kingdom and sailed away to the Land of Freelance and never looked back.
Who was this empire-averse queen?
Well….if you haven’t guessed yet – it was me.
And actually the “kingdom” was a copywriting agency that was kinda-pretty-okay….
But that’s what I thought I was doing with the agency… “Building my Empire”
If you saw my message last week, then you know all about my “List” made up of uber internet-marketey gems like, “it’s all about the hustle.”
And several of you particularly enjoyed my sentiments about said hustle, which I shall not repeat, but may or may not have involved an act of “shoving” and one said “pooper.”
But there was a time – when I too – was all about the hustle.
And at the peak of my internet-marketing-slash-digital-nomad-ism, while I was traipsing around the barista-filled jungles of Chiang Mai, Thailand…
I decided that I needed to “Dream BIG” and build an agency that could scale far beyond my teeny tiny client roster.
So I found a gap in a market that needed to be filled, niched the F down, and built a copy agency to 6 figures in 8 months.
That may not sound like much to some people, but at the time, I was living on “Thailand money” ( $1 pad thai, I miss you my sweet ) so that seemed pretty darn snazzy.
And at first it was great!
I was able to do what I do best (go out and create a constant flow of more work than I could possibly handle)…
Then I would have my saint-of-a project manager (love you Jean!) get the wheels turning so my SOP-savvy team of writers and editors could produce high volumes of SEO-optimized copy that converts.
I would bring in business. Then go to bed. And when I woke up there would be money in my bank account and copy delivered into my client’s inbox.
To all appearances, I was “livin’ the dream.”
But over time, the “ooo shiny” started to wear off…
And I started to realize that I hated putting my name on something that other people wrote.
And since we were pumping out a productized service at a rapid rate for dirt-cheap prices, the perfectionist in me couldn’t stand delivering work that didn’t meet my ridiculously high standards.
And because of the nature of the market I was serving, there were more than a few dickheads that finally put me over the edge.
I. Wanted. OUT.
Now… looking back, there are a billion things I could have done differently to build a successful agency that I actually ENJOYED managing.
I could have focused on serving a higher level of clients.
I could have charged WAY more which would have filtered out a lot of dickheads.
I could have removed myself as the face of the business and let it grow as its own, separate entity.
I could have hired someone to come in and grease the systems so they were smooth as a newborn’s patootie.
But at the risk of including just one more overused cliche in this message…. hindsight is 20/20 Ammai-Right?
So I didn’t do any of those things.
Instead, I went to a mastermind event where I cried on stage, and they convinced me that the business was toxic and virtually POISONING me, and that I needed to drop it like a hot flaming sack of shiznit as fast as possible.
So that’s what I did.
I SHUT that motha-sucka down!
And I relaunched as a full-time direct response copywriter and cold-traffic consultant and focused 100% on working 1-on-1 with clients while helping other writers do the same.
And FOOOOOOK I am so much happier now.
And I don’t regret my decision one tiny bit.
But of course….there’s always more to the story.
And quite a few things happened along the way.
Which is exactly what I talk about in this episode of The Founder Mindset Podcast with my friend Kevin Graham.
If you want to hear the rest of this fancy fairy tale (and also about my favorite mosquito-ridden dive bar with puppies in Thailand)…
>>> Listen to the episode here <<<