Lacy is the queen of writing content that converts! She is also one of the first B-schoolers I met years ago and having had a front row seat to the growth of her business has been an honor. Lacy is a testament to the vision and flexibility necessary in entrepreneurship, especially if you’re a Mindful Maverick. Lacy’s slow-and-steady growth model has allowed her to absorb and process any set-backs while creating a small empire and having more work/life balance.
Here’s Lacy’s story…..
- What’s your mission? Tell us about your organization/business.
My mission with The Content Direction Agency is to help small business owners understand the relationship between content and sales and put it to use to support their business. Too many people spend hours and hours of their time blogging, making videos, and recording podcasts that don’t actually support their business — and I am on a MISSION to help you stop wasting time and start making money with your content.
- How long did it take you to reach important milestones in your business or organization?
I started my business in order to stay home with my daughter, and so I deliberately kept growth slow, and I have only ever worked, on average, 20 hours a week. My first big goal was to replace my previous full-time salary (around $35k) and I hit that in my 2nd year of business. I only hit six figures in revenue last year (my 4th year). I hit 5,000 people on my email list last year — and then cleaned more than half of them off this year. 😉 All this to say, milestones are different for each person, and so is success.
- Tell us about the “start-up scares”: Was there a moment where you ever seriously contemplated quitting?
Absolutely! My first business idea flopped completely. After I left my job as the food editor of a local magazine, I (of course) started a food blog. The blog itself did pretty well: I got 10,000 visitors and over 1,000 subscribers in my first year and was invited to guest post for one of Martha Stewart’s magazines — but I was making no money. (You know how people talk about having a six-figure year? I had a three figure year that first year.) I realized that unless I wanted to go back and get another J-O-B I had to try something different, which was when I went into ghostblogging. That year I had my best month ever followed by my worst month ever. It is a huge roller coaster. But perseverance pays.
- Did you ever “fail” or make a substantial mistake in business or organization? Any serious Challenges? How did you overcome and resolve it?
Apart from my first biz idea being a flop, I experienced a big setback just recently. Last year, I poured all my energy into growing my list to support sales of my online course. I tripled my list in about 5 months, from around 1800 people to more than 5,000. And yet, when I launched my course again in the fall of last year, it felt like pulling teeth. I didn’t meet my sales goals, and everything felt HARD. So I met with a business coach in January 2017, and together we decided that I should turn my focus back to 1:1 work. It felt like throwing away an entire year’s worth of work that I had spent building up my list with the wrong types of people. I had to seriously grieve all that time and effort spent going in the wrong direction. But once I got through that and put my focus on my new direction, I’m on track to double my revenue this year — with a LOT less effort.
- What’s the most impactful action you’ve taken to reach your goal/s?
Actually having goals and assigning numbers to them is huge. I’m a creative type, so I’ve always shied away from the numbers. But understanding my key performance indicators and then watching the numbers has been a huge game-changer for me. Understanding how many leads I need to produce a sale, and how many sales I need to reach my goals seems basic, but it was a big mindset shift for me.
- What would you tell your younger/earlier self? Any piece of advice?
It’s OK to go slow. And it’s definitely OK to do your own thing and not follow what everyone else is doing. If it feels off, I don’t care how successful someone else is with it; it’s not going to work well for you. You’re much more successful when you do your own thing.
- What the best advice YOU’VE ever received about pursuing your vision?
A coach once asked me, “How can you double your revenue with half the effort?” That completely changed my mindset about how to approach my business.
- Has having success in your business/organization or money changed you? In what ways?
I’ve grown a lot more confident. When I first started, I was so nervous. I didn’t know what to charge. I was afraid to ask for what I was worth. I was afraid people would “find out” that I was a huge fraud! But success breeds success. This is not to say that I never struggle with these feelings any more (because I do!) but I’ve gotten much more confident.
- How do you create, innovate or break the rules in your life/business/organization?
Oh man, I feel like I do this a lot! Right now I’m focused on scaling my 1:1 business when everyone else is still focused on courses. I don’t charge for my membership site. I believe that the size of your list doesn’t matter nearly as much as everybody thinks it does. I think podcasts are not really very good for business unless you have a really unique idea or a big promotional partner/sponsor….
For life? I think most people who are busy really just aren’t very focused. Like, if you tell me you work 12 hours a day on your business, I would ask you what you actually accomplished in that time… I very deliberately and consciously cultivate a lot of white space in my life by making choices many other people wouldn’t make. For example, I only work about 3 hours a day most days, and I turn down business because of it. I think popularity is overrated, and the goal of making more money just for the sake of having more money is dumb. And I think green smoothies are gross. I have a lot of unpopular opinions. 😉
- Tell us about your most successful launch. What was it for and what really moved the needle for you to make it a success?
I have never had a very impressive launch. I think my best launch was four-figures — which, don’t get me wrong, was HUGE for me at the time. However, I have just reached a big milestone of $10,000 a month in recurring revenue, which is a much bigger deal to me personally. And that didn’t come all at once, either. Slow and steady.
- Stevie Wonder or The Beatles? (this, I must know.)
Ha! I’m gonna say The Beatles. (Don’t disown me!) Love me some Stevie, but The Beatles are the music of my childhood and hold a special place in my heart.
Note from Jen: obviously, Lacy knows what the correct answer is SUPPOSED to be. 🙂
Want to stop wasting time and start creating content that converts? It all starts with strategy. Lacy Boggs is a content marketing strategist, author of the bestselling book, “Make a Killing With Content,” and director of The Content Direction Agency. She teaches small businesses and solopreneurs to drive their own content marketing with strategies and frameworks that make content easier and more effective to produce and close the gap between content and sales. Check out her free resource library at lacyboggs.com/library