Episode 73: What To Do When Investments in Your Business Don’t Work Out
Transcript Episode 73
Welcome to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. The show for purpose driven entrepreneurs who wanna get inspired to step outside of your comfort zone, expand into your purpose and grow your business in a big way. You’ll hear from entrepreneurs and leaders that have shifted their mindsets, learned life changing lessons and built profitable businesses that fuel their lives and their hearts. And you’ll hear from me, Stephanie Skryzowski. My mission as a chief financial officer is to empower you to better understand your numbers, to grow your impact and your income. Let’s dive in.
Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. It’s Stephanie. And today we are talking about a little bit of a fail on my part. We are talking about an investment that did not work out for me. And I wanna share this with you because I know that we have all made those decisions in our business to invest in things that don’t work out.
They don’t bring the ROI that we thought they were going to bring when we made the investment. And it’s very easy to feel really bummed out and really disappointed and kind of be hard on yourself. Like, oh my gosh, I just wasted this money on something that just, you know, didn’t do what it was supposed to do or wasn’t, you know, it didn’t do what was sold to me.
I didn’t get the results that were sold to me. And it’s happened to me before. And I’m gonna share an example of that with you today and give you a couple tips on how to keep more money in your bank account. So, what I’m talking about today is I invested, okay. Actually let me back up several years. Let me back up.So several years ago I was in a mastermind with a very well known online course creator, and I just loved the way that she approached the business.
And so naturally she attracted a group of other online course creators into this mastermind. And I was really the only person that had a service based business. That mastermind everybody else was doing online courses. You know, the sort of one to many approach where I was doing one to one work, right with my CFO and bookkeeping clients. I had a small team that was helping me with the work.
And so while I was part of this mastermind, I got the itch. I had shiny object syndrome all the way because I saw the success. These other women in the mastermind were having with an online course. And I was thinking, well, why not me, right? I could do this. Why not me? So I created an online course. It actually still exists today. Honestly, I think it’s pretty good if I do say so myself.
But it’s called master your nonprofit numbers and it’s for non-profit leaders to help them really understand the financials of their organization and all the things they need to know as a nonprofit leader. And I never really launched it. I mentioned it to my email list a handful of times that I’ve had a bunch of people. When I say a bunch, I mean like probably 50 over the years purchased this course and, you know, give me good feedback.
They liked it. They liked the content, but my audience was never very big and I just never really went all in on a launch strategy for this online course. So I didn’t put a lot into it, except my time. I didn’t really consider it a flop. It’s actually an asset that I have in my business that I’ve used for different things over the years in partnership and things like that. So it’s definitely not a loss, but it has not made me my millions. Let’s just say that.
So fast forward a few years and I was thinking, okay, well, if I was able to create this online course for nonprofit leaders about managing their finances, what if I did the same for small business owners, right? So I have this course called master your biz finances. And it’s basically, teaching our framework, giving you some of the templates, and tools and things that we do for our one-on-one clients.
And same thing with this. Like I never really launched it. I’ve shared it. I’ve used it in partnerships and different collaborations. And so it’s out there. People have used it. And again, good feedback, but I just never really, I’ve made a lot of money with it. It’s again is an asset, it’s great. It’s a resource I have, but I’ve never made really much of anything with it. So I decided like what I had never tried though, what I had never tried was Facebook ads.
And I have just seen through our clients and just many other people that I know in this space, so much success with Facebook ad funnels that lead to online courses. And I wanted my piece of the pie. I was like, I think I’ve got something here. I think my course is good. Like, let’s do this. So I hired a well known facebook ad marketing agency, well known and very expensive Facebook ad marketing agency and said, okay, you know what, if I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna go all in.
I’m not gonna try to DIY my Facebook ads. I’m gonna hire somebody that knows exactly what they’re doing. And we’re gonna do this. So I did. So I hired this Facebook ads agency, and I think they charged like $5,000 a month, which is pretty typical. It’s what I’ve seen with a lot of different ad agencies, plus all of the ad spend that you were, you know, all of the money that you’re giving Facebook as well for the advertising.
And so we went in and they got everything all set up for me and started running the ads. And we were starting to add people to our email list. But when it came to converting, when it came to people actually buying the course, crickets, literally nothing. So we had these ads running for three months. And I’m literally watching the money, leave my bank account.
You know, I had a cushion in my bank account, so I knew that like, this is not gonna mean that I can’t make payroll or something, right. Like I’m still paying myself and paying my team. We had a little bit of a cushion, but you know, the ads are running. We’re getting people as leads, but like they’re not converting. The team was making little tweaks here and there, but nothing that was really working.
And so at the three month point we had not sold a single course. And it was kind of killing me because I’m like thinking about all the money that had gone out the door, both to this agency and to Facebook for zero return. Like, oh, it’s kind of, I mean, we’re like, this was a while ago, so we’re kind of past this right now, but it still kind of hurts my stomach to think about this. So I decided to pull the plug.
After three months, I decided, okay, we’re done. We’re shutting off the Facebook ads or stopping our work with this company and we’re done. It didn’t work and now we can close that door. So it’s interesting. I think there’s a few reasons that it didn’t work that maybe I have nothing to do with the fact that it was the wrong investment. I think maybe it was potentially the wrong offer. Maybe I didn’t have the right sort of like backend or ideal client in mind as we were pulling the ads together.
I think it could have been a lot of different things, but I think the important thing. To remember is like, it was an investment that didn’t work out for me. And you’re probably gonna have those in your business as well. Investments that just didn’t work out.
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So, what do you do after this? Well, I basically just cut ties and moved on. There’s nothing we can do at this point. I do have some new assets that this company created for my business. Different ads that if I wanted to try something new in the future, I have that, I have some copy that they’ve written. I have a bit of a funnel set up. And so if I wanted to go into that and tweak it later or do something with it, I could.
So I’m thinking of it like that. Like, I did get something out of it. Now, what are the lessons learned that I can use to move on? Well, I think one lesson I’ve learned over and over again in my business is just because something is working for somebody else doesn’t mean it’s my thing too. There’s so much FOMO. Oh my gosh. Like, Ugh. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen other course graders just killing it.
And I’m like, I need a piece of that. I want a piece of that. Well, you know what I do have, I have monthly recurring revenue in my business, like permanently, right? Like we work with our clients on a monthly basis and the only time our revenue goes down is if a client leaves us. Well, our clients stick with us an average of over two years, if not longer. So like I’ve got a pretty solid stream of revenue. That’s probably even stronger than an online course funnel.
So anyway, there was a lot of lessons learned there and I just think it’s important for us to be open about what’s not working in our business as much as what is working in our business. We all make decisions that maybe if we could have gone back, we wouldn’t have made those same decisions again. And I think this is one for me, but I just like to be real with you because it’s not all sunshine and rainbows and we make the perfect decisions and spend the perfect amount of money on the perfect things all the time.
So I just wanna share that with you and from your side of things, think about this, think about this for yourself. Have you ever like over-treated yourself in your business? You know, you’ve bought every course for 997. Every $99 course bundle, $27 template, $197 membership and $9,997 mastermind that comes across your inbox or your Instagram feed. We all get this FOMO, like all these cool things are happening.
People are making all these cool things and we wanna be a part of it. It’s a little bit of that. Plus it’s a little bit of not knowing exactly what you need. I think about that in my case, like, I don’t know if that Facebook ad agency was what my business really needed. In fact it probably wasn’t, right. So it’s FOMO. It’s not knowing exactly what you need and not knowing what actually is working in your business.
And so for me, I kept getting distracted by this like siren call of online courses where money is just flowing into your bank account while you sleep and do nothing without really thinking about, you know what, what is really working in my business. Our one-on-one services are really working. How can I invest in that to make that grow more efficiently or better, right?
So it’s FOMO, it’s not knowing exactly what you need and not knowing what’s actually working in your business. So if you want to not over treat yourself or not have an investments in your business that don’t work out. If you wanna keep more money in your bank account, here are a couple things to do. Here are some things that I’ve learned. First of all, understanding what’s working in your business.
Checking the ROI, the return on investment on some of the different things you’re doing. Like your online courses, like your services, like the consulting work you’re doing, like that mastermind you’re hosting, like those affiliate commissions that you’re getting. Whatever it is, check the ROI on the different things that you’re doing and get rid of what isn’t generating a return.
And that’s what I did. What I was working on this Facebook ad funnel to this online course wasn’t working. There was no return. It was just money going out the door and I could have chosen to continue working on it, tweaking, et cetera, or I could have chosen to cut it and I cut it. So cut what is not generating a return. Before you do that, you have to know what is generating a return, right?
So you gotta know your numbers a little bit here. So the second thing, if you wanna keep more money in your bank account and avoid making investments that don’t pan out is to pick one thing at a time to go all in on. If you wanna launch a new service, put a hundred percent of your efforts there, if you wanna launch an online course, put a hundred percent of your efforts there.
If you want to really get the most out of a mastermind, then join one mastermind and get everything you can soak up all of the knowledge there rather than joining like a mastermind in this group coaching program and that course. No, choose one, pick one thing at a time to go all in on. I will say, when I did the Facebook ads, my marketing was going all in on that. I was focused on that, still didn’t work.
So this is not like, you know, truly fail safe, but pick one thing to go all in. And number three, look at your forecast when making decisions and think of future you. Would future you with the CEO that you wanna be six months or a year from now, be really pumped that you just hired a new graphic designer or join that coaching program, or would future you be like, wow, that was a major distraction from what our end goal is, what our big goal for our business is.
So think about what your biggest goals are and work backwards. Is this thing that you want to invest in towards that larger goal? Or is it not? Think about that. I think that could give you a lot of insight. For me, it actually was towards the bigger goal for me. I wanted to have an income stream that was not entirely reliant upon my team, right? Like I have a very crystal clear formula in my business where X number of clients equals a bookkeeper and a CFO.
And so when we add this number of clients, we need a new bookkeeper and CFO. We add that many more clients, another new bookkeeper and CFO, right? It’s a very clear formula. And so what I wanted was a revenue stream that didn’t rely on very expensive salaries, expensive, but totally worth it team. I love you. And you’re worth every penny and more. But I wanted an income stream that was not entirely reliant upon my team.
And so that decision, the Facebook ads sort of trial that I ran was in fact, you know, it was in pursuit of a bigger goal. So just because something meets one or more of these criteria that I just listed doesn’t mean that it’s always the right decision. It’s really, it needs to have all of the big picture here. So if you wanna keep more money in your bank account and avoid making not great investment decisions in your business.
First of all, understand what works in your business. Make sure you understand the ROI and cut was not generating a turn. Number two, you wanna pick one thing at a time to go all in on. Do not distract your focus by trying to do five different things at once. Pick one new thing to go all in on. If you’re making an investment in something, and finally look at your forecast when making your decisions and think of future you.
Would future you be super happy with this decision because it’s in pursuit of your biggest, biggest, dreamiest goals for your business in life, or is it not? So anyway, I just shared with you a big sort of mistake that I made in my business, an investment that just wasn’t great. I would love to know, have you ever over invested in your business? You know, I have. I’m sure you have, I’m sure you have.
And it was an expense that maybe you look back now like, oh my gosh, that was such a silly decision. Or maybe you’re like me and it’s like, okay, well that sucks, but we’re moving on. And now I have these lessons learned. I have these additional tools in my toolbox so I do not make that decision again. And now maybe you’ve tried something, you know, it’s not for you and you can move on. That was also me.
So anyway, hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you got something out of it. And my main message to you is if you feel like you’ve made an investment in your business that has not panned out the way you wanted, don’t beat yourself up about it, right? The money’s out the door. It’s gone. And just take what you can from the experience and move on. That’s all about what we’re about, right? Growing, learning, and moving on. All right, friends, I’ll see you next time.
Thanks for listening to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100degreesconsulting.com/podcast. Make sure to snap a screenshot on your phone of this episode and tag me on Instagram, @stephanie.skry and I’ll be sure to share. Thanks for being here, friends, and I’ll see you next time.