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How to Run a Successful Business

Do you feel like you have so many ideas running through your mind at all hours of the day? Are you confused about where to start and how to stay organized? We’re covering all it entails to stay organized while running multiple businesses, or a business, and what having various streams of income looks like. 

Evie Rupp is a serial entrepreneur, running four businesses of all different kinds. And staying organized is not something that comes easy for her. So know you are not alone in that. 

Evie is a destination wedding and elopement photographer, podcast host of the Heart & Hustle podcast, and a multi-passionate business entrepreneur. She co-founded Heart University and she owns a beautiful, sustainable, ethical swimwear line called Evie swim. 

Evie is a passionate businesswoman with a love of people and adventure. She loves all of her businesses, but her biggest mission is just to see other entrepreneurs and other women feeling excited, empowered, and ready to chase after their God-given dreams too. And she has learned how to manage these different companies successfully and wants to share this with you! 

Organizing and managing your business

Evie is naturally a very disorganized person. She’s a typical creative, artistic visionary who does not thrive in the nitty-gritty scheduled structure. For her, this has been years in the making as she has started, scaled, and grown one business, then two, then three, and now four. Staying organized has been a requirement to stay sane but isn’t necessarily a natural strength.

For creative entrepreneurs who struggle with staying on top of things, being productive involves two things. Most creatives have either issues with them or misconceptions. The first one is that there’s this twisted definition of productivity and success. It is thought that to be productive or to feel productive one needs to get everything on the to-do list done on that day. 

That is never going to happen! There is always stuff on your to-do list, but what is necessary? What Evie defines as productivity is “Am I happy? Am I feeling rested? Am I taking care of the things in life that are most meaningful to me, and am I reaching my goals?” Goals to Evie are typically like health and joy and peace in her relationships, in her businesses, in all of those things.

These are the important questions you need to ask yourself.

What is most important?

Ask yourself, are you working on the most important things? 

This is the second misconception. A lot of creatives get very confused because it’s very easy for you to sit down and say you need to answer all of these emails, you need to plan out all of your social media content for a month, or want to research and plan the styled shoot. But you end up not doing all that, as it could get overwhelming. 

What might be the most important on somebody’s to-do list today might be different for another. But those are the two most important things for Evie when it comes to running multiple businesses. She makes sure she is focused on priority and urgency above just knocking out stuff on her to-do list at random. 

Taking a strategic approach

Another thing that works for Evie is to be very strategic in what is the most important thing for each of her businesses each day, each week, and each month. That is ultimately going to drive her towards her bigger goals and her bigger vision and that creates a sense of clarity which then creates a sense of purpose and peace and calmness as she approaches each one of her days. This way she’s not just scrambling trying to check off massive to-do lists for each company. 

She’s very prioritized and focused on looking at things like, this needs to happen for company A, this needs to happen for company C, and companies B and D today don’t have anything super-priority. So they’re going to wait until next week or later. It’s a strategically-focused and simplified method.

Service-based business and a product-based business

There’s a little bit of difference between a service-based business and a product-based business. Evie feels the biggest difference is in the backend; the front end is the customer experience. It’s a lot of the similar marketing psychology and customer experience making sure that people feel a very valuable return on their investment in the value that they invest with you like that. 

All of this felt very similar to Evie with both of her businesses. What felt the most complex was when it came to photography. Evie just works on her craft, she shows up, and it feels very natural to her. A lot of photographers would say that yes, it takes effort to learn your craft. Which is correct, but at the end of the day, it’s kind of all on you. 

With manufacturing and getting into the product, it is not on you, it is but other people have their timelines. They have delays, they have misrepresented fabrics or just different things; a lot of stuff would be out of control. Evie wasn’t used to that when delivering a product or a service to a customer. She used to be in control when she showed up and shot and how well she shot and when she delivered the gallery.

Differences of product-based businesses

In the product-based business it requires people in your corner who know what’s going on in the industry because there are a lot of unknowns in that industry. People will take advantage of somebody who doesn’t know what’s going on, so this was a big learning curve for Evie. 

It humbled her as an entrepreneur and a business owner because she just started multiple successful businesses and in full transparency, it felt like success had always kind of come easily with hard work. And with every swimwear line, it was like no matter how hard she worked, it was not the same level of just like boom, work hard and things will start happening. 

It was like work hard, nothing, work hard, nothing, work hard, more setbacks, work. So it was a lot, but she was still happy and enjoying her work. She has loved every company she started and has been grateful for the challenges that have really humbled and stretched her as an entrepreneur as well.

Branding for multiple businesses 

When Evie launched her swimwear business, she knew she needed to have her face on it somewhat because she was transferring a lot of her audience from Heart & Hustle and her photography and personal brand over to that company. She did have it somewhat involved in the presale and the brand launch. But since then, she has intentionally tried to pull herself out of that brand. 

She also tried to pull her face out of it because it’s not sustainable to have your face attached to multiple brands and multiple companies in a full-time capacity. That will burn you out and that requires an excessive amount of work that you can get to a place like the Heart University. 

She and Lindsay, her co-founder, for the most part have been working very hard over the last year for her education brand. For anyone who doesn’t know they’ve been working very hard for the last like a year, year and a half to get to a place where they mostly are just content creators within brands like with the visionaries, the CEOs, they cast the vision for the company.

Evie and her branding

At the end of the day they like to show up to the podcast, they show up to go live, show up on film reels, but ideally, their team handles most of everything else behind the scenes. So once you get to that point, where you can kind of juggle between being the face of two different brands, you cannot run multiple businesses without having something in place. 

There’s a lot of value in having something detached from your face, especially if you’re trying to open multiple companies or multiple brands. There’s a lot of power in silent wealth and in passive revenue that doesn’t require you to be in an office or anything like that.

Evie has learned that a lot over the last few years. On the flip side, there is still such power and impact and beauty behind personal branding that she thinks she will always have her face attached to at least one of her companies as a way of really personally connecting with her audience, her customers, her people. 

Multiple streams of income 

A lot of creatives ignore the fact that there are entirely other revenue streams that do not require services or your face. And there’s a lot of power in that, especially in today’s world where there’s just a lot of people’s opinions. Cancel culture is a very real thing. 

You could do nothing wrong, but somebody could accuse you of something, and the next thing your whole brand with your face is to the ground. So that’s something just to keep in mind is there is a lot of beauty and power in having at least one other stream of income. 

For some people, it may look like just having a good retirement and investment plan and you’re just tucking away a little bit of money each month into some investment funds, mutual funds, retirement plan, a 401k, a Roth IRA, something like that. 

It could be as simple as that. Starting somewhere like that is probably the best place to start, as it’s not necessarily always the most reliable income stream but it’s a long term option that can create some stability in the backend. 

Beyond that, another thing that can be misunderstood in the entrepreneur space right now is a lot of people have started talking more about passive revenue and multiple income streams.

Lindsay and Evie have multiple streams of income each and it’s very important to have that. However, it is not something where you start creating two to three streams of income all at the same time. You start one at a time.

Building multiple streams of income

If you’re in a stage of business where you are just building out your photography business or you’re just getting started with your Etsy shop or whatever that looks like, get that to a stable and secure place and then focus on something else. 

Then focus on your next stream of income. Focus on buying another business from somebody, focus on whatever it looks like for you. Doing one at a time, doing multiple at the same time, or trying to start multiple at the same time will either crash and burn all of them or will create mediocrity throughout all of them. That’s the biggest thing.

Evie has hopped on many coaching calls with coaching students who wanted to get into passive income, which is awesome.  Evie had to remind them that this is going to require effort to start up, and yes, it does. Even if it gets passive in the end, it is not passive to start. 

Passive income hardly ever starts as passive income. It requires upfront energy and effort. So if you’re in the building stage in your own business right now, you need to focus on that and encourage yourself to start consuming some information about passive income, passive revenue, and multiple income streams. 

Once you’re in a somewhat stable place with your business, begin to take the next steps. With that being said, the one thing you can do that still requires a little bit less upfront investment is getting some sort of retirement investment savings plan set in place and making sure you are not living off of everything that you’re making right now if that’s at all possible, just setting something away. That’ll be your biggest and number one backup plan and then get into more passive revenue streams after that.

Why you need to utilize lists in your business

Utilize lists like crazy. You could easily roll your eyes and skip that and say that everyone says to use a list. But there is seriously so much power in putting your tasks down on paper or on software. Whatever floats your boat and makes you happy. 

You have a limited cognitive power each day so our brains can only hold on to so much information. It can only process so much information, can only know, and make so many decisions. There’s a lot that you’re putting your brains through each day, which is designed for that and that’s awesome.

However, if you are sitting there trying to hold on to 20 unnamed tasks in the back of your head, you are essentially wasting your cognitive brainpower to hold on to that task or hold on to that piece that you need to respond to x client or yes, you forgot you need to send out that gallery delivery gift, whatever that looks like. 

There’s always something at the back of your head whether you realize it or not. Whether people are aware that they are using that brain space and mental power or not. It is being taken up by them trying to hold on to everything. 

Get your thoughts on paper

Putting it down on paper helps. Evie first used a four-list system; her first list is called Her dump list. And it is just like everything in her brain gets dumped onto that piece of paper. It’s not organized, it’s not prioritized. It’s just put onto paper so it’s out of her head. Then she can use that brainpower for other things in her business. 

Putting it down on paper relieves so much stress, so much confusion, and so much mental capacity that you were taking up. You will not realize what you’re experiencing until you put it on paper. Anytime you have anything in your head, put it down on one list that you title, whatever you want; your dump list, your parking lot list, whatever it is. Just write down whatever’s in your head and pay attention to how much more clearly focused and relaxed you feel. 

From there, start looking at those things and think, “What’s the most important part of this list?”. Start paying attention to your big three, those big three things each day. If you only accomplish two or three things on that day, what is the most important for you to do?

Final thoughts

Evie gets a new book each month to put her thoughts down. If it’s a very busy month, where there’s a lot of stuff going on. Sometimes it’ll be like a book per week or one every two weeks. It is her dumping space. She has a weekly prioritized list from the dump lists, which are the things that she needs to knock out that week, and then a daily list of things. 

Monday for this, Tuesday for that, and it all kind of trickles down from the dump list, the prioritized list, the daily list, and then a big picture list that she references every week and every month to check yourself if you are on track for these goals. Are these tasks moving you towards these big-picture goals? All of it helps to keep your brain very focused and on track.

Evie Rupp has her own brand where she shares all the things about being a multi-passionate serial entrepreneur and her life. All of the good stuff is at @evierupp on Instagram or www.evelyngrace.com.

She has her business coaching there as well as personal one-on-one coaching. Then her business education brand with her business partner Lindsay, where they have the Heart and Hustle podcast. They have courses, digital products resources, they go live and all that stuff over at the Heart University on Instagram or theheartuniversity.com, and then she has her swimsuit brand which is just @evieswim on Instagram or www.evieswim.com.

Be sure to check out more Gold Biz Podcast episodes!

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