Yesterday was Mother's Day. This year was very different for me, as I lost my mom unexpectedly five months ago. I didn't have a mom to call or send a gift to this year. As I went through the day seeing everyone post about how much they love their mom, I reminded myself that even though I didn't have a mom to call, she was still worth celebrating like everyone else was doing for their mom.
I thought about how many cards we received when she passed - many noting how much she impacted them. I thought about how many stood up at her funeral and shared how she had impacted them, or what she meant to them.
Through all of these stories, there were a few qualities that stood out to me. She was very generous, she went out of her way to help (or fight for) others, and she was so kind that even those that she disliked, had no idea how she felt about them. There were also a few stories about some funny cooking stories that can't be forgotten.
So, why am I telling you this?
Because as I was thinking about my mom, and many of the great things people have said about her, I thought about how this has impacted my business without me realizing it.
Be generous, help others
A friend recently asked me how the loss has changed me (other than the grief and such). As I've said before, I'm in several Facebook groups. Six months ago, if someone asked for design or web help, I offered to help and sent them my website (aka, make them a client). Now, if it's just a few small tweaks, I just help them - no contract, no payment. Not just walking them through it or giving advice, but getting their login and fixing whatever they were having problems with. I'm not saying this to brag, but I've just realized/decided in the last few months that there is more to life (business) than always getting paid for work, or always turning questions into clients, etc.
Always work on the client experience
I don't think anyone wants to treat their clients badly, but there are things that you can work on to improve the client experience. I don't have a set amount of time that I can spend with my clients for teaching them their website or whatever they need to talk about. My mom treated everyone nice, whether or not she liked them. I like to work on a more personal level with my clients, not just working with strict policies and rules that can't be broken. When able, I try to give grace on running behind because of family or work stuff. We're not perfect. I once sent a Chick-fil-A gift card because he was awesome enough to send me a ton of referrals (and I don't have a referral program).
Don't do what you can't do
Everyone has something that they just can't cook as good as others. Example: My husband cooks hamburgers perfectly, never over-cooked and always juicy. Me? I can cook them, not burn them, but they're always dry. My mom once messed up gravy, and never lived down. So, she always made someone else do it at the holidays. If invoicing stresses you out, outsource that aspect of your business. I like social media, but scheduling it every week? Not so much, so I outsourced it. My mom was a librarian so she always wanted posters hanging around the library - and she outsourced it! (Yes, to me.)
I think sometimes people get too caught up in making six figures and trying to become internet famous. I know that sometimes I get too caught up in trying to make more money (I'm not a six-figure person, ha!), and all it did was burn me out. When I focus more on trying to help others and build a relationship with them, I enjoy my job much more.