I’m writing this article on a Friday. Fridays are usually the day I check in on my numbers in my accounting software. This morning I learned that in the last 12 months, I was able to increase revenue by $30,000. Not only that, but this was done while working less hours, traveling, moving and dealing with a hurricane.

These last 12 months have been a major lesson in what it’s like to increase revenue without running yourself into the ground. In fact, I’m less overworked than ever before. Here are the key differences I’m noticing moved the needle:

  • I let go of negative beliefs about money.
  • I let go of societal pressures about what I “should” be doing.
  • I value my time more than ever before.
  • I work smarter by automating as much as I can.
  • I make the right investments to grow my business, even if they scare me.

In this piece, I’m going to detail exactly what each of these means. So grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and enjoy.

I let go of negative believes about money.

You will not be able to increase revenue without changing your beliefs about money. Period.

Here are some of the beliefs that I see are the most common:

  • I am not worthy of making money.
  • So-and-so is making money so there isn’t enough for me.
  • I’m afraid of losing $1000, so I won’t invest even if it will help me earn $100,000.
  • My goal was $10,000 and I made $9,000 therefore I’m a failure.
  • I only focus on what’s going wrong.
  • I’ve always been broke, so I will always be broke.

Number one, it’s when I release negative beliefs such as this that I am able to take responsibility for my own actions. Lots of people are out here sabotaging themselves simply because they don’t think they can make money.

Number two, you literally act differently if you know you deserve to make money. From walking into a room like you own it to negotiating like a boss. And yes, that helps you make more because people buy confidence.

I let go of the societal pressure of what I “should” be doing.

Here’s what society tells you. Go to school, get a job, work 40 hours a week for 30 years, save for retirement.

How boring.

And besides, as I recently witnessed in a Facebook group full of very smart financial people, this model doesn’t necessarily work. Basically, school teaches you how to be a worker. And workers break their backs to make someone else rich.

School also teaches you how to follow rules. Any business owner will tell you that they have to make their own rules in order to be successful.

For example, I have a client who used to struggle with sales calls. The reason is because she thought a sales call was a job interview to prove her worth. She would twist herself into a pretzel just to be liked in hopes of making some money. This wouldn’t lead to being able to increase revenue because she gave off the impression that she didn’t value herself.

In reality, a sales call is so a business owner can screen whether or not they want the client in the first place. This allows you to walk into this situation with a healthy sense of confidence and self-respect. And guess what happens? People buy it. You literally increase revenue with your energy.

Finally, society says that you must work very hard to make money. Well, who says? I know people who make money from investment dividends and they don’t work at all! This doesn’t mean you don’t need to put forth effort, it just means that overworking yourself is not the answer to increasing revenue, The answer is knowing how to work smarter. This is a good segue into my next points.

I value my time more than ever.

Learning how to value my time as a business owner single handedly helps me make more money. Ultimately, valuing my time is a form of self-respect. That respect that I have for myself manifests in the outside world respecting me too.

Here are some of the ways I value my time as a business owner:

  • I set and maintain boundaries with clients.
  • As of 2017, I ask for more money at every opportunity that presents itself.
  • Turn down the opportunities that don’t lead to more money. I’m not here to do free work.
  • Have a group coaching program that allows me to scale.
  • Create offerings that are on-demand so I don’t have to trade as much time for dollars.
  • I work with an agent for brand ambassador deals. She handles the negotiations because that’s her strong suit. It works well.
  • Outsource things that I really don’t need to be doing myself.
  • Regularly invest time and money into education and my own business.
  • Prioritize my business above everyone else’s.
  • Focus my time on income producing activities and nothing else.
  • If someone asks to pick my brain, I send them a PayPal link.

As you can see, I take my time as a business owner very seriously. I expect others to take my time seriously too. Since implementing these strategies, I’ve seen a major increase in revenue with less stress.

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I work smarter by automating as much as I can.

Automation is my new best friend. From IG story ads to running a webinar on autopilot, paying for services that keep my business running even when I’m not working is a good investment.

The best automation tool I use is my webinar software. I promote my most popular webinar several times a week on social media. I also run ads to the webinar which presents me with new email subscribers every day. The webinar is a recording but it looks like it’s live.

What has happened as a result? More email subscribers, more consults and more sales. And I don’t actually do anything until I get on the phone for a consult. Everything else is automated.

I make the right investments that help me make more money.

In the previous section, I mentioned how I work smarter by automating parts of my marketing and sales. These have all been the right investments because I make more money on the backend.

Another way I work smarter is by delegating. For example, I hire a PR professional to help me secure media mentions. They also manage my Twitter account. Or, I hire someone for my Instagram account.

And finally, I regularly invest in education. I worked with a mentor last year who helped me create the systems that are making me money today. In total, I invested about $3,000 but I’ve made a return of $40,000. That’s a $37,000 return on investment!

If you want to increase revenue while working less, you have to make investments. You must invest in software, people and education. Otherwise, you’re left doing all the work while getting absolutely nowhere.

Increase Revenue Without Working Harder

As you can see, your ability to increase revenue is not necessarily tied to taking on more work. It’s more about being smart with your time and money. It’s also about allowing yourself to make more by forgetting most of what society has taught you about how hard it is to make money.