Please introduce yourself & tell us what you do.
I'm Erin Flynn and I help creative entrepreneurs simplify their business so they can spend more time out of the office.
How long have you been a self-employed person?
10 years! I officially started my business in January of 2012.
Tell us a little about Successfully Simple. How did it get started & why did you choose this as your business?
I started Out of Office Entrepreneur after being a web designer for several years and realizing that my biggest strength was in simplifying business for my clients and for myself. So then I started teaching other web designers how to simplify their businesses and from there it grew into helping all sorts of creative business owners put systems into place and cut down on the things they're wasting time on in their business.
Out of Office Entrepreneur is all about spending less time on things that are not giving you big impact and more time on the things that are; which can really reduce the total amount of time they are spending. If you're familiar with the 80/20 rule, you know that you’re wasting about 80% of your time, because 20% of your efforts are already giving you 80% of your results and the extra 80% of your efforts are not delivering very much. So, what I like to do is help my clients and my students focus on the 20% in their business that is giving them the impact that they want so they can spend the rest of their time enjoying their lives away from their computers.
Tell us about your system:
Out of Office Entrepreneur is built based on three criteria:
Optimized - An OOO business is optimized to create maximum income with minimum effort.
Only Part Time - An OOO business can be run on only 20 hours a week, or less!
On Vacation - An OOO business makes money all the time, even when you're on vacation or unable to work
When you combine all three criteria, you're able to create a six-figure business on only part-time hours, which is the dream most of us have when starting a business for ourselves!
What has been your biggest struggle with your business and how have you navigated that?
My biggest struggle with Out of Office Entrepreneur has mainly been growing my audience. When you sell a really premium-priced product, you don't need very many clients each year in order to make a great amount of money. However, when you sell lower-priced products you generally need to sell a lot more every single year. So, I've had to grow my audience a lot. It's something that I'm still focused on because you kind of need a constant flow of new people into your audience all the time when you sell products. To combat that, I have also introduced more recurring revenue, as well as recurring affiliate revenue, which has also been really helpful. With recurring revenue, I don't have to do as much new customer acquisition as I do when I don't have products that are subscription-based.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are trying to simplify their business?
If you want to simplify your business, I would recommend conducting an audit of everything that you're doing in your business. So, all of your admin work, all of the services or products that you're providing, all of your marketing, everything, and see what is giving you the best results, as well as what you like to do. From there, start eliminating things that you’re doing that are not making a big difference or any difference in your business.
What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in self-employment?
If you're just starting out, I would encourage you to consider what type of business you really want to create. It might sound really cool to have a kind of business that somebody else has, but I think you need to really consider the lifestyle that you’re wanting to create with this business. For example, don't start a business that requires you to be on call five days a week if what you want to do really is be able to take a lot of time off to spend with your kids or to travel, and you may not have good Internet access all the time to be on call.
Another example would also be to make sure that you actually enjoy what it is that you are doing, because if you don't it's going to be really hard to motivate yourself, and you don't have a boss or a regular paycheck to motivate you. So, it can be really difficult sometimes if you are just starting out, you're not making a lot of money and you're not really interested in what it is that you're doing. So make sure that it's something that you actually have an interest in and then structure your business around the kind of life that you want to live.
There are a lot of ways you can structure your business, whether it's working part-time five days a week, whether it's working three days a week, whether it is working a regular 40-hour workweek, or even more if that's what you want. But you really have to consider what it is you're trying to do besides just making money. You want to consider whether you actually enjoy the work that you're going to be doing and the kind of life that you want your business to be supporting. Then be realistic about the kind of hours that you need to put in so that you build the right business in the first place and you don't get burned out and stressed out and end up back in a cubicle.
I would encourage everybody to conduct a business audit if they're already in business, and see where they are making the most impact with their activities and what they can start cutting out. You can save time in your business and have a much simpler business. Go through everything; your admin, your marketing, everything that you're offering, and see what is giving you the biggest and best impact on your business and cut down the stuff that's not really doing anything except eating up your time.
If you would like to connect with Erin or learn more about Out of Office Entrepreneur, head to OutOfOfficeEntrepreneur.com or Instagram @OutOfOfficeEntrepreneur.