Here’s a lesson I’ve learned so many times, one that comes back to me again as I reflect on selling The Write Life: It’s always worth investing in yourself.
I started The Write Life eight years ago when I was running a small content marketing shop. We ran blogs for businesses, growing audiences for our clients and helping them establish authority and expertise in their niches. Even then, I realized there was far more upside in growing an asset I owned, so once we had refined our systems for creating content, we applied them to our own site.
In addition to requiring time and brain space from myself and my team, running The Write Life cost money. I funneled revenue we earned from our clients into growing this brand until it could pay for itself, which took about a year.
When I think back to the year we launched the site, it feels like a different lifetime. I didn’t have kids. I wasn’t yet married. I had a lot to learn about how to grow a company. The idea of an exit wasn’t on my radar; I hadn’t yet sold my first business, and I certainly didn’t create The Write Life with the goal of selling it down the line.
But I’d seen what happened when I shifted my energy from working for someone else to working for myself — how my income and opportunities had multiplied. I believed it was worth betting on myself by investing time and money into a seed I could grow.
Looking back, I’m surprised I had this instinct then, because I had so much to learn (and still do). Now, after selling the brand, I find myself giving a nod of appreciation to my past self, almost as though she was someone else entirely.
Look how this turned out, I tell that young woman proudly. You chose to invest in yourself. You turned that seed into a six-figure sale. You bet on yourself, you trusted your instincts.
You grew something from nothing. Remember that as you look to the future and choose what’s next. You grew something from nothing. And you can do it again.
7 Replies to “8 Years Ago, I Bet On Myself. Here’s Why I’ll Do It Again”
This is a great message – I also find that sometimes the end result isn’t a sale, you learn a lot about yourself and pick up a few new skills that can help you down the line. Investing in yourself how no downside except you miss out on some free leisure time. 🙂
So true. This is an easy way to show an “outcome,” but you’re right that investing in yourself has so many other benefits, some tangible, some less tangible.
Alexis, I always love reading your updates 🙂 I’m very curious about your experience running your old content company, and your thoughts on the attractiveness of running that type of operation again. Thanks for all of your sharing!
Thanks for the kind words!
Good question. Maybe I should turn the answer into a blog post or Twitter thread. I do think about this sometimes, so here’s my perspective…
Pros of running a content agency:
+ Lots of demand (tons of people want help with content right now)
+ Good margins, can make good money
+ Learn lots, good diversity every day in what you do
+ Plays to my skills, requires knowledge of content and of scaling
Cons of running a content agency:
+ It can be a grind, at least until you create an engine that runs without you (I heard this podcast recently that describes how to do that: https://builttosell.libsyn.com/ep-292-jodie-cook-how-to-sell-a-service-business-without-an-earn-out)
+ You are at the beck and call of clients (this is my main reason for not wanting to do it again)
+ If you scale, you have to deal with people challenges
+ There’s always a juggle between making sure you have enough clients but not too many clients and enough staff to service them
+ I’ve already done it, want to do something new
Like any business, if you’re the owner you get to do it how YOU want, so you can avoid most parts you don’t like if you set it up with that in mind.
For this reason, sometimes I think about how to set up a similar model that offers different services, for example, helping companies hire writers, which is something a lot of people ask me for.
Let me know if you have more questions!
Great points and thoughts, thank you for responding!
Excellent post Lexi! Good words I needed to hear.
Hey Alexis, I’ve been a long-time follower of The Penny Hoarder and also The Write Life. Didn’t know you sold it, congratulations!! You keep racking up win after win 🙂
Please keep sharing more stories/insights about running and building media companies. Your career journey is so inspirational. Would love to hear more!