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The big difference between costs and investments

by Maura Walters, Copywriter, Content Strategist and Business Mentor

When I first started my content strategy and coaching business, I was very skeptical of spending money on, well, pretty much anything besides a new laptop. I was bootstrapping it, only taking on client projects that I could finish while my infant daughter napped.

I couldn’t rationalize a salad from Chop’t let alone shell out thousands of dollars on a business coach or administrative support. I remember thinking, "What are they going to teach me that I can't figure out on my own?" and "I can't afford a coach until I start making money!"

But the irony is, I'm not sure I would have made much money without investing in coaching. (Or a virtual assistant. Or childcare!) Despite my hesitations, I decided to take a chance on my business.

Six months into working for myself, I pulled the trigger and hired a VA who could take on the pesky administrative tasks that always fell off my radar but ended up costing me money (hello contracts and invoices) and paid to learn from someone with a lot more experience in entrepreneurship than I had (nice to meet you, business coach).


Guess what happened?

I grew so much more quickly than I would have had I kept trying to do things on my own.

Thanks to my VA, I wasn’t bogged down by the minutiae of my business and had more time to take on projects.

Because I hired a coach, I learned how to have sales calls and market myself — strategies I had never before considered and now can’t fathom being without.

And listen, I don’t have enough space here to express the value of childcare. I couldn’t function without it.

We're used to seeing anything we spend money on as a cost, rather than an investment. I’ve come to learn that there's a big difference:

A cost is something you spend money on to simply keep your business running. It's the monthly subscription to Zoom, the price of your laptop, the fee you pay to register your LLC.

An investment is something you spend money on that's going to help you make even more money in return. It’s money you’re putting toward more opportunity and growth for your business.


Let's be clear

I want to be very clear that the quality of an investment isn't measured by how much you spend. It's measured in whether it brings you a positive return on that money.

If a coaching program costs $3,000, but it helps you to land 5 new clients at $1,000 each, then it was well worth that investment. If a virtual assistant costs $800 a month but that support ensures you stay organized, attend important meetings and get paid by clients on time, then it’s well worth the investment.

Not sure if an investment is worth it? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Will this free up time in my business so I can focus on the things I do best?

  • Will this open me up to new opportunities?

  • Will this help me attract more clients?

  • Will this help me achieve my goals faster?

  • Will this make my employees happier and more productive?

Every time I’ve invested in my business, I've seen huge results — not just in terms of making more money, but in terms of having more time, getting better organized and being more focused on my business goals.

Investing in your business is saying YES to more clarity, more strategy, and yes — more money.


I’ll let you in on a little secret...

It’s a great idea to market your services as investments rather than costs, too — because that’s what they are. When a client pays for your copywriting, graphic design skills, marketing support, or whatever it may be, they’re investing in the growth of their business. This is why I always position my rate as an investment rather than a cost or a fee.

It took me a long time to feel like I deserved to invest in my business. Like I was far enough along in my career to hire a coach, or that I had enough tasks to warrant hiring help. What I’ve realized is the perception shift in seeing these things as investments rather than costs is what made me stop thinking of myself as a freelancer and what allowed me to step into my power as a business owner.

Invest in yourself. Hire the help. Get the coach. Start thinking about what you want your business to look like a year from now, and remember that costs are for your present. Investments are for your future. And if you're looking for help, keep reading...


Maura Walters

Maura Walters is a copywriter, content strategist, and business mentor for freelancers looking to turn their craft into a profitable full-time business. She's passionate about helping freelancers build sustainable careers that they love — without burning out or worrying where the next paycheck is coming from.

Maura runs a number of group mentoring programs throughout the year and also coaches clients one on one. In fact, she’s running a free Set Yourself Free masterclass on December 13th to help solopreneurs make 2023 their most profitable year yet. Sign up today!

Maura combines business strategy, mindset and honesty to create actionable plans for her clients that help them step into their own power and become profitable, purpose-driven solopreneurs.


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