Welcome back! For this week's interview, we are speaking with Amber of The CTRL Lab. I met Amber online (of course!) and we connected over our love of systems and strategy. Read on to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey so far!
L&C: Hello! To start, tell us your name and what your business is all about.
Hey Jess (Lilac & Clover)! Well, my name is Amber Roy (coincidentally my name matches the colour of my hair) and I am the owner of a Digital Delegation agency called The CTRL Lab. In a nutshell, we help overwhelmed and overworked business owners tackle their to-do lists. It’s so easy to get wrapped up working in your business sometimes, that you forget to work on your business. That’s where we come in!
L&C: Tell us how it all began for you.
Well, in 2019 I made the difficult decision to sell my business. After six years of building my “baby”, I had reached a point where I felt I needed a change. I have a really creative mind, and I wasn’t able to exercise it very often in the Pet Service sector.
Leading up to the sale of my business, it was a meltdown after meltdown. All the 100 hour work weeks, all the personal sacrifices (six-year relationship included), all the unhealthy eating and lack of exercise… It finally caught up and I was completely burned out.
When I got into my second car accident, I made the decision to make some serious changes. I began working with my business coach, Laura Bechard, and about 8 or 9 months later (after a lot of hard work and tears) I sold my business and closed that chapter of my life. The experiences I had with Laura in that year of my life were so transformative, that I knew I had to help other business owners that were in the same position I had been in. (I wasn’t the only burnt-out business owner, was I?!)
But rather than becoming a coach or a consultant (who more traditionally provide guidance and advice), I wanted to be hands-on. I don’t want to follow up with you a week later, only to hear “I was too busy” or “I’m sorry, something came up and I had to do _______”.
No. I wanted to work with small business owners to identify their pain points, create a strategy and then execute it so that they could have an opportunity to breathe, work on their business and maintain a better work/life balance. And so, The CTRL Lab was born!
L&C: What are your favorite tools for working smarter, not harder?
Oh, this one is easy. ClickUp. I’m a huge fan of project management, organization, and goal setting. And as a creative type, I much prefer the interface to Asana, Monday, Trello, or any of the other programs out there (I’ve tried many of them!). It’s extremely customizable, and they are always adding new features and upgrading the platform based on user recommendations and experiences.
I find the platform helps keep me on track and easily managing my workflow processes as I continue to build my agency.
L&C: Tell us about a big fail you had and what you learned from it.
There are so many! For me, failure has been the cheapest form of education. (It can also be the most expensive.) As a self-made Entrepreneur, I never went to post-secondary for business… I just got started and learned as I went. And mannnnnn, let me tell you – I’ve learned a LOT!
I think my biggest failure as a business owner and Entrepreneur was thinking I could do it all, or that I had to do it all. This mindset created a very overwhelmed, lonely, broken, and burnt out version of myself. Here’s what I learned :
And you don’t.
L&C: How do you celebrate your wins?
I hate to admit it, but I’m a little guilty of not celebrating wins… For me, I equate winning with there being a finish line – and when you’re never finished, how do you celebrate?
Instead, I make a list (I’m a huge list maker) and think of a reward for when I complete all of the tasks. I try to keep consumerism to a minimum these days, so I haven’t purchased new clothes or accessories to be “stylish” or just because I like it. I only make a purchase when is something is beyond repair and needs to be replaced, or I don’t have it and absolutely need it.
Right now, I’m working towards a Gucci belt. It’s a bit of a splurge, but that’s why it’s a reward! (I don’t have any belts with me in Italy, and my pants are becoming too big after switching to a plant-based diet.) Afterward, I’d like to work towards a trip to Amsterdam for my 30th birthday!
L&C: What advice would you give someone just starting out?
For the love of God - GET A BUSINESS COACH! They are worth their weight in gold. The time they save you, the stress and uncertainty they alleviate, the money they help you make… If you’re going to make it as a business owner (within a reasonable timeframe), there’s one thing you need to come to terms with – you’ve got to spend money to make money!
L&C: Where's the best place to learn more about you?
I’m everywhere! If you want to learn more about Digital Delegation at The CTRL Lab, and how we can help you combat burnout – visit us at www.thectrllab.com. We also share lots of business tips, advice, insights, and tools on our social platforms for small business owners: Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
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