Why I Couldn’t Have Survived 2020 Without This One Strategy - Grace De Bruin The Agency - Business and Marketing Strategy



business woman in field

This is more than a 101 on how to outsource in your online business. This is my lived tale of how investing in a team and systems, well before “I was ready”, literally saved me in 2020.

Because if you showed me what my 2020 looked like, I don’t think I could have survived.

In March, we moved to the WA countryside, three hours away from family. 

In April, my husband fell ill. 

In May, he was on his deathbed and had life saving surgery. 

Among the chaos, I home-birthed my third child, managed two businesses while building another, navigated lock-downs and the pandemic, homeschooled our sons and remained the sole income earner in our family.

It’s now December and I’m staring down the barrel of a Christmas with my husband, still recovering from his illness, and now nursing an additional broken leg (he keeps me on my toes!) with months of rehab and recovery ahead. 

It was a year filled with lows, and highs, and everything in between. 

One where, had I not implemented the right team from the start, would’ve seen me fall into a heap on the floor saying “I just can’t do it anymore”. And you know I don’t give up easily!

Yes – 2020 brought incredible hardship and simultaneously immeasurable success. But today I want to talk to you about why investing in my business from the start was the only thing that helped me grow, not shrink, this year. Without my team and the systems we’ve built together, I’d be a solopreneur running on empty. 

And what was the one thing I invested in that helped me survive 2020 and emerge stronger?

A team. And although there’s only a few of them, my people are my everything.

That’s why, ahead of a brand new year, I’m sharing how you can avoid the burnout, weather any storm and set up an emerging business like it’s a 6-figure business (then use that foundation to make it a reality with my tips on how to outsource). 

Why you need to invest in your business’s systems from the start

Build your business like it’s a million-dollar company.

This isn’t just a mindset thing, it’s a literal, physical, visceral thing. If you plan to put in the hard work, strive to reach your goals and scale to a 6-figure company why wouldn’t you treat it like one from the beginning? 

So often we leave our systems to the last minute, cast aside establishing the right foundations and push processes to the wayside in favour of the shiny object shit. I get it – the backend systems are ‘boring’ and ‘laborious’ – but if you want all o’ the leads, sales and clients, you need a strong process behind serving them with the highest quality experience. 

Plus, it safeguards you from two words that strike fear into the hearts of all startups – RAPID GROWTH.

What is rapid growth + how to outsource to manage it

You know what growth in business is. And don’t get me wrong, all forms are great, but rapid growth is a whole other ball game. 

Essentially, it’s what happens when your workload and demand for your services increases so quickly you can’t keep up and your existing infrastructure isn’t prepared to deal with the heightened demand. Rapid growth can sound great on paper, but it’s dangerous in reality. For example, this could be a situation where you’ve got a manual onboarding process that requires you to individually email invoices and contracts, taking precious time away from the front-end work. Client work is coming in, the need for a team becomes clearer, burnout beckons. Soon enough you’re stressed, inefficient, not delivering your best work, neglecting your health, struggling to manage cash flow, outgrowing your social media. Sure, the money is coming in, but you’re fading out. 

That’s why investing in your systems and a team to support them is essential for any growth, but especially rapid growth. Once you know how to outsource, you’ll never look back. It’s about looking to the future and being proactive, knowing that growth and abundance will come, it’s only a matter of when.   

When you should invest in your business’s systems

Read any business publication and you’ll hear the same thing “invest in systems and a team in the growth stage”. But I say “F NO” to that. Let me break down why. 

An article from Harvard Business Review indicates there are five stages of a business’s lifecycle:

  • Existence, where the main concern is getting customers through the door
  • Survival – when clients are coming, but you’re just breaking even
  • Success – where you’ve become a well-oiled machine, with new leads and a profitable service framework
  • Take-off – when you experience rapid growth in workload and income
  • Mature – where you’re ready to consolidate, retain and expand

The authors go on to say that the ‘Take Off’ stage (the rapid growth stage) is ideal for delegating, outsourcing and investing in processes. But I’m telling you not to wait until then. Get deep into the systems in the ‘Existence’ and ‘Survival’ stages. 

Adopt that growth mindset and start building the business you WILL have, not the one you currently do. That means investing whatever you have, be it $100 for one professionally written blog per week, $1,000 for a search-optimised website, or $1,500 for monthly content marketing. Take what you can and invest it now with the full confidence you will earn it back ten-fold. 

Because here’s the reality check: You’d have no hesitation dropping $100 on a fancy dinner or $1,000 on a similarly fancy phone, so why would you hesitate to invest in your business when it’s almost guaranteed to make you MORE money?

Don’t wait until you’re so busy you’re wishing there were 30 hours in the day to do it because chances are it’ll already be too late. The best way to get started is to engage an expert, learn how to outsource, and switch to the mindset of investing in your online business growth. 

Outsourcing for online businesses

Outsourcing is the best way you can invest in your business from the beginning. It means hiring a contractor or agency to perform services you could otherwise DIY or hire in-house. It means letting go of some control to welcome in the growth you need. 

This can include professionals in:

  • Copywriting
  • Content marketing
  • Pinterest Management
  • Lead generation
  • Email marketing and more. 

Which by the way, my revolutionary done-for-you service includes all of the above!

What are the benefits of outsourcing? 

Of course, it needs to be acknowledged there can be a teething process and reduced control, but ultimately, investing in the right people now will guarantee you’re set up for success (and fast-tracking it) no matter what happens in the future. 

So how do you outsource right?

How to outsource for online businesses

My three best do’s and don’ts for a business owner ready to outsource and invest:


  • Your research

Write down a list of all the things you need to outsource and put a process behind. Prioritise them by order of importance to you and your business’s bottom line. For example, content marketing would likely be more important than PR for most. 

  • Get systems in place beforehand

Your team is only as good as your instructions, communication and reliability! Ensure you’ve got clear guidelines for your outsourced team member’s role, responsibilities and deliverable expectations. 

  • Aim to establish a long-term relationship 

They’re working for you, but you’re not their boss. Respect your outsourced team are the experts and acknowledge this, trust in their process and commit to their process. Remember: this is a long-term investment in your business. 


  • Expect instant chemistry

Just like a new employee, it takes time to understand how you work together and what your boundaries are. Don’t expect to instantly connect (but it’s great if you do!), as outsourced team members bring a unique working style and need to learn to work with you. 

  • Set and forget

Maintain constant communication with your team to ensure you’re all on the same page. Expecting your contractor to be a mind-reader or thinking they can work completely autonomously means a whole lot more double handling and wasted time in the long run. Keep the lines open but make sure this doesn’t border on micro-management, either. 

  • Outsource one-off tasks straight up

In the beginning, you’re on a limited budget so outsourcing a one-off project isn’t the best use of your funds! Consider the most vital aspects of business directly linked to your bottom line, such as lead nurturing and content marketing, then invest in the professionals who can help with these.  

The first thing to outsource as an online business owner

My biggest wish is that I didn’t spend the years prior stuffing around trying to DIY everything, because as soon as I invested, even when it was money I didn’t have, I hugely shortcutted my path to success.

I want the same for you, and the best place to start is with your content marketing. It’s the kind of thing we think we can DIY, but in truth, it’s something that takes up so much time, energy and effort for often sub-par results

My done-for-you content marketing is the best solution for nailing your marketing without the headache and constant hustle. It’s also one of the first places you should be investing and outsourcing to an expert if you are ready to truly move the needle. Forget the coaching and courses for a while – if you are ready to change the game for your business with real, tangible ACTION – you can do so by clicking right here

So, where were we?

In May my husband was on his deathbed. 

In August I invested every penny into high ticket coaching, for added accountability 

In September I worked day and night, literally, to bring my vision to life 

In October I made my first hire 

In November I launched said venture

In December I was booked solid with dream clients 

A lot can change in a year. And that’s just another reason why knowing how to outsource, systematise and invest is crucial. None of this success would be possible without a team, without systems, without taking those huge leaps and scary investments into contractors, service providers and coaches even before my business had made a cent. (And trust me, as the sole income owner of the family, I did NOT have spare money laying around to spend… Lesson being, you make room for what you make room for). 

Your challenges may not be as dramatic as mine, or maybe they are even more so. If you truly want abundance and growth, it’s virtually impossible to go at it alone. You’ve got to prepare for the best, and also expect the worse. It’s not just about ensuring you’re growing and scaling the business of your dreams but prepared for whatever comes (like the pandemic no one saw coming, or the bevy of challenges I personally experienced). 

Don’t have one foot in the door, and one foot out. I know you’re ready to step in and build that business of your dreams. And you know that the first step is to invest in a team you can rely on.

If you’re not all in, you’re all out. Let’s go all in together.  

Why I Couldn’t Have Survived 2020 Without This One Strategy






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“The skills she brings to the table and the value she brings to a team is totally unprecedented in the online space”

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