I don’t believe for one minute I am alone in wondering how I can be so freakin’ busy all of the time and still get nowhere very fast. It is not that I am lazy (6.30am freezing wake-ups) and it is not that I am disorganised (lists, diaries and idea scribble books everywhere!) I am going to boldly suggest that a clear mind and a few tweaks may just help you to start owning your business again and revitalise your passion as you see results. I tried these tweaks and I am feeling the benefits, and that sounded a lot better in my head…
Tweak No. 1
This is the thinking bit with a clear mind, perhaps a half hour out of your life for this. What exactly do you want to accomplish with your small business? There’s a good chance it’s quite general. You may love knitting, painting or antiquing and be very accomplished to boot. If this is what’s in your mind, your goals will be fairly general and easy to bypass. However, imagine the goals and milestones if you were creating and finding clients for premature baby knitwear, or painting portraits for families who had recently lost their pets? If you can specify how you can make a difference, your goals will become specific and attainable.
Tweak No. 2
This is a li’l controversial, but perhaps you are not setting enough goals. Generally speaking goals would be along the lines of perfecting your craft, earning a specified threshold of income, gaining a prestigious membership/award or even attending a trade or craft fair. I would like to suggest that for each area of your business you create an overarching goal, such as perfecting your craft. Under that banner, create the exact steps that would take you towards that goal. You could make them tiny steps, like a person to contact, setting up a savings pot towards a course you desire or asking a friend you trust to brainstorm a problem with. Each one of those tasks are small, but will advance your cause towards your ultimate goal. No longer do you have a vague idea of being at an awesome trade fair with your digital presentation to wow the crowds, now you have a specific phone number to call an events organiser for information. Every journey does indeed start with a single step, just don’t forget those stepping stones that will guide you through the mire of confusion, distraction and procrastination.
Tweak No. 3
I have recently joined an incredible Facebook group called ‘Women’s Side Hustle Society’ run by a wonderful lady called Gina Fresquez. In a podcast she stated something that smacked me square in the face, and I had to give myself a ruddy strong talking to. Gina said that you have to start taking your business seriously and stop treating it like a hobby just because you are passionate about your career. Of course you love what you are doing, but it should be treated with care and respect as it is intended to provide you with a solid income you can live off, and that’s at the very least! Gina advocates putting in place corporate or tailored strategies to ensure you maximise your potential for growth and income. In my case that will mean learning more about selling and marketing so that my potential clients know I can help them and how to hire me. I also have to learn to actually advertise what I do regularly. I will be honest, I can’t remember the last time I publicly stated what I do and how to hire my skills. It’s a simple thing, but I have just assumed instead of reminding people regularly exactly how I can help and how to get my help. You can putter about creating amazing content all day with astonishing graphics, but it will remain a hobby if you can’t turn views into paying customers.
Tweak No. 4
Ok I will confess this is neither original nor the first time I have said this, but it is important enough to focus on again. Multi-tasking is not a very efficient way to approach a work situation. By all means create a ‘To Do’ list of tasks you would like to accomplish in a day, but ensure you prioritise, and limit, those tasks. Once those priorities are itemised, focus on one task at a time, be present in that moment and complete it to the very best of your ability. You will be surprised how much you achieve and the quality of your work will noticeably improve. So don’t be proud of multi-tasking, be proud of your unwavering focus instead.
Tweak No. 5
Quit with perfection! I started out last year and all I could see was how much better everyone else was in my field, and what goals I should choose to attain that level of blimmin’ marvellous. I saw the life I wanted, which is no bad thing at all, and tried to create a straight path to the top whilst hopefully sidestepping pitfalls and disasters along the way. All I really achieved was a constant nagging desperation creeping up on me as I flat out failed in every way, and in my eyes, spectacularly so! I also didn’t progress one iota as I spun my wheels. Now I am still aiming for the lifestyle I want, don’t get me wrong, just not this coming year. 2017 I will choose to improve my training, improve my sales, improve my service and improve my presence and reach to a level I think I can reasonably achieve. As Maria Forleo said in one of her tweetables ‘Go for progress, not perfection’. Please do check out the amazing MarieTV (https://www.youtube.com/user/marieforleo/videos ) Now I was never going for perfection, but I was blinded by an ideal for my situation. I should have focused on progressing from where I was and slowly but surely building a life that was better than last year. So here’s to an imperfect dream, but a dream in the making!
These are just a few of the tweaks to my business day I am learning to adopt to change how my business works and to change how I feel about my business. Create your own mind map of success and choose real bite sized steps to get you closer, it doesn’t have to be all the way there. I hate to break it to you, but ‘There’ isn’t there anyway. Your business should be an endless journey of progression and exploration with no real destination in mind, but how nice it would be to pay the bills as you go?