Well, sometimes looking at your contemporaries is not always a good thing. I popped in to my business groups on social media and dropped by the blogs and websites of contemporaries and heroes of mine as well as my favourite business channels on YouTube for inspiration. Result was information overload, emotional overwhelm, a distinct feeling of inadequacy and a desire for sharing bags of crisps with no intention of sharing. Usually I am inspired and uplifted when I chat and network with others, so what gives?
What gives is the original intention that drove me in the first place. I have always loved literature and language, a curious puzzle of meaning and communication played out in real time. I wanted to be a part of that and help others find their voice, by proofreading and editing, working with them to bring an idea to life. My original idea was to study my craft and attain those industry specific qualifications and provide just such a service for the niche community that excited my passions and interests. I wanted a career that I loved and had room to progress throughout my working life and to bring in an income to support my home and my life, I wasn’t greedy! Somewhere along the line I became distracted and waylaid by pretty infographics promising the unlikely and downloading free e-books showing me how!
The question remained how to get my business and life together this year and make up for lost time. It had to start with me and not my business. I had to be healthy and calm before I could even consider making a strong presence in my business. The past few months I have been plagued by severe headaches, stress, high blood pressure and loss of confidence. Devising an exercise, meditation, visualisation and affirmation session to start each morning was frankly necessary for my spiritual, mental and emotional wellbeing. A bit like mentally shaking the grit and dirt from your wellies before striding out really, good to go! Trust me, it’s not ‘woo woo’ stuff. If you are not mentally sure and robust you will wander into poor decision making and self-doubt.
Once your wellies are grit free and you’re sure-footed, it’s time to have a good look at the business model. The key for me was to stop comparing myself to others. I convinced myself it was all in the name of research and understanding my field, but it soon became all I was doing! I saw the infographics and the branding, the e-courses and e-books, the programs for managing social media and the marketing campaigns, it was all just too much! How could I compare?
So, I broke my business down into distinct categories, chose ONE modest goal I would like to see happening in each field this year, and selected precise tasks that would take me there. I don’t need to perfect my business, just take a few steps to improve it. I will not worry myself to death about being on an unprofessional free webhosting site, or not paying for a VA. I will choose what I think I need and choose a method I am able and comfortable using to achieve that particular goal. If I do this for each category, my business will have evolved to that next stage naturally. Still, a lot of work to be done yet. Tomorrow I will again empty my wellies and get striding, even if it’s only a short distance.