A little over a year ago, I didn’t know who Marie Forleo was. The wonderful world of business coaches, webinars, tele summits. . .it was all new to me. Once I jumped in, I was hooked. I wanted to learn everything I could about. . .everything. While working my bridge job, continuing to update my lifestyle blog (BeingTazim.com)
But then came feeling overwhelmed! There were SO many great resources out there telling me I needed to know about “this awesome newsletter trick” or “how creating an eBook will entice people to sign up for your mailing list and ultimately bring you tons of traffic.” You’ll never find that kind of advice here, by the way. Not in a form like that. There’s no shortage of information out there on blogs that will make you feel like you don’t know very much at all—but if you know this one thing your traffic will SOAR—SOAR I tell you! Anyway, I guess a few things became clear to me during that period of my life: 1. I have an addictive personality. It’s a good thing I’m not in to drugs or drinking. 2. Presenting information to my readers/clients in that way is SO not my bag. 3. Making a million tweaks to every aspect of my business, website, and social media profiles takes a lot of time and doesn’t necessarily bring me a little thing called money or traffic in and of itself. . . which leads to clients/money-making.
Something had to give!
From creating the “perfect” about page, to tweaking your Facebook page header to look a certain way, to starting a blog, and using every single social media platform out there, the noise is seemingly endless! Realizing that I am just not that in to changing tiny things to do with social media promotion that don’t add up to very much ROI was a start. Noticing that I had notebooks full of information from all the webinars and what-not I’d been spending time watching and reading instead of really working on things was when I knew I needed to change things for myself. The last straw was when I added up all the courses I’d enrolled in that I hadn’t even started or completed yet. Rebecca Tracey of The Uncaged Life totally got me over my course addiction with her program Uncage your Business.*
The Uncaged Life and Hey, Nice Package! are totally awesome programs that I wholeheartedly endorse.
I was in way too deep with all the biz information coming my way, and I didn’t know how to get out—until one day I decided to quit cold turkey. I unsubscribed from dozens of newsletter emails, stopped signing up for every single “best thing in the world” challenge/webinar/course, and focused on creating a clear picture of what methods and ways of doing business work for me. Once I left all of that noise behind I was able to really focus on what I wanted to do for my business. Maybe it took being “part of that world” (queue pictures of Ariel from The Little Mermaid) for half to ¾ of a year to really know what I did and didn’t want my business to be like. To be clear, I was freelancing as a virtual assistant last summer (2013) and didn’t make the leap to a business name and doing things differently until late November.
I love sleeping for around 8 hours a night. I used to feel totally under pressure to stay up late, wake up early and do every single thing myself in my business. I hired some help when I was able to, for brief moments in time, but now I’m back to doing only the most important things that will really push my business forward (by myself). I so often hear that entrepreneurs need to delegate and hire help for things that they’re not experts in or things that someone else could be doing for less money. I full support this, and plan on hiring some help with my bookkeeping and stuff next year. I feel blessed and full of abundance knowing that I have a few business coaches to turn to and awesome communities of entrepreneurs to bounce ideas off of. That’s what works for me at the moment.
We have to stop judging what other people do with their time.
That entrepreneur who insists you’re not taking your business seriously enough if you’re not waking up at 5am and staying up crazy late—cause theirs so much stuff to do (when is there not stuff to do? Seriously, welcome to the world.), or your friend who is trying to one-up the other with tales of how busy or tired they are? Not cool, and not unique. I’m not at all saying I have everything covered, and that I somehow have found “balance”—as a single woman who doesn’t have any close friends in the city or family that I regularly see, I find it hard to justify not working at times.
Lately I’ve been working on ways to plan to be spontaneous. It’s summer, and this lovely weather isn’t going to last long. I know I’m going to push myself twice as hard to get new courses and things done in the fall and through winter/spring—so I’m okay with taking off to spend a few hours at the beach in the middle of the day, or sleeping in late because I decided to stay up and write or work on things when I was feeling inspired. A regular schedule for myself and how I spend my days would not be included in any ideal day exercises or future planning. Sure, I have an editorial calendar and a rough idea of when I want to have blog posts published, but I’m allowing myself to feel free to shift those things around as I see fit. This is what works for me. I don’t care that someone else says I should post 3 times a week, create a vlog and also a podcast. Watch Natalie MacNeil’s latest vlog: “It’s Your Choice: The Antidote For Being Too Busy” for more about this whole “busy” thing.
Here is something else that I am being told to do/focus on (that I’m totally ignoring): Locally, there are dozens of business/marketing related in-person meetups taking place—and I feel so pressured to attend them. They each cost a minimum of $10 and take approximately 2 to 4 hours to attend (between the learning part, the “networking” part and the commute). It’s not like I haven’t been to some in the past (and not like I won’t continue to go to a few), but going to new ones each week without actually taking the time to implement what I’m learning just doesn’t seem like a good use of my time. Besides, have I ever mentioned how much I love being home?
What well-intentioned advice are you totally ignoring for the good of your business and your sanity?
so. . .you can spend more time doing things you enjoy. . .like hot air ballooning. That’s a thing, right?
Create a quick list of things that you keep hearing that you should do in your business. Read through the list, then cross out anything that you’re choosing not to do.
Make a second list of things you want to do from the first list, adding in extras that appeal to you.
For example, maybe you really want to podcast, run local workshops or create your own conference. Don’t worry about making it look perfect—jot down your lists on scrap paper or whatever you have handy.
Use your phone, if you’d like.
P.S. If you want to figure out which social media platforms you will benefit most from—so that you can try them out to see if they’re your bag—sign up to get your free copy of my little social media cheat sheet. I only encourage my clients to find out about all the social media platforms so they can choose which ones they like. And I want you to do what works for you, too.