Today’s happy start up email shares how I set boundaries for my business after reaching burnout struggling to please everyone and putting myself last.
If you’ve ever found yourself replying to client emails at midnight, working through the night to meet deadlines or spending your whole weekend on social media, this is for you.
Today’s email will go out at 5pm BST (12pm EST).
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This post is by guest contributor Viv Smith of Poppy Sparkles. She creates lasting pieces of birthstone jewellery that are fresh and contemporary with a classic style, making them pieces to love, wear and cherish. Today, Viv’s sharing her top tips to move your business forward, even if you are short of time- Isa
If you’re like me, time is something that is in short supply. I have two excuses – one is 3 years old and the other about 4 ½ years old! It may that you have a day job and run your creative enterprise in your lunch break and evenings or perhaps you too are juggling motherhood with being a creative entrepreneur. Either way, time is at a premium.
So, what can you do in those little snippets of time that can help your business move forward?
Clearly, we can’t implement a thorough marketing campaign, but here are just a few things that you can achieve in a few minutes here and there.
1 :: Add your URL to your online bios.
It amazes me how many people fail to list their website on twitter, Instagram or even their facebook page. Make it easy for those interested in you to go check out your shop or website.
2 :: Do a spot of online networking.
Read a blog post AND leave a comment (ensure that you fill in the box asking for your URL to maximise the potential of this). Use Facebook as your business and leave some non-spam comments on other biz pages where your target market may hang out.
3 :: Wear or use your product.
I love wearing my own jewellery and it’s surprising how many people notice and admire what I am wearing. Usually once I say I’ve made it myself I’m then asked if I have a shop and I then have a perfect opportunity to give out my business card (always have some biz cards handy).
4 :: Find a social media tool that suits you when time is lacking.
I’m finding instagram the most friendly when I’m struggling for time or mummy duties have to take priority. I don’t just share photos of my jewellery on Instagram either – people love sneaking a peek at your life as well as beautiful and inspiring images. Reading an interesting book, take a photo. Seen a pretty flower, take a photo. Spotted an inspiring pattern, take a photo. Instagram is a great tool for creative as it really lets you share your story and people connect with YOU.
5 :: Get some flyers printed and ask to leave them in places you visit.
I always have some in my handbag so if I go somewhere new on a day trip I can leave some there.
6 :: Keep a notebook handy.
The kids may be stopping you from sitting at your laptop writing a full blog post or you may have just a short lunch break in work, but you can jot down ideas for when you do have more time.
7 :: Tidy up.
I sorted out all my packaging supplies into a desk drawer and it has made it so much quicker to get all the bits I need for packages going out. Spending some time tidying up has saved me time in the long run.
8 :: Set realistic targets for each day.
I have a daily to do list that I keep realistic. I then have a monthly and ‘in the future’ to do list that I keep tucked away so I don’t get overwhelmed, but can refer to it as needed. By setting a small number of tasks per day based on urgency and my available time I avoid the paralysis of overwhelm and get that feeling of awesomeness when I end the day with a fully ticked off to do list.
If you are juggling a job or any other commitment with your creative business it can be easy to do too much and burn yourself out. But, taking a total break is hard when you want to reach your goals and realise your dream. A compromise is to find relaxing pursuits that have potential for promoting your business or for networking. Reading blogs is enjoyable and by posting a comment you’ve turned it into a tiny bit of networking and who knows who may click through to check your website out.
And I think it’s safe to say that Pinterest falls into the ‘having fun’ whilst supposedly ‘working’ category. Just be careful that you know when you’re having fun and when you’re working. It can be very easy to waste a whole heap of time under the illusion of working when really you’re playing around with social media and achieving nothing for your business.
It can be so frustrating when you’re short of time, but remember that those little things you can do all add up over time and keep things ticking over until you do have more time.
What quick and easy to implement ideas have you found helpful when you’re short on time?
Is being a perfectionist stopping you reaching your goals? Do you worry about releasing your next big thing into the world because it’s not perfect yet?
For years, held myself back from reaching my potential because I was worried I would be disappointed if the outcome wasn’t perfect. I feared I wasn’t good enough and instead of it motivating me to achieve more, it stopped me in my tracks where I became so stuck I couldn’t even start, let alone progress.
Have you ever experienced this?
Sign up to get today’s happy start up email where I share five words that helped me overcome perfection paralysis and a simple tip to finally get you moving on your big projects and goals.
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When Will Smith decided to take his fledgling movie career to the next level he didn’t just accept the next film that came his way. He worked out what he wanted to achieve (“to be the biggest movie star in the world”) and researched the industry so he could devise a strategy that worked for him. He didn’t stop at the strategy stage though. He took action. So rather than staying in the planning phase forever or sitting back and waiting for good luck, he took the first step, then the next, then the next to achieve his goals.
Let’s break it down.
First, he decided what he wanted to achieve and how he would define success. He could have gone down any number of paths. Some actors decide that critical acclaim is most important to them so they choose their roles based on what might help them win an Academy Award. Other actors may choose to use box office success to define their personal success. Will Smith decided on the latter. High box office revenues mean people are watching and enjoying his films. High ticket sales = bigger movie star.
Next, Smith gathered information and looked for patterns and insights to determine the best way to achieve his goals. He looked at the highest grossing movies of all time and discovered that the top 10 included special effects; nine of the 10 included special effects with creatures and eight out of the 10 included special effects with creatures and a love story. This research was crucial to him choosing his next two film roles; Independence Day and Men in Black. Both followed the model identified in the research and once released, their combined turnover reached over $1.3 billion. Could he have done it a different way? Of course. Did he achieve what he set out to achieve? No doubt about it.
What about you?
Everyone has a different idea of what success is. If you’re an actor, maybe it’s making the highest grossing movies of all time, winning an Oscar or challenging yourself on a personal level by only taking demanding roles. As a business owner, it could be reaching a certain revenue, getting your products stocked in certain stores or collaborating with a celebrity.
There is no right or wrong answer here. It is up to you to decide what success means to you, then to go out and achieve it.
Don’t sit on your strategy
Once you’ve devised your strategy, it’s time to take action and implement it. Here’s where you need focus. If Will Smith had panicked that his strategy wasn’t going to work he might have chosen the first film role that crossed his path which could have taken him further away from his goal. Alternatively, If he’d sat back and done nothing until the right role presented itself, he might not be the movie star he is now.
It’s the same in business.
Your Own Unique Strategy + Deliberate Action = Success Your Way
Once we’ve defined our strategies and mapped out the road we want to take, we need to commit to taking action and start walking down that path. No waiting around hoping that things will work out, get off your butts and do something to make your dream business a reality.
PS: Very soon I’ll be beta-testing Success Your Way, a business acceleration program I’ve been working on for some time now. The goal of Success Your Way is simple: build your own unique strategy, take deliberate action on it and build an unstoppable business. Sign up to be notified of our beta-test launch and to get the exclusive subscriber only pay what you can rate (yes, really!).
Last year I started a blog series called the Happy Start-Up. I wanted to show how you can start a business without the stress and ick-iness that is usually associated with taking such a huge leap. That time, my intention was to have you follow along on the blog and learn from my journey starting up my product business and social enterprise, Happy Piece.
The response was fantastic (thank you!) but I realised pretty fast that posting the Happy Start Up on the blog wasn’t right for the series. I debated what to do with all this extra knowledge that I wanted to share. Should I turn it into an ecourse, a membership club, paid subscription service or even a book?
I finally decided on re-launching with a newsletter format so subscribers could receive exclusive access to insights I’ve gained, not just through running Happy Piece but also my service based business Noisette and my blog based business Noisette Academy (this blog!). Rather than charging for this I opted to keep it free for now so I could be more flexible with what I cover and more people can benefit from it. I know money can be tight for a lot of entrepreneurs so hopefully this will help some of you.
I’m in a unique position to be running 3 different types of businesses (product, service and blog based) and it seems remiss to not share what I have learned throughout all aspects of these businesses in a way that you can then use to build and grow a business that works for you.
I’ve always wanted to share more about running my businesses, how I decided to do things, mistakes I’ve made and lessons I’ve learned and now the Happy Start Up series will allow me to do that.
I hope you’ll sign up! First email goes out next Thursday.