If you do not like the outcome of your business routine, then change it. As I plan out my blog posts for the upcoming year of 2018, I have decided not to write about new beginnings in January.
Look. You have got to start new habits that will grow you and your business NOW. Doing so will put you in the groove to maintain those habits and be closer to your goals within a few months.
What it is that you want to do? Don't start by making a list of everything you have promised yourself that you would have and should have accomplished. Start by writing down where you want your business to be in one year.
Write down up to 3 points.
Now write down what you feel you have to do to attain them.
Do you have to build your email list? Do you have to network? Do you have to market your brand more effectively and see a return on investment?
Write down up to 6 of these points. Don't panic. This is not a to do list for the week.
Now, pick the top 2 from this list. That will be your focus. Let me share an example. My own personal example.
I have an email list. It's pretty small, but I didn't have one last year. So on that note, I have given myself a pat on the back and have made this one of my priorities. Grow the list! I have been standing in my own way. I do have content to put out a bi-weekly newsletter. I share upcoming news about my company, and I have my blog content to repurpose for my newsletters. My newsletters will not be overwhelming. I don't wear "overwhelm" well. I will Share (briefly) what's up in the world of social media, I will repurpose my content with link to my blog and share a bit of self promotion.
My next area of focus is networking. I can't hide behind my laptop and smartphone. I need to get out there and meet people of like minds. People who I can build a community with, who will motivate me, create friendships and if they need my services or refer me then it's a bonus. So, I have found an evening networking event as I have difficulty attending the many that take place in the morning. It happens 1-2 times per month.
And there you go. I have many goals. But these are the critically important ones that when (not if) are done consistently will help me to leverage my business and set me up for the next 2 goals.
So last year I didn't place a huge focus on my blog. And I would complain that no one was finding my site. I had less 300 page views per month. Google Analytics showed me that when I did get a visitor to my site, they would be off within seconds. So my goal in the later part of the year was to blog at least once per week and I did so. And for the most part still do. Now I have over 1400 page views per month.
Now I have tonnes of content to share in my upcoming newsletters. I have content that I can share on this platform that you are on.
See what happens when you keep it simple and achieve small wins? You are set up for success and your next round of goals become more easier.
Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes.
I blog about best practices, but there are times when I have to get real and let you know how I have applied these practices to myself. I go through them too. And like you - I have to overcome them.
Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes.
You Can Be The Change.
Where do you want to be with your business. What are the two goals that you MUST start today?
Not everyone has the luxury of walking away from a full-time job to start a small business. That job may help to maintain a home, pay debt, contribute to the family lifestyle and so on. Of course this does not stop you from burning the midnight oil as you work on your entrepreneurship goals. Unfortunately this may not be enough to get you to the finish line.
My goal is self-employment and 10 clients in 8 months. The question is how do I get there? This week I am reaching out to some of the small business owners I know. The question... What would you tell someone starting a new business?
Here is a list of the most compelling answers that I consider to be "keeping it real":
- Be prepared and know that most of your time will be spent working on your business as opposed to in your business. (networking, promoting, meetings with "potential" clients, finding clients etc.)
- Quite often you won't have more time. You'll have less. Days will be started much earlier and end much later.
- No excuses. You have to network. Even as you work in your current 9-5 and you go home to your family, and work on your business venture. Head out and meet other entrepreneurs and walk the talk. You know... Like you don't have a 9-5 and that your dream job is THE 9-5 you have going on.
- Still remember to set aside time for family, chores, doctor appointments
- Set up an emergency fund
- Come up with a 12 month plan for your business pertaining to marketing, client acquisition, collaborations etc
- Don't leave until you have a steady client base. Work on your business while you have your income security
After receiving this response I was so glad I asked. I will admit that I now question my 8 month time frame, but I have to goal set. I kind of feel like I am already strapped for time, but there is no getting around it. I have to get out there and network. Knowing what I know does not make this process easier. If anything... I am informed which allows me to prepare.
What additional advice do you have? Was there one listed that resonated with you?