I had high hopes when I began R Artspace, my little business I would be side-hustling until I could quit my day job and work for myself. I did my research. I knew (basically) what I would offer and what to do when I started when I would launch my site.
But then I started, meaning launched my website and I realized that I was unprepared. Why was I unprepared when I had done so much research into online business and branding?
I was unprepared because this was all new to me. I had no idea what I was doing. How to find clients, how to promote my services, how to make systems for your business, how to manage those systems, and I definitely didn’t know how much you have to be on top of social media.
The only thing I really knew how to do was my expertise, what I went into business for in the first place: art, design, photography.
But unfortunately there are a lot of other things you do when you start a business besides your expertise. And because I needed to find out about how to do everything, I was researching and soaking up all the content I could, which brought me to feeling extremely overwhelmed by content overload.
I know first hand, even when you start out with the best of intentions, you can get pulled into feeling like you need to do everything. And sometimes with so much to do it can get to a point where you don't do anything cause you don't exactly know what you should be doing first.
So let’s talk. About how give yourself time and space to get your footing on a solid foundation when you begin your business and cut through all the chaos.
Before I began my business I was researching a lot. And feeling overwhelmed with content was normal. And since I’ve started my business it’s only increased. There’s so much content out there in the form of blog posts, webinars, youtube videos, live posts, podcasts... it’s overwhelming to say the least.
It’s hard to keep up with all we SHOULD be doing as new business owners and what we NEED to be doing. So let’s get into it.
1. Start by Identifying your Main Objectives
I’m sure you’ve heard this before but we wear all the hats as an entrepreneur. Some we enjoy more than others but juggling #allthethings is real. The key to getting what you need to get done is knowing what is the most important.
You can do this in several ways:
You can write a list, starting with the most important things you have to do down to the least. And this can be daily or weekly. And start your day by starting at the top of that list. If you don’t get all the things done, no harm done, they weren’t THAT important anyway.
If you have a large goal, break that down into manageable action steps, and write about a schedule for when you will get those things done.
On your daily to-do list, write down only 2-3 things to do- leave everything else off the list so you will for sure get something done, rather than see all the things, get overwhelmed and not try.
Try to complete one task a day, instead of spreading it out over several days. Completing a task will help you feel like you’ve accomplished something and give you encouragement to continue on
2. Stick to a Schedule
Now this one is tough. Especially if weeks and months go by without the results you were hoping for. But a word of advice, stick with it as closely as you can. Consistency breeds trust which in turn breeds loyalty. This is a tough one for me too but it’s worth it if you stick to it.
• Having a schedule helps you, not hurts you
If you’re nervous about having a schedule, afraid that you won’t be able to keep it, plan for life to get in the way and instead of blogging 3 times a week do twice or even once. You don’t need to be visible all the time on social media, but it’s important to be consistent so your audience knows where you find you.
• It's your silent accountability
Having a calendar of your to-dos is not only helpful in organizing your thoughts and giving you a visual game plan, it’s also accountability to yourself. You know what needs to be done and how to go about it, now it’s just taking it one day at a time.
• Can limit distractions
Having a calendar of your to-dos can also limit your distractions and help you focus on one day at a time. This will definitely help you feel less overwhelmed, knowing today’s goals are for today and tomorrow you will deal with other things.
3. Reach Out
This is the one I should have been doing back when I was researching business and online business. It’s the one regret I have. I wish I started forming relationships sooner. It’s easy to think, oh well I’ll wait til I have my website up and some branding… nope, nope.
Business is about relationships at its core and it’s important that we need to remember that we need to reach out to people who may need our services and talk with them about what they’re needing. Not to pitch to them but to hear what they have to say and find out what their needs are in their words.
And, not only do we need to form relationships in business, but we need to form relationships for community. Trying to make our business work is a lot of late nights, long hours, and tons of time into something we pray will take off. It's really important we share our journey– the struggles, the questions, and the victories– with people who really know what we're going through. Have you found your community? Email me if you're wanting to join a great one. I have several suggestions!
4. Budget for Help
I understand completely how you want to begin your business with a bang and be professional and also save money, but if you’re not a web developer and you’re trying to learn how to code, it may not be the best use of your time.
There are so many people who are talented in the areas you struggle in. If you hate writing, you can bring someone on board to help you write content.
And you won’t always need to pay an arm and a leg. You never know, a lot of business owners are open to trading services to help one another out– especially in the beginning stages of their business.
The main thing is to know what you’re great at, know what you struggle with, and if you need help with something that is a little over your head, get some help.
This happened to me. I thought I could handle everything without paying for anything. I tried to do it all myself and finally I knew I couldn’t keep up and I needed some clear direction and help with establishing systems for a well-established business. I bought a course called Freelance Academy. And finally, after spending the money to get some help I feel like I can handle everything else. But sometimes it takes some acknowledgement that you cannot do everything and sometimes you need to reach out for some help.
Speaking of which, have you been DIYing your brand and website design? I know that you have so much going on and the thought of getting a brand done right and well may be a far off dream in terms of price, but why not find out if you’re branding could be better with a professional? I would love to chat with you about what you’re ready for me to take it off your plate and give your business more clarity, structure, and room to breathe with my simplified streamlined branding process. Not only will it give you more time to focus on what you’re great at, but it will also give you the mental energy and space to move forward and make some big leaps in your business. If you're ready to get started click here.
It's not knowing what to do, it's doing what you know. ~ Tony Robbins
Budgeting for help can also mean saving for something you’re wanting to invest in. If you want to move to a new email system but don’t have the funds, wait til you land a couple clients and then move forward. It’s all about thinking through what you need and what you can live without.
So, putting more time into your business means prioritizing, creating a schedule, sticking to it, budgeting for help, understanding that we can’t do it all, and that we need community to grow and thrive.
I hope these tips were helpful! Let me know in the comments!
How do you struggle with making time for your business?
What is the main thing you wish you could outsource?
Do you need clarity in direction or more accountability?