Posts tagged Overwhelm
How to Run Your Business without Letting It Run You
Feel like your business runs you, rather than you running your business? Here are some steps you can take to regain control, and avoid burnout. 

I was finally my own boss, full time! I said goodbye to my coworkers and spent the next two weeks journaling on the beach, reading and relaxing. I wanted to start the new year — and my now full-time business — with a fresh start. Being your own boss is amazing, I said to myself.

I calculated that I’d only need to work 20 hours a week on paid projects to match my former corporate salary. Not too bad, I thought, I’ll spend the rest of my time at the pool, fixing up the house, working on some passion projects, and I’ll finally have my nights and weekends back!

Miscalculated Expectations

The clients didn’t pour in like I’d imagined and I discovered that running a business was a lot more time consuming — and expensive — than expected. I was as slow as molasses at writing blog posts, but pressured myself into posting once a week… there goes 8 hours. And of course, building a social media presence was of utmost importance, so I was posting to Instagram 3x a day and tweeting incessantly… another 5 hours a week. Then there were Facebook groups! I was constantly on the lookout for posts about design so I could share my expertise and pitch myself to those seeking a designer (and of course, “network”)... another 15 hours a week. Yikes! More than half of my designated "work hours" were spent on blogging and on social media!

Since I was new to having a full-time business, I was thirsty for learning. I’d jump on every free webinar that crossed my newsfeed and snatch up people’s lead magnets like a stealthy hyena. I’d binge read business books on the weekends and listen to podcasts as I cleaned and exercised.

More Client = More Work Hours

Eventually, my client list grew, and my time was filled with inquiries, proposals, contracts, invoices and managing finances — whew! It’s no wonder my nights and weekends started to get away from me. Those 20 hours a week I needed for client projects seemed minuscule compared to the 50 hours a week I was spending in my business!

Aaaaaaand... burnout

As you can probably imagine (and have perhaps experienced yourself), keeping up with this day after day was exhausting! I may have been good at design, but had no idea how to run an actual business. All of those business books and webinars weren’t enough to keep me on track — or perhaps I was reading the wrong ones. Who needs to learn about funnels before you learn how to manage your schedule?! I was on the fast track to a burnout, and only a year into my business was ready to be done.

There are so many things I could’ve done different to run my business, rather than letting it run me.

Here are some ways you can avoid these pitfalls

Boundaries

It’s so important to set these in place before your clients, customers, family and yourself get into a routine of expectations. I didn’t have boundaries for my communication and would be in my inbox 24-hours a day (besides when I’m sleeping, of course). I also took on rush projects day in and day out, causing me to drop everything else to work late and finish on time. I never set limits for my work hours, so I never felt the pressure to get things done in a timely manner, or prioritize my to-do list effectively.

Time Management

As my good friend Kathryn Hofer of Modern Planner always says, time management isn’t about time. Time is a limited resource, so we must learn how to prioritize our tasks within those 24 hours we're all given each day. Some things just aren’t important… others can be delegated. And finding a schedule that maximizes your productivity is key!

Strengths

Rather than taking on any and everyone who’s willing to throw money your way, even when you know it’s not a good fit for your expertise, you should hone in on your strengths. You’ll work much faster and will deliver higher quality of work, which will leave your clients in awe and turn them into raving referral engines. You’ll have more confidence in yourself and will avoid the frustrations of a project you can’t get just right.

Value

Recognizing your value, and charging accordingly, will help you land the right clients. If you’re constantly bending and lowering your prices, you’ll end up bitter and frustrated, and your clients won’t appreciate your craft. Your time is valuable, your skills are valuable, your background that got you to where you are is valuable… lean into that! Taking on half as many clients at twice the rate is much less stressful!

Systems

Having systems and workflows in place can save so much time and frustration. No need to reinvent the wheel with every email, client inquiry, contract, etc. It feels like a daunting task to set these up, but once they’re in place, you’ll be much better off. You can spend less time on admin work, and more time doing what you love.

Scalability

If your business is all 1:1 – dollars for time – it can be limiting. There are only so many hours in a day, so once you max out, you need to find a way to scale… raise your prices, hire a team, etc. You can also add some passive income streams or some one-to-many offerings. Whatever your approach is, think long-term as far as scaling goes.

Ready to regain control over your business?

I could go on and on about how to regain freedom in your business. But don’t just take it from me… take it from the 19 influencers who will be sharing on these topics and more in the #TakeBackYourBiz Summit! We want to help YOU find more freedom, joy and growth in your business, so you can find more success with less stress.

Join for FREE and be entered in a massive giveaway, with prizes from the influencers such as coaching sessions, resource site memberships, workbooks, a Bosscation box and more… you know, things that will help you #TakeBackYourBiz!  Learn More »

7 Steps to Overcoming Overwhelm in Your Business
Feeling stressed in your business? Trying to do #allthethings for #allthepeople around you?  Here are 7 steps you can take to break through from your overwhelm without sacrificing your success! Plus, grab our free business breakthrough guide to help you ditch the overwhelm! 

I used to be so overwhelmed with my business, that I didn't even know how to enjoy down time, because I never had any. I was stressed to the point of getting heart palpitations, and didn't know how to break free. I felt I was drowning in work, and didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel.

If that sounds familiar, know that there's hope! You can overcome the overwhelm! But trying "harder" doing the same things you're doing isn't going to cut it. 

You need to make a change, and make it NOW — before you burn out! 

Rather watch than read? Scroll down for the video or view in YouTube

How did I even end up here?

When we think of running our own business, we dream of the freedom we'll have. That freedom can be stripped from us if we're not intentional with our businesses. The problem is, we're wearing too many hats. We have so much on our plate, we often don't know where to start, and it keeps us from being productive. We don't have the capacity for any more clients, but we're not making enough to get by. We have ideas on how to scale our business, but no time to plan it out.

Is that you? Don't miss our #takebackyourbiz summit and challenge October 30 – November 9 to help you find more freedom, joy and growth in your business without sacrificing your success!

How can I break free?

1. Complete a task audit

Evaluate where your time and effort is going, so you can be sure you're working on the most important tasks and things that are giving you a return on your [time] investment. Use a time tracker like Toggl or Harvest to track how you're spending your time. See what can be cut out, delegated to a team member, or put off for a later time. Some things that you think are critical (*ahem — posting to Instagram 5x a day and interacting on Facebook all day long), may not be what's driving your business forward. By focusing your effort on a few key tasks, rather than spreading yourself thin, you'll scale your business a lot faster and stronger!

Want more help deciding what to cut out and what to keep? Grab our free Business Breakthrough workbook below! 

 

Next, learn how to make more for less effort — which can be done a few ways!

2. Add Passive Income!

Diversifying your income — and adding something passive — will allow you to make money in your sleep, for minimal efforts once it's in place! This could be in the form of an ebook, evergreen course, template shop, product shop, etc. Set it up once and let it run itself! If your business is a 1:1, money for time business model, you definitely should look into adding some passive income!

3. Sell more to your current audience

Why spend tons of hours marketing to new clients when you could sell more to your existing clients?! They already know, like and trust you. Think of ways to meet their needs in other ways. If you're a designer, try adding ongoing retainer design work. If you do 1:1 coaching, add a group program! If you have all group programs, add a high-level 1:1 option. Ask your current clients what they need and want, so you're sure to create something that'll sell.

4. Run a Marketing Campaign

This may sound like it contradicts #3 of selling to former clients, but running a marketing campaign can be a great way to land new clients that are old followers! Trying to target a new/cold audience with ads probably won't get you too far. But creating a hyped-up, fun campaign to your followers can turn window-shoppers into buyers! Perhaps some of your followers have been sucking up all of your free content, a webinar, challenge or promotional event could seal the deal for them! Don't be afraid to go big and theme it around something like a holiday, your business anniversary, Boss's Day, your birthday, etc. Pro tip: Add a giveaway component to your marketing campaign to help it go viral and gain more interest!

5. Raise your prices

I once had a long-term client that I was so scared to tell I was raising my prices. I'd raised them for all of my new clients, but was afraid of losing her. Once I sent the email, she wrote back “congratulations”! I think she realized my value and was proud of me for stepping into it. I don’t know why I was so scared! Sure, you may lose some clients (and I'm NOT saying to jump from $1000 packages to $5000 in one month), but that'll just free up your time for building out passive income, a new offer or a marketing campaign.

6. Set up systems

Use Dubsado to automate your onboarding, ConvertKit to automate your email campaigns, Calendly to automate your scheduling, and Later.com to batch and schedule your social media, etc! There are thousands of programs like these out there to help you stay organized and efficient... and many of them have free options for the base package! You can also create email templates for any canned responses you find you're sending over and over again. Better yet, set up an FAQ page to direct your audience to, so they find the answers before even having to message you! 

7. Hire a team

I know this sounds counterintuitive when you’re struggling to make enough money as-is. However, when you start hiring things out, you’ll free up your time to work on things that only you can do, or to create those other streams of income we’re talking about. I tried avoiding this one in the past, and it lead me down the quick path to burnout! I also know I'm not as strong or fast as the experts, so hiring out tasks will get them done better, which will lead to faster growth. Find a way to make it happen, whether that's through a trade of service, cutting back on other expenses, or signing one more client each month! 

Ready to find more success with less stress? Don't miss our #takebackyourbiz summit and challenge October 30 – November 9!

The key is to make time for working on these things. If you fill your schedule to the max, you’ll never have time to work on new offerings, search for the perfect team member or implement systems.

And if you need help determining what you should be hiring out, what you can cut back on, and how you can proceed without the overwhelm, I really encourage you to download my free business breakthrough guide!

Always Planning and Never Implementing? How to Get Unstuck!

So you’ve got this great idea, and you’re planning it… and planning it… and planning it. But you never take action! If this is you, here's how to break free...

 
Stuck in the planning phase for your ideas or business? It's time to get unstuck, take action, and start implementing! Here are the steps to take so that you finally take your plan and make it happen! Entrepreneurs can be overwhelmed with decisions, projects and long to-do lists that keep you from creating and finalizing your programs, courses and new services. Stop waiting until everything is perfect... it's time to get started!
 

Rather watch or listen than read? Scroll down to watch on video!

I couldn't wait to buy a house so I could throw an epic housewarming party! When we finally were closing on a house, I had all of the details planned out in my head... party theme, invitation design, guest list, food and drinks. Yet, when we finally closed, I never threw the party! What happened? 

  • I procrastinated and didn't make time for taking action
  • I never set a date, so there was nothing keeping me accountable
  • I wanted my house to be perfect before inviting people in

When it comes to business, there are a lot of things that can keep us stuck in the planning phase and never taking action. But, unlike a housewarming party, there are consequences to never implementing. When you continually plan, plan, plan, you waste a lot of time that could be spent actually working on the project; and by never launching, you're missing out so much potential income!

Miss the first post in this series? Read about the 7 setbacks keeping you from success.

A business friend of mine had been procrastinating on adding a tripwire to her sales funnel for 8 months. She finally implemented a $13 tripwire and has started to bring in an extra $1500 a month from it! She missed out on $12,000 over the last 8 months by not implementing!!!

 

Here are the main reasons you get stuck in the planning phase...

 

You don’t make time to work on it… you try to fit it in between other projects

You need to decide what's a priority. If my friend had known exactly how much passive income she could've been bringing in every month by adding a tripwire, I'm sure she would've taken care of it much sooner. Instead, she prioritized other things that took up her time.

Rather than trying to fit in this project between other tasks, set aside intentional time on your calendar. My favorite way is to take a Bosscation — a few days away from your daily distractions to focus and plan! That way, you can gain momentum and really get through the implementation.

 

You have lots of ideas, but haven’t decided between them

Perhaps you have a ton of ideas, but can't decide the best one to move forward with, so you semi plan out all of them... or don't plan out any of them! You need to make a decision on who you're building it for, or what exactly you're offering, and move forward so you don't get stuck for months. Build out your foundation. Decide what you’re offering, who you’re offering it to, how you’ll be delivering it, etc. Don’t forget about pricing and marketing.

Need help making a decision? Be sure to download our free decision-making workbook here!

 

You're overwhelmed by all of the to-do’s and aren’t sure what to work on first

When you have too many things on your to-do list, it can be easiest to just freeze up and never get started. Map out the major, highest priority tasks. Then break those down into bite-sized pieces that are easy to tackle. That way you can make traction and feel like you're actually accomplishing things.

An example for creating a webinar: decide on a topic, outline script, write script, write slides, design slides, design promo graphics, write marketing emails

 

You don’t set a public deadline to keep you accountable

If I had sent out the invitations for my housewarming party, I would've been forced to take action with the food, drinks, and decorations. So often, business owners never set a date because they're afraid of not being ready in time. However, by setting a deadline, you'll then have an incentive to get things done and will learn how to prioritize your tasks.

 Look over your to-do list to determine how long you’ll need before launching. Add an extra week or two in there as wiggle room and then… here’s the scary part… publicly announce your date!

Let me know in the comments below what you're looking to launch, and when, so I can keep you accountable!

 
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Feeling overwhelmed? No longer love what you do? 

Let me guess, you have more on your to-do list than can be accomplished each week. You're juggling #allthethings and are completely overwhelmed.

It's time to audit your task list, team, strengths and goals so you can strategically determine what you should be dedicating your time towards. 

Our free Business Breakthrough Workbookwill help you ditch the overwhelm and determine  your best course of action.