Posts in Business
Mid-Year Review: 5 Steps to Get Back on Track With Your Goals

Guest Post by: Rachel Moffett, Creator and Blogger behind Define Your Hustle

How to get back on track with your goals when it's mid-way through the year. Review your past goals and set new ones. 

With half of the year already behind us, there’s no time like the present to conduct a mid-year review. After all, it’s important to reflect on what you’ve been able to accomplish and which tasks still lie ahead. This way, you’ll be able to create a plan of attack for the remainder of the year.

Whether you’ve been slacking on your goals or making great progress… Or maybe you’ve forgotten about your goals altogether? I’m going to share some tips to help you get back on track with your goals and make sure this year is a major success!

1. Review the Goals You Set at the Beginning of the Year

Hopefully, you took the time to write down your goals at the beginning of the year. Whether they’re scribbled in your notebook, saved in Evernote, or published on your blog, find them now. Start reviewing your list and ask yourself which ones you can happily tick off.

While you’re at it, make a note of the ones you’ve made some progress on, but haven’t completed yet, as well as the ones you haven’t even started. These are the goals we really want to focus on because they’re the ones that still need to be checked off your to-do list. If you want to, that is!

Before you can move forward, you need to decide if those goals are still what you want to accomplish. Do this by asking yourself one key question…

Are those goals still aligned with the big picture I envisioned for 2018?

If not, you shouldn’t be afraid to let them go. Sometimes our priorities shift, which is totally okay. And other times, these amazing ideas come to us out of nowhere and we want to pursue them instead. We have to be able to realize when something is no longer the right move for us and direct our attention elsewhere.

Being able to go with the flow and pursue the opportunities you’re most interested in is just one of the best parts about running your own business. It’s all about doing what feels good to you and what will leave you feeling fulfilled.

If you find that you still want to accomplish those goals you originally set for yourself, that’s great. You can move onto the next step!

But what if you’ve made the decision to scrap all of those goals your originally set for yourself? Well, you need to set some new ones! Think about what you’d actually like to make happen this year. What excites you? What kind of work do you want to be doing? Those should be your new goals, no matter how crazy they may feel right now.

2. Make Your Goals Actionable

Now that you have a list of amazing goals to accomplish before the year’s end, it’s time to actually make it happen. The first step in doing that is to make them more actionable. And you can do that by breaking down those big picture goals into smaller, actionable steps. This makes them feel more achievable and less overwhelming.

For instance, if your goal is to reach 200,000 monthly page views on your blog, set smaller milestones leading up to you hitting that goal at the end of the year. It’s less daunting this way and allows you to see when you’re actually making progress and when you’re slacking off. Then, you can make tweaks along the way if you aren’t hitting those milestones on time.

Take a moment to look at your goals and write down all of the smaller steps you have to take in order to get where you want to be. Doesn’t it feel much more manageable when you look at those big goals like this? Absolutely!

3. Set a Deadline & Schedule It

Are your goals still aligned with the big picture you envisioned for the year? Evaluate your past and current goals to be sure you're still working towards.

Next, you have to give yourself a deadline for your goals. If you don’t have a deadline in place, you’ll continue procrastinating and before you know it, the end of the year will be here. And you won’t have made any progress.

Give yourself a realistic deadline that’s not going to leave you scrambling or stressed out to get it done. You need to allow yourself ample time to do the work that’s necessary of you.

From there, it’s just a matter of making it happen. And you do that by putting it into your schedule and dedicating the time to it. So, take a look at your refreshed list of goals and determine what you’d like to work on and when. You have the remainder of the year ahead of you, which gives you plenty of time to accomplish some big things. Set those deadlines and start blocking off the time in your calendar. This way, you’ll know exactly what you should be focusing on at any given time.

4. Find an Accountability Partner to Keep Yourself on Track

Because we want to make sure you’re staying on track with your goals, you have to find a way to keep making progress. What’s going to help push you along your journey? Perhaps having an accountability partner will make a difference!

Wouldn’t you love to have someone who you can discuss your goals with and check-in with? Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone who can motivate you along your journey? Of course! Find yourself someone who can play that role for you and make sure you return the favor for them.

5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

If reflecting on the first half of the year has you feeling a little down because you didn’t accomplish as much as you had hoped for, you have to let those feelings go. We don’t always hit every deadline we give ourselves. And we won’t always achieve the success we imagined we would. Sometimes things just don’t go to plan and we have to accept that, not tear ourselves apart.

Whenever you slip up, remember to just pick up the pieces and get back to work. The most important thing when it comes to your business is that you never give up.


Rachel-DefineYourHustle-headshot.jpeg

Rachel is the creator and blogger behind Define Your Hustle. Define Your Hustle is a community of women who are working to build thriving businesses they’re passionate about and that leave them feeling fulfilled. Having been a blogger since 2009, Rachel now uses what she’s learned to help other women get noticed online and finally ditch the day jobs they dread.

From Writers Block to Idea Overload: Stop Wasting Time on These Six Content Setbacks
Writers block? Idea overload? What content setbacks are keeping you from creating blogs, video, social media posts and email newsletters? Learn how to determine your marketing setbacks so you can write or film more efficiently and faster! 

You know you should be creating content as a small business owner — blog posts, videos, email newsletters, social media posts — but phew, it can be overwhelming to keep up with! Creating all that content could easily take up half of your work week, leaving you little time to be productive with your client priorities and building your business.

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but it used to take me 8 hours to write a blog post… and I tried to blog at least once a week. That’s ONE-FIFTH of my work week, people! (Ok, more like 1/8th… I was working WAY more than 40 hours a week back then).  I blamed my slow writing skills on perfectionism and figured there was nothing I could do to change that. It’s just who I am… I can’t get myself to put out half-baked work.

When I dug a little deeper, I discovered my actual blogging bottleneck stemmed from writing without a plan or an outline. I was slow because I didn’t know what to write and would restart my blog over and over again. I’d wait until the end to decide on a title for my post, which meant I didn’t have a clear direction as I wrote. Now that I’ve learned to start with a “promise” in my headline and then outline how I’ll deliver on that promise, I can write a blog post in under an hour!

Want to produce higher quality content in a shorter amount of time? Ready to actually enjoy writing or creating videos?

It’s time to break down your content setbacks… and they might not be what you think they are!

You may think you dread recording videos because you don’t like how you look on camera, when in reality, you may just need higher quality lighting and video equipment.

You may think your writer’s block stems from not knowing what to say, but perhaps you really suffer from imposter syndrome and fear coming across as a fraud.

The trick to discovering your true content setbacks is to dig one step deeper than what’s on the surface.

My 3-year-old nephew is the king of asking, why… why… why? Ask yourself, “What’s holding me back or slowing me down with my content creation.” Then ask, “why” and “why” again! Sounds so simple, but it’ll help you get to the root of your content woes so you can work faster, more efficiently, and enjoy it along the way.

Here are some of the biggest setbacks I see with content creation, and some solutions you can try.

1. Perfectionism

You won’t post anything live until it’s perfect… every Instagram image needs to flow, every blog post needs to be impactful, every video needs an awesome intro and outro animation. Tweaking things until they meet your high standards can be a huge waste of time. While I’m not encouraging you to post sloppy work or veer off-brand just for the sake of posting, you need to stop wasting time trying to be perfect. Here are some suggestions:

  • Set a timer for yourself so you don’t spend hours creating and tweaking
  • Hire a professional to handle the things you’re not as good at or that take you too long
  • Remember that done is better than perfect, and your audience might not even notice the little changes you’re looking to implement

 

2. Imposter syndrome

While you’re supposed to be the “expert,” you instead feel like a fraud and it keeps you from creating content. Either you spend far too much time researching, to make sure you don’t sound like a fool, or you freeze up on what to say at all. You fear the judgement, which keeps you from posting what you’d like to put out.

  • Remember that there are always people who know less than you, have less experience than you or do things different than you
  • Your followers follow you for a reason… because you’re at least one step ahead of them
  • What may come easy to you and seem like basic knowledge may be foreign to your audience
  • The more you post content and put yourself out there, the more confidence you’ll get
  • Never stop learning and growing, but set a limit for yourself so you don’t spend more time researching than taking action

 

3. You don’t know what to say

Writer’s block… Lack of inspiration… there are lots of reasons why you may not know what to say or post. Perhaps you feel you’ve already talked about everything there is to know about your topic. Or maybe your current content hasn’t been reaching people so you aren’t sure what changes you need to make. Then there are those who aren’t sure how to use your content to drive sales without sounding like a used car salesman.

  • Survey your audience to get to know their needs, questions and desires
  • Do a brain dump of everything you could talk about on your topic
  • Write down what you DO know and what makes your offer/brand unique
  • Brainstorm personal stories and experiences that you could share with your audience

Download our free story bank workbook to help you with ideas

 

4. You have too much to say

Do you suffer from idea overload for your blog, videos and social media posts? Perhaps you have a huge story bank, but just don’t know what will make the biggest impact and actually drive sales.

  • Survey your audience to see which of your content ideas align with your clients’ needs, questions and desires
  • Pick one offer to promote per month and choose topics that relate to that offer
  • Work backwards from your freebies, tripwires and main offers to choose topics that will support those

This tends to be one of the most common setbacks for my clients, so I did a Facebook Live about how to overcome idea overload! Watch here!

 

5. Fear of judgement

Similar to imposter syndrome, the fear of judgement is a mental battle that we often face. You might not like your writing style, brand “voice,” or actual voice on camera. Perhaps you’re afraid of friends and family viewing your content and not understanding your business.

  • Learn to ignore the trolls and negative sources in your life… haters gonna hate, so don’t let it get to you
  • Focus on your clients and the value you can provide
  • Start with one platform to build your confidence and slowly add others

 

6. Not enough time

So you feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to create the content you’d like to produce, right? Your to-do list is a mile long and you have other priorities besides just writing blogs, making videos and posting to social media.

  • Hire a professional to handle the things you’re not as good at or that take you too long
  • Batch create your content to save time
  • Set systems in place to help you work faster
  • Block out time on your calendar specifically for content creation

Creating blogs, videos and social media is a great way to connect with your audience, gain their trust and draw traffic to your website. However, if you’re spending too much time on content creation, you’re missing out on critical business-building priorities. Learning to be more efficient with your content creation is critical!

READY TO CREATE MORE STRATEGIC AND STREAMLINED CONTENT?

Ready to overcome your content setbacks and start creating content that converts?  Plan strategic content with ease using our Content That Converts strategy guide! 120+ pages of planning and strategizing. Take the guess work out of what to write and record! 

 
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12+ Awesome Business Books for Entrepreneurs

If you look at the habits of every successful business person, you’ll see a pattern of constant learning and growing. Books play a critical role in this. 

While I love podcasts and blogs, they only give you just a piece of the big picture. Books can provide a comprehensive look into the expert’s knowledge and experience on a specific topic. Don’t have time to read? Me either — not usually! I love my Audible subscription, which allows me to listen while I clean the house, go for walks or drive.

Here are some of my favorite book recommendations, which I’ll try to update frequently as I continue reading. One major tip before you go on a purchasing spree: make sure you consume the books you need in the season you need them. Otherwise it’s a waste of your time and money, since you’ll likely forget the information by the time you’re ready to implement. 

(Note: I wrote this post BEFORE becoming an affiliate for some of the books. I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you. I only refer books I've read and recommend.)

Looking for some good books for entrepreneurs and small businesses? Here are some of my favorite biz books. Find books on pricing, launching, testing your ideas, learning to set boundaries and say no, starting a new business and growing your list via funnels. Would make for a great Christmas wish list or gifts.
Contagious Why Things Catch On.jpg

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

I love studying psychology, especially when it comes to business and marketing. This book digs into the reasons some things go viral or impact behavior. Want your business to be remembered? Want your campaigns to go viral? Learn the psychology behind how you can.

Worth-Every-Penny.jpg

Worth Every Penny by Erin Verbeck and Sarah Petty

Want to stop competing on price? Learn how to add value and earn the loyalty of your customers and clients in order to charge your worth. Erin & Sarah share about how to build a boutique-style business around an amazing client experience. They provide alternative options to discounting that drive sales in a stronger way.

How to Win Friends & Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

So I have to admit, some of the anecdotes and stories in this book were a little over my head and old fashioned. However, I liked it so much I also bought "How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age" (totally should've gotten the audio version... haven't finished that one yet). This book is all about how to handle relationships and interactions. It helps with hiring and firing employees, sales techniques, dealing with collaborations, etc. Actually, this book is great for relationships of all kinds... friendships, spouses, kids. Definitely a great read!

Essentialism


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

As business owners, it’s hard to prioritize our time and tasks, which means we often stretch ourselves too thin. Essentialism teaches you how to make the most of your time and cut back to the essentials (go figure). This was a pretty easy read that I'll probably listen to again and again as a great reminder to cut back.

The Best Yes

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkuerst

Ok, so this isn’t a business book per se, but I feel it’s a great one for entrepreneurs, especially women of faith. If you struggle with being a “yes” person and take on more than you should, this book will help you learn to say “no”. She helps you make the best decisions for your physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial well being.

Launch Jeff Walker Product Launch Formula


Launch by Jeff Walker

If you’re looking to launch anything from a new business to a new product/service, this is a must-read! Jeff Walker’s “Product Launch Formula” will walk you through the process of warming up your audience, prepping them to purchase, and how to seal the deal. 

Will it Fly Pat Flynn

Will it Fly by Pat Flynn

If you have an idea for a new business, but want to be confident in that path before you spend thousands of dollars and months of time building it out, definitely check out this book! Pat will show you how to pre-validate your idea and ensure it’s a good fit before you take the leap with it.

Business Boutique Christy Wright

Business Boutique by Christy Wright

This is a great book for beginner business owners or those who are looking at starting a business. While I still got some things out of it as an experienced entrepreneur, I think it would be much more impactful for new and aspiring entrepreneurs. Christy goes over the foundational steps for creating a small business. From setting up your business entity, to naming your business, to finances and branding. 

Dotcom Secrets Russel Brunson

DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson

I’m not going to lie, I binge read this book in a single day... but I do NOT suggest that for you. It’s a decently intense read that dives into how to set up funnels in your business, draw in new clients, guide them through the customer journey, and lead them to your highest offer. While I feel this was targeted towards bigger businesses, there’s still a ton you can implement. (Just make sure you take notes and download the worksheets he has for you).

Sticking Point Solution Jay Abraham

The Sticking Point Solution: 9 Ways to Move Your Business From Stagnation to Stunning Growth in Tough Economic by Jay Abraham

Technically this book is targeted towards recession-proofing your business. While we’re not in a recession, it still has some great information on how to stand out from the competition and keep your business standing strong, even when others are struggling. Learn the “sticking points” that’ll drive your business to success.

Make it Happen Lara Casey

Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose by Lara Casey

This book was not exactly what I expected, but was actually life-changing in another way. I read this while still a side-hustler and thought it would give me all of the steps I needed to leave my day job. Instead, I found a heart wrenching story of the stress and anxiety that Lara endured while starting her businesses. The story of her workaholic tendencies really hit home and helped me realize the type of life I did NOT want to have, so I could avoid letting my business run my life into the ground. It may not be the most uplifting book, but it will sure encourage you to stay aligned with what matters in your life.

Pivot Jenny Blake

Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One by Jenny Blake

I'm not going to lie, at the point of writing this I haven't finished reading this book (I bought the physical copy so I could take notes, hence why I haven't finished yet). However, what I have read has been amazing... and totally in line with everything Bosscation stands for (especially our Path to Purpose guide). This book is all about figuring out your next move according to your strengths and passions — then testing things out before making any major moves. If you're struggling with what direction to head in next, I highly recommend this. 

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Entreprefriendships by Monique Melton

Monique is a good friend of mine and she is a great example of someone who is intentional with relationships — both in life and business. She can go into a store and leave with a new friend and a date set up to get together. She has built her business off of nourishing relationships and teaches us how to do the same in her book. It's a very easy read with actionable steps that you can implement right away. She also provides a free "Building Relationships Guidebook" to accompany the book, which you can find here.

Zag Marty Nuemeier

Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands by Marty Neumeier

This is a super easy, but oh-so-interesting book about branding. "When everyone zigs, zag." Marty dives into how to build a unique, sustainable brand that will stand out from the competition. He encourages you to harness the power of differentiation in your business to create lasting value and deeper impressions.

Strengths Finder 2.0 Tom Rath

Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

I LOVE anything related to personality profiling and psychology. This book kicks off with a personality assessment (that you take online), and then dives into each of the 18 different personality types to help you maximize your strengths. Learn how to work best with others who have different or similar personality strengths. I was a little surprised with my top result, but it makes perfect sense to me after reading the assessment! What are your strongest personality traits? Read to find out!

 

I'm always looking for my next read (or listen), so I'd love to hear what YOUR favorite business books are!

P.S. Have you heard of the app OverDrive? Some libraries (unfortunately not mine) are linked with OverDrive and allow you to "check out" audio books and ebooks through their app for free by logging in with your library card.

 

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Looking for some good books for entrepreneurs and small businesses? Here are some of my favorite biz books. Find books on pricing, launching, testing your ideas, learning to set boundaries and say no, starting a new business and growing your list via funnels. Would make for a great Christmas wish list or gifts.
 
The Bosscation Difference
The Bosscation strategy guides are all about taking action in your business. Our workbooks are 80ish pages of intense business planning, questions and exercises to help you decide between all of your ideas and create the best products, services and offers for your business.

Free downloads. Digital workbooks. PDFs.

This workbook is like 70+ pages of seriously creative, challenging, brilliant questions and exercises!
— Cami Williams, VAology

You're probably thinking the Bosscation strategy guides are just another 15-page document with a few pages of instructions, followed by giant blank boxes to fill out. Wrong!

Fortunately, that couldn't be further from the truth!

Here are five things that they are about!
 

1. The Nucleus Principle

When building out anything in your business, from your social media platforms to your brand positioning to your products/services, you need to ensure you're aligned with your best strengths, passions and goals. It can be so easy to chase other people's dreams when you're not intentional with what yours are. 

Once you figure out your destination — where you want your life and business to head — you can then determine how to get there! Is it through 1:1 services, products, group programs? What are your best strengths and personality traits that can support your growth?

Working out of your strengths and best traits will produce better work, which will drive more sales and referrals, which will motivate you to create even better work... it's a snowball effect towards success.

This is why each of our strategy guides start with the "Nucleus Principle" — your non-negotiable core values and goals that ensure you're building the right thing for the right people (including yourself).

I got this wrong with my brand design business and boy did I pay for it. I jumped into a "niche" that I had never worked with before, just because I thought I'd working with them. I saw that most wedding photographers appreciate good branding, and I had a background creating wedding invitations, so I thought it would be a great fit. I centered my whole business around targeting wedding photographers, only to discover that I was so much stronger with brand strategy for B2B companies like coaches, not B2C! If only I had realized my strengths and values before creating my entire business around a niche I wasn't cut out for!

 

2. decision-making made easy

Forget the Venn diagrams and typical pros/cons lists... when you're making a decision, you need to dive a little deeper. Not all pros and cons are weighed equally. You need to measure things according to your "nucleus" to be sure your decisions are aligned with your personal and professional goals.

Another key ingredient to making strategic decisions is in asking the right questions. But don't worry, I break those down for you. Our strategy guides provide thought-provoking charts for comparing elements that really matter in making your decisions.


3. Content Scheduling & Planning That Supports Your Main Mission

Never find yourself wondering, "what am I going to write about today," then whipping together something that may not flow with anything else you've posted recently. In our Ultimate Launch planner and the Content That Converts strategy guide, you'll first dig in to your marketing goals.

Never find yourself wondering, "what am I going to write about today," then whipping together something that may not flow with anything else you've posted recently. In our Ultimate Launch planner and the Content That Converts strategy guide, you'll first dig in to your marketing goals.  Determining your goals first will allow you to choose the best tactics and platforms to pursue.  From there, you can create themes around the topics that will be best for your goals. Looking for awareness? Share some behind-the-scenes looks and posts about what your product/service can do for people. Need to build trust? Provide testimonials and case studies that prove you're legit. Trying to drive traffic? Perhaps you could host a giveaway or be featured on a popular blog or podcast!

You may think that posting to Instagram 3x a day will get you the visibility you need... but perhaps what your business really needs is to build some trust and authority. Maybe you should consider a webinar or being a guest expert on a podcast, instead!

Determining your goals first will allow you to choose the best tactics and platforms to pursue.

From there, you can create themes around the topics that will be best for your goals. Looking for awareness? Share some behind-the-scenes looks and posts about what your product/service can do for people. Need to build trust? Provide testimonials and case studies that prove you're legit. Trying to drive traffic? Perhaps you could host a giveaway or be featured on a popular blog or podcast!


4. Time and Expense Budgeting

When building out a new business, service, product or offering, most people look at all of their costs, to make sure they have the budget for creating this new thing, but what's often neglected are the time commitments. 

If you calculate you need eight months to create your new course, and it's supposed to be a 1-time offer valued at $1500, how many do you need to sell to make it worth your time? Is that realistic? 

Once again, we come back to the nucleus principle here... what are the non-negotiables for this offer? If you realize you're going to make $5/hour after all of your time and expenses, something has got to change! 

While it's not the most "fun" section of our Ultimate Launch planner and Path to Purpose strategic planning guide, it's definitely an important section to make sure your idea is feasible, and to have a realistic expectation heading into the project.

If you've ever watched HGTV for more than 5 minutes, you'll probably notice how every project has an unexpected turn of events that costs them time, money or both. It's important to think through everything before getting started, and to build in a little wiggle room for the unexpected! 


5. Determining your bottle necks

If there are certain tasks that you dread or aren't as strong at, they'll end up being a bottleneck that can really hold you back!

Take, for instance, writing blog posts. Let's say you want to create your social media posts and newsletter around your weekly blog, but you absolutely hate blogging. This causes you to procrastinate and/or spend hours on every post. By the time you've finally written, edited and posted your blog, you have no time or energy left to create cohesive content for other platforms. This will leave you with a few issues, either your content won't be cohesive and strategic, or it won't be created at all! 

If you have a team, your bottlenecks could keep them from doing their job, or doing it efficiently. If you send your blog post to your social media manager the day before she's supposed to schedule posts around it, she won't have time to create the best captions.

Our Path to Purpose and Content That Converts strategy guides take a deep look into the things that hold you back, so you can know what to hire out or work on improving, to keep you pressing forward.

Perhaps your aversion to blogging is actually from not knowing what to even write... or maybe you struggle with determining your brand voice, so you re-write every sentence. Figuring out what holds you back is the first step towards breaking through! 


Who these are for

Each strategy guide was created for a different purpose, so I'd love to share a little about who each one is for. I'm all about being strategic with your time, so I don't want you purchasing something that isn't a good fit.

It's time to plan out and launch that big idea you've been keeping in your pocket.

No more excuses, let's hash out your exact target market, packaging & pricing, team & tech, timeline and content.

Come home with an action plan and timeline that's ready to implement one step at a time, so you'll be ready to launch in a matter of weeks.

Are you a multi-passionate entrepreneur who struggles to decide between ideas and aren't sure what path to take?

You've tried juggling multiple businesses, but that just waters down your messaging and keeps you from focusing on ONE!

It's time to find YOUR unique path to profit so you can turn your passion into profits.

You've got some ideas for blog posts and social media content, but you feel there's never enough time to plan ahead.

Every week you open up your computer, stare at the screen and wonder, "what am I going to write today?"

If that sounds like you, then you need the Content That Converts strategy guide to help you outline and prepare a cohesive, structured content plan for the entire quarter.

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 »