I don’t know about you, but I know there have been so many times in my life where all I am thinking is “what am I doing?!” but seriously. Hot mess is one of those overused phrases that really means “get your sh*t together.” It was cute in your early 20’s and even acceptable (I’m 35 so if you’re reading this and you’re 20, you can get ahead of the hot mess curve...You’re welcome) but now times are changing; women are running businesses at younger ages and we need to STEP UP.
It used to be a badge of honor to be a disaster in college and now it’s just not a good look when you’re running a business. I really don’t care if you’re 21 or 42; You’ve got to get it together to be taken seriously. I told myself my 20's were for fun and exploration but I always paid my bills, saved a little money and took care of myself. By the time I was 25 I wanted to begin finding my "career"and not feel so lost. I wish once I found it someone would have been right there to give me some of these easy tips but they weren't so I'm here for you now to share what I know.
You want your own business and more clients...but where do you start?
Well, like anything, you just need to start but also complete the boring stuff, first. This sounds so basic but it’s the first thing you HAVE to do. Get into gear and get moving. Make lists and start organizing your thoughts. I know for me, I love to write things down so I can see with my own two eyes what really needs to get done. Hello, visual learners! Also, what is better than drawing a line through one of your tasks? Well, getting it done, but you get the point.
*note: I’ve been really into my iPad and pen and Google tasks. I keep lists everywhere so at any time I can get to them. Lists keep me from feeling anxious and like I’m forgetting something. Lists don't need to be tackled immediately either, it can just be a place to put your creative thoughts.
Now, decluttering! This is something that I feel like I can always do in one aspect of my life or another. Whether it’s my closet, office or mind, decluttering is a way to open up used space for something better, fresh, clean or maybe even nothing at all. I find that when there is too much junk, it is a distraction even if you don’t think you're noticing it. This is a great way to help you to stay focused on the task at hand. Less is more, minimalism, whatever you want to call it, it’s a great way to find out what your goals are.
Once you have done this, I recommend picking one MAJOR thing to accomplish. Remember, your “major” may be completely different than your girlfriend’s “major”. Don't worry about that. Find out what is most important to you, write it down, get it done and check it off! Trust me, it’s gonna feel amazing. Of course, the process usually isn’t fast or easy but it is possible! You can take as much or a little time as you need to get it done, what’s important is doing it right the first time and not being too hard on yourself. It’s so easy to get frustrated with deadlines and expectations, when in reality the fact that you are even working on this goal is a success already. (FACT: some of my small goals have taken YEARS to accomplish)
But what if I don’t know how I’m going to accomplish this major thing? No worries! Break it down, you already know what the goal is. Working backwards to figure out your path and all the mini steps it will take to get there is a simple way to make it happen. I used to just start tasks that were fun and not go in order and it seriously affected my train of thought. I now work in steps and backwards to get to the end goal.
Here’s an example: You should have a website before worrying about extra, fancy supplies. You should have a business card or a business IG before worrying about getting more followers. You need to do the boring things first.
Okay business, and I mean the ugh part of business. The NOT fun stuff you need to have done so you can focus on your craft, what you really love. Here are a few things to make sure are lined up and dialed in to help you to achieve success. Licensing, literally the most boring thing in the world (other than taxes). There are so many different licenses you need to have, make sure you have ALL of them and that they are paid for and current. If you want to be a real business you have to act like a real business and that means licenses, rent, paperwork blah.
What about your website? Now, this is something that is going to either move you forward or hold you back. This is a potential client's first impression of you and your business, make it a good one! What about your instagram? Let’s keep it looking fresh, too. Everything should be current and consistency is key. Make a goal and hit it. Whether that's 1,2 or 5 posts a week, figure out what works and stick with it. Get in the habit of making social media part of your job because it is! We are professionals and experts and the way of the world IS social.
Last is accountability. Why does that feel like a dirty word? We are all accountable for our businesses because, well, they are OURS! This means having a calendar, making a schedule and sticking to it. No excuses. Use the internet to your advantage, google calendar and google tasks have literally saved my unorganized life so many times. Try it. Also put EVERYTHING on the calendar, you want to check emails for 30 minutes? Calendar. How about organizing your post for the day? Calendar. Creating 3 stories for the day? Calendar. Making your favorite coffee? Calendar. Seriously you guys, I promise, it will seem silly at first but talk about streamlining your life. This is how ya do it.
Go on, get your sh*t together, trust me, once you start you will be asking yourself why you waited so long.
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