It's 2018 and I am back on the content-makin' train in a (new!) big way. Here's the plan, as quickly as I can announce it: The Weekly Wine Downs are going LIVE and that's where I'm developing blog posts from. So, last week I went live on my Facebook page, and now you can watch that video on YouTube (or below). I'll summarize the points in the blog post below, in case you prefer to read!
Want to join in live? Sign up for the Weekly Wine Down and get a quick hello and reminder each week about the topic and when to tune in (hint: it's Wednesdays at 4:30pm EST). I also send out related freebies to the topic, so hopping on that list will get those straight in yo' inbox. (Last week subscribers got a 90-day plan template, both fillable online or printable)!
2018 being the BEST YEAR EVER?! That’s a pretty bold claim. I know I can get a little over-excited sometimes, but I generally don’t make claims like THE BEST. But I really, really, really know it in my BONES - this year is going to be the bomb.com. And I’m doing everything in my power to ensure it.
No more of this half-assed, to do lists on every platform, including scrap paper bologna. I have a 90-day plan, one paper planner, and Asana. And that’s it. I’m not letting myself use anything other than these resources. Well, okay I do have a magnetic sticky pad on the fridge for grocery lists, but that’s different (and Will needs to be able to have access to that, haha).
The problem with a lot of us creative types is our minds go a mile a minute and we constantly have ideas just flowing and random thoughts of things we need to do or should do just pop into our head and we jot it down on a post it or on our hand or in our phone notes app and then what? Nothing happens.
No more, I say. I declare 2018 the year of no more random note scribbles.
Instead - I spent a few hours over December building out Asana to fit my way of thinking and needs exactly. All my weekly content has a schedule and due dates and it’s going to email me and say ‘hey do this dang thing today.’
I made a task that re-occurs daily in Asana for “random tasks” when those silly little things (you know, the ones that end up on scraps of paper all over the place) pop up. I’ll get that email once daily, in the morning, to make sure I accomplished any random tasks that came up the day prior, or give me time to work that into my schedule for the day. I understand that for many of us, the goal is to be LESS in our inbox, but I don’t mind morning reminders as I am going through it in the morning and planning my day.
If Asana isn’t your thing, that’s cool. Use Trello. Use Basecamp. Use Slack (seriously, you can set reminders for yourself.) But stop letting yourself get overwhelmed. The point is to take some serious CEO time NOW and get your ish organized before we are too far into 2018. I spent a a few hours total in December focusing on this and if you feel like you’re already behind schedule - you’re not - make January your month of organizing.
TAKE TIME FOR GROWTH
This year I invested in a group program/mastermind/coaching hybrid thing. That’s not my advice here, but rather that in whatever way you need and can do, make time for your business this year.
The program is the first thing I’ve invested in this way for my business and y’all, I’ll be real with you. I spend a lot of time on a pendulum, swinging back and forth between THIS WAS TOO MUCH MONEY and THIS IS GOING TO BE SO DOPE. But, I’ve decided this… It will be amazing, because I will have it no other way. I set that intention!
So, again, I am not saying to go spend a ton of money. For me, I was at a point in my business where I couldn’t do anything more than what I currently was. I needed/still need help to figure out the NEXT phase and that’s why it felt like the right time to make this step. I’ve been in business for over 2 years. Some people advise jumping right into coaching and programs but for me, I needed to figure a loooot of stuff out about myself and how I operate first.
So instead, here’s my advice to you. No matter where you are in your business or how long you’ve been cracking away at it - take some serious CEO time for yourself and really look at the big picture of what you day dream life can be like. What does your business look like in that dream life? Now, is it something you can do and figure out all on your own? I don’t know for you, but for me it wasn’t. So I did research, I read a lot of people’s content and did their free programs, and I found a good fit for me both financially and just in the way I think and operate.
But if you’re not there yet, maybe it just looks like setting up a group of peers and having a chat (for free) once a month to trade secrets and tips and learnings. Maybe you spend time journaling and reflecting each week to see what patterns and solutions your own brain can find and offer you. Whatever it might be, taking time for your business and your success is just as vital as doing client work and the #hustle. Which brings me to the next step...
MAKE A SCHEDULE + START MAKING SMALL TWEAKS
Y’all, in highschool (and before) I was disciplined. Like, student body president, varsity cheerleader, volunteered every week, and had a part time job disciplined. I did a lot of stuff. I had routines and schedules and habits - but it wasn’t, like, intentional. It was sort of default - because all of that stuff is already scheduled and I just had to adapt to it, right?
As an adult? Y’all. Left to my own devices I will sleep in every freaking day till 11am. This, and a few other habits that I want to be better, are something I’ve been working on (I started this one a little early actually) and plan on continuing into 2018.
What it boiled down to was making some key decisions of the person I want to be and the person that I view as successful - and creating a schedule around those habits and ideas. So that includes waking up by a certain time, taking time for yoga and self-care, hitting the gym, etc.
If you also have some habits you know you want to form this year I recommend creating schedules around those habits, and actually writing it in your planner (or wherever). For me, that looks like hitting the gym or yoga in the morning, taking a short mid-day meditation/mindset break, practicing Intermittent Fasting, and dedicated CEO time Monday morning and Friday afternoon.
I have reminders in my calendar that go to my phone for these habits and schedules. And I remind myself every single time I have an alert or a reminder for something that I want to be a habit, that I WANT THIS and that in doing it this time I am one step closer to it being my natural instinct. I don’t let myself whine and feel bad that I have to do XYZ, I just flip that script in my head that this habit I am forming is the habit of a successful person and I want to be a successful person, therefore, do the dang thing.
GROWING MY TEAM
I am notoriously stingy in my business. I am one of those I-can-do-it-better-anyway type people. It’s really not panned out well for me, and it’s super ironic, being that my service is a service I want other people to add into their business expenses. I took on the mindset of a CEO and decided to delegate some tasks that I basically suck at this year.
I brought on help for social media. Along with abandoning newsletters and blogs, I also just gave up on social media last year. Part of my goal is to be more visible this year and that boils down to is actually logging into Pinterest and Instagram sometimes...
So, I have help to get Pinterest back up and circulating and that makes me feel very excited because I know with creating new content I need to put energy into making it spread and be visible to others. I know ultimately this will help my business and my specific Q1 goal, so I did research and trained someone and now I officially have a team.
Maybe for your business that’s too big of a step right now, but in the spirit of Essentialism, I don’t think you should be wasting time doing things that you don’t love, or that aren’t immediately beneficial to what you need right now. (i.e. don’t spend 2 hours a day on Pinterest if you don’t have a service figured out that you can offer clients yet…). Maybe there’s a peer you can work some sort of trade system with, or maybe it’s something you can remove from your to do list for this quarter, to revisit in the future (that’s what I did).
I hope this has you jazzed for 2018 and all the ways you can move forward in making this year amazing. Again, I’ll be hopping on Live every Wednesday and I’d love to have you come hang out and chat with us! Sign up below!
I’m Kaitlyn, your design assistant! I work with successful creative entrepreneurs to create cohesive, clean, and compelling visuals for their businesses. You can keep being the #girlboss you are (but with more time to focus on growing your empire)! Let's set up a time to chat!