November 2016

The Four Signs It's Time To Launch Your Business

Starting a business is a crazy idea, right? I laugh when I think about how I used to scoff at the idea of ever being my own business owner. I remember actually saying in a job interview once that that sounded like an awful idea and I would never.

Oops!

I’ve been reflecting on my business a lot lately over these past few months and I realized there was something missing – there are a lot of articles and posts about what to do when you start your business, but a missing moment of that feeling before… when you’re like, wait, should I REALLY do this? Am I CRAZY?

Well, no, you aren’t crazy. You’re awesome.

Ready to launch your business? Here are the signs #girlboss [tweet that!]


YOU CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT

Sign number one that you should dive into this business thing is simple: it’s on your mind all the time. Your friends and family are probably sick of hearing you talk about it, you spend your spare time reading books and posts about entrepreneurship, and you have a lot of random notes in your phone, on post-its, etc. of what you could/should be doing.

I remember starting TheCrownFox was the most overwhelming thought in my head when I decided to do it. I spent every spare moment working on it and used it as an excuse to tuck myself in the office and avoid any other responsibilities or commitments.

Now, it can be a little unhealthy to be so obsessed, but I choose to see it as a positive that you are SO excited about something. It feels really good to be enthused about something and can turn the most blah days into something to feel good about.

I also have a thought that if you already can’t stop thinking about it, it’s going to happen. You’ve put the thought out there into the universe and you’re already secretly committed, just scared to admit it. My advice to you? Jump in the deep end! Get in there and DO the dang thing.


YOU’VE GOT AN IDEA THAT WILL BENEFIT SOMEONE

Another surefire sign that you’re going to be a business owner soon enough is if you have a thought or an idea that will benefit someone else. The easiest way this comes about is overcoming some struggle of your own, learning some skill of your own, or experiencing something of your own and looking back and realizing there are more women out there, like you, who you could help.

I am of the very strong belief that businesses have to exist to solve some sort of problem for someone else. Acknowledging what you can solve or fix or do or create for someone is a huge step – you’ve already starting building your business foundation without even realizing it.

Knowing how you are going to improve someone’s life is a big motivator to work on your business idea because suddenly there’s a real person out there who needs you to make this exist. Remember this feeling when you sell your first service or product because it will feel awesome to know that you are making a difference to someone.


YOU’RE NOT IN IT TO ‘GET RICH QUICK’

If your only goal is to make a lot of money really quick I am not sure if starting your own business is the best idea. So if you’ve already started coming to grips with the fact that this is going to take work, effort, diligence, sweat, tears, and who knows what else – then great! You’re doing it!

Making sacrifices to be able to afford to start your own business, saving up an emergency fund, and taking out loans might be in your business future. Being willing to make those sorts of commitments is a huge indicator that you are ready to start a business. If all of that sounds no way, no how and you aren’t willing to cut the soy lattes out then reconsider how committed you are to your business’ success.


YOU KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS (AND YOUR WEAKNESSES)

A huge part of starting a business involves a lot of introspection. You have to get into your head and see what you can teach yourself because there is absolutely no way that you will know and understand all the different facets of your business (hi, taxes).

Taking a moment early on to consider what your best and strongest attributes are, and focusing on those, will make starting a business much easier. As soon as you can I would start outsourcing anything else that isn’t in your wheelhouse so that you can focus on what you are good at and not get overwhelmed with what you are not.

I definitely understand the want to ‘bootstrap’ and ‘DIY’ everything, especially if finances are tight, but if you aren’t careful you will find yourself burnt out really quickly and overwhelmed by everything you are expected to do.

Rather, I’d make the financial commitment to save/scrape up what you can and hire out or trade work for the things that make you feel crazy and hopeless.

There are probably hundreds of other indicators that you should dive into entrepreneurship, but those are the top four that stood out to me in my own life and experience.



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!


How To Outline Goals + Be More Actionable

Goals. Let’s talk about goals. 2017 is approaching SO fast and I for one am in OMG OMG OMG panic mode about getting everything done. I wanted to give you my 6 steps for outlining goals and keeping track of everything I WANT to do. If you’re interested in a more step-by-step process check out the #GoalGetter Kit.


BRAINSTORMING GOALS

First things first, goals come in many shapes and forms. I have a goal to drink more water and a goal to run 5 miles and a goal to grow my email list and a goal to do a kajillion other things.

What I like to do is give myself a goal brainstorm session, which is very similar to a daydream to be honest. Some people use this as a manifestation technique, too. Basically I like to sit and review every facet of my life and think of what I want it to look like. This can be in many categories, like:

  • Business
  • Relationships
  • Health + Fitness
  • Mental Wellness
  • Personal Skills/Interests
  • Financial

And so on. For me, when I start down one of these paths I place a timer on for about 20 minutes and I just write out what an ideal situation would be and it starts to cover all of these categories (and more). I don’t limit myself by anything (like negative thoughts) and let myself truly explore what I want in my life. This might sound a little bit too “woo woo” for some people, but it’s fun to let your brain explore all your hopes and dreams for your future. Plus, it’s just 20 minutes. You can do it in the shower (though I would prefer you actually wrote things down). Maybe make a voice recording while you’re driving or cooking dinner. Whatever works for you to let loose and brainstorm.

Don't limit your #goal setting session with negative thoughts! [tweet that!]


DIVIDING INTO CATEGORIES

Once I’ve made this list of just how awesome things could be, I start to divvy things up into main categories. Mine are usually business, personal, and wellness. I start to sort goals/ramblings into these different categories just to get better organized.

You can make as many categories as you like, it really doesn’t matter.  I just like to vision a few main categories I am focusing on in my life and I tend to notice categories start to appear unintentionally. In the #GoalGetter Kit there are 6 slots, but you could print that off multiple times if you have more! My wellness goals might look like this:

  • I want to practice yoga 3x a week
  • I want to run 5 miles
  • I want to drink half a gallon of water a day
  • I want to spend 30 minutes daily doing affirmations and manifestations

I also take this time to write the goals more specifically (initially in the brainstorm those probably read more like: practice yoga, run, drink more water, try manifestation). The more specific you get the better – so throughout this process I keep refining and making goals more and more specific. 


SUB GOALS VS MAIN GOALS

Next I take time to delineate what is a MAIN goal versus a sub goal. This might look a few different ways, depending how your brain likes to organize things.

I like to make mini-goals, so I would take “I want to run 5 miles” and turn that into a few sub goals:

  • Run 1 mile
  • Run 3 miles
  • Run 5 miles

But someone else might make the big goal “I want to be a healthier, more fit person” and make the sub goals:

  • Run 3x a week until I can run 5 miles
  • Do yoga 3x a week
  • Drink a half-gallon of water

It just depends on you, honestly, and how you like to get organized. I like to get extremely specific because I’m a TO DO list maniac apparently (haha, seriously though.


INCENTIVES + REWARDS

Within those sub goals and main goals I then give myself rewards. Maybe you are more disciplined than I am, but I need to incentives to get things done. Even when I was younger in school I would have to break down large reading passages with post it notes and a reward for getting to each section (silly things like I can eat a Hershey kiss or I can have some water).

I try to make the incentives little things that I want but won’t “die” without (i.e. I no longer withhold water from myself… oops) and that help me along my goal/keep my motivated.  For my running example, running a mile might merit me 30 minutes to focus on creating an awesome new running playlist. When I get to 5 miles I might reward myself with new running shorts or something that isn’t too expensive/outlandish, but will excite me.

Having little incentives is a way to keep me motivated, but other ideas might be things like allowing yourself to post to social media and get validation from friends and family. Or maybe you join some app that rewards you with cheers and applause (doesn’t the Nike app do that?). I just recommend finding some way to keep yourself excited along the way.

Reward yourself for accomplishing goals + staying focused! [tweet that!]


DAILY TO DO LIST

Next, once I have my goals and incentives in place I focus on fitting in time to work on these goals in my daily to do list. If it’s not written down there is a very good chance it won’t get done – so write it down!

The thing about most of your goals is that they require you creating a habit, so having something become a part of your daily (or weekly) routine is necessary to see progress. So if you’re goal is to drink more water then make it a real task on your daily list to stop what you are doing ever hour and drink a glass of water (or whatever schedule works for you). Set a timer or a reminder. Don’t just think, “Oh I’ll do it” but instead force yourself to do it by treating it the same as you would a meeting or an important phone call.


KEEPING TRACK OF PROGRESS

Lastly keeping track of your progress is essential. If you’re a little more introspective take the time to reflect on what accomplishing your task for the day made you feel like and how you feel glad that you are one step closer to accomplishing your goal. I do this with running too – the walk home after I’ve run is filled with thoughts about how glad I am that I did it, even if it hurt during the process, and that today marks one step closer to my goal. Taking time to allow yourself to feel good about doing something and checking it off of a ‘to do list’ or whatever you are using starts to build positive reinforcement and make your mind crave those good feelings.

If you’re ready to start setting goals then grab the #GoalGetter Kit and don’t miss out the reminder freebie you can get straight to your inbox! What goals are you setting? I’d love to know – let me know in the comments and let’s keep each other motivated!



Goal Setting and Productivity

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!