2017 was a hard year for my business...I'm not ashamed to admit that. By the end of it all, I was ready to hit the reset button. I started 2018 with a new mindset and a goal to move ahead because I didn't want to be part of the 50% of small business owners that failed within the first 5 years. Did you know that? 50%...and I can see why.
It is hard running a business!
In the middle of January, I knew I needed a change. Surprisingly, that changed has already helped! In less than one month I've been able to meet my goal for weddings booked in 2018 (although I can still book more!!), schedule blog posts for every month of this year, explore new ventures for my business and more...
Here are some of the things I'm doing now, and will continue to do whenever business is tough:
(and who knows, I may just keep doing these things even when business is good)
1. Step away from social media
Comparison is truly the thief of all joy. We all know that social media is a highlight reel of everyone's life, but still for whatever reason, it's so easy to get sucked in and believe that it truly is real life. If you need to unfollow people, seriously, do it...in fact, you need to. I understand the need to post for marketing content (I do). If that's the case, only post what you need, then get off. No scrolling, no reading. It works!
2. Be thankful for how far you've come
It's so easy to learn to accept the new successes as normal. I remember my first year I shot weddings full time. I wanted 10 weddings in 2015 and that seemed like a lofty goal...but then, I booked all 10! These days, getting 10 weddings a year is easy, and I have easily fallen into the trap of not appreciating those 10 because it doesn't take as much work as it did when I was first starting. How lame, right? I should always be thankful for everything I book, even if it's just 1, because one day, if I'm not thankful, I may just find myself back at the very beginning.
3. Get away from home, and go meet up with like-minded people in your industry
Those of us who work from home know just how lonely it can get. I've especially been spending a little more time at home lately to be with our dog who was diagnosed with Lymphoma. But if we're honest, being home alone in your thoughts can be dangerous. It's important to have friends in the industry. You don't have to get together to work, you can just go have some coffee, or lunch, but get out there, make friends in your industry, be honest and transparent, and talk about your struggles and goals--together. There is true healing power in that, my friend.
4. Trust your gut.
This is a big one for me. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've seen another business owner do something and thought to myself: "oh, I should try that too!" I've tried things in business that I just didn't feel in my heart that I should have tried, and I have deeply regretted it. Stay in your lane! I know it's not smart to always work off feelings, but at some point, they are something you have to trust. Your intuition and gut know. If you feel like you need to do something, do it! If you are thinking of trying something you've seen another person do....well, think long and hard about it, because what works for others may not always work the same way for you.
5. Write down the goals you hope to accomplish a year from now
I'm a very goal oriented person...heck, I even have goals for 5-10 years from now. But when business is tough, sometimes you need to picture yourself accomplishing the small goals. The goals you hope to achieve in a month, 6 months, and a year from now. In tough times, those HUGE picture goals can get overwhelming. How do you begin making a change? It's corny, but one small step at a time.
I know how hard it is to have no clue what you're doing, to feel lost, lonely, and doubtful. But I hope these 5 steps to take encourage you to have the best year yet. Keep being you, friend, and let's accomplish those goals...together.