“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before other’s choices make us.”
Entrepreneurs often get swept away in to-do lists and get so busy delivering all the things in their business, that they don’t actually do the work on their own business and themselves to actually move forward.
Tasks in their business come last and seem overwhelming to do. To-dos are a mile long, and the overwhelm about figuring out what to do next is real.
It’s not necessarily about finding the time, it’s about creating the time!
One of the biggest shifts I made back in 2014, was treating myself and my business like my best client.
It wasn’t a shift that happened overnight. It was a mindset shift that forced me to look at how I was treating my business. As entrepreneurs, we get so caught up that we don’t treat our own business, like our best client! So, when I made this mindset shift I thought about who my favorite client was and I wrote down all the ways in which I loved working with that client and all the things that I would do to support that client.
Do you treat your own business like your best client?
I asked myself exactly that. Do I treat my own business like I do my best client? The fact of the matter was, I didn’t! Over time, I started to shift my behavior around how I treated my own business and started keeping the commitments to myself.
Every week that I kept the commitments to myself and to my own business, the more that muscle and that strength in that commitment to making sure I was moving the business forward grew stronger and stronger. It sounds really simple, and it is really simple! Unfortunately, it’s not always the easiest thing to do. Our mindsets get in the way, life gets in the way. It can be really hard to implement this from a tactical perspective.
You block the time, the time shows up and your day goes sideways… Something comes up and takes your focus away. You might want to check Facebook quickly and three hours later, your time is gone and you didn’t do any of the things you set out to accomplish.
There are lots of distractions around us, and when it comes to getting work done, your subconscious mind plays a big role.
When growing a business, you will always be uncomfortable to an extent. Unconsciously, you will always stay in this place of discomfort when you continue to grow.
Reasons for not working on your business can be
- Your team or lack thereof
- other people
- no boundaries in place
That feeling of discomfort is all the different excuses as to why you aren’t working on your business.
In my Business Economy Builders group, we looked at different business, and the majority of my clients had blocked time out for their business, but they weren’t using it, because something always came up. Other priorities, other people’s priorities, your subconscious brain’s priorities.
Let’s say on Wednesday, you blocked two hours to get something done. Nine o’clock rolls around, and you know what you have to do, but it seems so overwhelming, there’s no way you can get this done in two hours.
You are convincing yourself that you don’t want to do this! Awareness is a bit part of the mindset battle. Remember, if you are growing in your business, you will always have some level of discomfort.
I was able to get relatively far in my business simply by becoming aware of the resistance that I was facing and becoming aware of when I was using excuses.
Part of the way in which I combated that was
- Setting myself up for success
I wouldn’t wait until the day to figure out what I was going to do. I would figure it out ahead of time. If I knew I had to create a sales page, I would break that down into different tasks. Creating the copy, creating the design, etc were all happening on different days. That way I knew I would be able to accomplish everything in the given time.
I would also have a business coach help kind of break those things down and determine which tasks carry the biggest weight.
Structure creates more freedom
As entrepreneurs, we are lucky enough to be able to create our own schedules. It took me a while to learn that structure actually creates more freedom.
When I think about why people really struggle to work on their business, it comes down to two things.
1) They get uncomfortable doing that big-picture work. They’re not entirely sure how to take that big picture thing they want to do and break it down into manageable tasks. There’s always some level of your subconscious that has a problem with actually doing this work. There’s this resistance that you come across because it’s your subconscious self that doesn’t feel safe.
What does it mean, if you actually become really successful?
2) Lack of boundaries. People often look at boundaries in business as a bad thing, especially entrepreneurs. They want to make sure that they’re available. Part of the problem is when you work with somebody that if you’re always immediately responding, they will get used to that and to a certain extend expect it because you’ve trained them that way.
I had to learn this by completely crashing and burning out. The year after my first son was born in 2013, I was managing 18 social media accounts and it was complete and utter craziness. I had no boundaries in place. People were texting, skyping, Facebooking, base camping, emailing. My phone didn’t get a rest.
When you set clear boundaries at the onset of a relationship and you put this in your contract, it creates a really solid system on which you can rely to support your clients. I highly suggest you put a communications policy in your contract and uphold those systems.
When you can say I’m going to streamline my communication, I don’t do text messages, I work with clients within these containers, and these hours, you potentially create office hours to address questions at one time. When you have the right boundaries in place, you set yourself up for success, and you set your team up for success.
There will come a point in your journey, where core beliefs are going to hold you back from growth. That is when you have to do the ugly, dirty, deep work. To dig into your beliefs and figure out why it is happening.
That can be therapy, journaling, breathwork, meditation, reading lots of books about mindset.
It’s important to understand that eventually, you’re going to bump up against some stuff where you will have to address some core beliefs around who you are, and how you got to where you are today, in order to move forward. I would contend, the sooner that you’re able to address that stuff, the faster you will be able to grow your business. Become aware of that resistance and do the little things that you can do to set yourself up for success. Those little things can be exercising, drinking lots of water, a morning routine that you take yourself through.
Do not wait until the day to determine what it is you’re going to do during that time that you blocked out for yourself and in your business. Have someone like myself, help you break down those tasks into manageable tasks. One of my favorite books is The One Thing by Gary Keller and it talks about how not all tasks carry the same weight and the domino effect that is created. The whole concept is that if you do this one task, it will help move all of the other tasks forward.
I believe we think too small when it comes to those domino effect tasks. Take a moment, slow down, mind your mindset and think of the big picture things that will help move your business forward.
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