You’re smart and you work hard, but sometimes it feels like that isn’t enough. You can’t find the time to squeeze in admin tasks or come up for air.
Remember those days when you once had the spare time to read that book? Or simply learn the skill you’ve always been interested in? 😩
All of those things we said we’d do once we found ourselves with a bit more time in our busy day to day lives…
The truth is – those days won’t ever come unless we start getting intentional about how we spend our time.
This blog post will guide you through cleaning up your business and creating a plan for yourself to get out of overwhelm and prioritize what REALLY matters.
Grab your journal and a pen, and let’s begin!
1. Pinpoint what is causing your overwhelm.
Before we can tackle the issue, it’s important to understand its source. Are you taking on too many tasks when you should be saying no more often? Are you making the task much more complicated than it needs to be? (I’ve been guilty of this one!)
I want to challenge you to get really specific here to pinpoint what EXACTLY about the task/event is creating the emotions of anxiousness and overwhelm for you.
2. Notice what this means about you.
By looking closely at your triggers for overwhelm, they can give you a good indication of a thought pattern you’ve held close to you, but now might be holding you back.
Someone who’s always told themselves that they’re bad at math probably won’t feel excited about looking at their business’ P&L. Not to generalize, but it’s more probable than someone who enjoys learning about the stats and data, right?
Where in your life are you telling yourself that you “can’t” or “bad” at something?
… And are you open to telling yourself a different story?
Our lives are the result of many micro decisions throughout each day that are dictated by how you see yourself and the world around you. If we can change the way we see ourselves, that can literally change the trajectory of your life and business.
Get curious around if there’s a story that you can change from disempowered to empowered for yourself.
3. Create the commitment.
Stephen King the prolific American author once said,
“Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ‘til noon or seven ‘til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up, chomping his cigar and making his magic.”
I think too often, we allow our emotions to dictate our actions. If we don’t feel like doing something – we’ll put it off. If we don’t feel inspired, then we’ll distract ourselves with something else.
But what if you cultivated the practice of showing up for yourself and your business every day, regardless of how you felt? Over time, I’ll bet you’ll get so much more done without trying so hard because it’s become a habit.
4. Clear the clutter.
Make sure to clear the clutter in your physical workspace, as well as your digital spaces. Is your desktop covered with files everywhere? Time to do something about it.
It’ll be almost impossible to get your business organized without first getting rid of the clutter and start to DELETE, DELAY, or DELEGATE.
Are there tasks that are simply self imposed that you can delete from your to-do list? Certain tasks can be hard to let go of, but ooooh the relief you’ll feel is worth it!
Can you delay some tasks? Push that launch you were supposed to do next week to two months down the line? You’re the boss so create timelines that give you spaciousness to be creative and get things done without a ton of pressure.
If you have a team or VA, maybe it’s time to delegate more tasks or responsibility. You might think it’ll take longer to train them than to do it yourself, but the long term payoff to give you back your time is priceless.
5. Systematize in 3 key areas.
While it’s easy to get caught up chasing shiny objects and jumping from one idea to another, what you need are these reliable systems that will move you forward in your business.
This won’t be overnight, but when you’ll eventually create a nice rhythm in your business, and allow the business to run without you IN it All. Of. The. Time.
SYSTEM 1: Lead Generation (Customer Attraction)
Posting on social media is should be supplemental to how you get your leads, not the only system. If you’ve been posting but not getting consistent leads, it might be time to think about other methods that’ll work better for you.
I recently shared how I’m pulling back from posting on social media and it was met with a ton of positive feedback. If social creating stress for you – you CAN change it.
What you actually need is a simple way to connect with leads from a “top – down” approach: leveraging bigger names / brands, events, and organizations to help increase your reach to more potential customers.
Alongside that plan, you can also implement a “bottom-up” approach: connecting individually with ideal customers and inviting them into your customer journey.
Consider holding an in-person group in your area! There’s nothing like human to human connection to expand your network, grow your business, and connect with other amazing entrepreneurs!
I use cold email to connect with ideal prospects for video production and the ROI far outweighs posting on social. It takes a bit more strategy and face-to-face time with my prospects, but I think that’s also the reason this method converts so well.
By having two solid forms of lead generation in your business, you don’t have to worry about the revenue roller coaster. And if you’re not sure where to start in your business, I can help you with that!
SYSTEM 2: Sales / Conversions (Customer Acquisition)
There is no more important skill than selling. In fact, I’d argue that it’s the most important skill in business, period. Why? Because you can be the best in the world at what you do, but if nobody knows about it or wants what you’re offering, you’re not going to survive long as a business.
A common myth among creative entrepreneurs is that marketing naturally leads to sales, and this isn’t always the case! It’s actually where the sales conversation begins.
There are plenty of ways to get your audience to know, like and trust you, but sales only happen when your offer meets the demands and desires of your audience—NOT just if they like you.
That’s why I recommend having a strong offer and application system then a conversation to generate more sales with clients you enjoy working with.
Selling should feel like a very natural extension of your work and offer, so if a sales conversation stirs up anxiety, think of it as simply having an authentic conversation with another individual. Be honest while standing strong in the value you bring to the table.
SYSTEM 3: Fulfillment / Operations (Project / Service Delivery)
Having systems and processes in your business is how you set yourself free from the daily grind. But many creatives aren’t process-driven or aren’t great with sticking to a structure. They prefer to do things “on the fly”.
Listen, winging is great for your eyeliner and not your business strategy.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with client work or if you’re constantly putting out fires, you probably need some operational systems.
Start to think of every project in terms of 3 phases: on-boarding, fulfillment, and off-boarding, then map out all the steps to get your client from where they are, to where they want to go.
Psssst!! Make a copy of my Trello Project Template Board to make things easy for yourself! 😉
Having set milestones not only incentivizes your clients to keep moving forward, but now you can actually delegate tasks without being the bottleneck.
6. Practice self-compassion during times of stress
Having a business is a full-time job, and if you’re probably working on the business as well as IN the business. This means that when something inevitably goes wrong— a deadline gets missed, tech goes awry – you feel like you’re behind, stressed out.
Self-compassion can help you get through those moments by reminding you that it’s okay to make mistakes, that we all have days when everything falls apart and we have to start over. You don’t have to keep beating yourself up for making a mistake.
It’s not easy to remember that when you’re in the middle of the chaos, but being mindful of these thoughts can remind you that it’s okay not to be perfect all the time. That way, when something doesn’t go right for you in business, rather than beating yourself up about it and wishing things were different, you can be at peace knowing that it’s going to be okay.
And then, rather than focusing on how bad things are in the moment and how far behind schedule or over budget you think things are going, focus instead on what’s good, or even staying neutral and not assigning ANY story to any of it.
7. Ask for help when you need it
Business is much easier (and more fun!) when you have the support from people around you – especially when you’re struggling.
And while group programs are great for community, I believe that 1:1 work gets much deeper and faster results because you’re getting EXACTLY what you need.
If you’re a creative entrepreneur who is ready to get out of the hustle and take your business to the next level with ore ease, the 4-month, 1:1 Elevate Mentorship experience is for you.
You will learn exactly what to do next and when to do it, every day, without hustling harder. I’m here to help you achieve your goals, without burning yourself out.
First, we’ll take a full assessment of your business – we’ll look at where you are today, what your biggest challenges are, and anything that’s emotionally or mentally holding you back. We’ll explore your bigger vision and begin to map out a personalized roadmap to get you there.
Second, we’ll identify the biggest leaks in your business that could be costing you. I’ve helped clients recoup 4 and 5 figures simply by fixing leaks in their 3 systems. Sometimes they get a big cash influx within a few days of working with me.
Third, we will tap into your money potential. We’ll find an opportunity for you to create passive or retainer income to help bring stability and consistency. I’ll help you reimagine your marketing strategy so it feels light, joyful, and fun again. There are a million ways to tap into your ideal audience, and you’ll have the shortcuts to do this for your own business.
Finally, we’ll create your bespoke marketing plan. From helping you to craft a unique and compelling message, to building a customer journey that surprises and delights, you’ll walk away from this 4 month experience with total clarity around YOUR business ecosystem, and how to run it without running yourself into the ground.
Elevate Mentorship is essentially a red-carpet, VIP pass for sweeping out the overwhelm and uncertainty of business growth.
We’ll have weekly calls, full access to me via Voxer, plus my entire rolodex of business templates and resources to fast-track your success.
For the creative and visionary entrepreneur who is ready to get out of the non-stop “do-ing” in your business, and step into being the Queen Bee CEO, CLICK HERE to learn more and apply!
Hi Emmy, It’s been some time since we last “spoke”. You seem to be doing well. Wanted you to know that I am “standing” in exactly what you are speaking. I will be taking the month of October off; closing the business temporarily. I need a mental respite. My business is doing very well. Am constantly taking in jobs. Just plain busy. I’ve begin to digitize and would like to delve more into learning but can’t because of the sewing side of business. Deep down inside, I feel a change is necessary. Still love working with my brides but the the everyday mundane alterations are getting me down. Especially those clients who wait until the 11th to have their alterations done. Ready to tap into my creative side and produce my own products (on my own terms) and not have to feel “under the time limit” game. That’s what October will be for me. Getting my head into a new space. Wish me luck!