They say taking the first step is the hardest, but it’s the one that propels you to keep moving forward. I say, the power in that initial movement largely depends on what you’ve decided to step in. Deciding where to focus your energy is just as important as starting your project. I’m learning that it’s the perfect storm of prioritization and consistent action that lead to the highest levels of success. Discipline isn’t a sexy concept, but the results can be dazzling!
This week, I’m starting to see the effects of decisions and efforts I implemented only recently. For me, positive results are the ultimate motivator to keep going, even when I’m hit with an occasional curveball.
Do you ever wonder what your fellow creative entrepreneurs are up to? In between the big wins, product launches, and collaborations are the small steps (some forward, some backward) that lead to those turning points. Here’s a transparent account of a week in the life of a gal in passionate pursuit of business growth, personal development and those magical milestones.
Monday, February 6th
Still riding high from the great audiobooks I consumed the week prior, I started the day with a great attitude. This positive outlook ended up being my saving grace because this particular Monday was NOT the best.
In taking off the previous Friday, I neglected to plan for the week, and I was left scrambling. First, to get this entry written and posted. Writing and publishing your posts on the same day is a terrible habit that I’m determined to break. I was tripped up during the writing process, as I was simultaneously trying to figure out the site’s ongoing caching issue (new posts not appearing on the home page).
So much of running your own business is fun and exciting, but other days, you need to deal with tedious tasks. In addition to solving the caching issue, I also worked on tracking down missing tax documents. Have you fallen asleep yet?
To round out the day, I found out that one of my sponsors would be reducing my monthly rate since my referral sales have not been meeting their return on investment. As a fellow small business owner, I completely understood. Instead of wallowing, I asked what kind of numbers it would take to revert to our original agreement, and what I’d need to do to reach the next highest sponsorship rate. I knew that if I had specific targets in mind, which I could not only recover but push through to a higher level of achievement (which in turn, benefits us both).
Tuesday, February 7th
My not-so-great start to the week prompted me to schedule my February planning session first thing Tuesday morning. If you recall, last month, I had an impactful meeting with myself at the beginning of January, to plan and prioritize the coming weeks.
I used the spread in my InkwellPress planner to set personal and business goals and then switched over to my trusty notebook to write down everything I hoped to accomplish this month. It was helpful to flip back to notes from January and see what tasks I had completed, and what was still outstanding.
In keeping with my word of the year to “refine, ” most of my plans were to continue executing January’s tasks, maximizing the reach of my two big products: The Enchanting Mondays Library and Inspirational Planner Subscription.
Since I have quite a few blog posts on the horizon, I decided to bring back an old tool: my blog planning spreadsheet. This page is a basic Google Doc, with columns for “Scheduled Date, ” “Project Type, ” “Project Name,” “Prepare, ” and “Promote.”
In the afternoon, I shifted my attention to finalizing designs for March’s Inspirational Planner Bundle, and scheduling promotions. Making these monthly updates is a newish process for me, and it felt like it took forever, so I made notes of ways that I could make it more streamlined for the future.
Wednesday, February 8th
I started the morning by meeting my friend, Muriel for coffee. I love my online friends, but there’s something about sharing ideas, hopes, and dreams in person, that can’t be replicated. Muriel also runs her own creative business, so it was fun hearing what she’s been up to, and what projects she has on the horizon!
When I returned home, it was back to work! Since I had not yet sent out an email or promotions highlighting the Font Roundup Post, I shared last week; I made it a priority to schedule those before I delayed it any longer. Hope you guys loved checking it out!
One of my marketing initiatives for The Enchanting Mondays Library is to create seasonal blog posts, which include a collection of art prints from the library, and a freebie as an email opt-in. I decided to pull together a last-minute Valentine’s Day roundup as my first post.
I was able to modify the email sequence I created last week for another article (which also promotes the Enchanting Mondays Library) and customized the first email to fit the Valentine’s Day post.
It felt great to know that the hard work I put into writing out that entire email sequence could now be used again and again, with small alterations and little effort needed. This is a principle I learned from one of my favorite books (that, if you’re a regular reader, you hear me mention all the time) called “The One Thing,” by Gary Keller
“What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” For me, it was writing that series of emails, which can be slightly modified for future promotions, all of which lead to sales of my most profitable product. This act was much like pushing one domino over and watching that single movement knock over all the other dominos that follow, without any additional effort on your part (another principle from the book).
Thursday, February 9th
The audiobook I’ve been listening to this week, “The Compound Effect,” by Darren Hardy, reminded me of the importance of making small strides, consistently and daily, to achieve your goals. I decided to choose one initiative from my list, that has seemed like an overwhelming undertaking (updating/enhancing the Enchanting Mondays Library), to be my focus.
I decided to bring back “Tiger Time,” a technique I learned from Amy Porterfield. Its name comes from the thought that you protect this time as if you were a mama, protecting your baby cub, with ferociousness.
I set my alarm just a tad earlier, closed my planner, put my phone into airplane mode, and set a timer for one hour. I dove into my overhaul project, made a giant checklist of tasks, and worked for 60 glorious, uninterrupted minutes. When I was done, I had only checked off one of the many boxes on that list, but I had taken the first step toward making this goal a reality, which is the most important.
The remainder of the day was spent returning emails, and designing art printables for upcoming Enchanting Mondays posts. Between travel, and hosting company, the next few months are going to be very disruptive, so I’m trying to “work ahead” on as many projects as I can.
Friday, February 10th
I started Friday morning the same as the previous day, with “Tiger Time,” inching forward on my progress.
The rest of the morning was spent reviewing the listings in my Etsy shop, deciding what could stay as is, what needed to be updated or enhanced, and what I’d remove. As Stephen King says, “kill your darlings.” Even though it felt a little painful, deleting items that I spent time designing and crafting, I remembered that your portfolio is only as strong as your weakest piece and that statistics don’t lie. If an item hadn’t been sold in over a year, I said goodbye to it.
I spent the afternoon in preparation for next Monday, by writing this very article, upcoming Enchanting Mondays posts, and scheduling social media. The week may have started off shaky, but I ended it strong, excited for what next week brings!
Lesson of the week:
Be intentional about scheduling and prioritizing. Even if it means accomplishing a task in small steps, choose the one that will make the biggest impact.
What I’m reading:
• L’art de la Simplicité: How to Live More with Less, by Dominique Loreau
• The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy
What I’m watching:
Sneaky Pete, Season 1
What I’m listening to:
It was another week in Audiobookland. No music for this gal!
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