5 Ways to Get Over a Slump

It’s been one of those weeks! My children have needed me to ferry them around to different things during the day as well as it being a week of meetings. This means I’ve been in and out of the office. Once I do finally get back to my desk, I’ve struggled to focus – despite my to do list!

Time just seems to have been slipping away and subsequently I’ve been feeling like I’ve hit a slump. There are many tasks keeping me busy but they are not the things that will ultimately inch my business forward. And because I’m not inching my business forwards my mind slips into negative thoughts. I’m not doing enough, I don’t know enough……this is a slump!

Does this sound familiar to you? It’s quite normal to have times where you’re not in full flow. As a solopreneur, it’s just another thing to work through.

To help you., here are 5 ways that I find help me get over an annoying slump.

1. Goal Setting

The first thing I do is go back to my goals and my why.  By reconnecting to my reason for being, I am reminding myself of my drive and what I’m trying to achieve.  Doing this fills me with excitement for my business so that my energy picks up and I can’t wait to get stuck in to creating again.

I have a system for setting yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals and on any day in my business I know what I am meant to be working on.  The to do list definitely helps when I return to my desk after an interruption.  As I said though, even with a to do list it can be tricky to stay focussed at particularly distracting times.  See more on distraction below.

2. Networking & Connecting

A great way to feel reinspired is to connect with other business women.  This can be in the form of a workshop or a networking event that you physically attend. In my area there are monthly business breakfasts for women and I always leave an event feeling inspired and ready to dive into my business.  Connecting can also take place online.  If you are part of a supportive Facebook group then start a thread there to get some advice or inspiration to get started on your next task.  Perhaps you are part of a membership that provides you with inspiration and a place to go back to when you’re stuck.  Whichever works for you; put yourself out there and connect.

3. Daily Rituals

It is so important to have daily routines and rituals that improve your overall well-being and help you be more productive.  If I’m feeling in a slump and my mind is struggling to focus, I will do an extra meditation that morning or make sure I write in my gratitude journal and set my intentions for the day.  Not skipping on your daily rituals is essential to keeping your momentum going.

Help Your Productivity with this Post – Top 10 Working Mum Hacks

4. Distractions

In the middle of a slump you are not helped by distractions of any kind.  This may mean that you need to put your phone in another room for a 2 hour block of complete focus.  Or perhaps you need to work with your headphones on.  Do you ever work in a café or a co-working space?  If you get distracted by household chores or other things that need doing, remove yourself to feel energised by being in a new environment. 

5. Unfollow

Sometimes when we’re in a slump our minds can be in a more negative space.  Be aware of imposter syndrome creeping in at this time.  If you find you are comparing yourself in a negative way to everyone you see on social media you may need to stop the scrolling.  It may even be helpful to unfollow some people that bring up feelings of not being good enough.

This post may be helpful to you too – 10 Tips to Increase your Social Media Engagement

I hope you find these strategies helpful when you find yourself in a slump.  They have certainly helped me this week.

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5 Ways to Calm Your Mind so you can Be More Productive

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.” Mark Black.

This quote is so true. How can you see the wood from the trees if your mind is racing and you have a million ideas blowing around the forrest in your mind? As working mums our heads are busy with kids activities, meal plans, household chores as well as a business to run. It can be hard to focus. This article will provide 5 ways to calm your mind so you can be more productive.

1. Mindfulness

Just breathe.  Try to include some mindfulness meditation into your day.  I find it works best just before I sit down at my desk. The kids are at school, I’ve checked social media while i’m making a cup of tea and before I sit at my desk I play a guided 10 minute meditation from an app on my phone.  By focussing on the breath and letting the mind be still, I am calming myself for the day ahead.

2. Plan & Prioritise

If you plan your day and your week ahead, you can focus on what needs to be done right now instead of worrying about ‘All The Things’. Do you use a digital task manager or pen and paper? Whatever works for you, get the ideas and tasks out of your head so you can plan what needs to be done first, then work through them in the order of priority.

3. Stay in the Present

Following on from the above post, if you stay focused on the here and now, then your mind will not be cluttered with all the tasks that may not be a priority today.  Simply focus on the task at hand, complete that and only then move on the next. Remember to enjoy the satisfaction of ticking your finished task off your list!

Help Your Productivity with this Post – Top 10 Working Mum Hacks

4. Catch Negative Thoughts

Do you find you say things to yourself like ‘I don’t have enough time’, ‘there’s too much to do’, I’m too busy’?  These thoughts will be affecting how productive you can be. Try to catch the negative thoughts and switch them into positives.  If you are telling yourself that there is enough time to get everything done, your mind will be calmer and you’ll find you are much more productive.

5. Go For A Walk

Being in nature is a sure fire way to feel calmer and increasing your heart rate has a de-stressing effect on the mind. Sometimes we get stuck in analysis paralysis and overthinking things is not going to allow us to move ahead. Break the cycle by going for a quick walk outside or in the garden to get the blood flowing again. You could even listen to a calming meditation while you walk. I can guarantee you’ll get back at your desk feeling calmer and therefore being more productive.

This post may be helpful to you too – 10 Tips to Increase your Social Media Engagement

I hope some of these ideas have helped you to learn some ways to calm your mind so you can be more productive.  Let me know if you have any other suggestions for coping with an overactive mind.

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7 Ways to Take Action in your Business

Are you starting a business?  That’s awesome!  How’s it all going?  If you’re struggling with making progress then you may have a problem with taking action.  Keep reading to find out the 7 ways I take action in my business.

What is holding you back?

It is quite normal to feel overwhelmed with starting a new business.  There ‘s all the tech to get into place, the accounts and much much more.   

Perhaps fear is stopping you from getting started?  A fear of failure, a fear of the unknown or even a fear of putting yourself out there.

Do you find yourself spending your days googling ideas, reading blogs and watching free webinars? Are you journalling all your fab ideas but nothing is actually happening in your business to move it forward?

I know the feeling.  This is a very familiar story.

Here’s my story around not taking action?

When I started out I had huge imposter syndrome. I thought, if only I knew more I would feel more comfortable about offering my marketing services.

I spent my days doing all the things above – reading heaps of blogs, trying to upskill, believing my story of inadequacy. 

It wasn’t long before the penny dropped and I realised I needed to actually put myself out there and look for clients.  Let’s face it, without clients there is no service based business 😆

 

Are new to the business game?

You might like to read my post about being self employed.  What I wish I’d known 4 years ago. 

the 7 ways to take action in your business

Here are the 7 ways that I began to take action in my business.  If you can implement a few of these then you’ll be heading towards having a blossoming business in no time:

DO AT LEAST ONE THING EVERY DAY FOR YOUR BUSINESS

If you can committ to this then you’ll be achieving.  Even when life is crazy busy, the kids are being mosnters or they are home sick from school; just do ONE thing and you’ll feel like you’re making progress.

start with baby steps & the rest will follow

Overwhelm can be the one thing that stops you from doing anything.  Take little steps every day and you’ll get there!

break down big goals into small tasks

Definitely write down your BIG goals.  You may have 10 major goals that you want to achieve for your business.  But for each 90 day period (1 quarter), choose 3 of those BIG goals and break them down into smaller tasks so you can get them done.

don’t let fear paralyse you

Are you familar with that quote about watching someone who knows less than you earn more than you just because they had the guts to go for it?  I love the idea that by plunging in and giving it a go, you are at least giving yourself the chance to achieve great things.

There’s a running theme here of breaking things down into bite sized chunks.  So if fear is stopping you from starting, follow the tips and take baby steps to get your business going.

dream big but plan small

Your mindset is what is holding you back.  Dream big, believe in your goals, choose you.   Make it happen by avoiding overwhelm and plan small.

have a plan.  even a rough one.

If you have a trajectory to follow, you will feel like you are achieving things.  Write down your plan and take steps to make your business journey happen.

use a note taking app on your phone

Write everything down as soon as it comes to you.  You can even record your voice to get things noted down.  I use Google Keep.  This allows you to get all your ideas out of your head and start to build a list of tasks.  Then pick 1 and begin.

Please let me know how you overcome not taking action or how you go implementing some of the above ideas.

Have you done these 10 things for your business?

Follow my Blueprint for Business Success to ensure you’ve laid great foundations for your biz.

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Being Self Employed – What I Wish I’d Known Four Years Ago

Did you accidentally enter the world of small business and entrepreneurship like me?  I’m sure some people plan these things but I just thought it would be a good idea to work for myself rather than for someone else without much thought for what it would actually entail. 

I did try working for someone else again when my youngest was 4 years old but it was a disaster.  Like most mums, there were several problems.  Child care was expensive and not somewhere my child enjoyed being.  My husband helped out one day a week but that meant he couldn’t focus on his business.  It bothered me that I couldn’t be at school to watch the kids do their end of term presentations or be there at other important times.  And if I’m honest, I truly felt that I had more to give than being stuck in a position where I wasn’t really appreciated.

So with a bucket load of fake confidence, I embarked on creating my own marketing business without any real clue about what I was doing.  I was very gung-ho and it didn’t take me long to find a few clients but there was lots to learn.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I know I needed to go on my journey to get to where I am today.   However, if I could write myself a letter today imparting all the wisdom that I know now to the me of four years ago; these are the important points I would write.

It takes more than fake confidence!  Mindset is everything and if your mind isn’t telling yourself that you’ve got this then it’s going to take you much longer to get anywhere.  Work on your mindset from day one.

A bit of fake confidence is still required!  I spent far too long worrying that I wasn’t good enough and didn’t know enough.  Don’t forget that you know more than your average client and always keep learning.  That good old saying ‘Fake it till you make it’ is definitely something to hold onto at the beginning.  Signing up to receive emails from someone in your industry that you respect is a great way to educate yourself on latest developments.

Value your worth.  I had no idea what to charge for my marketing services and more importantly what people would pay.   I was so afraid that clients would not use me if was deemed too cheap or if I seemed too expensive!  Value what you do, accept that clients will pay for your knowledge and to relieve them of an activity that they either don’t like doing or don’t have time for.  Charge where it feels comfortable but don’t undervalue yourself.

No comparisons.  Do not compare your journey to anyone else’s.  You cannot compare your step 1 to someone else’s step 20.

Don’t fear competition.  There is plenty of room for everyone at the top and if you put in the consistent work then you will get there.

Networks are vital.  Get yourself along to female business women networking groups and put yourself out there to make connections.  Or book to do a workshop from time to time.  These events always make you feel energised to dive headfirst into your business.

It’s OK to say no if you are not a good fit.  As a service-based business your clients are your bread and butter and when you are starting out you feel like you need to say yes to everyone.  However, it is necessary to work with clients that fit with your values so don’t be afraid to say no. 

I hope the above points help someone who is starting out to rest in the knowledge that there are ways to make life easier when you’re starting out as a solopreneur.  If you can take anything from the above 7 points then you will be on the road to being a successful business owner.

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