The New Year is two days away. I’m excited about some of the things I have planned. I have some exciting new business programs to announce in the next few months, and I’ve started a coaching program for creative entrepreneurs.
As I look ahead, I can see that I have a lot to accomplish, and I need to stay focused to do that. A lot of you know that one of my favorite planning resources is Your Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler, and following her process helps me focus. See the review below.
I wanted to share five tips to keep in mind as you start 2011:
1. Set time for yourself in your calendar. The older I get, the more important I realize that this is. And, I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t take enough time for her or himself. It’s important to find a little time here and there to care for ourselves. We’ll feel happier and stronger inside and this will in turn make us happier and stronger business people. For me, the best way to do this is to make an appointment for self-care in my calendar. One good reference on self-care is The Art of Extreme Self Care by Cheryl Richardson.
2. Set time in your calendar to grow your business. Many of us are solopreuneurs and tend to spend much of our time working in our business when we should be working on our business. Again, the calendar is a great tool. A quarterly business retreat is an option, so is working with a coach. I’ve set time aside to meet on the phone with a Mastermind group.
3. Allow adequate time for marketing. For many, the production is the fun part and the marketing takes a back seat. I’ve had more than one person tell me that she spends two to four times as many hours marketing herself and her product as she does producing the product. Marketing is an ongoing process; you are always marketing. I love this quote from actress Carrie Fisher, “There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.'” This keeps me focused on marketing my product.
4. Keep on top of your financials. I know, most people do not enjoy bookkeeping, and if you can hire someone to take it over, that’s great. But watch your numbers. You need to know what’s coming in and what’s going out. What is your ROI (return on investment) for your activities? Your business can’t grow if you aren’t aware of the financials. The Winter issue of The Professional Quilter will include an article on common mistakes small business owners make with their accounting. Watch for it.
5. Remember why you got into business. For many of us, it was our love of quilting or fiber arts and wanting to share our gifts with other quilters. Sure, we work hard at it, and we are rewarded. When times get tough, step back and remember what got you in the business. Maybe use some of that self-care time to make something for yourself. Another quote I like is from Thomas A. Edison. “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”
Hope these tips get you off to a positive start. Feel free to share your ideas with others here on the blog.
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