Before You Go

Checklists

Don't forget to grab the checklists I use in my own business and tweak them to your needs!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Creativity Running Low? Change Things Around By Doing This

Twyla Tharp, renowned choreographer of over 160 works and winner of two Emmy awards, does not wake up every day hoping that inspiration knocks on her door. How does she consistently create art that resonates? She wakes up at 5 AM, goes to the gym, and then to her studio as if on autopilot. Twyla, like many people who have become experts in their chosen fields, follows a routine and has reframed creativity from being an ethereal entity into a habit. As an entrepreneur, it’s rare that your days ever look the same. You’re constantly navigating incoming email, making decisions, and helping your clients create results. So how you can possibly have the bandwidth to be creative without running off to a cabin in the woods? The secret is in intentional(!) systems. When you create structure for yourself through repetition and habits, you create shortcuts that gift you the space you were looking for all along. Four Habits to Help You Create More Space = Be More Creative Habit 1: Stick to the guidelines you created for your clients Instead of having to constantly make exceptions for clients and end up providing services that weren’t originally agreed upon, create guidelines so they understand from the start what working with you looks like and what they can expect. Once you have guidelines, like a welcome packet that clearly lays out all of the necessary information, get into the habit of sticking to them. By giving your clients a structure to work within and showing that you’re serious about your boundaries, you save yourself headache and energy, which can be used...

10 Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out from the Crowd

Did you know that in 2013 there were an estimated 152 million blogs? Or that WordPress estimates that around 2.7 million blog posts are written every day? While all of those blogs and blog posts may not be used as marketing for small businesses, that’s still a lot of people attempting to get their ideas out into the world and be heard. No matter what industry you’re in, you know that it only takes a quick Google search to see that you’re not the only one teaching what you teach. However, you also know that you don’t run your business to serve every single person, and that in this new online era personality is just as important as the solutions you provide. So what can you do to be a “purple cow” in your industry, as Seth Godin recommends? Here are ten areas that you can emphasize to show your potential clients and readers how you’re different while still staying authentic to who you are. 10 Elements That Make Your Business Unique 1.  Your Journey and Your Story Depending on the space that you’re in, you may hear similar origin stories for business coaches or freelancers, so you may be wondering how the story of being unhappy at a job and then starting a business is unique. The truth is that your journey is so much more than a simple origin story. Your culture, your family, your beliefs and even your accent inform how you deliver information and helps your ideal client connect with you. When you intentionally weave your story into your marketing and your services, you create...

Create Systems That Reflect Your Personality and Business Needs

If you want to have a business that you love running, creating systems is a must.  Systems help you do less busy work and more of the work that matters to you. However, no two businesses are alike when it comes to which systems to create. This is great news because it means you don’t have to force your business into systems that don’t work for your personality or your business’s demands. What’s more, when done right, they can help your business stand out from the rest of your industry. (Want to know what else makes your business unique?  Get the free mini-guide “10 Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out from the Crowd” when you register for Your Business Blueprint training). So how do you decide which systems are best for your business? Three Areas to Evaluate When Creating Systems 1.  Your “Quiet Power” Business strategist, Tara Gentile, has a concept called “quiet power,” which is essentially what makes you unique. When you use that power to organically create your systems, they become more in line with your personality and more effective for your clients. Let’s take client intake (onboarding) system, for example. Victoria Prozan, a creativity coach, understands her creative process and is conscious of how to produce results that brand courses, offerings, or services. She takes advantage of her quiet power in this area by modeling her client-intake process in a way similar  to what she would do when attempting to find a creative solution. This has opened up new possibilities and solutions that her clients would have never achieved on their own, and it’s an...

4 Ways to Be Creative with IFTTT

Imagine if you could update all of your social media channels, keep tabs on what your competitors are up to, keep your content organized, and make sure you don’t spend hours looking for information buried in your Inbox? IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a tool that has the power to do all of that almost automatically once you set up key “recipes,” or processes, that you want to happen. While IFTTT can’t do all of the work for you, it does set a brilliant foundation for you to do the things that you know will move your business forward. It exists to help you be more productive so you can make the most out of the time you have each day. Creative Recipes to Run and Grow Your Business  1. Build relationships If you want to get on the radar of the influencers or consistently keep in touch with the people who you want to build relationships with, you can use IFTTT in a few ways: Twitter to Google Drive: Using this recipe, you can have tweets that you’ve favorited added to a spreadsheet on Google Drive, so that in the future you can personalize your message to those people. Google Calendar to Facebook: Allows you to automate wishing friends a happy birthday on Facebook.  (And, yes, it’s best if you follow up with a personal note). Gmail to Twitter: Thank someone for following you on Twitter. When you automate these processes using IFTTT, you can build relationships in a more systematic and organized way. However, note that while you can automate certain aspects, meaningful relationships will require you to be...

5 Bad Habits You’ve Got to Break in Your Business

How many times have you read an e-mail and decided to  answer it later only to find it unanswered in your Inbox 2 weeks later? Or what about the times that you had a great idea, wrote it down on a slip of paper on your desk and it got lost or forgot within  a few days? When we’re new to running a business, mistakes like that can easily turn into bad habits. While they may not seem like much at first, over the long term, these small bad habits build up into giant pains that can affect your revenue, your energy, and ultimately, your happiness with your business. 5 Common Bad Habits that Are Costing You Time and Money The good news is that these bad habits have much simpler solutions than you would think.   Bad Habit #1: NOT writing down your ideas in one place Solution: Create a hub for your ideas You sit down to write a blog post, realize you don’t know what to write about and one hour later you look up from the screen after falling down the rabbit hole that is Facebook. Whether it’s social media, e-mail, or reading other people’s’ articles, we will always find a way to avoid the discomfort of not knowing what to do. Instead of constantly battling with not knowing where to start, you can put an end to this madness by creating a hub for your ideas. There are myriad tools that can help you with that, but here are two that are great for small businesses. Use Evernote: Create a Stack in Evernote titled...

It’s Easier Than You Think

What do you absolutely need to focus on if you’re serious about growing your business? Marketing and sales?  Social media?  Customer service? Actually, growth depends on something else. . .something you might not have realized or might be avoiding. You’ve got to create systems—predetermined procedures for getting stuff done. Systematizing can seem like the least of your worries.  After all, as an entrepreneur, there’s always something else to do, another priority that has to be taken care of pronto. It’s true. Documenting your workflows can wait. . .until one day everything collapses. Without systems, one minor mishap—a missed deadline or appointment—can cause a disastrous chain reaction that disrupts your entire schedule, forces you to fall behind on projects for other clients, and messes up the work flow with team members. Crises will happen, but when you have systems in place, you can resolve them quickly so they don’t affect your entire business. 3 Reasons Systematizing Belongs on Your Urgent List #1  Systems give you peace of mind As a solopreneur, you have to manage every area of your business—marketing, growing your client base, keeping track of projects, and billing. The world of a small business is huge. Without systems in place, it’s impossible to preserve sanity. #2  Systems facilitate delegation Delegating is a major problem for many entrepreneurs, especially when we’re already overwhelmed with projects and don’t have time to explain all the little intricacies. Proactively documenting business processes is invaluable. Once you have those descriptions, all you need to do is send your assistant to the relevant page. #3  Systems create velocity Systems are often viewed as constraining...