It’s pretty overwhelming running a business isn’t it?!?! Like flat out palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, kind of overwhelming.
You’ll be going full steam ahead one minute and the next you’ve lost your inspiration, lost your motivation and lost your drive. And you’re like, what the flip just happened!?
Oh my gosh, I’ve SO been there.
Back in 2012 when I jumped the gun a few years too early and eagerly quit my job to work on my business full-time, all I actually did was bum around.
This was because I’d wake up and immediately dread the idea of sitting down at my computer because I had NO idea what I was doing. It was so hard to stay focused and motivated all the time, and the guilt was even worse! I didn’t know the first place to start. I was completely stuck! I remember thinking, “I just need clarity, and then I can get started.” But it never came, and so I never got started.
But today? Today, thank goodness, I’m nothing like that at all. I taught myself to be proactive and to move past my emotions with practicality. I’ve seen what being stuck, overwhelmed and demotivated does to your business. And trust me, it’s not pretty. 😥
So, after getting your feedback on my previous post 5 Ridiculous Reasons Why I Didn’t Start My Business Sooner, I really got that a lot of you are struggling with this at the moment.
So I decided to create this post for you to help you get back on your feet and back in the game as soon as possible. Here’s the 5 practical steps I use to move past feeling stuck, overwhelmed and demotivated in my business!
1. Map OUT your businesS ON PAPER
This is the easiest thing you could possibly do for your business by getting the blueprint out of your head and onto a piece of paper. You can do this as a brainstorm type of map with your website in the middle of the page and the areas of your business listed around it, or you can download my free simple business map template below.
These are the four core areas you need to focus on to get your business up and running smoothly:
- Branding – website design, core messaging etc..
- Monetization – digital products, affiliate products, sponsored posts, freelancing etc..
- Communication – editorial calendar, newsletters, customer service etc..
- Marketing – social media, list building, traffic generation etc..
In the beginning stages of your business, you only really need to worry about the four core areas listed above, the others will come later but if you focus on these four areas first and get really consistent with them, the next level is going to be a breeze. So get brainstorming on these four areas before you progress any further!
2. List 3 things you need to do EVERY DAY
To-do lists can actually be insanely helpful when you don’t stack them with a ridiculous amount of menial tasks. I’m looking at you perfectionists. How it works is you write down the three main tasks you want to achieve for the next business day. i.e reply to emails, publish post, set up twitter schedule on buffer
When you sit down to work, the focus is to get those three tasks done immediately before anything else. Once they’re done, you can fluff around all you want because you’ve achieved the biggies for the day! But until they’re done, that’s all you focus on. Your three core tasks.
Whenever I skip doing this I ALWAYS flounder around for hours before I can started with my work. But when I get on a good run, I’m super productive and usually finish my work a lot earlier.
3. Work in 15 minute bursts
Sometimes I find it reeeeeeally hard to concentrate on my work. There can be a lot of distractions going on, my mind’s somewhere else or I’ve had too much sugar – which is always – and I just can’t seem to sit still for more than 5 minutes.
To problem solve this, I learned about the idea of working in 15 minute bursts after reading about the Pomodoro Technique and found that it really helped me focus when I struggled to settle down.
First I choose one of my three daily tasks and I set a timer for 15 minutes. I work on that task until the timer rings and then I take a short 5 minute break. After that I repeat the same method until I’ve finished the task.
Once my first task is done, I take a 20 – 30 minute break then repeat the same process with my next task. You can do this all day if you like but I tend to only do it for the three main tasks I have to get done for the day.
4. Use one TAB at a time
The thing about running a business online is that we are susceptible to HUNDREDS of distractions per day. Whether it’s email, Instagram, Pinterest, Pokemon Go, blog stats, cat fail videos or Aunt Mildred’s ’19 Fridays till Christmas’ posts, we always have several things vying for our attention at any given moment.
Part of this we can’t really control as we have limited power over what gets shared in front of us, but there are some aspects we can control, like how many distractions we’ll let in front of our eyeballs.
We’ve seen it time and time again, too many options overwhelm people, and dogs, especially dogs. And this is why when you’re in work mode, you should cut down to the amount of tabs you have open on your browser to one. This will help you stay focused on the task at hand and complete it with minimal distractions. And best of all, once you’ve completed your work, you’re free to open as many tabs as you like! Woohoo!
5. GRAB AN Accountability buddy
My bestie and her sister-in-law decided to become each others accountability partners for their businesses.
And what they do is they catch up once or twice a week and go over their goals for their businesses for the next few days. They then give each other a date and time that their tasks need to be finished by and then they go get on with it.
To check in on each other they use Snapchat to share their progress as well as provide evidence they’re on track. If they’re having trouble getting something finished they’ll talk it out together. This is such a simple and brilliant way to stay accountable and I highly recommend you find an accountability buddy ASAP!
If you’re not sure where to find a buddy, don’t worry I’ve got you covered! I’ve set up an accountability buddy thread in the House of Brazen Community facebook group! Head over there now and add your details! 😉
These are the 5 practical steps I take when I feel stuck in my business, and as you can see they’re not overly difficult. Keeping it hella simple like that takes it from being this big scary overwhelming monster to a 1-2 step process, and that’s enough to move past the overwhelm.
The thing you must not do is sit back and wait for the inspiration to find you again. You’ve got to learn how to move forward with all of those feelings eating away at you, you’ve got to teach yourself to work through adversity, not hide under the covers when it pops up. Because unfortunately this won’t be the last time you go through this, and if every time the smallest amount of overwhelm knocks you down, your business is going to struggle – forever.
I couldn’t be any more certain of how much I believe in you, you have something so special to offer this world, don’t hide behind inaction because of your emotions, by all means feel them, but keep moving forward anyway. I know you can do it.
Now it’s your turn! In the comments below, please share with me:
- What’s got you feeling stuck in your biz & how you’re going to overcome it.
- Your tips for moving past the feelings of being stuck, overwhelmed and demotivated.