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5 Goal-Setting Mistakes To Avoid

5 Goal-Setting Mistakes To Avoid

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I want to share with you 5 common mistakes we often make when it comes to setting goals for our business (or our life!). I share these in the hope that they’ll help you as you think about your own business + life goals for next year. 

1. An absence of strategy

If you operate anything like I used to, around this time of year you may well be starting to think about all the things you’d like to achieve in your life and business next year. Before I came up with my own approach, I did this too.

Over the years, I tried all the business planning tools I could get my hands on (paid and free). Planners, goal-setting workshops, you name it I tried it. What I noticed, was that all of the guidance I was finding on business planning only ever seemed to talk about goals.

As someone who ran the business planning process for a former employer back in my project management career, I’ve been well aware for some time that goals (or targets) are just the way in which we state what we hope to get done in a period of time, but how we decide what needs to get done or how those things are actually going to get done is a whole other piece of work.

This is where we need to consider our big picture. The overall objective of our business for the year. This will differ greatly depending on your particular business and where you are at on the business growth journey. For some it might include streamlining your business model, whereas for another business it might be to expand your product range. I’ve had clients whose overall objective was to double their income whereas for others it was to maintain the income level they currently have. Once we know what we are trying to achieve, we can then set our priorities strategically and only then look at setting goals in service to those priorities.

2. Setting waaay too many goals 

Nearly every conversation I ever have with a business owner about their goals for the coming year, results in me telling them they are trying to take on too much. I don’t think I’ve ever had to tell someone that they should set more goals. 

Any of my clients will tell you that I often quote Bill Gates on this one: 

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

Having been working for myself now for over a decade and having been the person setting the agenda for my own workload, I speak with experience when I say that we can usually achieve far less than we set out to at the beginning of the year. Why? Well overestimating what’s possible is one reason and also because we suffer from a fear of missing out. Many business owners suffer from shiny object syndrome and look at what other business owners are doing and feel pulled to try something similar. 

For this reason, it’s hard for most people to choose just 1 or 2 key priorities to work on because there’s so much they want to do. But when we fail to focus and set ourselves too many goals, we inevitably fail in more areas than we would if, instead, we focused our efforts.

Personally, I’d much rather focus on 1 or 2 things. That way I can get those accomplished more quickly and create more space for the next thing, rather than overwhelm myself with a huge set of goals, many of which I’ll do some work on, but few, if any, I’ll be able to complete. 

3. Setting unrealistic goals 

I fell foul to this so many times in my early years in business. Undoubtedly swayed by all the noise in the online business world, I bought into the idea that I could make 6 figures in a short amount of time or go viral overnight with a winning piece of content. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m always the first to say that anything is possible and there are always exceptions, but in my experience, making big numbers fast, whether that be in income, sign ups or audience growth, rarely happens in a way that is authentic, ethical or sustainable over the long-term.

Setting goals we are unlikely to achieve can also cause damage to our mindset and motivation. Many of us know, only too well, the disappointment that comes from failing to achieve our goals time and time again.

I used to wish for exponential results but these days my goals are rooted in sustainable and steady growth, “Slow and steady wins the race” is one of my favourite business mantras! 

I also base my future goals on past experience. I’ve taken the time to track my annual income over the years and can tell you exactly what my percentage increase in revenue has been year on year since 2017, what my average percentage growth has been over the last 6 years and therefore, what percentage my income and sales are likely to increase over the next year. Arming myself with this knowledge, gives me confidence in the financial business goals I set myself. 

4. Not sharing your goals with anyone 

You might have done this — set goals but not told anyone what they are, so that should you fail you don’t lose face. Whilst you might never have to deal with the shame of having to admit you failed, you also miss out on the power of accountability. Knowing that people know what we are planning to do, can actually be a strong motivator when it comes to following through on our goals.

I’ve definitely used this to my advantage over the years. I remember back when I started my first blog, I set myself some huge and scary life goals, one of which was to quit, not just my job, but my entire career to travel the world and create a new more fulfilling and rewarding career as a coach. I genuinely don’t think I would have achieved half the goals I did during that period of my life, if I hadn’t been talking about them every week on my blog. 

I’m not saying you have to share your goals all over the internet but sharing them with your partner, friend, business buddy or even your business audience can really help some people to dig deep when it inevitably gets hard to take action. 

5. Not creating systems for your goals

This one has been huge for me. When I first learnt of this idea from George Kao, it blew my mind. George has this to say:

“The more you focus on the specifics of the goal, the more you become attached to how it must turn out.

If the end result doesn’t happen in the way you visualized — or in the timeline you expected — it can deal a blow to your self-identity, and erode your sense of self-empowerment.

I prefer to look at goals in a different, perhaps healthier way:

I focus on my systems — my daily processes — rather than my goals. “

So what does a focus on systems actually look like?

Well, let’s consider the goal of getting 100 new subscribers to your list. Most business plans would leave it there but creating a system for this goal might look like this:

Every other week on Friday afternoons, I will preview my Monday newsletter, by posting on my Facebook page what next week’s newsletter is all about along with a subscribe link for people who want to be sure to receive it. 

Even better, you would then schedule this activity into your calendar and focus on following through with the system rather than the 100 new subscribers goal. 

So there you have it, 5 goal-setting mistakes to avoid and what to do instead for a better chance of success with your plans next year. I’m curious, were these helpful? If so, please hit reply and let me know what your biggest insight was.

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Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

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When It’s Time To Recycle In Your Business

When It’s Time To Recycle In Your Business

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”
~ Fred Rogers

I want to talk to you about recycling in your business. What it is, why it’s important and when it might be time to start recycling in yours.

My word of the year has been EASE for the past two years. One of the overarching goals of my business at all times is:

To make more money, doing less work, without sacrificing impact.

This is something that guides the many business decisions I take and recycling is a huge part of this for me.

What do I mean by recycling?

I basically mean reusing things that you have already created in your business to achieve further growth.

I also refer to this as repurposing. Some examples include:

  • Re-sharing content on different platforms or in different formats. For example, turning a long-form blog post like this one into a carousel like this one on Instagram.
  • Taking something you’ve created for one purpose and recycling it to use for something else. For example, I’ve taken classes that I’ve taught to my Conscious Business Mastermind and recycled them into paid for workshops to my larger audience or used them for presentations in a colleague’s membership.
  • Taking a class that you’ve taught and turning it into an interactive free (or paid) challenge or vice versa — taking a challenge you’ve created and turning it into a paid offering.

Why is it important to recycle?

 As conscious folks, we wouldn’t think twice about recycling our waste for the sake of the planet. Being mindful about resources and recycling where possible is a given for many of my clients, yet when it comes to business and our own precious resources like time and energy, we’re far more laid back.

It takes time to create content and the longer you’ve been in business the more content and resources you will undoubtedly have created. Something I see often is people pouring their heart and soul into creating something wonderful for their audience or customers and then never using that creation again.

Perhaps you’ve written a ton of blog posts, that largely sit there, unread because you barely get any visitors to your website. Perhaps you spent hours and days creating an amazing free challenge for your community but once completed, it is never looked at again.

If you’re anything like me, you might be sat on a goldmine of resources that could be recycled into fresh content, workshops, classes, ebooks and countless other possible products.

Despite this, for some reason, we’d often rather spend twice as long creating something new than taking something that already exists and recycling it to make the most of the time and energy you’ve already invested.

I’m not sure why we do this. Perhaps it’s because we feel we should always be creating something new lest our audience think we’re not working hard enough. Perhaps it’s because we think that we only deserve financial rewards if we’re working really hard. It could also be boredom and our propensity to veer towards new and shiny rather than old and dusty!

Regardless of the reason, I do believe we have a propensity to look ahead and leave behind things from the past, even if they still hold value for us and our audience.

Recycling, however, allows our time and energy to be put to best use. It also allows our audience to go deep with our work rather than hear something once, never to hear of it again. It’s a way to create ease in your business without reducing impact and can often mean a much-needed boost in income.

Time to recycle

If you’re brand new in business then you might not have much to recycle but if you’ve been at this for a few years then you might be surprised by how much you do have that with a little time and effort could be repurposed and used to benefit not only your audience but also your bottom line.

In just four and half years, I created 116 blog posts, ran 4 free challenges and delivered well over 20 workshops and classes. Some of these I’ve repurposed or recycled, many I haven’t. I know that with a little thought and effort, there’s a ton of “new” things I could create with this old content.

I could launch new and improved workshops and generate a welcome boost to my income.

I could collate many of my articles and turn them into a book about conscious business.

I could run many of my smaller classes into longer, more in depth deep dive group programs.

I could turn free content into paid content.

The possibilities are endless. Which is why sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in indecision and overwhelm.

Can you relate?

If you are sat on an archive of content, here’s what I recommend:

Step 1. Create a place (ideally online, ideally a spreadsheet) to pull together in one place a full list of all the content you have created.

Step 2. Review your content. Now you don’t necessarily have to read every single piece of content or rewatch every single video. But review the titles and reacquaint yourself with the body of work you have created.

Step 3. Dive deeper into the pieces that excite you. As you review there will be pieces of content that you had forgotten you even created, that you feel a surge of excitement about or simply a pull to revisit. Go deep with those pieces, read them, if it’s a video of a class, watch it. And as you do think of ways to improve and recycle it for your audience.

Step 4. Can you turn it into a paid product? Could it bring in a boost of income this month or next? If the answer is yes, then go for it. And please let me know how you get on.

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

The One Thing I Can’t Teach You About Business

The One Thing I Can’t Teach You About Business

“Life is a balance between what we can control and what we cannot. I am learning to live between effort and surrender.”
~ Danielle Orner

In this blog, I want to talk about the one thing I can’t teach you in relation to growing a sustainable business.

Let me start by sharing what I can teach you.

I can teach you what to do in your business to bring about more growth. A huge part of how you apply this is, however, out of my control.

The part I can’t teach you about achieving business success is how to feel in your business.

Let me break down what I mean by how to feel in your business.

I’m talking about a few things, the energy you bring to your work, your attitude, the intentions you set (consciously or not), the mindset you have and so much more. It’s the intangible part of running a business and as many of you (as coaches and healers) will know, it’s what makes the difference between getting the results we desire and not getting them.

This is precisely why I never promise results in my marketing and why you shouldn’t trust anyone who does.

It’s why I could work with two clients and teach them the exact same strategies and whilst client A will succeed, client B won’t gain any traction.

How a person feels and shows up in their business has a HUGE bearing on how well they will do in business.

Now whilst this isn’t something I teach primarily, I do cover this in my work with clients. Not as extensively as a Mindset Coach or healer might, but it’s impossible not to come up against this when trying to apply business strategy.

Allow me to share some of what I’ve learned in this area over the past 10 years of working for myself and coaching hundreds of clients.

Your energy is everything.

One of the biggest issues I see when it comes to business is the energy the business owner brings to the work. In the early days of business when money and clients aren’t yet flowing, it can be easy to fall into a “grasping” energy. This is when you might feel so desperate to get the next client that as you put out your content and marketing and connect with potential clients, you unwittingly give off a desperate and grasping energy.

This is where I lose people sometimes because it’s a bit woo. But stay with me.

In my world energy is everything. It’s not something we can see or touch but it’s why you can get a bad or a good feeling about someone you’ve just met.

It’s how I chose the construction company for our house reno. Despite not having the biggest team or the most experience, the head builder we went with has good energy and I felt it the moment I met him. Within minutes of speaking with him (even in a second language!) I instantly knew that he would care for our home just as he would his own. It wasn’t anything he said, I could just feel it. And I was right, he’s been hands down the best part of this whole process. This is what I mean when I talk about energy.

Sometimes if we’re not careful and we’re not feeling especially confident about our work we can put out an energy that feels off. That’s why when we show up to our work desperate to get the next client, we may be subconsciously sabotaging our strategic efforts.

Something my first business coach taught me when doing gift sessions, was that whilst I might need a new client, I didn’t necessarily need this particular person to become that next client, allowing me to release all neediness and simply focus on being of service.

You may have experienced this, perhaps you’ve done a discovery call or gift session with someone and they expressed some interest in potentially working with you, but then they go quiet, as a result, you obsess over them, checking your email constantly to see if they’ve been in touch, counting the hours or days until you can message them again just to “check in” or follow up.

Even if you don’t actually tell the other person that you desperately want them to become your next client, your energy may well be sending that message. Nobody wants to hire a needy practitioner, so this is a really important one to watch out for.

Your attitude matters.

What’s your attitude like around business? Do you have a good attitude about the work or a bad one? I’m aware that terms like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are crude, but bear with me.

If you constantly sit down to your work with an internal narrative that says: this will never work, this is hopeless or when creating content to market yourself, continuously hear a voice muttering what’s the point, no one is ever going to read this, then it follows that you’re going to have problems.

A negative attitude permeates everything (not least your energy!). When we feel and think negatively about our business, our subconscious looks for evidence to prove our point of view.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to tell you to suck it up and think positively and all will be well, but I have found that the more I focus on the positive, the more I feel grateful for the small wins, the better I feel and the clearer my energy is for my work.

This undoubtedly helps me to make better connections with potential clients, spot more opportunities for collaborations and just makes me a nicer person to be around.

The mindset piece.

Closely linked to attitude but not quite the same. Mindset for me falls into one of two camps. We usually operate from a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. I’ve written a whole piece about this before which you can read here.

To illustrate the point, I’ll use the words of Carol Dweck, Author of the book Mindset:

“When we have a “growth mindset,” we believe that our intelligence, creative abilities, and character are things that we can improve in meaningful ways. We can always learn and get better at what we do.”

By contrast, a fixed mindset describes people “who believe their intelligence, talents and personalities are fixed traits that cannot grow. They believe we are born with a certain level of ability (or special skills) and we are unable to improve our level abilities over time.” (From the Big Life Journal)

If you have a fixed mindset when it comes to your business skills, you will inevitably miss out on the many opportunities there are to improve your skills.

I hear people talking from a fixed mindset all the time. Often using sentences that start with the words “I’m just not someone who can…” and ending with things like: create content on demand, stick to a schedule, use spreadsheets, get to grips with technology, write web copy and so on and so on.

If you can shift from a fixed to a growth mindset, I have no doubt that it will benefit your business immensely.

Check your intention.

Something I see often is people getting tripped up by the intentions they hold as they put their work out into the world. In my work, I talk a lot about holding an intention to serve because I believe that when people feel truly served, they are more likely to buy from you. I also love this intention because for myself, and the types of business owners I work with, being of service is the main reason we’re doing this!

However, due to the need to make money sometimes this intention can get muddied. When we sit down to write a piece of content, rather than hold the intention that what we create truly helps our audience to overcome their struggles, we write from a place of hoping it makes them want to work with us or that it gets enough ‘likes’.

Or when we offer a gift session to someone, rather than holding the intention to serve and come from a place of generosity, we fall into the trap of focusing on the outcome of making the sale.

Of course, this is all perfectly natural and you’ll find no judgement here.

Holding an intention to serve has been a practice for me since day one. In the early days of my business when I was just starting out as a coach and it was easy to get caught up in wanting to impress the other person or come across as a good coach, I used to meditate before sessions so that I could get my ego out of the way just long enough to make my intention about the other person and not about me! My best sessions were always when I forgot about my “performance”.

How to improve how we feel in our business.

Having shared a few of the places that how we feel can derail our strategic efforts, I feel a bit bad about not giving you my best advice on how to work on this side of things, but here’s the issue.

There is no one way to improve how we feel about our business.

Personally, my journey with this has been long and complex. Over the years I’ve seen a myriad of therapists, coaches and healers.

Lately with all the external “stuff” going on in my world, feeling good both inside and outside of my business has been hard.

When this happens to me, I don’t hesitate to call in support. I book sessions with my most trusted healers, Laura Perkins and Megan Caper, I use my EFT sessions with Liesel Teversham to work on what’s coming up for me.

I lean on my favourite mindfulness practices like morning pages and taking walks in nature and most recently I jumped at the opportunity to get a customised flower essence made for me by the wonderfulTracy O’Meara Smith | Holistic Therapist.

I’m aware that not everyone might have the resources to hire help but that needn’t stop you. Some of the resources I mentioned above have come about from exchanges, i.e. swapping my business coaching skills in exchange for someone else’s skills.

In short, I do what I can to get back to a place of feeling centred and grounded and good in my mind, body and spirit. The effect this has on my bottom line is undeniable.

Your journey might look totally different, as it should do.

The point I’m trying to make here is that you can’t build a sustainable business without spending some time on the emotional and spiritual side of doing so.

I hope what I’ve shared here is useful to you, let me know what comes up for you in the comments.

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

Is It Time to Consider the Big Picture of Your Life + Business?

Is It Time to Consider the Big Picture of Your Life + Business?

We are well into September and it’s precisely this time of year, as we near the end of quarter 3 and the start of 4, that I like to check in with my life and business to see if I’m on track to have the year I set out to have and more importantly to make sure that I am living the life, I want to live.

There are a few reasons I like to do this now. Firstly, the back-to-school vibe that’s in the air gives me renewed energy and excitement for the season ahead and also let’s be honest, trying to do our reviewing and planning in December (along with the holidays and all the stress that can bring) is sort of bonkers.

Instead, starting in September, I like to take my time and spend an hour here and there, looking at the big picture of my life and business with plenty of time before the holiday season hits. That way, when the year ends, writing up my goals and business plan for the year ahead is a pretty quick and simple task.

As I do this work, I thought it might be helpful to share with you what I’ve been up to.

Reviewing my offerings 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reviewing my business model and contemplating what, if any, new products and services I might want to birth in 2023. I also look at which products or services I may want to retire. 

I’ve already closed down my Back to Basics monthly subscription, to make space for new things I want to do next year. It’s always hard to let go of offerings you have created, especially when they’re bringing in money and have paying customers, but I learned many years ago that if I want to call in my true heart’s desires, I have to be willing to make space by letting go of that which no longer serves me. 

What has informed my thinking here is looking at my business model to figure out what makes most sense from a sustainability point of view. That means looking at my offerings from the point of view of how much time and effort they take versus the income they bring. If the former greatly exceeds the latter or I know that for the same amount of time, I could bring in more, I know that it’s time to make a change.

Tracking my finances

I track and review my finances on a monthly basis because I believe that, like anything, our finances thrive when we give them our loving attention and whither when we bury our head in the sand and pretend like they don’t exist.

Around this time of year, I can safely estimate what my end of year income and expenses will be. This helps me to set future financial goals that are rooted in reality rather than setting pie in the sky targets that I inevitably never reach.

Armed with this knowledge, I can do the maths to figure out what I want to make next year and how many of each of my products and services I would need to sell to make that happen.

Loosely thinking about my vision and goals for 2023 

I’ve also been giving myself permission to tap into my goals and dreams for 2023. Not just business but generally. Asking myself questions like: where do I see myself and my family next year? What are my priorities? What didn’t work this year that I would like to change? 

As I start to gently consider how I want my business to run next year, I can’t help but consider the life I want to live. That includes things like the number of hours I want to work each day and the number of days I want to work each week. How many holidays do I want to have a year and how much time do I need for my personal hobbies and fitness activities?

Given that I’ve been doing this kind of reflection for years, my business model is pretty well set up for having a healthy work life balance. However, it is very reliant on my 1:1 coaching practice, something that I’m giving more and more thought to is how to reduce my reliance on my 1:1 income and start bringing in more solid revenue from group offerings and digital products, thus allowing me to make more per hour of my time.  

Resistant to planning? 

I love doing this kind of thinking and nothing gets me more excited than a fresh page in a notebook and the intention to make new plans. I do know, however, that not everyone shares my same passion for planning.

With this in mind, if you are someone who typically avoids planning, I would encourage you at the very least to spend some time tapping into what isn’t working for you right now and what needs to change as well as what has worked well over the course of the year and how you can best make the most of that going forward.

Above all I would suggest that you give yourself permission to dream. I truly believe that we are all powerful creators and that when we put our minds to whatever it is that we want to create, magic happens.

Over the next few months I’ll be running several workshops on Creating a Sustainable Business model plus a 2-part Business Review and Planning Workshop. To receive dates and registration details, be sure to subscribe to my Soulful Strategies Weekly here.   

 

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

Balance Work Life

Balance Work Life

“Life is a balance between what we can control and what we cannot. I am learning to live between effort and surrender.”
~ Danielle Orner

 

In this blog, I share with you my thoughts on work/life balance and a few practical strategies to better manage your business when life seemingly gets in the way.

Let me begin by sharing something I heard many years ago from Danielle Laporte.

Balance is a myth.

I remember being struck by those words and whilst I don’t remember everything she said on the topic I remember feeling the truth of those 4 words deep in my bones.

The idea here is that we don’t get to a place where work and life are perfectly balanced, without one taking up more space than the other. Instead the balance tips in favour of one or the other at different points in time. Allow me to explain. If you are sick or need to take care of a sick loved one, then for sure life is going to take priority. It has to.

If all is well on the personal front and we’re in the middle of a big launch in our business, then the scales are going to tip on the side of business for a while. That’s inevitable.

The liberating key here is to acknowledge that. To understand that the balance we often strive for is a myth. That then frees us up to figure out how to better manage things when the scales are tipped one way vs the other. I.e. how do we not drop all the balls on our business when life is feeling full on? And how do we not lose ourselves in our work when business is full on?

I can’t claim to have all the answers here, but for what they are worth, here are my thoughts for how to stay connected with your work when life is fighting for your attention.

Manage your expectations

Whilst on a call with a fellow business owner whose Dad has been seriously ill and who is herself recovering from a second bout of Covid, she shared that she hadn’t been feeling the ability to create content lately, which has never happened before and was asking how she might get her inspiration back. When I reminded her how much she is dealing with on a personal level and how normal it is therefore that she isn’t feeling creative, she broke down in tears.

I see some version of this all the time.

We don’t acknowledge what is going on for us and then on top of everything we might already be dealing with on a personal level, we have unreasonable expectations of ourselves to keep on keeping on. When we can truly acknowledge that our capacity for work may be limited, we’re better able to do the bare minimum than when we try to carry on at full capacity, which just adds more weight to an already unbearably heavy load.

On this same call, I was asked what I wanted to commit to for the next two weeks and without missing a beat I said: maintaining my business until our house renovation is complete. That means nothing extra, no big launches, no working on new things, no bold moves, or big steps. As boring and as safe as it might sound, my only job for the next month is to stick to my content schedule and serve my existing clients.

Even though that is more than enough, there still was a voice that whispered but you should be doing more.

It’s so important to be aware of that voice and to gently and respectively ignore her.

 Plan ahead

This one is a work in progress for me but making the most of the extra time I have in my business when things are quiet on the personal front is key to feeling less stressed when life gets busy or challenging.

That means that when I know I’ll be taking time off for a planned holiday, I can, for example, work a bit harder in advance to prepare content to be scheduled in my absence.

Much like it was in my old corporate life when I knew I had to take leave, there would also be a little bit of intensity ahead of the break, getting things set up for when I wouldn’t be there or handing stuff over to colleagues.

This doesn’t necessarily help when unexpected things happen like sudden sickness, but if you can endeavour to get ahead of yourself in for example your content creation, then you’ll have some leeway to work with when you suddenly find yourself busy with personal things. The trick is to be more productive when the space is there to do it so that you can step back when you need to, without dropping your business essentials.

Get help

Even though most of us work solo in our business that doesn’t mean we can’t recruit others to help take up the slack when we need to take a step back. There are several things you can do to find cover for while you are away that doesn’t require too much work up front for you.

You might, for example, invite a colleague to do a content takeover for your newsletter. This is something I’ve done for my dear colleague Eli Trier in the past. When she was busy getting married, she invited two or three of her most trusted colleagues to come in and write a newsletter on a topic relevant to her audience that she could schedule to go out while she was busy with her wedding. It was great for us as we got the opportunity to be exposed to a new group of people and could share links to our business and therefore get new followers and it was great for Eli, who had three weeks of quality newsletters she didn’t have to write or pre-prepare.

You can even do this with services. Years ago when I was on maternity leave with my first son, I was running a women’s circle with weekly calls. I invited 3 of my dearest colleagues to host calls in my absence and it was great, my women really appreciated that the calls continued while I was away bonding with my baby and my colleagues loved the opportunity to host a group call and share their skills.

And inside my mastermind program, I had a week off and had to miss one of the group calls, instead of cancelling it, I invited one of the amazing women inside the program to test out her new workshop on her fellow mastermind participants, meaning that the women benefited from her wisdom and she was able to get some validation and feedback on her new workshop. So it was a win win, with no extra work from me.

Give yourself grace

Always important but specifically relevant for those times when planning and calling in help just isn’t viable, it’s important to give yourself some grace when navigating difficult personal issues like illness, death of a loved one, birth of a child, children home from school, moving house (or house renovations!!) and all other big life events that inevitably mean our work has to take a back seat.

We would never be hard on a friend or valued colleague during times like these and would find it super easy to show empathy, understanding and love to someone else in this situation. Why then is it so hard for us to extend this kindness to ourselves?

Next time you find yourself in a situation where you’re dealing with some big personal life issues and catch yourself being hard on yourself about work, remember to show yourself some compassion. All being hard on ourselves does is make things even harder. In my experience, the more you’re able to lean into self-compassion, the sooner you’ll be ready to get back to doing what you can.

And there you have it, three things you can do to survive in business when your personal life is a struggle. Is there anything you’d add to this list? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

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