I’ve been sharing all about how to create momentum in your business over on my Instagram this week.
There are many ways to consider momentum. It could be a ‘winning streak’ or forward motion. It could be about creation and the new, for me it’s about seeing sustained growth. Whether you are thinking personally or professionally good momentum can really help you see results.
Momentum is great because (for the most part) it’s self energising. The more momentum you have, the more momentum you will get. What’s more this is incredibly motivating and we all know that the more motivated you are the more opportunities will come your way.
Here are my favourite ways to create momentum in your business (and get results)
Want to create momentum in your business? Start with a plan
Having a business plan doesn’t have to be stuffy and stifling, in fact, this can be an incredibly fun and energising process. Think of your plan as choosing which direction to set off in along with your intended route set out. If you don’t have a plan (and most small businesses that start with little prior experience don’t) you could find yourself feeling easily distracted and unable to really get off the starting blocks.
It’s a proven neuro-scientific fact that writing something down means you’re 42% more likely to achieve it. I liked this article by Mark Murphy where he explains it further.
Take that one step further and start setting some goals
I love to write about setting goals (check out this post on why it’s important). If you’ve been around and reading blogs for any length of time from coaches, mentors and business experts you will likely have heard of SMART goals.
SMART goals are:
Goals that are clear and well defined
Goals where progress can be measured
Goals that it is possible to achieve (not something like winning the lottery)
Goals that are in alignment with your plan and vision for your business
Goals that have a period of time in which they should be attained
Setting goals should work alongside your plan, they are useful for two reasons. One because they are designed to move you forward and two because whilst you’re ‘grinding’ you can feel satisfied that you are well on your way.
Okay, I’m saying it…Mindset!
Yes, it’s a real buzzword at the moment and no, having a good mindset doesn’t fix everything. Having a positive, can do mindset and surrounding yourself with people who have the same can work wonders.
When you work with a positive frame of mind with like minded people you will find that you are less likely to succumb to fear and cynicism about your abilities. The way you think will empower you and your business. It affects your thinking, your energy and your patterns of behaviour (hello, ever wondered why that friend of yours has set up so many MLMs on your facebook but never really stuck it out?)
If this is a struggle for you, I suggest putting pen to paper and writing down all the negative thoughts you have about why it wont work. These are called limiting beliefs and if you know they’re there you can work to unlearn them, take proactive action or overcome the entirely.
Oh what a fickle, instant gratification based world we live in. You will have no idea how much that rings true for you until you start your own venture. Staying focused on the end goal is tough. Especially when things are slow or hard or both.
Don’t forget that there is no such thing as an overnight success. Not really, years go into building a business behind the scenes. Maybe it’s in the training and up skilling. Maybe it’s in the networking and the knock backs (Let’s think of Samuel L Jackson who we feel has been on our screens and at the pinnacle of his career forever. He didn’t even get his first big movie roll until he was 45 years old. And we all know about Harry Potter being refused by at least 12 publishers before JK Rowling got a deal)
So here’s the thing. Focus is hard, it’s a little bit planning, a little bit obsession with your dream and it’s a whole hell of a lot of not giving up. If you can start building your focus muscles in baby steps it will serve you well.
Patting yourself on the back can help create momentum in your business
You should absolutely make sure you enjoy and feel good about all the wins big or small as you progress. Maybe it will be buying something you need or want. Maybe it will be finiding work early and taking the weekend off to sit in the garden. Its all about appreciating the hard work you do.
If you do all these things, you will start to see more momentum in your business but the key to everything is consistency. Do it consistently and one day you’ll realise you’re where you’d hoped you’d be.
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I’ve been working from home for a while and it is truly my favourite way to work. But, I would be lying if I didn’t say that there are working from home challenges to consider.
I love many things about my day now, there is no commute (1 hour to drive 6 miles is not my idea of fun!). I’m my own boss too so no unreasonable behaviour from someone on a power trip. I pick what time I have lunch and I get to move around more. But, it’s not all easy, there are some challenges that come with working from home too.
It’s of note that some of the benefits of working from home have been reported as being:
Using my own experience, conversations with friends and family and of course the many statistics and reports there is a clear pattern of the biggest issues. Here they are:
Not switching off, the great working from home challenge
Surprisingly to me many people I know who had to work from home hadn’t been allowed to before. Convinced they would become lazy or slack off, bosses were reluctant to allow it.
Interestingly, the opposite seems to be true. With many businesses noting an increase in productivity and it seems that remote workers not only boss the workload, they in fact seem to overwork too.
When your office is just in the other room it can be hard to switch off. There is no definitive line, no physical difference between work time and home time and this can become a problem and lead to burnout.
What you can do to avoid overworking
Take regular breaks (schedule them if necessary by setting alarms or reminders)
Physically leave the house at the end of your day. Going for a walk after you’ve finished can help create a boundary
Make plans with your friends or family (even if it is a Zoom call)
Have a separate workspace if you can
Do not check work emails/texts on your phone out of hours
I consider myself an introvert and though this makes working from home a glorious thing it can mean I find it difficult, awkward or uncomfortable to reach out without reason. Whereas in an office environment you may find it more ‘natural’ to come upon a conversation oftentimes, working from home means you need to start that chat.
If not you may feel disconnected from any others that you’re working with. Your team, boss, staff or even clients.
Here is my advice for feeling connected
Communicate often, yes about projects or jobs but in general too
Make sure it’s clear amongst you all how to communicate. There are great tools that can help keep communication quick and easy. I prefer to use Slack for it’s chat room, direct message and groups/topic functions
Lack of motivation – working from home challenges 101
Although productivity appears to be higher, being self motivated and self disciplined can be really difficult.
Time management is key to successfully navigating the working from home challenges but it’s hard. It’s easy to put an extra load of laundry on or sofa surf whilst watching Netflix for an extra decadent lunch break!
How to make sure you get motivated and get work done
Work when your energy is high and schedule rest time for when it’s not. If you have a monthly cycle you’ll understand this, if not then just think of it as working at your optimum time to achieve the best results
Get better at to-do lists, make sure your top 3 priorities are there and then just a handful of smaller tasks too
Get the most important most crappy job done first and you can feel satisfied knowing it’s done and this will boost your motivation
Whilst you will notice the fewer distractions simply by not being in an office environment (no boss sitting on the edge of your desk or a nosy well-meaning co-worker trying to catch up) there are a whole load of other interruptions to your day that will become a challenge of it’s own.
I’m talking about people knocking at the door, salesmen, delivery drivers, friends who are in the area. It will happen more than you realise and every time it does you will be thrown off your game. Or there’s the well meaning relatives that think since you’re working from home they can pop by and keep you company for a while.
Don’t even get me started on the dog!
How to manage interruptions
Be honest with the people in your home about when you’re working and explain what this means
Be firm but fair with your friends and family. It’s OK to turn people away if you’re busy
Don’t let yourself become the neighbourhood parcel taker in. This is an easy habit to fall into but can be avoided
Stick to your workspace if you can (I also sometimes wear noise cancelling headphones, no music just quiet)
Isolation a sometimes crippling working from home challenge
I must admit I don’t generally experience loneliness yet, it’s arguably one of the biggest issues raised. I wrote a little about it in an earlier blog pot. Read it here.
According to that Finder, working from home statistics report I mentioned earlier, 5% of Brits can be categorised as ‘chronically lonely’ (this is specifically related to lock-down too) with, I think somewhat understandably, most of these falling into the living alone category.
Here are a few top tips to reduce loneliness and isolation
Make a point of scheduling time to meet with people. Friends/family/colleagues on a social basis. Even if this is via face time or in a socially distanced way.
Join groups that relate to your hobbies and interests. At the moment with the pandemic raging, many have gone online and become virtual so you still can.
Talk to people. Share your feelings. You would be surprised how many people feel exactly the same but don’t want to burden you
What do you thing? What challenges have you experienced?
It’s normal for business to plateau. It’s normal to hit a wall or to struggle to move to the next level. Moreover, the difference between succeeding here or walking away is whether you have enough endurance. Endurance is key to your small business success.
Finding it hard to move towards the next financial milestone and you’re doing everything in your power? You’re not alone, it’s a common issue in businesses of any size. Consequently, recognising you’re here is the first step to moving forward.
Some people get here and falter, they never quite regain momentum and find them unable to progress. At the same time, some are unable to get over it knocking their confidence so much that they give up.
I know that’s not you, so let’s explore this further.
The dreaded plateau will challenge your stamina
You didn’t see it coming. One minute everything is progressing at a rate of knots and the next you’ve just stopped improving and it feels exhausting.
Then of course, there comes an inevitable stage where things stop being ‘easy’. Where you know that you have to change something, somehow from what you’re doing that has been going well for you so far in order to get you across that next barrier.
How do some businesses overcome these barriers whilst others don’t? I will repeat, endurance is the key to your small business success.
Commitment, it’s the ignition to your endurance
When things inevitable get tough and the next stage seems like it’s too difficult to reach this is where you learn whether you’re resistant to what that success might mean for you or whether your resilience and perseverance are stronger than your fears.
Staying the course and renewing your commitment to your business is essential. As a result, ff you don’t believe in it your resistance will win out.
Here’s how I re-frame my resistance to success
I shouldn’t want to make more money when so many people are struggling right now
My business success will be motivational and inspirational for people who are struggling right now but dream of building their own businesses.
People will say that I am bragging if I start to earn more money through the business
Anyone that holds this opinion does not require my energy. They do not support my family, pay my bills or work on or in my business
I feel selfish for wanting a more financially stable, more abundant life
The more I get, the more I can give
Let’s recommit to your business. Let’s recommit to the big, huge hopes and dreams you have right now. I commit to building a business that inspires others to create their own amazing lives and businesses, I commit to generating enough money to pour that freedom and joy it brings into my community. I commit to building the best business I can, for the good of my family and for all those who are a part of my community.
A next level successful business is the logical next step to be the change I wish to see in the world. I owe it to myself and to my business to do this.
It’s my experience that when you move beyond the wall you find yourself reignited with energy and motivation. This is the start of increasing your endurance.
FOMO is the killer of staying power
Learning to build endurance as an entrepreneur will throw a few spanners in the works for you. One of the most common is FOMO or the excitement of a new opportunity that challenges your commitment to your growth.
Worrying that you will miss out on the next big thing, worry that you aren’t at the top of your game or worry that everyone else’s grass looks greener than your own is a subtle but easy trap for us entrepreneurs to fall into. It’s distraction procrastination at it’s best!
Here’s how I use these moments to build my endurance.
Make a note of the idea/thought/distraction to get it out of your head (I have an ideas/thoughts notepad which I then read through once a week). This is all about acceptance.
Make sure you’re aware of and grateful for the things that are going well and the things the new level of your business will bring. Write these down in your journal. If you don’t journal just make a note in your diary, calendar or a dedicated notebook by your bed, whatever works for you.
Take a social media break for a day or two (slipping into the comparison trap is often a result of this kind of FOMO)
Focus on what you’re doing now. Zone in as far as you can for even 30 minutes. I put on noise cancelling headphones and start handwriting about the task at hand. For some reason this reignites my creativity and energy for the task I’m supposed to be focusing on
Reach out to a friend or peer that has an understanding of building a small business and entrepreneurship – sometimes a chat with a friend is all you need
Maintain your purpose, it breeds endurance
Have you heard the phrase ‘What’s your why?’ well, I’m rehashing that one for you here. I don’t care how you do it but make sure that the reason you wanted your business and why you want to achieve what you do will help keep you on track.
Patience – Write down why you started your business
Fortitude – Create a vision board
Staying Power – Revisit your long term goals and re align with them or clarify where you’re at on that journey
Celebrate how well you’ve already done for longevity
Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. Remember those awesome bosses you had that encouraged you, gave you clear instructions and showed their appreciation? Remember how much more motivated you were to do well when they treated you well?
So do it for yourself too!
Stop Unnecessary Distractions
There are many things in our day to day lives that distract us, from pets to toddlers, phone calls to deliveries, notifications and QVC. The key is to limit the ones you can and create boundaries for those that you can’t always. Here are some practical steps you can take to limit the ones you can 10 Ways to Stop Getting Distracted (The Checklist!)
Ask for help, it helps strengthen your endurance
I’m in the service of helping businesses so I would be silly not to mention asking for help. You could hire a mentor like me to help you get back on track and help keep you accountable and motivated. Or you could outsource some of the things that really drain your energy and momentum. Maybe you could get a VA? Outsource your social media graphics? Get help with content writing or packaging.
Asking yourself the important questions, holding yourself or getting support to hold you accountable for the changes you need to make, challenging your mindset and taking action will all help you to consistently strengthen your endurance and as you know, Endurance is key to your small business success.
I was busy and I needed a productivity hack that would help me progress.
Do you put you needs last?
Me? I used to say “I’ll do that when I’ve finished XYZ” or “I’ll do all my calls first thing that way they’re done and dusted”.
This method held me back and didn’t work.
The problem is that when I’ve spent a huge chunk of the day focusing on other peoples businesses I get swamped by their details, their progress and by the time it comes to doing it for me, I have no energy and it’s always last minute. What did I do?
Altering my productivity strategy had a really positive effect.
Work starts at 10am. I don’t take any calls until at least 11am and I don’t do any client work until after lunch.
I’m better in my business when I get to spend time with it first thing in the day. Concerned it would be detrimental to my client work it’s actually the opposite. Not worrying about mine means I’m great at theirs.
Why was this damaging?
Making elaborate time blocked plans but filled my day with my client work, none of mine.
Treated them as if they were more important than me and when it comes to mindset that creates a whole other mess!
Great clients but little consistency for my business. 100% focused on existing clients and hadn’t expanded my audience.
Spending the day ‘over delivering’ for my clients but reactive in my own and mentally drained.
Not anymore though.
My current schedule
5-6:00: Get up, have a cup of tea and do 20-30 minutes of exercises which vary from day to day
7:00: Have breakfast and just mentally plan my day and allow my mind to wander – give myself space to think and be creative
7:30: Housework and social media engagement with others
9:00: When possible I take the dog for a walk then shower and get myself ready for the day ahead
10:00: Emails, diary check and prepare social media. Make sure Josh is organised for his ‘school work’
11:00: Client call (Tues/Weds/Thurs). If no call booked I work on research, proposals and pitching.
13:00: Client work
15:00: Coffee and quick housework (get washing off line etc)
16:00: Complete works, follow ups and client related project work. Also, this is the time I start getting harassed by my son and dog about what’s for dinner and wanting my time
17:30: Finish up for the night and go make dinner, finish chores and read or watch TV with Ryan and Josh.
Rarely do I do any client work on a Monday or Friday either. These days are solely for content creation and driving my own business forward. It works for me.
Perhaps you feel you can’t do it. I’m not perfect at it either. Maybe you think you just can’t ‘productivity hack’ your way to a different schedule or you already use some productivity hacks and find them helpful, I still ‘time block’ but it’s different.
If things aren’t working for you right now then I encourage you to take a look at your schedule. Map out what you do every day for a week and make a note of what you’re not getting done that is ESSENTIAL.
Finding time to prioritise your own businesses is the best thing you can do, that’s not a productivity hack but a better use of your time.
In lock-down it is harder to maintain but I urge you to try anyway. Working in a way that prioritises your business, whether it’s a ‘productivity hack’ or not, the quality you provide your clients will increase because you’ve got the mental space to allow it to. It’s your schedule.
Remind yourself of this. Doing exceptional work for your clients means nothing if you have to hustle for business because you haven’t nurtured your potentials.
What do you think?
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I wanted to share with you 5 things that can easily help improve your business right now because it’s important to still do the things you can right?
It’s been a minute since all this pandemic stuff really started to hit home and there’s still so much noise about what to expect in these ‘unprecedented times’. Lots of should, clouds and woulds and it can be overwhelming.
I got you!
That’s right, the most important thing you can be doing for your business right now is actually the most important thing you could be doing for yourself on a personal level too. This is a great time to look after your physical and mental health in ways that you feel are too difficult when you’re running around all over the place. So make sure you are getting good sleep, good nutrition (with some treats in there too of course) and staying well hydrated.
If you can get away with not setting an alarm don’t
Linger in the bath or shower longer than normal
Switch off your electronics a good 30 minutes to an hour before bed to give your brain a chance to rest
Make sure you breathe. We actually only use a small amount of lung capacity when we breath and deep breathing (even just in for 4 out for 4, 4 or 5 times) will really make a difference. It’s good for anxiety, headaches, tension and energy
If your business is still functioning and you’ve not been furloughed then you will need this more than ever. Put YOU first and this will have a ripple effect and improve your business. It WILL thank you for it.
#2 Get Creative!
This is a great way to support yourself and your business right now. We all know consistency and visibility rely on content so change up your routine a bit and batch create a shed load of content in your preferred format. Today this blog post is one of at least 8-10 that I intend to write. I will also then check through for snippets I can use on instagram posts and my intention is to also record a version of this too so that I have an audio I can send to my email list. Not on the list? Then Subscribe!
When you do this you can take some of the pressure off you by not being on the content creation wheel every week, it enables you to find more time and it also means that the people who are interested in what you do can see you consistently showing up for free for them. Staying in the forefront of peoples minds will serve you well.
#3 Fill your mind with things for pleasure and it will Improve Your Business
Yes I advocate learning, training etc (see point 4!), but I also think it’s important to spend time taking in other interesting things. It’s so easy to unintentionally repeat the message of your mentors, peers and ‘competition’ when you’re creating your own content because all of us spend so much time watching what they’re doing. It’s great to learn and be inspired but sometimes it hampers our vision and that then gets spread in the messages we are sharing in our content.
So read fiction or books written that don’t delve into your business or business at all. Watch movies that make you laugh or think but aren’t about building a business and follow some people on social media that have zero to do with your business but have inspiring accounts.
You’ll find this awakens your imagination and helps boost your own business creativity.
#4 Get better at what you do
Hone your expertise, learn that little extra that will help you and your business out and really use it in your business. Build on your existing skills, learn that new one that will take something in your business to the next level and really double down on becoming an expert in it.
None of us know everything there is to know, so learn and improve your business!
#5 Improve Your Business by spending time with the people that have invested in you.
I wholeheartedly believe that if people give you their email address, their follow and their comments then they are having a transactional experience with you. These guys and your paying clients are already miles ahead in the ‘know, like and trust’ mentality and that deserves your time. So,
Talk to your email list, answer their questions, share tools and information that they will find useful
Like, comment and share posts of your followers that resonate with you – engage, engage, engage – get to know them!
Offer thoughtful insights to your existing clients and make sure you’re supporting them to the best of your ability. Make sure they feel valued.
This last point is one of my favourites, if you’ve been here for any length of time you’ll know that I encourage exceptional customer service and how it will improve your business. Exceptional service can take many forms. In fact, I wrote a blog post about it that you may find useful.
I loved starting my business and I still love running it. But I won’t lie – it took a lot of time and a lot of effort to set it all up. It’s what gives me insight that allows me to be a small business mentor. If you want to find out more about me head to my about page.
What’s worse was that as I learned I discovered easier ways, less time consuming ways to do a lot of the work and often I wished I had invested in a coach or mentor sooner.
Coaches and Mentors aren’t all created equal and that means you should investigate them thoroughly before parting with your hard earned cash.
Why get a Small Business Mentor
I’m a great believer in free at point of entry services. Finding extra money when you’re in start-up phase can be particularly difficult. And because of that, getting a mentor at such an early stage can seem like a luxury you just can’t afford.
Even though you might have a great idea, setting up a business can be really hard.
You’re in good company if you’ve never run your own business. Most people haven’t and in all other areas of life we would seek help when we don’t know something. Why not this?
The good news is you can be a brilliant business owner as well as successful. You don’t even need the help but, like with anything, support from someone who has done it before can reduce the time it takes for you.
When you are starting out, having a plan is key to progress. It’s not enough just to have an idea you need to find a way to give it context. I still love to plan on paper, writing everything out under different categories and using sticky notes as and when other ideas strike!
Mentors can support you to create a viable business plan. There are a lot of factors they can help you get clear on from income, competitor analysis, processes and start up costs. All of these will help you structure your time and energy to get the most out of the actions you will be taking.
Small Business Identity
Helping you find your own business identity/brand is key to success. This can relate to your ideal client, methods of marketing and everything in between. One of the most common issues when starting out is to focus too much on what competitors are doing. This can mean it’s hard to differentiate your brand and business from everyone elses. A small business mentor support and guides you. Not only on the planning and practical steps you need to take in your business. But also, to make sure that the identity of your business is true to your vision.
The time and knowledge your mentor learned in their own business will benefit you greatly. It will reduce the time you spend back filling things that support your business. It’s like having a guide to getting the basics right, first time. Of course there is no guarantee of success, there are a lot of outside factors. But, a mentor will help guide you and keep you accountable when you need it the most.
What do I offer?
My mentoring package is just £65 per month. Providing guidance, support and practical advice. If you want to find out more, fill in your details below.