Today is the day in the calendar known as #BlueMonday. Blue Monday is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Its the 3rd Monday in January. It’s another one of those marketing awareness days that are really popular on the digital airwaves. It is well known for being a day that people are most feeling blue due to the weather, debt levels after Christmas, failing new year resolutions and so the list goes on. Apparently, the science behind it has been debunked and in the mental health space, there has always been growing concern over it. Feeling anxious or sad can be a temporary thing or it can be a known mental health condition. It’s not just about one day. That said, it does raise the profile and awareness of mental health issues and that can only be a good thing.
I thought I would share the realities of running my business and my top tips, so if you are feeling a bit blue about your business, it might help you realise you are not the only one.
- I do my best every single day. Sometimes it’s not good enough and sometimes it works. Business never rewards sitting back and doing nothing. If you want to grow, you have to get out there and do it. Some days you feel like this isn’t possible. That’s ok too. Don’t beat yourself up if you have days like this.
- Do what you love. If you don’t love it, that shows. There have been times when I haven’t loved my business. It showed. But if you really do love your business, when you get knocked down, you will get up and forgive it. This is what happened to me.
- Make sure you have a brand. You don’t necessarily need to spend multiple thousands creating a brand, because let’s face it, not many of us have that. But you do need to make sure that whatever content you push out looks and feels the same. This will help enormously when you are growing your audience and ultimately building your business.
- Network. A lot. Network before you set up a business. Network at every stage of your business. Network when you are too busy to network. Network online, offline and everything in between. Just network. It is one of the most important things you will do to help you grow your business, to help you learn from others and to ultimately sell your stuff. It’s all about the connections you make. You won’t make them if you don’t network.
- Be authentic. Business is built on the know, like and trust factor. Trust in the digital world is gained from social proof and the content you push out. Be authentic and push out more authentic content.
- Never stop learning. I am learning every single day. I am a Marketing Expert. It’s very easy to promote other peoples businesses but when it comes to your own, it’s a different story. It is different. I am learning, listening, watching, reading, absorbing every little thing I can do improve what I do. My biggest problem is tech. I don’t like tech and tech doesn’t like me. I don’t get it. I have to work really hard at it. I’ve recently changed to a new email software and learning it is a challenge. I’m forcing myself to watch the tutorials and get better at it. Find people who have already done what you do. Follow them. Don’t copy them because that’s not cool. But learn from. Never stop learning.
- Surround youself with support. You can’t do it on your own. If anybody says you can, they are wrong. I found this out last year. Get a mentor, get a coach if you can afford one and if you can’t, surround yourself with a bunch of like-minded people who can help you and support you. People who you can learn from. Communities like the biz girls will be a game-changer for you.
- Be honest and transparent. If you mess up, it doesn’t matter. Be honest about it. Being honest isn’t always easy to do because you think you have failed. If you are honest people won’t mind.
- Learn to be unf**kwithable! Yes. I know it’s a bit sweary. But people will f**k with you. People aren’t kind sometimes. People don’t always play with integrity. Know who you are, what you stand for, and live and swear by your own value and moral set. Don’t EVER falter from that. This will help you to stay focused when people that are determined to wrong you, do mess with you.
- Get visible. Push out consistent content ALL the time. If people don’t see you, how will they know to buy something from you? Talk at events, be a guest on a podcast, do Facebooks lives or videos on LinkedIn or live streams on Instagram. You MUST put yourself in front of the eyes, ears and minds of your audience.
- Celebrate the small stuff. Because it’s the small stuff that adds up to the bigger stuff. Celebrate the small wins. The clients being happy, the social posts being scheduled, the emails being drafted, attending a networking event, learning a new thing. Find excuses to celebrate every single week and reward yourself. Even if that means sitting in a quiet corner of a coffee shop for half an hour.
- Plan if you can. Plan every day in detail and block out your time so you make space for all the things you need to get done. Doing this also allows space for business development and marketing that always falls to the wayside. This has been a game-changer for me this year.
- Review. Keep checking, tweaking and reviewing. When you do you will improve your business. Look at what you are doing. Your marketing, your networking, your systems and make sure they are working for you in the best way they can. Nothing stays the same. Things evolve constantly for lots of reasons.
- Be consistent with everything you do. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a business. It takes time to grow. It takes time to build an audience. It takes time to learn how to do stuff. Being consistent is one of the hardest things to do when stuff just isn’t working. If this happens use communities like this one to help you, offer support, share ideas, what’s not working. You will be surprised by how much people are willing to bolster you through a tough period.
- Systems and processes. Set them up even if it takes time. Don’t leave it in your head because you never switch off. Automate as much as you can. Schedule the generic social media stuff. If you do this, you can work from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. You will be amazed by how much time you will gain by doing this. Do it!
- Cut yourself some slack. When all is said and done, sometimes you just need to chill and find your happy place. For me, this is switching off, going for a dog walk, having a coffee with friends. It’s so important to make self-care a priority. If there is no balance, you will burn-out. I’ve been there and it’s just not worth it.
Running a business can be unforgiving, lonely and a thankless task. Put things in place to ensure you keep going.
Does any of this resonate with you? What do you do if are feeling a bit blue about your business?
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