My fondness for simplicity goes back perhaps to my childhood. My mom was a knick knack junkie and spent more time dusting than spending time with her children.
Her house was always immaculate. Yes, you could eat off the floors. Everything had a special place. It was organized, neat and constantly being changed out, depending on what holiday was coming up.
As for the children, we were sent outside to play. Our lunch was served on the front porch. We came in to use the bathroom and back out the door we were swooshed.
On nice days, it was not an uncommon occurrence to spend literally 10 hours outside playing or house jumping from neighbor to neighbor.
And thus my dislike for clutter, knick knacks, and more stuff.
It's been a constant in my life since I moved out at 17. I learned to travel light. If I needed to make a quick get away, I needed to fit it in my car. No more, No less. A simple life was established!
I continued on with my pursuit of simplicity even while having a family. It became a necessity to having a family run smoothly. Less toys, less pick-up = more time with my girls. Less stuff, less bills = more meaningful vacations.
I attempted to the best of my ability to instill needs vs. wants into my children. I established that wants are perfectly acceptable if they align with your values. I do believe I lost that battle when they started Jr.High and the need to be liked took over common sense. None the less, I still lived my life according to my values.
Through most of my life I have pursued a deep desire to de-clutter as necessary. When my life begins to feel suffocating, over-whelming and out of control, It's time to de-clutter.
I've noticed over the last year while building my business, the ability to clutter my life. It's a constant battle with myself to not sign up for another marketing gurus e-course. Maybe it's learning to create a better blog. Get more e-mails NOW. Learn the ins and outs of making 6 figures a year with your coaching practice. As you can see in this super saturated industry, it's pretty friggen easy to get caught up in the next big guru.
I'm getting down and dirty now. Thousands of dollars, more hours in video, audio, e-books and e-courses than I care to re-count for me or for you. This is what it comes down to in my world and I hope yours.
It's urgent to follow your own voice while creating your own business. There are some basics that everyone should know about buiding a business on line that creates substantial income. But what most of these companies do not tell you, there is NO overnight success formula.
It goes back to keeping it simple. One little step at a time. The first step is always about getting clear on what direction you are going. That being the hardest step to take. After that keep listening to your heart, those that can resonate will follow eventually and those will be your peeps.
Don't allow yourself to get caught up in MORE. Needing more information to the point that your absorbing but not taking action.
Stop comparing because we are not on equal playing fields. If your checking out someone's website and it's amazing they either paid someone to do it for them, or they are super good at techie stuff. Either way, comparing isn't helpful to getting from point A to point B. It's detrimental to your esteem and ridiculously counter-productive. I wish someone had told me this on the first class I registered for. Ten classes later....
How can you keep your business simple, productive & profitable?
1) Always make time to get focused, get clear and build a plan. (This means grabbing a good old fashioned pencil and notebook and getting the hell away from e-mail, facebook, twitter and all other distractions.)
2) Make a list of what you don't know and need help with. That way you can stay focused on your immediate needs and not be distracted by stuff you don't need NOW.
3) Do your thing, not someone else. No more comparing. Your unique, beautiful and simply amazing just the way you are. Your peeps will love you, for YOU! Not because your website looked like such and such...
4) If you don't have a ton of money like I didn't especially when I was starting out. Ask folks the best resources you can get for cheap or FREE. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to reach out and ask for what you need. If you don't ask, how will you ever know if the answer is YES!
5) Start with the bare minimums to get your business up and running. Keep a list on Evernote of future projects, e-books, e-courses, blog postings that you would love to do at some point. But for now, keep it simple and focus on 2-3 key projects that will bring income into your business. One of those key projects should be a fabulous Opt-in (the free thing you will give away to collect e-mail addresses).
6) The only 3 things you need to start a business on line.
A. Your own domain name. Cheap at Godaddy.com. Don't over think the name. If you can come up with a clever name, use your own.
B. An e-mail marketing company to send out your newsletter and keep track of e-mail addresses you are collecting. Mailchimp offers free service. Madmimi is super easy to use and you can become an affiliate and make money for recommending other folks to use them. Getresponse is really affordable and does leadpages, webforms, newsletters. It starts at $15.00 a month.
C. A hosting company for your webspace. Wordpress being the most popular. Weebly is ridiculously easy and affordable. Another is Wix.
7) Start at the beginning with creating a following. It all begins with content creation. Write your heart out. If it's not perfect, Oh well. Just start. Read books in your spare time about creating great content. Creating awesome headlines and learning how to get folks to sign up for your newsletter. Because that e-mail address is your money in the bank.
8) Focus, focus, focus on YOUR stuff.
9) Be picky who you follow. Pick 5 folks you resonate with, love their stuff and agree with how they do business and learn from them. The more you jump from person to person, the more you lose YOU and your clarity. URGENT. Don't lose yourself in the shuffle of this saturated crazy market.
10) If you really get stuck reach out and ask for help. The worse that will happen, they will say no. Don't take anything personally in this business. If they say no it's about them, not you. Move on and ask another person.
11) Be brave as hell! Don't let people in your life deter you. Don't let a slow start stop you. Put yourself out there in as many ways as you can think of. And if it doesn't work. Try something else. You have a story. You have things you have overcome and someone else out there needs what you have to offer. Don't give up. When you give up, you are not only letting yourself down, but you are losing the chance to help someone who really needs exactly what you have already been through.
12) Be powerful, speak your truth. Some won't like it and that's fine. If they don't like what you have to say, you don't want them following you anyways.
13) Create a schedule. Stick to it. If you don't, your business has the potential to bleed into every area of your life.
14) Start off creating systems. E-mail system. Receipts for tax purposes. A special place for passwords & usernames. Color numbers, for all the colors you use in your website. A list of affiliate programs that you are involved with.
15) Don't pretend that everything is okie dokie when it's not. Two things here.... You are setting the standards that life is never icky and we should all be smiley and doing jumping jacks. FACT: That's not real life! Be genuine. Share the ups and downs. I'd rather work with someone who knows both sides of life, rather than someone who fakes it til they make it bullshit. Secondly, you are setting yourself up to feel extremely isolated. If you cut yourself off from society and don't let people see when you are hurting than you are sinking yourself into a lonely void of depression, and no one will be there because you put up that steel wall. Just don't do it. Share it all. If people don't get it...AGAIN, Oh friggen well!
16) Three things we all need to be aware of when starting any sort of business. Energy, Time & Money! Ask yourself daily, where are these 3 things going? How am I fueling these 3 things daily?
17) Create a NON-Negotiable list and stick to it! I have 3 things that I do daily every morning. Journal write, meditate and create a gratitude list. I do them first thing before e-mail, before breakfast and before work. The only thing that would stop them from happening is if there was an emergency with my children. Everyone who is important in my life, knows these are my priorities respect it or don't. I'm still doing them. You must treat yourself as a priority!!!
18) Take time every day to reflect how you are feeling about your business. If it's starting to suck the life out of you, maybe it's time for mind change. You can only pound away at your business for so long, before it starts wearing on you. This is why I think it's urgent to constantly check in with yourself.
19) Slow & steady wins the race. If you have to do other jobs while trying to build your business, there is nothing wrong with that. Don't put yourself in debt trying to force something to grow. Do what you have to do to keep yourself financially stable while building your business slowly and authentically.
20) Build relationships with other businesses and potential clients equally. It's not about the sales if your into your business for the right reasons. It's about relationships. It's about helping each other.
When you stop having fun, when your creative energy feels depleted and when you lose sight of your "WHY", it's time to step back and ask how can I simplify? What can I do to get back to basics? What do I need to get rid of to make more space in my life for what I desire?
It may be as simple as unsubscribing to a bunch of marketing newsletters. It could be fitting in more time for exercise. It could possibly be that it's time to move on to a new dream. These are questions you only get answers to when you provide yourself with solitude and reflection. Reflection occurs beautifully when simplicity is in action.
If you enjoyed this blog posting, could you please spread the word. It's getting harder and harder to reach folks through Facebook and all the help you can give is greatly appreciated.
I would love to hear how you simplify your business. Please feel free to share with us so we can build successful businesses together.
From my heart to YOURS,