it's a new year and that means a fresh start...
…not just for you but also for your business. What do you want to do differently for your business this year? What area of your business do you want to focus on? What do you need to do to not just survive another uncertain year of being in a pandemic but to thrive this year too?
The first thing I want you to do is to examine where you are in your business right now. Are you feeling things are running smoothly? Do you feel like you’ve got it all covered and you’re exactly where you want to be? Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed? This is common!
Over and over, I hear from small business owners that they are overwhelmed, that they are struggling to keep up with running their business on top of life commitments. For many of you that means doing mostly reactive work rather than proactive work.
Reactive work is doing the things that MUST get done: answering emails, accounting, signing up for craft fairs, creating inventory, etc. When you complete a reactive task, you get to see that empty inbox or bask in the vision of a full shelf of products you just created… and you get that dose of dopamine after completing your task.
Proactive work is often work that you don’t see a benefit from right away. It often takes longer to get to the finish line. Some examples of proactive work include: signing up for a course or conference to build your business skills, creating a contingency plan or SOP’s. Above all… proactive work is forward thinking work with a focus on planning. Basically you’re spending time now to save time and grow your business in the long term.
are you doing more reactive or proactive work?
If you’re always stuck doing reactive work, you’re not going to grow your business. This is why, when members join DHL: The Club, we start them off with a proactive exercise to analyze where their business is currently, where they want to be and then we start to plan how to get there. We figure out what issues need to be solved ASAP, how to create goals to resolve those issues and how to break those goals down into manageable tasks so that they actually be successful. Setting aside time for this proactive long term goal setting and planning is essential if you want to grow your business.
Think of reactive work like this… You’re hungry but you haven’t planned your meals for the week so you grab whatever is fast and easy to solve your hunger problem. In the long run, you know that meal planning is going to save you time and money and even help you reach your health goals, but, it requires you to put in the effort BEFORE you reap the benefit.
When I started my first business selling my artwork, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I wanted to pay my bills with my creativity and then I kinda flew by the seat of my pants, saying yes to every opportunity that came my way until I got more experienced and had the privilege to say no. My goals were short term back then. It wasn’t until later that I started really thinking about what I wanted my business to look like now and in the future, outside of just paying the bills.
I wish we had something like The Club when I was starting out. I know it would have really shortened the learning curve for me which is one of the main reasons why we started it. To help creatives figure out what their finish line is and get there faster than if they did it on their own.
do you set aside time regularly for long term planning & goal setting?
Today I’d like to give you a little sneak-peek of how we help The Club members productively goal set and plan.
Take a pause right now and think about something you want to do for your business but that you either haven’t made time to do, aren’t sure how to do or don’t know where to start, etc. It can be anything! Maybe you want to rebrand or get your product(s) into more stores or improve your email marketing or start using more video in your marketing. Think of ONE thing you want to improve or do for your business.
Think about how you feel looking at and thinking about that goal. Overwhelmed? Excited? Trepidatious?
Now, thinking about the ONE thing you want to improve or do for your business… write down three tasks that you would need to complete to make it happen. You’re not listing every single thing you’d need to do but pick the first three things that come to mind. Let’s say that you want to improve your email marketing. Maybe those three things are: get email subscribers, create an email, take an email marketing class. Those tasks may still feel overwhelming so we’re going to break them down again into action items.
Example: get more subscribers gets broken down into: create an automated email to my etsy shoppers for them to opt-in, create a fun opt-in activity at my craft show booth
Out of the action items you created in the last step, I want you to choose ONE of them and make a commitment to do it this week. Look at your calendar or planner and add it to one of the days. Then, I want you to set up some accountability for yourself. Tell a partner or a friend what you’re doing and let them know you’ll check in with them on whatever day you’re supposed to complete your activity. If you don’t have someone to check in with, head to our Instagram and DM me there. Tell me what your task is and your deadline and I’ll help hold you accountable.
This is how big things happen! Through proactive work, goal-setting, planning and accountability. This is how I went from being a struggling creative business owner whose bank account was often overdrawn and who was embroiled in reactive work… to where I am now, running Dear Handmade Life, a multi-six-figure business, where I get to help other creatives uncover and get to their goals.
MEMBERS OF DHL: THE CLUB RECEIVE...
- Group coaching in our monthly mentorship sessions where you get personalized help from me, Nicole, as well as support and advice from your peers
- Monthly business classes featuring an expert-led workshop in an essential business skill that matches our monthly theme: social media, goal-setting, newsletters, hiring help, etc.
- 24/7 support through our online community where you get support, encouragement and resources from members and us
- Our creative business boss book club where we have guided discussions about what we’re learning
- Unlimited access to our class library with on-demand classes and workshops led by some of the most sought-after teachers in our community
- Access to the resource hub – our curated list of the service providers, platforms and services that we love and use
Enrollment will be open February 1 – 15, 2022.
After that, it won’t open again until the summer. Those on our waiting list will be notified first when enrollment opens – you can join that list below.
In next weeks blog post, I’m going to help you bust through the roadblocks that stand between you and reaching your goals. If you’ve ever struggled with procrastination or impostor syndrome or perfectionism or any other setbacks on the way to make the things that you dream about happening, don’t miss that post!
BRING YOUR QUESTIONS TO OUR LIVE Q&A EVENTS!