I used to hide from mirrors because I hated my reflection. I only saw the flaws and none of the beauty. Those critical voices followed me for years and they kept me from shining and discovering my beauty. I was so sure that I had conquered those voices, but not so. In fact, those voices were still bullying as I tried to build my business in 2016. They caused me to only share content sometimes rather than all the time. I was afraid to be loud and proud, so I was quiet and only showed a few people.
I assumed no one cared. And if anyone cared, they certainly didn’t want the constant reminders about what I was doing. So, I stayed small. I hid like the little girl who hated mirrors.
“But that was last year in the eighth grade” (an ode to 3LW). Lip poked out and head nods required as you listen and reminisce.
Seriously, I entered into 2017 with a different mindset. I am forcing myself to look in the mirror. I am affirming the magic that is me. I’ve decided that I have what it takes to be great and I’m ready to not just look at the mirror, but invite others to look in their own mirrors as well.
Truthfully, I didn’t get a lot right in 2016. After reflecting, I’ve got a list of old business practices that I’m kicking to the curb.
Starting and Not Finishing
I have unfinished books I started writing, same with blog posts, notes of potential business contacts to reach out to, products that I initiated contact with designers to do. The list of unfinished tasks on my to-do list is worrisome. I can attribute some to failure to prioritize, but the majority is fear. I’m afraid of failing or even worse looking like a failure to other people.
This year I have tightened my list. Created key areas of growth, products and services to focus on. I have promised myself that before I add new projects I am going to complete those outstanding items. I will not spend 2017 chasing after the next big idea. Instead, I’m hunkering down and completing as many unfinished things on my list.
Not Sharing Created Content
I have muted more than my fair share of people on my timeline because all they ever did was promote themselves and their business. Maybe that’s why I was afraid to share mine. I didn’t want to be pushy and overly “salesy.” I also was afraid that the more I shared the more people would be able to judge my content and even worse, me. Imposter Syndrome is a thing and I suffer from it. Although you know your content is valuable and that your knowledge base can help others, you still can’t look at yourself as the “real deal.”
That’s why I decided in 2017 it doesn’t matter if I feel like an imposter. I’m still sharing my content. I will not think about the people who mute me or even the people who judge me and think I’m not good enough. If they do either they weren’t my client or part of my tribe. The people who need what I have to offer will gravitate and follow me. But I have to share the content and myself for them to connect with me. Sitting in my corner creating and not sharing will not bring people to me. It’s the consistent sharing of information that adds value to potential clients that will grow a business. So, look out for all types of information coming straight from me to you in 2017.
Not Using To-Do Lists
I believe in to-do lists. I’m the most productive when I don’t rely on memory and I have a list of things to keep myself accountable to. So, why would I have fallen off from doing a basic practice I know works? Who knows, except maybe a form of self-sabotage.
To-do lists are part of my new calendar and I am utilizing the feature. I am also balancing out my week and giving myself room at the end of the week to play catch up.
Trying to Do Everything Myself
I was so worried about being a cash-strapped solopreneur that I did everything myself. I was up late, tired, overwhelmed and unfocussed. I’m pretty sure it also helped to contribute to why there were so many unfinished projects as well.
Not anymore. I am going to do the parts I absolutely can’t delegate and I am going to pay someone else to do as much heavy lifting as possible. So, that I can be disciplined and do more of the things that rely on my skill set.
Not Utilizing Project Management Timelines
I had great ideas. The only problem with those great ideas was that I kept breaking them up into little tasks and didn’t consider them in terms of my overall life. Too often, I was going piece by piece and not developing a timeline that considered the different aspects of my life alongside a realistic amount of time it would take to do each piece of a project.
This year, I not only have my goals written down and broken into small tasks. I have a project timeline that takes me from start to finish on my big projects. Most importantly in creating that timeline I considered within each month the other heavy hitting tasks I needed to complete, so I could adjust accordingly.
Chasing a Check to the Detriment of Building
The decision to primarily focus on a business has left me at times cash-strapped. It has meant some stressed days and nights figuring out what I needed to do to keep myself afloat. The result is that I would chase everything that looked like a check. Tasks that paid very little, but used up so much of my time all because I felt I had to grab every coin I could get.
I am weighing the projects I get involved in and the side hustle jobs I do to keep myself afloat. I am considering the per hour pay rate and I will be officially saying no to checks that waste my time and don’t help me build. My focus is on building a brand that makes me smile and makes me proud. This year I am not chasing a coin, but building an empire.
I am an idea kinda person. I always have an idea. The problem with all these ideas is that it becomes distracting. I am off chasing a new task, doing the research for it and not finishing what I was already working on. Even worse it contributes to my pile of unfinished tasks. Yep, you can see why finishing what I started was number one on my list. My beautiful mind gets the best of me at times and before I know it there’s something I started once upon a time.
I am not trying to accomplish every idea I’ve ever had or will have along the way by the stroke of midnight on December 31st. The great ideas that come up are noted in my ever growing Evernote, which serves as my mental storehouse.
Let’s be real for a sec. Well, I think I’ve been pretty darn real and uber transparent for this whole post, but just go with it. The great days when I am not scared are balanced out by the fear days that take control and cause me to spin my wheels. The highs of growth and the lows of steps backward also have taken its toll in this area of consistency. When business is growing and things are looking good I can easily put in the work, but when it’s looking like why do I even bother is when I find myself the least consistent.
This year good days and bad days alike, I’m all in. I’m also not going to let the fear days win in 2017. I have jumped out there more times in 2016 than I ever have and I am not going to go back to hiding. I have already jumped out there, so I might as well be consistent in putting myself out there rather than sporadically. I’m all in this year because consistency is the foundation for success in any business.
I may not have gotten it all right in 2016, but I am consistently learning, growing and tweaking my business and myself as an entrepreneur. Don’t be intimidated by the things you didn’t do right last year. Instead, just decide it’s time to look back at your missteps and course correct to make ensure they are not following you into this new year of your business.