How often do you reward yourself for your work?
If you are like many creative entrepreneurs I know, it’s not very often. Sure you accomplish the items on your to-do list, you make progress towards your goals, and you may feel proud about what you are doing. Then, it’s on to the next thing on the list, the next goal.
Many of my clients take part in what I call a Success and Strategies Summit on a weekly basis. For years, I had been taking time to look at what I accomplished and plan ahead on a weekly basis. It made a difference in how much I was accomplishing and the confidence level I had.
When I started working with private clients and ICAP members, I shared this more formal practice with them. They began to see how important this review was in their own lives and businesses.
A big part of this Summit is celebrating your successes. Did I mention how often we are on to the next thing and don’t do this?
Many people choose a “word” as a focus tool for the year. I have been doing this since probably 2005 when Kathy, the owner of the yoga studio where I practiced, passed around a basket with words.
I chose “openness.” At the time I asked if I could pick a different word. After all, the woman next to me chose love, which seemed like a much better word. I remember Kathy telling me that I was stuck with openness because the word had chosen me.
I went home, taped the word onto my computer, and let it be an anchor as I went through the year. Looking back, I know that this made a tremendous difference in my year.
We are about halfway through the summer. Are you doing anything special during your summer vacation? I fit in a mini-family reunion and spent time at our home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I also took a sketching and watercolor class.
Even with those fun elements, I still kept up a busy work schedule. One of the things I’ve tried to work on for the last few years is working smarter and using my time more efficiently. The key to that is knowing how I am working currently. Here are some tips I have been using to put the sizzle back in my creative arts business.
At the end of each day and at the end of each week compare the percentage of your time used toward fulfilling your mission and achieving your goals with time spent elsewhere. It is easy to get sidetracked and not pay attention to the task at hand. It is also easy to do the effortless work and not really tackle what you should be getting done.
This is the unofficial first week of the summer. For many people, this is the time to kick back and take it easy. You know the lazy, crazy days of summer! And, sure people do take vacations, but not all of them are gone every day all summer. So, you shouldn’t be either.
If you are trying to grow your business, taking it easy really isn’t an option. And, if you take advantage of the time many people do take it easy, your business will be ahead of the game.
Here are some ideas to kick-up your revenues this summer.
For many of us, moving the needle may have different connotations, especially since so many who read this blog sew. Today I want to talk about moving the needle forward in your business. All of us get stuck. Sometimes it’s just a simple tweak that can get the machine moving again. Sometimes it is something bigger that you need to do to move your business to the next level. Here are nine ways that will help get you moving and bring in cash to your business:
It’s the start of a New Year. If you’re like most people, you are gung-ho to accomplish something this year.
If you’re like most people, that gung-ho-ness starts to wane. That’s why gym memberships sell out at the holidays, the gyms are packed in January, and then the regulars heave a sigh of relief when all the resolution-setters give up. Life sets in and you don’t have a plan to stay on track.
According to the Marist Poll, of those who make a resolution for 2017, 68% said they kept at least part of their promise. And 44% of Americans are likely to make promises to themselves again for 2018. If you are a resolution maker, you want to keep up the tradition, it seems.
Last year, being a better person (16%) was followed by losing weight and exercising more (both at 10%). Seven percent resolved to spend less money, improve their health, or eat healthier. Forty-three percent mentioned another resolution.
July. We are midway through the year. Have you taken time to review where you are with accomplishing your goals at this half-way point?
This week is the perfect time to look back at what you have accomplished so far this year and adjust your goals for the year. Why now? Other than it is half-way through the year, this is the week of July 4, Independence Day here in the United States. It is a day meant for celebration — picnics, fireworks and gratitude. I like celebrating where I started and where I am. I like celebrating that I am able to work both independently as an entrepreneur and interdependently with so many wonderful people. I’m sure you have some of those same celebrations.
Have you ever found yourself procrastinating, overwhelmed or just plain stuck when it comes to getting your work done. Last week I did a free webinar called “From To Do to Ta Da Done!” about how to get more — and the right — work done. I think of it as a simple five-step process. Of course, simple does not always make it easy.
Step one is all about clarity. Are you clear on the big picture?
This past week I had met with a group of dynamic, creative women in our Creative Passion to Profit Mastermind. For all of us, me included, we talked about focus and business growth. I think clarity is the key. Once we have clarity we are able to move forward; otherwise we are mired in all the “what ifs” and lots of fuzzy thinking. Have you ever been there?
What do you need clarity on? When I work with some clients, that is our first step. Clarity is really the foundation of success both in your business and your personal life. You cannot market on an authentic level if you are not clear.
You need to be clear on the direction you are going. What is your end goal? If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?
You need to be clear on who your client is. We can’t be everything to all people, though I do know people who try. In one class I taught, I had a student who wanted to turn every quilter into an appliqué artist. While that was an admirable goal, her time would have been exhausted trying to accomplish this. She would have been more effective targeting beginning quilters to get them started.
You need to be clear on the financial realities of your business. Where does your income come from? What are your expenses? How much do you need to earn to provide support for yourself?
Those are just a few of the many areas that require clarity. I am sure you can find other areas where you are searching for clarity. It could be something big, like what my coaches call your “Big Why,” or it could be something smaller, like the name of your new pattern.
It is easy to figure out what you need to be clear on – you hear the muddled voices. How do you find clarity? Here are a few approaches to tune into the right little voice inside so you can listen.
Here is a quote on clarity from Scottish writer Richard Holloway that I like:
Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power
and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art.
How do you find clarity? I would love to hear your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.
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Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.