FREEDOM. Isn’t that one of the reasons you decided to go into business for yourself?
- Work with whom you want
- Work when you want
- Work the hours you want
- Work where you want
- Charge how much you want
- Grow as much as you want
But, as a business coach for creative entrepreneurs, and business owner myself, I know that’s not always the case.
Perhaps you’re making great money, but you work ALL the time. Or maybe you work all the time, and still don’t make the money you desire.
Sound familiar? Then it’s possible you’ve got caught in that oh-so-easy-trap of working IN your business, rather than ON it.
The good news is we can all turn things around at any time if we’re prepared to shift our mindset and take inspired and consistent action. If that sounds good, I’d like to share 3 ways to bring the freedom you want into your life and business, without sacrificing income.
1) Identify where you should be spending your time
Have you ever run around all day (or week or month), only to wonder what you achieved at the end of it?
The first step to identifying where you should be spending your time so you maximize money generating opportunities and minimize unnecessary crap is to create a mind map. You can do this with a pen and piece of paper or, if you like it to be digital (and pretty) as I do, I’d recommend Coggle. Here’s how you do it:
- Write your name/business name at the center. As thoughts come to mind, draw branches from the central point and write them down (in as few words as possible). For example, your branches might be design, website, branding, marketing, speaking, networking etc.
- Now create sub-branches, each being an action you need to take. For example, action items for your website might include: interview and get quotes from 3 web designers/programmers, work on about page copy, create services and/or packages, sign up for online calendar, book head shots etc.
- Once your brain is deliciously empty, assign a number, based upon priority, to each branch. And here’s the trick – assign the priority based upon what will BRING INCOME INTO YOUR BUSINESS MOST QUICKLY. Now, take action on those sub-branches every-single-day. When the task is complete, move onto the next priority.
2) Only work with ideal clients
Just so we’re clear, ideal clients are those who love what you do, respect your process, and happily pay what you’re worth. After 15 years in creative management and now 6 years as a business coach, I can unequivocally say, that the cheapest clients are always the ones who make your life most miserable and ask the most of you. Create your ideal client profile, let go of the clients who no longer serve you, and watch your life and business exponentially improve. Want to learn more about how to attract and retain your ideal clients. Set up a time to chat with me here.
3) Outsource everything you can afford to
One of the challenges my clients face as they grow their businesses is getting stuck doing everything themselves (and getting burned out in the process). Happily, you don’t need to be a fully-fledged business, complete with a full staff to get the help you need. Here are some ways to create the space and freedom you need to do your own brilliant thing;
Write a list of everything you do on a daily/weekly/monthly, even yearly basis. Include everything from bookkeeping and accounting to creating mechanicals and marketing. Now, go through the list and put a star by everything you hate to do/are not good at. What could someone else do just as well, if not better than you? For example, I’m re-launching my on-line course again in April and, while I understand the fundamentals of Facebook ads, Lead pages, and Mailchimp, they are definitely not my unique brilliance. My choice is to either devote WAY too much time to figure it out or pay other people who ARE brilliant at these things to do it for me – faster and better. In the meantime, I can focus on MY unique brilliance which is delivering a course that helps people like you build a better creative business. I’ll take option two, please.
Check out online forums such as freedom hackers for resources and, I would highly recommend that you find a great virtual assistant. Mine is worth her weight in gold.
4) Give it up
I know I was only going to share 3 ways, but here’s a bonus one. There are no medals for doing everything yourself. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone and things don’t need to always be perfect, they just need to get done. Give up your need for control or perfection and feel the relief. You’re welcome!
If you’re struggling to find the freedom you wish for, I have a free gift for you. Download my free guide “How to Find High-Quality Clients & Get Paid What You’re Worth” and start making monumental changes in your creative business or career today!