What’s Working for Me In 2021

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 A happy cheerful business woman celebrating success with hands raised

Since we’re more than halfway through the year of our Lord 2021, it’s a good time to take stock and look at what’s working. It’s also a good time to remind ourselves that 12 months, 365 days is an arbitrary amount of time.

My yoga teacher often reminds me that I have my whole life to figure out how to do a handstand. I honestly hate hearing this because I want to be able to do a handstand NOW (and I feel so close, but I’ve felt “close” for at least two years). I also want to meet my revenue goals for this year NOW and I want to finish my five-year plan NOW.

But that’s not how any of this works. We can choose to take our time, be patient, and be intentional about how we grow our businesses. And it doesn’t mean we’re not pushing ahead. It’s just that maybe pace matters less than momentum.

So in the spirit of keeping up the momentum, I want to look back at four changes I’ve made in the past six months and how they’ve been working for my business. 

1. Simplifying

One question I’ve been habitually asking myself since the beginning of the year is “how can I make this easy?” Whether I’m starting a new project or doing a daily task, it helps to look at it through the lens of ease.

It has taken me a long time to stop associating “complicated” with “high quality.” I’m not even sure where this association came from. Maybe it’s because of my philosophy background or maybe it’s the reason I was drawn to philosophy in the first place. 

Whatever the reason, I’ve come to appreciate the value of simplicity and I’ve started to apply it to my business in new and exciting ways.

I’ve been simplifying my offers. I’m slowly sun-setting the services (like monthly blogging only) that have some wiggle room built into them and replacing them with services that have clearer boundaries:

  1. The LinkedIn Roadmap ($500): I do an audit of your LI profile, we talk about your hopes and dreams for 30 minutes, and I share custom recommendations and action steps so you can DIY your shiny new profile.
  2. The LinkedIn Roadmap + 3 months of LinkedIn content ($5,000): Everything in #1 + a done-for-you shiny new profile, 36 custom written (12 per month) LinkedIn posts, and 6 blog/article ideas you can take and run with.
  3. Monthly Ghostblogging + content marketing ($2,500 per month): Everything in #1 + a done-for-you shiny new profile, content strategy calls 1x per month, 2 custom written blog posts per month, and 12 custom written LI posts per month.

With these three services, plus my book ghostwriting and developmental editing services, we’re offering exactly five services. I’m also working to systematize these new services from the start, so that expectations for me, my team, and clients are clearer. Contact me to discuss how we can work together!

I’m simplifying my routines at home too. Instead of putting off meal planning and “shopping” the fridge 30 minutes before it’s time to eat, I’m thinking a few days ahead. This actually keeps me from procrastinating on the actual grocery shopping and ensures I have what I need when it’s time to start cooking.

2. One-On-One Coaching

Being a solopreneur can be lonely. Because I’ve always appreciated having others to bounce ideas off of, I’ve always been a huge fan of group coaching and mastermind groups. But this year, I decided to try one-on-one coaching and it has been one of the best investments I’ve made in my business so far.

I did a six-month program with Tara McMullin and it has shifted my mindset in ways that I expect to be processing for the next six months, if not longer. Basically, I’ve stepped fully into my role as a CEO and I feel prepared to accept the consequences of this role. I’m also looking at my revenues differently and seeing new ways to build a business that is more sustainable. 

I’m about to start another coaching program geared towards helping me to build my team and I couldn’t be more excited to dig into a whole different aspect of my business. Coaching has given me the support and foundation I need to continue building a strong business. This summer is all about business development for me.

3. Starting My Day Slowly

I used to dive into social media or — if I was feeling especially anxious about work — my Inbox first thing in the morning. I thought of that time as my “warm up” time. But it wasn’t warming me up to write. It was amping up my anxiety and making my mind race, which made it harder for me to write.

In the past few months, I’ve shifted my morning routine. Now, I get up and get on the stationary bike to move my legs for 30 minutes, while I listen to a podcast. I listen to something business oriented or something that teaches me about an interesting subject or I listen to comedians talking about their craft. After I get off the bike, I play with doing some inversions. Getting the limbs moving and the blood flowing first thing in the morning feels so great.

Starting my day without the anxiety-inducing routine has been one of the best changes I’ve made this year. I’m sure it has helped me stave off burnout and improved my mood. I also have an end-of-the-day routine.

4. Focusing on What I Can Control

This last one doesn’t represent a sea-change for me. But I see new ways in which the idea of zeroing in on what I can control applies to my business. 

First, book ghostwriting has been slower than I would prefer since March. And this has slowed down growth in other areas. Honestly, though, I’ve appreciated the slowness. It has allowed (or forced) me to think things through more methodically than I would have otherwise. I’m not panicking and reaching for any kind of escape hatch. I’m just continuing to do the work that I know will set me up for success in the future.

Additionally, consistency should be my word for 2021 and ‘consistency’ is just another word for doing what you can control. I have been clinging to consistency as if it’s the one liferaft of certainty in my life. It has anchored me and kept me grounded and focused. I’ve been consistent — like a clock really — about creating content for myself (on LinkedIn, on my blog, on Medium). 

I know that no matter what happens with client work, creating content is always a gift I’m giving to my future self. In fact, this summer I’ll be repurposing a lot of my content. I couldn’t have done this without my past self focusing on what she could control.

That’s what’s working for me. Now I want to know: what’s working for you? Find me on LinkedIn where I’ll be posting and starting conversations about each of these changes on Mondays throughout the month of July.

Photo credit: https://www.123rf.com/profile_vadymvdrobot