There are 10 Things I want every small business, entrepreneur, blogger, artist, writer, nonprofit director – anyone who is selling anything to do this year. These aren’t huge and they are meant to make your life easier. They are also meant to make your work and life better. Isn’t that what we all want?
10 Things Every Business, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Artist, Maker, Writer, Nonprofit Director Should Do in 2015
Pick Your Hashtag
That’s right. Pick the one hashtag that you are going to use every single day and stick to it. You can have more throughout the year, but it is time for you to pick one and go with it. Having trouble figuring out what you want to choose? Post your options in the comments and we can brainstorm that out together. Personally, I am considering #GoodLove or #LoveYear – my little word is Love and I want something that works with that. Which do you like? For our Main Street district we are sticking with #OnlyinEureka because Eureka Springs offers experiences that you just can’t get anywhere else.
Choose Your Social Media
Pick one social media that you want to rock and really go for it. Personally, I am choosing Instagram for myself and Pinterest for our Main Street District. It doesn’t mean I am neglecting other media, but I am spending my energy where I want to grow. Several of my clients are focusing on LinkedIn and Facebook. So, do what works for you – and your business. Just choose one.
Live Your Brand
If you brand is about making everyone else’s life better please don’t publicly be a mess on social media. If you are a happy brand learn to tame your inner bitch. If you are progressive don’t keep talking about retro things. Really. I see these mistakes everyday and because we live our lives and business online you are showing who you are everywhere. Think before you post.
Learn Something New
The world changes in nanoseconds now (no, I don’t really know what a nanosecond is, but it sounds about right). So, there is no time for you to rest on your laurels. Learn something new. Sign up for a class on the social media that you have chosen. Take a webinar. Read a book. Do something that moves you forward. We can get better and better at what we do only by continuing to be lifelong learners.
Learn to Take Better Photos
The entire internet lives and breaths on images. Why? Because we are visual creatures who love beautiful photos. Learn to take better photos on your phone or with a real camera. This is one skill that will bring the most bang to you over and over. It is high on my list to just get more focused and better with my images this year for my own brand and for the clients I work with.
Learn to Say No
Learning boundaries for your business is THE skill I wish I could teach the whole world. This means saying no to being on the committee, buying the ad, being part of the crowd and focusing on your own plan. I see myself and businesses say yes to things that don’t move them forward in any real way and if they could harness the power of no it would be amazing. Let’s learn this together this year.
Focus On Your Own Stuff
I see too many people (and I am guilty of this too) focusing on everything everyone else is doing. Sure, it is important to understand what the competition is doing, but you do not need to know what everyone in your community or reach is doing at every given moment. I advocate a day a week of hands free work. Don’t scroll through Facebook, get off Instagram. Stop Tweeting and just do your own thing for a whole day. The time you invest in yourself and your own work will pay back in huge rewards.
I hear a lot of people complain about lack of traffic, not enough customers, not the right mix of things at any given moment. They complain and complain until that story is so stuck in their heads they are unable to see anything else. Just stop. If you can’t personally fix something in your business or work find another way to do it or focus on something else. The time wasted complaining is precious time that you can’t get back.
Know Your Stage
Today I was sitting in a meeting and it occurred to me that I am at a different stage in my career than other people sitting there. I am in the middle of my career where many of the people sitting around me were at the end of theirs. It completely released me of comparing myself to where they are or what I am doing in relation to them because we are at different places. You can not compare your middle with someone else’s ending. It is just futile. So if you are just starting out you won’t be getting the same accolades as someone who has been building their brand for years. That is ok. You will get yours if you just keep working hard.
There is a lot of joy in the world (yes there is suffering, too) and we can tap into that joy every single day if we choose to. Most of us aren’t brain surgeons. Thank goodness. (I would not be good at that.) Our work is important, but it isn’t life and death. We can laugh a little. Enjoy the events we are at. Enjoy the people we encounter. Enjoy the actual work we are doing. Just because the work might be hard or the people difficult sometimes doesn’t mean we can’t relish in the times that there is a little more sun. Experience the joy and be grateful for the time you get doing the work that you love. Isn’t that what it’s really all about?
This is your life and your work and you get to choose what you do to make it amazing. I think these 10 are pretty on mark.
P.S. I send awesome other stuff that you might need to make your life a little simpler and your work a little smarter. You might want to check that out.