TIPS, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND EXCLUSIVE DEALS SENT STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX
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Does anybody else love the New Year? I’m absolutely obsessed with it. I don’t really fall for the resolutions, but I am a sucker for any opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for the future! A lot of small businesses experience their rush at the end of the year, followed by a short lull in January and February.
Once I realized this pattern, I began to intentionally set aside my entire month of January for internal work. That’s right; I don’t shoot at all for a whole month straight. Of course, it;’s not a vacation by any stretch of the imagination. I’m pulling 10 hours days most of the week, my to-do lists are a mile long, and my coffee pot brews around the clock.
So… why am I working so hard during a month where I’m not even shooting any weddings?
This is my planning month. And you need one too.
I’ll walk you through exactly what I’m planning for, why I do it this way, and how you can master the art of batch working to save yourself stress all year long.
Last year was not an easy one, and for many small business owners it’s hard to gauge how much of business was shifted because of Coronavirus vs any other factors.
And you know what? You should celebrate that. You and your business made it through a global pandemic. Do you know how insane that is? Take a minute to congratulate yourself on that. It’s a huge win!
See how you’ve already identified one win of 2020? Keep going! What worked well last year? What did your clients respond well to? What made you feel good? What set your heart on fire?
Now for the less fun part… what didn’t work? What felt really difficult and painful to move through? What tasks did you absolutely dread starting?
These are difficult questions, but write them all down. I like pen and paper, but you can keep a notes tab in your phone or use an app like Evernote or Google Docs to stay organized. Wherever you put your answers, you want to be able to look back on them throughout the year.
Setting your intentions basically means, deciding what you want to accomplish. It’s sort of like setting goals, but with less strategy and planning behind it. For me, I intend to spend less time in my business and more time celebrating with my couples. I mean, how lucky am I that I have a job where every night ends with cake and dancing? I want more of that, and less of the backend junk like invoicing, marketing, and promotion calendars.
Make your intentions as wild and crazy as your heart can handle. What do you really want this year?
Now that you know what worked and what didn’t work in the past, and you know what you want for the future, ask yourself — what is stopping you from getting there?
Is a full-time job holding you back? Are you having difficulties nailing down your ideal client? Do you find yourself stuck in the work you don’t like, on your way to getting to the work you do like?
Be really honest with yourself! Maybe you truly don’t have the time to do everything on your to-do list, but maybe also you’re not excited by the work so it’s taking you twice as long to tick off each item.
Again, write these down! Your feelings about this may shift and change as you try different things, and it’s important to remember how and why you felt certain ways.
If you’re looking at 2021, and it’s looking like a whole year of doing things that simply don’t serve you, you’re probably not feeling too excited. Enter: batch work.
You’ve probably heard the term before, and it’s for good reason. I’m going to take it one step further and tell you to spend an entire month batch working for your business.
Maybe you’re wondering, “what could I spend an entire month doing that I can’t do during the rest of the year?” and, friend, I’m glad you asked!
A list of things you could do this month to further your business this year:
Right there, I’ve given you three weeks of work if you tackle just one task a day. We’re already a week into January, so you can see how easy it would be to fill up your month with backend batch work. Doing it in one go is especially important because you’re not getting distracted by other (very important!) aspects of your business, like managing your booking calendar or setting up consultations with 3 brides a day.
All of this will help you focus on what matters during the year, not stress about the marketing or admin side of your business. Because, truthfully, those parts of any business are absolutely imperative, but if you’re in the muck and trying to balance everything all year around, you’ll have a half-done to-do list and be more stressed than necessary. Getting this work out of the way early gives you more time to enjoy the parts of your business like… hanging out with your cool asf clients, or taking 3 hour long lunch breaks, or planning adventurous mountainside elopements!
Now, get out there and let’s crush 2021, the way we all thought we could crush 2020 before it crushed us instead!!
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