Hello Q4! If you’re anything like me this quarter always starts with a rush. Over the past two weeks alone, I’ve written 17, that’s right 17 proposals, submit to large publications, launched two newsletters, all while working on projects for retainer clients. Needless to say, it’s been a busy few weeks. Rather than feeling like I’ve been drowning, instead I’ve found momentum. Most likely you’re experiencing fall rush as well. Maybe you have sent your kiddos back to school and are finding the routine to be far more rushed than normal. Maybe you’re a momma with little ones who wakes up early and stays up late to complete the passions burning on your heart. Maybe you’re rocking a creative side-hustle all the while working a day job or attending school. What if with a bit of preparation, your business could be soaring during fall rush? What if you could rock your launches, close sales, and find yourself in a great place, no longer rushing to the next thing?
Here’s the thing about automation. It produces something within us that is far, far more important. It teaches us to let go. By choosing to create systems and simplify our life we retain focus. (Confession, I used to think I was a pro at multitasking. The true result? I had busy work days, but was actually only getting work done for 2 hours a day.)
You want to go fast (and most likely burnout) go alone. If you want to go far, find others to travel with you. Embrace the idea of team and know your capacity. As you build your team, find others to partner with you and add to your strengths. If you’re worried about the sustainability of your company with onboarding employees, choose to build with contract workers or subcontractors first prior to substantiating their position. Seasonal help is normal. It might be for your business as well.
Systems aren’t sexy, but can save you in a busy season. In my world, proposals, potential client meeting, and creating package booklets for each client’s needs can take hours of time. What have I chosen to do? Each proposal now functions as a template with simple fill in the blank sections. This week I wrote and sent off three proposals in an hour (and felt like a champion). For blogging, I sit down and write a week’s worth of content at a time. For admin and finances, I find that a bit of quick work on Monday mornings when I first get to the office ensure a smooth and well-thought out rest of the week.
For my inbox, canned responses are the absolute best. Every person who send me an email gets a response. For proposals I’ve sent off and don’t hear back from, I have two subsequent emails and a system for tracking leads, when emails are sent, and if the lead is dead.
Let’s get practical and talk about life that needs automating.
For the weeks that are too manage meal prep, I grab a collection of favorite salads from the Trader Joe’s deli section and have lunches done for the week. With a bag of apples and a few sparkling waters, my meals remain healthy regardless of the pace of the week.
Where I live there is only coin laundry as an option. Because of this, I hate doing laundry. My solution? Making it as quick and painless as possible. I spend 1.5 hours on one month of laundry. The upside of coin laundry? I can do 4 loads at one time. I set my alarm and work quickly. As my wash is being done, I also do my dry cleaning in the dryer. Then everything is switched over and just like that I am done with laundry in the same time I watch Chef’s Table.
Entrepreneurship and creative life is like spinning multiple plates. Oftentimes plates are added and we think we must keep all the others in the air. Sometimes you might drop one. Frequently when my personal life and self-care is thriving, my business is suffering and vice versa. You can have it all, but it might not be at the same time. Many entrepreneurs have some amazing quotes about business mindsets. It changes everything. I think one of the most popular is the idea that 80% of business lives within your mind. What are the limiting beliefs and mindsets you’re facing? Why can’t this quarter be amazing and allow you to be booked out through 2020. It’s time to think bigger. List is out and prepare for some amazing launches. Identify your limiting beliefs. Do the heart work to tackle them to the ground.
I get it. The creative entrepreneur life was built for the people who love freedom, adventure, and working from anywhere. However, this comes with off seasons and on seasons. Most likely your business is experiencing a rush or should be working towards one for holiday sales. Regardless of what life looks like, choose to spend 8-10 hours a day working. That’s right, bum in chair, crushing it, and getting things done. As you get larger tasks done, you’ll notice momentum will build and you will have energy to get more done. Hello productivity and say farewell to the indefinitely to do lists.
With the holiday season here (that’s right Starbucks and their PSLs mark the start of fall and seasonal campaigns, not the official start of fall), calendar out your launches, projected income, and goals for each launch. Know your campaigns, map out the communication strategy behind each, and set pre-production dates for each. Whether you are marketing physical products, ecommerce, or e-courses, choose to do the market research and tailor a message toward your customer.
September 22nd- first day of fall
October- launches of physical products for holiday, gifts over $100, subscription preorders, and items that would be purchased for holiday (think gatherings, home category, Thanksgiving items, home essentials, and improvement, Christmas decor, stationery, publications
November- Black Friday and Cyber Monday
December- Holiday Rush, Non-profit generosity, End of year giving
January- Life improvement categories (anything New Year’s related-wellness, organization, selfcare, business courses, products with words of the year)
Tell me, how are you preparing your business for fall rush?