Building Courage Is A Habit

In my previous post, I talked about the relationship between courage and self confidence. One aspect of that was that we can use courage and doing things that scare us a little to boost our feeling of self-worth and confidence. In other words, we can increase self-confidence by being courageous or doing something that takes a little courage more often.

If you would like to read the previous post Courage and Self Confidence, click here. Read More →

Courage and Self Confidence

Today let’s take a look at the connection between courage and self-confidence. Too often we think of courage only in the terms of extremes, like saving someone from a burning building. And yes that does require courage, but so does admitting you need help to get your business organized. If you are fearful and go ahead and do it anyway, you are courageous.

Trust me, there’s an important reason why we’re exploring this idea. Take a moment to think back on a time when you were scared to do something but you gathered up your courage and did it anyway.

Maybe it was walking away from a bad situation. Maybe it was working through a problem that seemed impossible at first glance. Maybe it was overcoming a fear of yours, facing it, and coming through ok at the other side. Maybe it was overcoming a big physical or mental challenge like running your first 10K race or acing a big exam. It doesn’t matter what it was, as long as you think of something that took courage to do. Read More →

Happy Independence Day!

Here in the United States today – July 4th – is Independence Day, a day that I believe should be near and dear to the Solopreneurs heart. We have chosen Independence over the easy security of a traditional job. We should be celebrating our choice today – we represent the American Spirit. Read More →

Have You Heard About Bullet Journaling?

Bullet Journaling has been a hot trend for a little while in the planner and getting organized communities, but it may not be something that you’ve heard of. If not, you’re in for a treat. If you love to-do lists and check-lists, this is something you don’t want to miss.

If you have too many things to remember and think about on a daily basis and you need a simple system to help you keep track, bullet journaling was made for you. We all have a lot of different daily tasks, appointments, and various things we need to remember. Trying to keep track of everything in your head becomes exhausting. And if you manage a team at work or a family at home, it becomes near impossible. Just think of how much more productive and less stressed you’ll be if you can stop trying to remember all this “stuff”. Read More →

How Do You Define Time Management?

We all hear about time management, and we are told it is important. It is also said that a person who does not respect time does not respect his or her own self and that may be a bit harsh, but also holds a grain of truth. Time management is so important that today’s parents often teach the values of it to their children so that they can grow up to be better individuals. Learning time management skills at an early age can help children better reach their goals as they mature. But don’t worry if you didn’t start as a child its not too late to try to take control of your busy schedule.

How would one define time management actually? Is it about making a timetable and abiding by it? Or is it about allotting a specific time to do your daily tasks? Or is it about separating time for work, play, food and everything else that a human needs to do? Read More →

Have You Been Putting Off Starting Your Journal?

Are you someone who has been wanting to start journaling, but for some reason still haven’t gotten started? I hope these ideas will help you to take the next step and actually start your own journal.  Journaling can be a great way to reduce stress and help you get focused.  These simple ideas will hopefully motivate you to start journaling and keep it up every day.

What is Your Reason for Journaling?

So, you know you want to journal, have bought all the supplies, but just can’t find the motivation. If this sounds like you, you may just need to find the right reason to do it. Just wanting to journal because of some vague benefits might not be enough. Really hone in on why YOU want to journal, and what you hope to get out of it. Don’t worry about the reasons other people choose to write in their journal. This is you and your experience, so it should really be unique to you. Read More →

Have you heard about Bullet Journaling for Business? 

Bullet journaling is a relatively new way to approach the idea of journaling and adding in all the elements of a planner and calendar system.  The bullet journal system was developed by Ryder Carroll is intended to be use offline on real paper, but it can also be adapted to a digital application.  One of the core concepts of bullet journaling is that it is completely customizable.

However, since bullet journaling can be customized, some people struggle to understand how to set it up and get the most out of it. In bullet journaling, you are essentially combining all of your thoughts, finances, schedules, to-do lists, and miscellaneous life notes into a single journal. It is a way to organize all of those different things you try to keep up with on a daily basis.

It is not only fun, but very helpful in reducing overall stress and anxiety.

Benefits of Bullet Journaling

First of all, you will benefit a lot by starting a bullet journal. Remember there is really no right or wrong way to do it. It is supposed to make life easier for you, not more difficult, so don’t be pressured to have it perfectly organized or look like others.

These are some of the fantastic benefits of bullet journaling:

  • Everything is in one place – First of all, all your different to-do lists, schedules, and notes are in a single journal. Many people do have journals or digital to-do lists with this type of information, but it is inconvenient having one for finances, one for household chores, and yet another for business to-do lists.The bullet journal system lets you have everything in one place, and with rapid logging and symbols, you can fit more information into one core journal. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what rapid logging is, we will talk about that in a minute.)
  • It is easy to do – A bullet journal is also very easy to put together. You can do this how you like, but typically you start by creating the index, which is usually located in the front. Then you want to number the pages if you don’t have a pre-numbered journal.  Most people start by adding calendars and to-do lists, but again, you can use a bullet journal for any purpose you like.
  • You can track your regular habits – Since you are writing in the bullet journal daily, you are able to track your habits and see what needs to change. It can help you see that you spend too much money on coffee and eating out, or that you aren’t exercising enough. But, I believe the real magic for a solopreneur is the ability to track stats and money, coming in and going out.

Choosing the Journal

To start your bullet journal, you first need a journal to use. This can be any type of journal, but choosing one that is thick enough for all your different pages and that has nice large pages is a good idea.Mindset for Organization

Look for one that can stay closed when needed, but when you open to individual pages, the spine isn’t so tight that it is hard to write in it. Also look for thick pages in case you decide to decorate some of the pages and don’t want anything bleeding through.

If this is your first bullet journal, you may want to just start with a spiral notebook.  This is how I got started, I had a spiral notebook already in my office and just created my index and took off from there.  In the future, I plan to get something with thicker pages so that I can use my gel pens, to add some color.

Components of a Bullet Journal

While you can create the bullet journal however you like, these are the key elements that make the system work.

  • Index – In my opinion this is what really makes the system work. The index is usually located at the front of the bullet journal. I think of it more of a table of contents, it helps you find different sections in the journal, such as blog post calendars and social media planning, or affiliate income trackers. Use short meaningful titles so that you can go right to that page.
  • Page numbers – Naturally, since you have an index, you also need to have page numbers. You can be as creative as you want, but make sure every page is numbered and it corresponds with what is in the index. For bullet journals, you will want to number the pages front and back to be able to use all the pages and not waste any space.
  • Rapid Logging – This is the name the creator of the bullet journal system, Ryder Carroll, gave to his short journal entries. Simple, crisp, facts are used to create short entries, to conserve space and to reduce the time you need to spend journaling each day. This can also include symbols or emojis to help express your thoughts and ideas.
  • Signifiers – Signifiers are symbols that you assign to different types of notes. It can be helpful when you want to use them in place of longer phrases. This can be a happy or sad smiley face for your moods, a heart for a date with your significant other, or a Christmas tree when scheduling holidays. They can also be used to add emphasis, such as an exclamation point for a task that requires immediate attention. I may have said this before, but you can customize it to make it work for you.

Now that you have some of the basics of the bullet journaling system, give it a try to get your business and life more organized. Start simple and build it up over time. To help you remember to use your new bullet journaling system, I would recommend setting a reminder for the first couple of weeks, then you can determine if you need to keep up with the reminders or let them go.

 

Is Perfectionism Stopping Your Business From Growing?

It doesn’t get any better than perfect, right?

A project or task done perfectly is the most we could hope for. Perfection is what we all should strive for whether we’re working for ourselves or someone else. Sound familiar?

These are a few of the thoughts most people have about people who are perfectionists and perfectionism in general. And while, in theory this sounds good; the reality is, perfectionism has a few drawbacks. The dictionary says perfection is an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence. It’s the act or process of perfecting something to a level for which most of us refuse to attain.

Perfectionism

Perfectionism has been defined as when someone strives toward goals that are usually impossibly high but won’t settle for anything less. If it’s less than perfect they view it as unacceptable. If someone else does a better job, the perfectionist can go into depression and become useless on the next assignment or project. They feel they cannot be outdone. Rather than finish a job with imperfection, they had rather do nothing than risk not meeting their own self-imposed standards.

If you’ve been described as a perfectionist and want to change the way you are, the first thing you need to do is be aware of this condition and potential problems. It can be a blessing or a curse. It depends on how you handle it.

Procrastination

Perfectionists may be viewed as procrastinators. Procrastination can be misdiagnosed as laziness. You may delay getting started on a task because you’re working to get it done perfectly. Work is never begun because you’re spending time planning every minute detail.  You put off working because the project may be overwhelming with its magnitude and you don’t feel you can do it justice in the time allotted. You won’t settle for a vague estimate, you demand detailed figures before you begin.

Typically, if you’re working for someone else, you must at least get something done every day. Set deadlines for yourself on a portion of the project and see to it that these deadlines are met regardless if it meets your standards. Working for yourself, this could lead you to the poor house.  You have to meet deadlines. You have to keep appointments and meetings.  If you let perfectionism be your only goal, your business will suffer.

What’s unacceptable to you may be perfectly fine for others. To help you meet your deadlines it might be wise to ask someone to keep a check on you to make sure you’re keeping on schedule. An accountability coach can be a great asset if you know yourself to be a perfectionist. You may also want to have a business coach that you can trust to keep you moving forward.

Moving Forward

Learn to be flexible and how to bend your own requirements until you reach a compromise. Allow yourself to do a less than perfect job and then listen to the critiques of your friends and co-workers. They’ll probably wonder how it could be any better.

Concentrate on the work you’re accomplishing and don’t worry about the end product. By doing this, the task you’ve tackled will eventually be complete and you’ll find you can function with perfectionism in a less than perfect world. You can still do a good job, and often times you will impress many people with how thourogh you were even if you feel you have missed the mark.

Getting your business organized may feel like a project that needs to be perfect, but you will find that like most things in life, there will always be updates to some element of your organizing system, so get started today and your business will be organized before you know it.

Keep Your Online Business and Personal Lives Seperate

Seperate Your Business and Personal Lives Online

When it comes to social media most of us have either purposely or accidentally combined our personal and business on one social media account. Sometimes it can be a good idea to combine the two but only for very specific types of businesses. With the newer technology and the ability to block, segment, and differentiate what our followers and friends see of our activity on social media it’s easier than ever to keep your personal business private.

It Is Okay to Keep Business and Personal Seperate

You may not realize that you have a right to keep your personal life separate from your business. But you do. It can be awkward when a business associate tracks down your personal Facebook page and asks to “friend” you but you know that you probably disagree on at least one of the three items that shouldn’t be discussed in mixed company: Religion, Politics, and Baby Poop. But you’ll be doing yourself and your business a huge favor.

Simply tell your business associates, when and if it comes up, that you like to keep personal and business separate, and that they won’t get important business updates without following or “liking” your business account. Then give them the link to your business account profile. It’s more than likely they will completely understand and even praise your decision. They’ll see how important business is to you.

Having separate accounts or using the technology to segment your audience can give you amazing freedom. You’ll be able to be yourself on your personal social media accounts, and you’ll be able to better focus on business with your separate business social media accounts. No worries about differences of opinions or accidentally offending someone.

Having separate accounts will give you the option to outsource some of the social media interaction and updates that you need to engage in as a business. It’s also good to take time off from work and if your accounts are intermingled when you’re trying to take time off work it will be difficult when everything is together.

Seperation Allows for Greater Privacy

Keeping your accounts separate will allow you to honor your own privacy as well as that of your friends and family too. Often people do not set up their social media correctly and do not realize that “friends of friends” can often see their private information to include telephone numbers, birthdays, and more. Plus sometimes your family and friends will tag you in something they think is funny that your business partners don’t find quite as funny.

Aside from the obvious personal issues above, another reason why you want to keep your personal business separated is that if you build a brand for your business separate from yourself and your name, you can build it bigger outside of yourself and even sell the business easier later, when and if you decide to retire or move on. Selling a business that is a separate entity from your personality is a lot more lucrative. A business named after yourself, or that completely relies on your name isn’t a very salable business and you wouldn’t want to transfer over your personal accounts to someone anyway.

Just remember, you have every right to keep your personal life separate from your business life. Anyone who is offended that you don’t want to “friend” them on your personal social media accounts needs a lesson in online business etiquette.

Do You Struggle With Time Management?

Time management, the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.  Brendon Buchard has a great video that talks about what is really behind our lack of “time management.”

As you can see he talks about needing to know what your big goals are to be able to effectively “manage” your time.  Start by knowing your big yearly goal(s), then make sure at the start of each month you sit down and plan what your goals are and how you will meet those goals.  This is so powerful, just a few minutes at the start of each month can really change your life.

He also touches on making sure to schedule time for you, for your family, for the relationships in your life.  As we get busier and busier, it can be all too easy to let the fun drift right out of our life, so I agree with Brendon that it is so important to make sure you schedule time for what is important in your life and then worry about the deadlines you need to meet in your business.

If you have not read his book “The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive” I strongly encourage you to get a copy and start reading today.

And if you would like learn more about Goal Setting, this post may be helpful.