It’s completely ironic that I’m drinking a cup of coffee as I write this post at 10 pm. When I started this whole thing I would drink coffee at 9 pm and work through the night. It was when I worked best, and I had a day job at the time that didn’t allow me to work normal hours on the blog. Those hours didn’t last long because it was a bit neglectful to Parker – he was going to sleep a good 5 hours earlier than me, and I was obviously sleeping several hours later than him in the mornings. It wasn’t working for us, so I converted to a morning person as soon as I started doing this full time. I will never be a true morning person because I loathe those first couple of minutes before I can get coffee down. I’ve been told I’m extremely unpleasant in the mornings. As long as Parker can pull me out of bed and I can make my way to the Keurig, I am usually good to go. This late night to early morning transition story is basically a summary of this past year. Kind of. I started my business in January and have basically been running around frantically trying to find practices and habits that work, thus learning a lot of practices that haven’t worked for me. With 2015 coming to an end, I figured it was time to really reflect on this past year, evaluate what I’m doing and decide what needs to change in order to grow.
New Year Resolutions for a New Business Owner:
Cut Myself Some Slack. I’m just going to get this one out of the way. I’ll also be brutally honest. I’ve developed an anxiety I’ve never known since starting my business. My migraines haven’t slowed down, and I have weekly breakdowns where I wonder if I’m cut out for all of this. It’s all self inflicted though. I don’t have to put the pressure on myself that I do. But I choose to constantly overthink and over-stress. A part of me knows this is somewhat normal for a small business owner – I’ve read that it’s common to view your business as your child. Bottom line – I need to lighten up. I need to live where my feet are and separate work time from non work moments. I’m completely aware of this one – the difficult step is making the change.
Journal. I have a very finicky memory unless a sense is involved. I find myself smelling something, hearing a song, etc. and instantly remembering very specific details of my life, but if senses aren’t involved I don’t remember much of anything. Like this cup of coffee I’m drinking right now – I am actually remembering how I felt during that time when I would stay up to work all night. I remember it all being much easier although I’m sure I didn’t think it was “easy” at the time. I do remember less anxiety though. There’s something so comforting about going back to read thoughts from the past. I’d really like to start journaling to remember day to day thoughts and just my overall well being. I also know that when I have extremely irrational thoughts that it helps to work through them when I put it on paper. It’s like it becomes concrete when it goes on nice paper. Now I just need an overpriced journal.
Intense Calendar. With the right calendar and the right pen, I’ve learned anything is possible. That is not a joke. When I have my month mapped out on my calendar all color coded it brings me such ease. I seriously feel like I can conquer the world, and it helps so much with prioritizing.
I recently found these Prismacolor markers at Michaels and they took my drive to have an annoyingly color coded calendar to a whole new level. The colors are endless, and the felt tip passes my “good pen” test which isn’t easy to pass. It’s honestly amazing how much joy a good pen can bring.
Prioritize. This one is going to be huge for me in the next year. Right now I have the blog, design clients, freelance work and some other non related work that I sometimes do. I love all of these things that I do, but it’s become evident that I must start prioritizing in order to grow. There’s really no way of knowing what will work best for me, but I suppose it has something to do with determining what and where I want to be in 5 years and then prioritizing those jobs that compliment the big vision. That’s of course long-term prioritizing, but I also need short-term prioritizing in place. As in day to day. Parker is so good at this and tries to explain that a list is my best friend. Sure, I love lists too and even more the crossing off part – the problem here is when something goes wrong with a single item. I feel like I’m abandoning it if I move on to the next item, but if I don’t move on I have a completely unproductive day.
Work Smarter. This whole list basically comes down to this. I want to work smarter. I want to constantly self-evaluate my habits and practices in order to ensure that what I’m doing is working and working well. I love what I do so much. Too much really. I’m in it for the long run but also want to keep my well being in mind and it seems that working smarter is the best way to go about that. I obviously want my business to grow – I pour my soul into this thing. I want to find the best practices and habits that will help my business grow but that will also allow me to breath and step back sometimes. Being completely intentional with every single detail seems to be my answer here.
Any advice out there for new business owners? Please share your secrets! I will hoard them all.