Welcome to your busiest, and potentially your most profitable time of year! And…also potentially the LEAST sane time of year. If you are dreading the holiday season and busyness and scramble, I wanna help you get you ready to have a killer season and fantastic good time.
As we leap into Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas, I hope this collection saves a bit of your own sanity.
In April of 2017, after 8 years of self-employment, shifting my business focus a few times and having my best year ever in 2016, I started an entirely new business…while keeping my current business almost exactly the same. I record a weekly video and audio podcast, hold live weekly chats, teach classes around the country and started a whole second business, based in collaboration. How the heck did I find the time for it?
Today I'm answering questions from my Instagram followers (to get your questions answered, be sure you're following me!). In fact, I received so many questions, I split them into two podcasts! You can find the first Q&A post here. Today we'll cover:
Today I'm answering questions from my Instagram followers (to get your questions answered, be sure you're following me!). In fact, I received so many questions, I split them into two podcasts! Today we'll cover:
If you want to get your questions answered on the podcast, consider becoming a Patron! Patrons at the $2+ levels get to tell me what to podcast on next, attend live recordings (online!) and ask their questions while I’m recording and have me reply! I’m going to be using patronage to buy a new lighting set-up so I can do more videos throughout the dark winter months. If you want to help with that, support it here. Thanks!
How do you actually DO what you want to do in your business?
Do you need to understand WHY you're doing it?
Do you need to be held accountable?
Or do you rebel against anyone telling you to do anything (even when you really want to do it)?
This question fascinates me, because it's at the heart of why some people build their business quickly and others struggle along without ever taking much action. This has been such a popular topic that I thought we'd revisit it this week for the podcast. Make sure you read to the bottom in order to get your FREE guide to getting stuff done for Questioners, Obligers, & Rebels!
When I talk to makers and artists who are frustrated that their business hasn't grown, it's very rare that they have NO idea what they should do. Instead, it's that they aren't taking the actions they feel they need to take, they aren't doing what they want to do.
The best explanation I've ever found for WHY some people struggle to get stuff done, is in Gretchen Rubin's book Better Than Before(it's all about habit change, and working on your business really is about habits). She defines the Four Tendencies, as a reason for why some people get stuff done (or change their habits, or work on their biz) and others don't.
I've talked about this before on the podcast (listen in here), but this comes up so often, I wanted to revisit it.
According to Gretchen (and backed up by my own experience working with hundreds of makers and artists), we react to expectations (ie, people telling us to do something), in one of four ways. The way you react to expectations tends to be consistent across your life.
These people do everything that's expected of them, easily. They both meet external expectations (other people telling you what you should do) and internal expectations (things YOU want to do). I have met very few Upholders, and I think it's because they don't seek out biz support – once they know what to do, they just do it.
These people (uh, myself included) don't care to meet external expectations unless they understand WHY. But they have an easy time meeting internal expectations… if those expectations are built on understanding the rationale behind them. In other words, we questioners can do anything if we can turn it from external expectation (you telling me to do something) into an internal expectation (I understand why, and now WANT to do it, because it makes logical sense to me).
These people need to know WHY they are doing anything in their business (“because experts say so” isn't enough). Because I'm a Questioner, I create all of my classes and books for Questioners – I don't tell you what to do, I tell you why something will benefit your biz, then I give you a bunch of questions related to your business, so you can see how to do it in your OWN way. This is why I've built the Starship experience to start with you getting clear on your goals and your path – so that you decide what you want to learn and what you want to do next, and feel motivated to do the work because you can see how it fits into the bigger picture.(According my unscientific study, about 1/3 of the Starship members are Questioners)
These people (maybe you?) have a pretty easy time fulfilling external expectations (if someone asks you to do something, you will), but have a tough time fulfilling internal expectations (say, working on your business, just because you want to). In fact you may fill your days doing things others care about more. So you feel frustrated that you never seem to make the time to work on what matters to YOU. Ugh, this is frustrating.
The solution? Get someone to ask you about what you really care about.
In other words, externalize those internal expectations.
You can do this with a group (like the Starship), where you tell us your goal and then check in as you work through it (this is why we have the weekly live check-in and forums) or with a single person (an accountability partner). After learning that about 2/3 of the Starship members were Obligers, I upped our accountability-providing, by creating the Accountability Partner Program – you just fill out a short form, and I match you with a partner. The two of you work together to decide when to check-in and then you simply tell the person: This is what I'm working on, I'm going to be done with it by X date. That, alone, can suddenly make you feel like you “owe” someone and so you work harder on your business!
These people tend to feel constrained by any kind of expectation. They tell me (we have a handful in the Starship) that “As soon as I write something down, like a goal or to do list, I suddenly do NOT want to do it.” In fact, creating a schedule or a must-do list is going to ensure that a Rebel never does anything.
The solution? I'll be honest, I have been thinking about this for over a year and quizzing any rebels I meet. Gretchen doesn't offer any solution in her book, and I had a hard time coming up with one. Joeli is a self-described Rebel who has made MASSIVE momentum in the last year of her Starship membership (you can get her full story if you sign up here) and she says what works best is making a big list and then picking, each day, what feels fun (instead of telling yourself you HAVE to do something that day), and setting goals that are more about paying attention and learning, than about measuring. (For example, set a goal of “noticing what already works in my business.”) In other words, for Rebels, taking the pressure OFF is often a good motivator for working harder (but if you already feel bad about how little you get done, this might feel REALLY scary). This is why we focus, in the Starship, on finding what works for YOU and giving yourself permission to not do what other people tell you “have” to do.
I hope you see that the answer lies not in forcing yourself to work in ONE way, but in finding what works best for you. No one of the above is better than the others (although I think we all secretly wish we could be Upholders!) – the key to productivity is acknowledging your tendency and then setting up your work day and expectations in a way that works for you.
If you think that more accountability, question-answering and a community of encouragers would help you in your business, check out the Starship – it's opening next week!
Sign up below to get a FREE guide to go with this episode!
You're busy making products, photographing, listing, and (hopefully) shipping orders – how do you find the time to also do marketing? In today's episode, we tackle the problem of never having time for marketing.
Ever since I started preparing for my class on getting more done, I’ve been obsessed with what holds people back from doing what they want to do, or feeling good about their workday.
One of the biggest frustrations people have is that they just can't seem to get through their To Do list, no matter how hard they seem to focus.
After hearing this again and again, and looking close at what they actually PUT on their To Do list, I think I've discovered the problem:
There is a difference between tasks and projects.
A BIG DIFFERENCE.
It’s the difference between you feeling awesome and you feeling awful.
I go into detail about that distinction in my class, but I want to make sure you *get* it. No matter what system or process you use, you need to distinguish between a Project and a Task.
The difference between Tasks and Projects:
A task is a single thing that you can do in one session. A task might be labeling your products or making a single item. A project is bigger and includes multiple tasks. It might be designing and printing new labels, or making enough items for a craft show. (Answering a few emails: a task. Getting to Inbox Zero from Inbox Million: a project)
This is where a lot of people get overwhelmed. They try to work on big projects, without breaking them down into tasks. And for some people, this works. They don't have to think through breaking it down, their brain does it automatically. But for many makers and creatives, you can only see the big project and try to tackle it all at once. This is a recipe for overwhelm and feeling bad about your workday.
The solution: Just recognize the distinction!
Look at your list right now – is it full of projects?
Take a minute and break each project into its tasks!
P.S. If you want to be sure that you're breaking down the most important projects (the ones that will move you towards your bigger goal) into tasks, and that you actually DO all the tasks, check out the Map Making Guide. It walks you through this process, and includes an e-course, so you're prompted to work towards it, a bit at a time, over the course of a week.
If you are listening to this episode as it’s released, on August 19th 2015 – first of all, thank you! You’re awesome. Secondly, if it’s between 9am and 4pm PST, go to CreativeLIVE.com right now and click “watch live!” and you’ll be able to watch me teach! Live!
If you’re not listening RIGHT at that moment, I wanted to give you a sneak peek at what I’m teaching, so that you can start to have a more productive day RIGHT NOW. If you like what you hear, you can purchase the class here and get anytime access to over 5 hours of videos, the full 20+ page workbook, and a discount to Lift Off!
Imagine that it’s the end of your workday. You close your computer, walk away from your sewing machine, put away your supplies. You take a moment to look back at what you just got done. Instead of feeling frustration, or that it’s never enough, you feel calm. You feel GOOD. You’re proud of what you got done, and you know that it matters – that it is moving you, bit by bit, towards your goal.
That is what I want for you, and that is the aim of this class. So that soon, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, you’ll get done working, and you’ll feel GOOD.
In this episode I share the Three Keys to Getting More Done.