If you’ve ever run a race, you remember the aid station: tables set up with volunteers handing out water, Gatorade and sometimes even snacks. It’s a runner’s respite mid-race, where they can re-hydrate and get the energy they need to keep going.
It’s important to set yourself up for success in your own business, too. Give yourself the tools you need to keep pushing forward.
If you’re like many business owners, you spend so much time focused on your clients and customers that you forget that your own business has needs too. I’m certainly guilty of that! That’s why I’ve created some mini aid stations for myself so I can keep on track and keep growing my business in the right direction.
Carve Out Time
You can’t hold yourself accountable for work if you don’t have time to get it done. When I’m training for a race, I get my runs done first thing in the morning—when I know I’ll get it done. If I try to wait until later in the day to get my run in, I won’t do it. Either it will be too hot outside (hello Phoenix 9 months out of the year) or I’ll be too hungry or too lazy or too busy. Whatever the excuse, it’s easy to find one.
Put your own business on your calendar and make it a priority. Don’t feel like you have to carve out an entire day for your business; do what works for you. I have two full days a month that I dedicate to my business, plus several additional hours every week.
[bctt tweet=”Put your own business on your calendar and make it a priority.” username=””]
The Right Supporters
As much as I love running, I won’t do it without people who support me. I’m talking about my running buddies who I schedule running dates with in advance so I’m sure to lace up. Do you have someone like that in your life? The person who will call you out if you don’t do what you say you’re going to do?
Schedule a business date with someone (I call them CEO dates) where you can co-work either virtually or in person. Then come to that appointment ready to work. This isn’t the time to vent about your significant other or kids, so make sure your accountability buddy is ready to work (and keep you on track).
Know the Plan
You need a plan of action when training for a race: long run here, speed work there, hill repeats another day. If you have a goal time in mind, you need to have a training plan laid out (and then stick to it).
When you’re creating a plan for your business accountability, you need to know what the endgame is. If you’re sitting down for a work session with a friend, make sure you have a list of the tasks you can get done during the timeframe you have available, like writing a blog or two, scheduling nurturing emails, tweaking some website copy, etc. Just make sure that if you’re scheduling a CEO date that you’re using it for your own business. And have a few extra tasks on my list in case you get bored with what you’re doing or finish your list.
Have Snacks Available
I love my food. During a long race, I need breakfast before I start and snacks during—mixed nuts, dried fruit, pretzels. Foods that will help me get through the race without upsetting my stomach.
When I’m ready to plow through a boatload of content for my own business, I make sure I have the snacks handy too. Only when I’m writing, I tend to gravitate toward things like gummy bears, popcorn (movie theatre style) and licorice. Not exactly healthy, but they keep me happy!
Put Noise on Hold (or use music)
We have so much noise going on around us, both internal and external. When I’m running, I used to plug the ear buds in and get lost in my music. I still do, when I’m running a race that I want to run quickly.
But when I’m working on content for myself or my clients, I need silence. No music (unless it’s classical) and I pause my inbox, Slack notifications and turn my phone to “do not disturb.” That allows me laser-focused time that I can’t get if notifications are constantly ringing in my ear. Figure out what the best noise factor is for you to really focus and get work done for your own business.
[bctt tweet=”Regularly put noise on hold so you can focus on working on your own business.” username=””]
Check It Off
I am a total list-girl! Partly because I can’t remember anything 30 minutes after it pops into my head, and partly because I just like crossing things off my list. It makes me feel accomplished. When you finish something that you needed to get done for your own business, cross it off. Whether you have it written in Evernote or OneNote, in a calendar, a project management system or a spiral notebook, do whatever you need to do to celebrate having the task done.
If you struggle with having just the right group of supporters and forcing yourself to carve out the time to work on your own business, I have the program for you. On March 16, I’m launching a program that will help you get your blog and email content done and scheduled before your kids come home for summer break. Find out more!