IN THIS EPISODE I COVER
- What to do when you feel misaligned in your business or your stuck in a rut
- The importance of acknowledging what feels wrong so we can move forwards.
- Taking a birds eye view and analysing our business, our numbers and our stats.
- Sharing what’s holding us back with people we know or hiring professional help.
- Why action is the thing that’s going to make a difference.
LINKS AND RESOURCES I MENTION
Mothers Meetings – get togethers for mums in London
READ THE EPISODE HERE
Full disclosure, I love to spend my downtime watching 80s movies with my favourite people. Did you see the gremlins movie? I remember watching it. I was 8 with some older friends and I loved and hated it in equal measures. Those pesky, cute and disruptive little monsters that caused mayhem!
I think we all have gremlins in our creative businesses! Are you fed up with not attracting the clients you really want to work with, or feel that you’re not achieving your full potential, or are you just unable to shake the bleurgh feeling?
I’m so excited to bring you this episode because I have met so many creatives who have built a business doing what they loved but over time have become misaligned or gotten into a rut. It can happen to us all, and I always think of my business as a little bit like a marriage that needs constant love, attention and focus to help it bloom. Because just like a marriage too, nobody ever said this was going to be easy.
There are so many ways we can feel like we’re growing apart from our business, so today I want to help you fall back a little bit in love with what you do, or to motivate you to change it up and make it work better for you. We all have infinite potential, absolutely. I always like to go back to Beyonce, but she’s such a great example of someone who didn’t just get lucky. She takes control, she takes action and she works her butt off to keep reaching higher and higher and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t all be a bit more Beyonce. So today I’m going to share an approach that I hope will resonate and help you see the steps you can take towards feeling more YEAH about what you do.
But first, if you’re not aware already, my podcasts are all supported by my 1-2-1 coaching programmes. My signature programme is called BLOOM and it’s a 10 session focus to support you in a big creative project like launching a new business, or product or to pivot a blog or business you already have. It’s my mission to help you through freely available content like this podcast but if you want to go deeper into your business and bridge the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be. I also offer other coaching programmes. CLARITY is a 12 week programme where we have two calls together then I check in every week via email to keep you accountable. Also I’m offering bespoke day workshops, tailored to you where we can work together and you can invite a few friends to make it more cost-effective. Finally, I am so happy to offer an individual 2-hour Skype session, FOCUS where we explore where you’re at and where you want to be and you leave with more clarity about how you can make it all happen. If you’re interested in working with me, head over to my website ruthhoskins.com
So to dive back into today’s episode, I want to share an approach that we can all use whatever the reason we are feeling misaligned.
Step number 1 : Acknowledge + analyse
The very first thing I would do is to dive into your original business plan or idea and figure out if it represents who you are now. Going back over our why and asking ourselves what your business means to you as a person is always a healthy thing to do.
What is the reason you feel like this? Maybe you are so busy delivering work to your clients that you’re stuck in a time v money thing and you can’t see a way to scale? Or perhaps you feel like you’re not achieving your full potential or you just feel unmotivated and unsure in which direction you want to go in, or that you’re not earning what you need or would like to be earning. All of these are classic ways we can fall out of alignment.
If this was me, I would take some time to really analyse my business versus my problem. So if it’s about money I would really analyse my numbers. Am I selling my service at the right price to the right people? Am I worth more? Can I improve my website so I attract more high-end clients?
Are you communicating your pricing clearly and helping people to understand exactly what they are going to buy and the benefits and impact is has on their lives? Are you actually selling? Is your shop out there loud and proud?
If your problem is about attracting the right type of clients I think I would look as objectively as possible at my brand, my messaging and my content. Is it aligned with the people I wanna serve? Is it all about them? Is it clear and consistent across all my online channels and is what I’m putting out there really me? The number one way I would say about building a brand is BE MORE YOU! I see so many people trying to sound “professional” and of course we wanna be professional to some level, but as small creative businesses we also need to be ourselves cos ultimately it’s us that people are going to buy from.
Just imagine if we used the same language as our clients, if we made our content for just one person so we could connect in a powerful way, ad if we could make our brand be the combination of them, you and the impact you have on them.
Maybe you’re stuck on growth, whether that’s in your numbers, your email list, your Insta or whatever. Here, I would ask myself, what growth do I want for my business? What type of growth is going to equate to more sales or clients? Do you want to grow a blog or Instagram so you can work with brands? Or maybe you want to grow as a creative and you wanna learn some new skills?
Acknowledging the cause of our misalignment is such an important step because we can’t move forward unless we’ve figured out whats holding us back.
Step number 2: Talk and get help
A problem shared is a problem halved, remember? Don’t hide it away! Don’t brush it off and say “oh, it’s nothing, I’ll be fine” when you half admit to someone over a coffee that you’re not feeling it.
But it does matter. You matter. You’ve got to build a team, your crew, around you and you can do that in whatever way feels right for you, because I’m telling ya the power of community is real. Maybe you’ve got a few creative friends you can chat with on WhatsApp, or if you like being in a group then push yourself to go because even if you meet one person who you connect with it might be worth it.
I remember feeling so closed up in my last business because I wasn’t very happy working for big brands, and I felt I should be cos I was winning some majorly amazing work. So I hid it and did the whole keep calm and carry on thing, and it was only after being really sick that I felt a bit more “I need more” and so through moving abroad and dragging my kids around in a campervan I learned to open my heart in a way I never had!
Committing to being more open-hearted has been transformational for me. Saying yes instead of no, not being afraid to be me rather than embarrassed to be me, to reach out to new people, to put myself out there.
You’re best friends will always be your best friends but it’s also SO important to have a crew who are going through the same journey as you, so if you haven’t reached out, I’m hoping after this podcast you can find a few people to reach out to and make friends, people who get your vibe, or who you admire. It’s so easy to get lost behind our screens but the main power of social media is in the friendships that can spill over into real life.
I recently went to a fab life coaching session with @lionesslifecoaching at a Mothers Meeting event at Shoreditch House and she talked a lot about finding your crew, picking out those people (real and imaginary who you take on your journey).
The other avenue is to get pro help. So maybe when you analysed your business and you worked out your problem was growth, you know you need someone to help you take that up a level. If Instagram growth is the right path for your business, then taking an online course or retreat is a positive first step. Or maybe you need a mentor, someone who can guide you through the next phase. Or a coach to help you uncover the business and life that you really want.
Step number 3: ACTION!
This is the final but MOST IMPORTANT step you can take because it’s the small steps we take that lead us down our path. I know this can be really hard when you are totally unmotivated and feeling a massive lack of direction but my message is don’t sweat about the big steps, the gap, just focus on doing one or two small things and see where it takes you because procrastination isn’t going to get you anywhere, anytime.
So a friend of mine (I’ll call her M) was stuck in her business, delivering amazing work for a great portfolio of clients but she had an idea during away at the back of her head. An idea for something a little bit more “passive” because her rut was spending all her time delivering work for her clients she just couldn’t take the time to work on her idea. She knew she wanted to scale it, because being busy made nobody a millionaire. But M felt the gap was too far and that overwhelmed her. So another year passed and she was in the same place.
But when we started to explore this, she redefined her working week as well as looked at her client profiles, putting herself in control and carved out the time to spend two hours a week when she would have been working for a client that wasn’t a good fit (or very profitable) so she could work on her new idea. She felt bad about letting her client go, but felt good after having an open conversation with them and ended up passing the work on to someone who she thought was a better fit.
So the small action of analysing her client profile ended up resulting in a happy client, a happy her and she used that time to write an online course that ended up give her the opportunity to cut down on client work and earn more and do less. Ka-ching!
So I’m going to set you a little bit of homework (I love homework!). If this has all resonated with you, I’d like for you to write down 5 things that you are going to do to take action.
A few things you could include are:
- Read a business book that inspires you (or listen to some podcasts) and motivates you
- Write out what your ideal working week would look like
- Imagine out your perfect future and go create a Pinterest board that represents it
- Review your website and check it’s on-point for your dream clients
- Have a mini business analysis session by yourself or team up with a creative friend
- Go tell a friend how you’re feeling
- Get yourself to a local meet-up of creatives (in Yorkshire where I am) I’ll put a link in the show notes to the Yorksinstameet group who are creating a beautiful and supportive community and also the Mothers Meetings group who put on completely inspiring events with loads of your favourite people to follow online)
- Review your clients and see what it looks like compared to your dream clients
- Do 1 thing every morning that makes you feel good before you open your laptop
If you’ve been through any of these things and would like to share your story to help other creative business owners, please reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d love to talk to you for a future episode.