Tara Swiger‘s awesome How to Get More Done class was on Creative Live today. I had it on in the background when I heard a question that really stood out to me:
“What do I do when something is important, and REALLY needs done in order to drive my business forward, but it keeps slipping to the bottom of my to-do list?”
“What is it?! What is it?!”
The response was something like, “Is it a project instead of a task? Maybe it needs broken down further and that’s why it seems overwhelming and not getting done…”
But they never explained exactly what the bottom of the to-do list item was. So my wandering mind made up it’s own scenario: I imagined a microbusiness owner starting their own business because they were truly passionate about doing “X” but then all of the “Y”s and “Z”s (and hell, even the “ABCDEFG”s) of running a business started piling up. Now that business owner was lost in the Sea of Overwhelm while they tried to tackle every aspect of running their business by themselves.
I wanted to yell across the Internet,
“HEY, JUST REMEMBER: YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING BY YOURSELF!”
Because I remember that not-too-far-away feeling all too well, and honestly I still feel it now and then. That DIY spirit I’m so proud to have has a hard time letting things go. It can make you believe that you should be doing it all on your own or else you’re failing. (And maybe I’m just a little bit of a control freak too.) But there comes a time, or a few times, when all of the tasks and projects of growing a business is just too much. You will eventually run into physical, emotional, and mental road blocks. You want to work on the things you love to do, but then you HAVE to do all of this other stuff.
But do YOU really have to do it? Is it the best use of your time? If something important keeps falling to the bottom of your list over and over then I think it’s time to ask for help.
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING BY YOURSELF” has been somewhat of an anthem for me this past year, both personally and professionally. And you know what? Things are starting to change and it’s SO EXCITING. The contractors I’ve hired have helped me break out of my business plateau. The communities and conversations I’ve chosen to pay attention to are building my energy instead of draining it. With this “extra” time I’m finally making waves WORKING ON MY BUSINESS instead of always frantically WORKING IN MY BUSINESS. I finally feel like I know where I’m headed with my creative work both short and long term. It feels fabulous!
I want all of my fellow independent business owners to feel this way. And that’s my GREAT BIG WHY.
I want to take some of those to-dos off their list. I want to free them from the chains of trying learn and do everything by themselves. And most importantly, I want them to have more time to do the work they are meant to be doing. (Pssst… In September, to go along with this Great Big Why, I’ll be offering a creative service package geared towards helping micro-businesses with their brand and design work.)
Cause that’s really why we got into business for ourselves in the first place, right?
We want to do something we feel passionate about and share it with others.
Take a look at your to-do list. Is there anything on that list that you keep putting off? Anything you could hire out or ask someone else to help with? What would you do with the extra time it would give you? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Special shout out to Kris With a K for her Blog Your Voice Warmup Challenge. I love it and can’t wait to do more.