i recently gave myself a new title. i am an ‘unstucktor’. i help people get unstuck. it’s what i do best.
in my work as an unstucktor, i hear the same thing over and over again from my people.
“i started this biz because i love making my thing. but i hate figuring out all of this biz stuff. i just want to enjoy making my thing, and stop worrying about the boring/painful stuff.”
“i know that if i want my biz to take off i have to do all the things everyone says i need to do, but there is so much to do/learn/figure out/consider! i don’t know where to start.”
“i know i am supposed to be _________ (fill in the blank… blogging, on twitter, on facebook, making a newsletter, finding partners, going to markets, on etsy… whatever) but i don’t think i am doing it right. it’s not really working."
does this sound like you? it sounds like me. yep, i have those same thoughts.
so i will share with you what i share with all of my people...
do what you love.
screw what everyone says you should do.
screw what everyone else is doing that you feel like you should do too.
screw what all of the posts/books/experts say is the right way to do it.
instead, do what you love.
- if you hate facebook, stop doing it.
- if you despise going to markets and setting up stalls, don’t do it anymore.
- if you dislike conversing by email, pick up the phone and call people instead.
- if you don’t enjoy writing blog posts, then find other things to share on your blog.
- if you are sick of churning out low priced items to compete and want to concentrate on custom high-end designs, then only do that.
- if you can’t be bothered with business cards, tri-fold brochures, flyers, newsletters or whatever other marketing materials that make your head hurt, then do something else instead.
seriously. if there is something right now that you can’t stand doing, then stop doing it.
whatever rule you read that every small business needs in order to succeed, i want to you give yourself permission right now to question the rules.
instead, think about what you LOVE about making/selling/marketing your thing.
- what tasks get you excited?
- which do you put up to the top of the to do list every time?
- what ideas keep you up at night from excitement?
now look at those things. what is it about them that you love?
perhaps you get to:
- express your creativity
- play around on the computer
- organize, sort, order, fiddle
- interact with other people
- write stories
- work with images
- make something by hand
- be goofy, silly, crazy, funky
try to find the common theme between the tasks you love doing. now apply that to the tasks you hate doing. for example:
if you hate being online but love chatting on the phone or in person, then focus your marketing strategies on talking with people in real life. concentrate on in-person sales, fostering word of mouth, honouring existing customers… whatever allows you to deal with people face to face.
if you hate designing stuff on the computer but love crafting/painting/scrapbooking etc. by hand, then make some handmade marketing materials: scrapbook your flyer and get copies printed, make unique business cards that you are excited to hand out. hell, why not create a story board instead of a word doc for your business plan.
if you just want to make your thing and sell it via your own website, then stop wasting time at markets, finding wholesalers, taking private orders, or on etsy/made-it. focus all of your time/financial resources into making your website kickass & getting it seen by the right people.
if you like the idea of a blog or a newsletter or a facebook page, but hate the ‘common way’ of doing these things, then figure out how to do it your way, a way that you will enjoy. there are so many options out there: tell stories, play games, answer questions, ask questions, share images, have contests, get fan submissions, share links, make videos, share music, tell jokes, share quotes…
give yourself permission to stop doing things you hate about your biz.
- be you – only do stuff that is completely, 100% YOU.
- get creative– think of ways you can do things in a way that will be fun for you. apply what you love to what you have to do.
the bonus of this plan is that your brand will be more clear, you will stand out because your biz will be different than all of the others, and you will attract loyalty & trust because of your authenticity.
you get to do what you love. and people will love what you do.
sounds pretty damn good to me!
(ps - this plan gives you complete permission to ignore a huge portion of what i share here. seriously. if the suggestion, advice or tips do not fit with what you love, ignore them. better yet, get creative and apply the advice to fit what you love to do!)
(pps - if you need help getting unstuck, or want some personalized advice in figuring out what you love or how to apply that to your biz tasks, i can help with that. click here.)