6 Ways to Have A Stress-Free Business
Trust me when I say that business does not have to be hard. I think a lot of people on the internet make it seem really hard and that you need them. I see this a lot and that's just not how I feel. So with that being said, I'm going to dive into 6 ways to have a stress-free business.
1. Create a Mission Statement
I feel like I say this all the time, but really this is the most important part. You have to create a mission statement. For most people, when they start a business their number one goal is usually income and freedom. But as we’re mulling through everything, we sometimes forget our mission in life because we’re so focused on income and freedom. For me, my mission is Profits and Peace. My mission isn’t this giant statement or big elaborate sentence. It’s just three words that mean everything to me, Profits and Peace. I want to make money, but I also want to have a peaceful life and enjoy time with my family, my husband and my fur babies. It took me a long time for me to learn that, so know that your mission statement is going to grow with you. However, with that said, I want you to make sure that you have a clear idea of the bigger scheme of why you're even building a business. It's a lot more than just an income.
So I want you to get super clear on a mission statement. It's essentially, why are you doing what you're doing? Yeah, we all want to be millionaires, but again, your mission statement goes so much deeper than that. For me, Profits and Peace was more than a little statement. It actually turned into a full fledged business because I literally see it every day. Everyday when I log into our emails, our website, whatever it's Profits and Peace, and I am constantly reminded of what and why I'm doing what I'm doing. It keeps me going every day in it and it gives me a sense of calmness. It sounds kind of strange, but as you go through this, you will understand exactly what I mean.One resource is called 7 Levels Deep, which is a great place to start discovering your mission.
2. Learn Your Work Styles
I have a little secret for you - There's no right or wrong way to build a business. There are certain ways that can help you elevate your strengths, but at the end of the day, when you find out what works best for you and you use your “superpowers,” you will grow. End of story. So with that being said, learning your work style was something that again took me a very long time to do. To get started, ask yourself, “Am I the type of person who is slow and steady, or am I the type of person who likes to do batching?”. I will tell you right now, I am not slow and steady. I am go, go, go and it's a problem. Sometimes I would rather sit down, even if it's for seven hours on a Monday, and knock stuff out until it's done, versus dripping it out throughout the week. So you've got to figure out what works best for you. Do you want a calendar that says from nine to five, or would you rather just set time slots? Like in the morning before noon, you need to do X, Y, and Z. What works best for you? So you've got to get super clear on what your work style is and then map your schedule accordingly.
3. Plan, Plan, Plan
“Fail to plan, plan to fail.” You've heard that a million times and it's super important, especially in business. Once you figure out what kind of work style you have, you have to plan our schedule accordingly. For example, I like to schedule all my calls back-to-back, because then they're complete, clients feel supported, and then I take notes or do action steps after all the calls. However, some of my clients prefer to book two hour slots with each client, not that they're on the phone for two hours, but they do their call for an hour, and then the next hour is note-taking. They're more of a slow and steady type of person. Me, I’m the opposite. Neither is better, you just have to figure out what style works best for you.
Now you’ve identified your style, it’s time to go into the planning, where you can map all of that out. I personally use Trello for this step. I love Trello and it helps me so much. I actually map out my entire week, every week with Trello. Every morning when I wake up, I know what tasks I need to work on that day, and the same thing goes for the next day and the next day and so on. I use that every day and it also takes pressure off of me. For example, if I have a list of 12 things that need to get done, I will use those 12 things and strategically place them throughout the week. So maybe Monday I do three of them, Tuesday I do four of them, etc. That way, you're not feeling overwhelmed from all the work you feel like you have left to do. So plan, plan, plan! When you have a plan, I promise you, you will not be stressed out.
4. Follow Your Gut
Again, I've said this before, but there's no right or wrong way to build a business. It really comes down to finding your superpower and focusing on, cultivating, and using that for your business. So, with that being said, you've got to listen to yourself. Even I find myself getting so overwhelmed that I’m tempted to go along with what other people say I should be doing, but then I have to reel myself back in and remind myself that that’s not what I believe in. That I just got overwhelmed and let it lead, even though deep down I knew it wasn’t right. So I'm telling you right now, follow your gut. It doesn't matter if it's marketing, a social media post, or a client, trust your intuition. You have trust your intuition and stop always looking for validation from an outside source. When I first started growing my business, I would always look for validation from other people. But then I would find myself on Google or Pinterest or somewhere else seeing what other people did, or I would ask one of my good friends who was also an entrepreneur, what she was doing. I would get all these inputs and do that instead of listening to my gut, but it still didn't feel right. But I still thought that I had to do what others did to get it right. And then a month later, I’d find myself back at square one redoing the whole thing because I should have just listened to my gut from the start. Remember, this is your business, no one else's. So you have to run it the best way for you! You’ve got to tune in and trust your intuition, your gut, whatever you call it, and go with what you feel is best. You're the person who knows your ideal client more than anybody.
This is a big one. I always like to be really transparent with people in entrepreneurship. I'll show up and talk about Profits and Peace, but guys, I'm human. I try my best to follow the 80-20 rule where I don’t work weekends, but there are weekends where I find myself doing what I always tell myself not to do, hustle. And in those moments, I have to recenter myself and remind myself that I can stop. That it will be fine until Monday.
Boundaries are a big deal, and something that I personally have struggled with and my clients struggle with as well. I always thought it was just me, until I got into coaching and realized how important boundaries are. So, you’ve got to set hours. You are not a 24 hour service. You've got to set office hours, even if it's not your traditional nine to five. I have some clients who have day jobs and they can't work their business nine to five and that's okay. Their office hours will just look a bit different, but still important. Make sure your office hours are in your contracts, and let new clients know what your office hours are when you onboard them. That way they can know when to expect to hear from you or get responses from you. And when it’s outside those hours, you should not stress about getting back to email, Voxer messages, DM’s etc. You have set hours, you've got to stick to them, and I promise you that will help you have a stress-free business. Not that you don't love your clients, but you are a human being with family and your own personal needs and you need to make time for those things.
If you need more support in setting a schedule, I highly recommend checking out my episode about “How I Structure My Schedule for Peace in My Life & Profits in My Business.” In this episode, I go over what my schedule looks like and how tips and tricks for setting your schedule, including setting office hours.
The second thing with boundaries is not being a pushover. That's the easiest way to explain it. I have people that will message me on a Sunday, when they should have had their calls set up a week ago, and ask if they can set up a call for Monday. We don't really work like that. You don't have to say we don't work like that, of course, but you have to keep that boundary. When that happened to me, I just didn't respond that Sunday. I waited till Monday, when I was in my office hours, to respond and I set up a call for them the following week since the current week was completely booked. Normally, I would be the one that would have tried to squeeze them in, but my week was already full, and I wasn't going over that schedule that I had set for myself. I only have so many hours a week that I will do client calls, and outside of that, they get put to the next week’s period. That is just a boundary I created for myself, and it allows me to help my clients more. Because I'm telling you, if you have 15 calls in a day, there's no way you can pour into your clients the way that you need to, and my clients need to get the best of me. The same thing goes with you. Your clients need the best of you, and they're not going to get that if you're constantly being pushed around and you have no set schedule.
So boundaries go a lot farther than just setting hours and schedules, and we’ll get into that more down the road because boundaries are a huge part of creating that peace aspect in your life. But where you could start right now is setting your hours and drawing a really hard line when it comes to communication boundaries. You have to respect you and you have to treat your business like a business period. Okay.
I know you hear this all the time, but honestly, it is so important. I'm telling you, you should have some kind of self-care every day. Now self-care does not always look like bubble bath and wine. For me, that's what it looks like, but it doesn't always look like that. Self-care can be as small as 30 minutes by yourself, away from your kids. Anything you can do to pour into you, because you can't run your business without you. People need your brain, whether you have a massive team or it's just you by yourself, your business still needs you and your brain. You're the visionary of your business, and if you're not taking care of or fueling that creative side of your brain, your business is going to suffer. So you've got to make sure that you get some kind of self-care daily. It could be 10 minutes, just something where you're like, “Good job. You killed it today.” Every single day I do this. And then, I always recommend once a month, do something to really recharge your batteries, like go get a massage or pedicure, or something like that. But daily just do something.
When I get done in the office, I usually go grab a glass of wine or water, depending on the day, sit on my patio and either call my best friend or simply breathe and congratulate myself for making it through the day. I promise that if you make a little self-care a daily ritual, you will wake up the next day feeling better.