The First of the Year brings huge optimism and a ‘clean slate’ mindset of “It’s all good” but I wonder, is it all good?!?
Fast forward two weeks or a month and those lofty ideas are already out the window. They are replaced by the “busy” of doing: answering client emails, putting out contractor fires or hustling for the next great project.

I get it, we all need to keep the cash flow moving and a lot of us are doing it all, designing, marketing, accounting, networking, ordering and project management. It can get exhausting!

But, have you ever thought about what you really want your business to look like and what it should be providing you? What if your business provided you with the profits and peace of mind you’ve been craving?

I have two simple techniques to finally accomplish that and they are:
 Focus
 Boundaries

Seems too simple, right? I thought so, too but after committing to these skills on a daily basis, my world has changed. Here’s how you can bring some big changes about in your business this year.

Focus:
You cannot be everything to everybody, it’s time to draw a line in the sand.
1.Start to narrow down the type of person and project you want. I get that you won’t be able to change your focus overnight, BUT you have to start moving toward it, today!

2.All your communication (on-boarding, contract, website, social media, etc.) should be speaking to that person specifically. Changing this text will also help you get better at your message. Know that this is a process and will not happen overnight – you only receive clarity in the doing.

3.Choose a marketing technique that really works for your business. Focus your energies on that for a few months and I bet you will see some improvement. I personally am a fan of techniques that garner the most referral opportunities per year. What does that look like for you?

4.Commit, track and refine. You may not exactly know what works best for you but you do need to figure it out. Start tracking where your business comes from, what time and money is involved with that technique and then refine it to be better.

Boundaries:
If you want to take your business and yourself to the next level, you have got to be fiercely protective of your time.

1.Create a ‘Golden Hour’ Routine. This is that time of day when you are your best. THIS is the time to foster new ideas on marketing your business. For me, it’s the mornings when it is super quiet. I use this time to read, listen to podcasts and set up my day.

2.Determine 2-3 big ideas that have to get done in a day. We tend to overschedule ourselves and then feel bad when we don’t get through the massive ‘To Do’ List. Figure out what’s most important and get those items done first. I keep a list of my big goals for the year on my daily calendar to remind me of where I want to go.

3.Don’t forget to put time in your calendar for items other than client work. You cannot move forward by just completing task after task. Having time set aside for contacting referral sources, building relationships and planting the seeds for the future are super important to a continual stream of business.

4.Honor your word to yourself. Do not keep letting your time slide for other people. I set certain times for answering emails and days for client meetings. Then I know I have enough time for my other work which includes moving my business forward in a healthy way.
We all feel like there are so many “things” we should be doing in our businesses but I promise, if you pick just a few, you will feel more empowered and it will make a huge difference!

If you want to dive deeper into this subject, check out one of my all-time favorite books: Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. It’s a game changer!