Life happens to all..of..us. It's so easy, as women, to compare ourselves to all the beautiful images and updates we see happening on social media. Is that reality? Maybe for some, but let's face it. On the other side of every keyboard is a woman who may be going through some serious crap regardless of her Instagram feed.
I grew up in a time when certain topics were off limits (sex, money) and pretty much everything else because, well... 'we just don't talk about that.' I truly admire the women now, my teen daughter included, who don't know what it means to not be totally authentic online or offline.
Keep it Professional?I really dislike that word, 'professional.' To me, it sounds stuffy and not authentic. For many women, I think there's a blurred line between our career and our personal lives. I'd like to think I'm someone who, when you meet me in person, you say, 'Yea, she's exactly like she is online, authentic and not afraid to speak her voice.'
Truth? I'm getting there and will be continually pushing myself to speak my voice. I'm at a time in my life where honestly? As much as I say I don't care about what people think, there's still that little nagging thing in my head that sometimes says, 'But what will THEY think?' Leftover from ingrained thoughts growing up, no doubt.
Take last year, for example. Last year at this very time, my marriage was a serious mess and I honestly didn't know if we'd make it. We were 'this close' to calling it quits. The only people who knew were immediate family and very close friends. I mentioned nothing, nada, not a single word about it online. By the grace of God, we made an intentional decision to choose each other and make it work.
I couldn't have imagined I'd be writing on this blog and telling you about it now. What a difference a year makes.
So, yea, sometimes life gets in the way of business, whether you're just starting out or if you're already at 6 or 7 figures. Sometimes sh$t just happens.
Financial difficulties, family challenges and health concerns can all distract you from your business. Yet business must go on. So how do you set your challenges and concerns aside and stay motivated and focused during difficult times?
#1 Create Goals
Goals help you stay focused and motivated. The trick during difficult times is to make sure the goals are easily attainable yet still move your business forward. For example, if you are dealing with health problems then you may prefer to break your day up into smaller segments. A goal like creating an information product or writing your content for the next month is something you can tackle in small sections of time.
However, launching a new website may not be something you want to tackle when you're under the weather. Also, while outsourcing to contractors can definitely ease some of the burden, if you have to micromanage the contractors you're creating too much work for yourself. Find contractors that can take the project and run with it. At the same time, choose goals that you can tackle easily in smaller segments of time.
#2 Work on What You Love
Ideally, everything you do for your business is something you love. However, many women entrepreneurs still manage some tasks that are not their favorite responsibilities. When you're dealing with a difficult time, it's the perfect time to find someone to manage those tasks and to focus your attention on doing the tasks you love.
For example, if you love to blog and communicate with your audience, then set aside time each day to manage that responsibility. Having something to look forward to will help you get through the difficult times without your business suffering.
#3 Cut Yourself Some Slack
Seriously! If you put too much pressure on yourself to do and be a superhuman you're going to burn out quickly. Everyone has difficult times. If you accept that you may have to cut back a bit or get help during this trial, you'll be much more able to focus on your business when you have time to. Stress and pressure are a sure-fire way to lose focus and concentration.
#4 Change Your Schedule
Often, difficult times throw a wrench in your routine. Suddenly you're not able to work when you normally do. This can make concentrating and focusing difficult. Instead of struggling to try to maintain the same schedule, create a new one. Adapt and be proactive. For example, a sick family member can consume your day. Instead of struggling, get up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later during the day. Create time to work so you don't have to find time to work.
#5 Mind Your Health
Above everything else, your self care is the most important thing you can do, especially during difficult times. Manage stress, get good sleep, exercise and move your body and, of course, eat healthy foods. These will all help you focus and concentrate when you have time to work on your business.
Difficult times happen. Planning ahead for these inevitable events can also lessen the impact. Make sure you have a good support system and sufficient savings that can provide you with several months' income, which can also lessen the stress during difficult times. Outsource, automate and remember how important it is to take great care of yourself.
Keep inhaling confidence and exhaling doubt!
Until next time...