5 things that aren’t priorities in my slow business journey
Everyone has made their list of the zillion things they want to do and accomplish in the new year by now. But not me. I’m a bit of a rebel when it comes to goal setting.
It must be the perfectionist in me: I don't want to set goals, so that I won't have failed if I don't achieve them... which is a little silly but oh well.
When I created Ditch Perfect, I wanted it to be a space for online creatives with a soulful streak (AKA you and me!). For those of us who want to step off the beaten path + do things our way. It’s not rebelling for the sake of being a rebel.
It’s doing things in our own way + on our own terms in order to protect and prioritize what’s most precious to us: our time, energy, health + family.
So at the start of this new year, I've made a conscious decision to skip doing some things in my creative business altogether. Some of these 5 things may surprise you as, normally, they're major parts of being an online creative.
Here's the things I’m not going to prioritize in my slow business journey in the new year.
/ 1 / Having a scarcity mindset when it comes to taking on client projects
I’ve set aside just a few, limited spots each month in my coaching calendar this year. I'm getting more and more inquiries per month now, and when I did the math, it meant that I can’t take on every potential client that comes my way.
There's some projects that I'm a better fit for than others. There's some clients who I just click with + I feel I immediately understand them, their story, and their business.
These are the clients I'm best able to serve, so I plan to keep my coaching spots saved for the people I'm exceptionally well positioned to help.
I should mention that I'm not keeping those spots just for specific types of businesses by any means. It just means that I plan to keep those places for the clients I'm best aligned with to serve.
/ 2 / Social media, with an exception...
Facebook and Facebook groups just aren’t my thing. It feels like screaming into the void, with no real connection happening. I’ve never really been into Snapchat anyway. And of course there's Twitter... though, is anyone still on that?
Not to mention, social media is making it harder and harder to connect with the people who have shown interest and followed you.
So, I stopped posting on these social media channels a few months ago + saw no difference to my business.
My business game plan for the new year looks like this: create valuable content on my blog > get people on my email list > provide more valuable, free + relevant content through my Weekly Ditch-patches (I felt so clever coming up with that name! *wink*) > offer up personalized services that are the right fit for each person in my community.
Now, there is the exception that is Instagram…
It’s the place where I *do* get to connect with other slow business and slow living enthusiasts, online creatives + other folks I’d love to potentially work with sometime in the future.
Instagram plays a role at the beginning of that business plan sequence I mentioned earlier. It’s another avenue for me to connect with more people.
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/ 3 / Jumping on every new trend, app + marketing strategy
Which brings me to my next point...
I’ve tried it all in the past: doing webinars, workshops, and Youtube videos + creating an insane amount of content upgrades and opt-in freebies. It was so much effort for things that aren’t a great fit for me in the first place + that, in retrospect, weren’t in line with my slow business philosophy of how I want to run my creative business.
Remember when Anchor, the app for sharing audio and podcasting snippets, came out a while back? A lot of people jumped on the bandwagon right away + spend a lot of hours trying to make this new app their own, before the hype started fading away within a matter of weeks.
I get the thrill of trying out new, shiny things, I truly do. But this year I’ve decided to focus on the things I want to make happen + hone in on the activities and strategies that are the right fit for me and my community right now.
It means appearing on other creatives’ podcasts, instead of creating my own. (If you’re reading this + you’ve got a podcast that you’re booking guests for, I’d love to partner up and be a guest! Reach out to me here.)
It also means I won’t be creating new workshops or videos or jump on the latest marketing trend.
I’ve already started with creating one (just one!) insanely valuable opt-in gift that I promote throughout my website: the ‘4 steps to ditch perfect’ workbook. If you haven’t yet, click the yellow button below to grab your copy.
/ 4 / Saying yes to every request or opportunity that comes my way
Last year, I faced the uncomfortable truth that I was being super flaky. I was not honoring my own word. I would say yes halfheartedly to so many requests, knowing that I was either going to fulfill them begrudgingly or I would flake out.
Or I would reach out to fellow creatives because I truly wanted to connect with them, but not respond to their kind emails out of a deep fear of being visible and seen and showing up as my true self (more on that a little later).
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I was tired of being that person. I didn’t want to be someone who’s word meant very little.
I’m still actively working on this. I’m saying yes more mindfully. I don’t want to use the introvert label or the people pleaser label as an excuse for not investing in the new and existing relationships in my life and business. It’s so tough for me because it’s an area where so many factors come into play.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that I honor my word. I want to keep speaking truthfully rather than telling people what I think they want to hear only to end up letting them down + ultimately letting myself down.
/ 5 / Hide myself
I’ve started sharing more of my story last year: from my story of overcoming perfectionism to my struggles with chronic illness and mental health.
Life has a way of throwing a curveball when you least expect it and so last year was for dodging curveballs.
From learning to manage my chronic illness to navigating a severe depression... it all resulted in a dramatic shift in my personal life and in my business too. I've had to prioritize my mental health over any kind of social life and other outside expectations, put some firm boundaries in place to guard my energy + slow down significantly (leading me to discover the slow living + slow business movement).
This has also led to a new way of looking at + managing my perfectionism and I help other creatives do the same: the Ditch Perfect way.
It's not easy sharing about my chronic illness. It's definitely not easy sharing about my mental health struggles. And it's not easy to share that I've had to take on a "day job" for some extra monthly income. I might be branded a failure. I might lose some followers.
But the truth is, *not* sharing these things about myself and the reality of my life + business as an online creative is costing me more.
It wasn't that I was trying to be perfect before, not at all. It was the shame of not feeling good enough + the fear of being visible.
Before, I made the choice to cut off pieces of myself to make others feel safe and cozy. I wasn’t ready to be seen because I didn’t want to face potential rejection, I didn’t want to have courageous conversations, I didn’t want to step into the spotlight where I might (and probably would) face criticism.
This year is going to be different. No more hiding myself, no more glossing over parts of my story. I want to show up as I am + visible enough for other creatives to be inspired to do the same.
Are you tired of struggling with your need for constant perfection? Need a little help with overcoming your perfectionism, so that you can start making those big ideas you have for your creative business a reality? Then make sure to download my popular (not to mention FREE!) ‘4 steps to ditch perfect’ workbook.
Now, I would truly, genuinely love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on where your time is best spent to move the needle with your creative business?
HOW DO YOU INTEND TO SHOW UP IN YOUR CREATIVE BUSINESS + PROVIDE VALUE IN THE NEW YEAR?
Hey, Wendy here!
As a perfectionism coach, I help online creatives #ditchperfect, overcome their perfectionism + take action on the big ideas they have for their business. Let’s work together and make those ideas happen.