When I decided to close down my handmade shop it was a decision that I did not take lightly. Learning how to let go of certain projects during a time of transition is difficult when running a business. I have recently had to ask myself some big questions which in turn led me to diving into myself and my business. Who am I? Who do I want to serve? Where do I see myself in five years? And so forth.
The first step was setting my "big picture" goals.
Once I honed in on the big picture, it made all the little things more clear. In order to do this I think it's important to step away from the distractions of every day life. I find my clarity when I'm out on a walk. There is nothing like a little fresh air to bring clarity to any situation. A few weeks ago I did just this, and found the answers to a struggle I've been faced with my business. For me it was accepting business growth and figuring out how I was going to juggle the balance of being a mother, wife, handmade shop owner, graphic designer, and fine art photographer. When I actually looked at all the things I do with my business, I knew in my heart that something had to give. This is where I dove into the big picture in order to eliminate a part that wasn't working anymore for my business or myself. Here is an example of some of my big picture goals.\
Some goals for 2016
- Find my target market to solidify my brand and attract ideal clients.
- Create and run a profitable e-course to help fellow entrepreneurs
- Create and establish a routine with social media that is manageable and realistic
A few big picture goals
- Earn a six figure income
- Establish myself in the creative community as a knowledgeable and accountable entrepreneur
- Write a book
These goals are specifically for my design services, I haven't even touched on the goals I have with my photography business. And these are just a few. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of setting goals. So at the end of the day when I looked at these goals, my handmade shop did not fall under anything. It was crystal clear on what I needed to let go of in order to chase after the big picture.
It doesn't just stop at setting the goals, there has to be action.
You don't have much if you don't have an action plan behind your goals. My action plan is lengthy and involves A LOT of work, every single day. I do not plan on giving up or slowing down until I reach my big goals. I don't know how long it will take me, but I know that I will get there because I have the drive. I have my "why". I have the support of my family which has been vital in my success so far.
Create an action plan. Behind each goal list out exactly what you plan to do to make it happen. What are you going to do if things fall through? If life gets in the way? What is your plan B to ensure you keep those big goals in reach? It's important to think about all the hiccups that could happen along the way. One for me is pregnancy. No, I'm not pregnant but my Husband and I want more children and have been talking about baby #2. I have to be able to throw that into the mix and figure out how I am going to handle my business and bringing another child into our lives, eventually.
I had to let go of the fear of rejection.
With change comes fear, doubt and many other emotions. With my shop I have had some serious loyal customers who keep coming back for my products. It makes me sad to think that I won't be creating those specific items anymore for them, but I also had to let go of the fear that they won't "like me" anymore or reject my new direction. With this transition I've come to know and understand that I am going to lose some fans along the way. While finding my target client and market, I know that the baby clothes and accessories attract a specific person, and that person may not care much about what I'm doing now. And it's okay. It's okay to grow, it's okay to follow your heart and passion. It's okay to lose some people along the way to make room for the clients and customers who will love what you put out there. I am reworking virtually everything about my own business, including the shop. While I'm saying goodbye to baby clothes and accessories, I'm saying hello to products that will help other business owners be more productive while chasing their dreams. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time, and it is all going to be okay.
I've had to learn how to be more strict with myself.
With running a business as a creative entrepreneur, I don't have the time I used to have if I want to reach those big picture goals. You won't find me vegged out on the couch watching Netflix every day. Heck yeah I get caught up on my favorite shows from time to time, but I know that in order to reach my goals I had to start getting more strict with myself and my routine. Bad habits are everywhere. I have them, for sure. Having the ability to recognize these bad habits and do something about them has ultimately led me to being much more productive at home plugging away at chasing my dreams. To get new results, you have to get new habits. Old habits that haven't led to where you want to go will keep doing just that unless you do something to fix it.
So now what?
So now you take action. Now you start asking yourself what those big picture goals are that you have for your business. Then you start eliminating the things that don't line up with your goals. Let go of the fear, it's okay to move on and chase after what you want. What is the point of running your own business if it doesn't set your soul on fire?
I would love to hear from you. What have you done recently to "let go" in order to make more room for what YOU want?
Until next time, friends! XO