I do love spring but I have noticed that spring is not good for my business. I have no explanation for it except for the obvious ones – there are no big holidays, people are more outdoors and not spending that much time online, it is a slow season even for big business and so on.
No matter what I say to myself, the fact is that the business is slow and sometimes so slow that there is none. At this time it is very important to stay motivated and not to become sluggish. It is a Herculean task, I know but with a little bit of organisation it can be done.
First, I start with spring cleaning. Nicely organised and clean desk always looks nice and is more inviting. Next, going through my numerous files that piled up on the desktop so I can hardly find anything on it. It is a time when I do not need to fill order so frantically so I can rethink few strategies that don’t work and some products that do not work anymore. And last but not least, I bring in some new ideas. It is the only time when I have more time to look around, read some inspirational blog posts and watch some motivational videos.
This is also the only time of the year when I am grateful to have my full-time job and not having to stress so much as I know that there will be a cheque at the end of the month waiting for me.
All in all, I try to shake off the low work moral that creeps on me every year during this time. I know it will pass as it always had. So just keep on hanging in there dear friends!
This post is going to be one of the shortest but perhaps one of the most useful ones. I tend to write about a lot about my own experiences and feeling – and those topics are frankly very specific. However, the following points might help you to avoid some mistakes, I have made and I am still making.
Not reading reviews of my products – not that I am so aloof but I am simply too nervous to read the negative reviews, it might be something that grew in me since school years, constantly being assessed is not pleasant but if you want to have a better product – you have to do it 🙂
2. Creating products no one is looking for – I always think up a fantastic product and spend too much time on it, yet there is no buyer for it, simply they do not know this product exists and it is beyond my marketing resources to get it in front the right audience
3. Not diving deep into the niche – going too broad into items that are already saturating the market rather then picking something specific for a group that is underserved
4. Chasing shiny objects – I am blaming You Tube here :), I do spend too much effort on emulating someone else’s way to success
5. Doing too many things at once – I always feel that I am lazy if I don’t do ten things at once :), only recently I have been learning that doing less is better
Any regrets you have? Let me know! How a great week, dear friends 🙂
I have been working with an employer for many years and for myself just few years. Spring is always the time where the big difference is revealed. At my 9-5 work, the tempo is always the same – no matter what season. I turn up, do my thing, go home. There are small changes here and there and there are slightly easier or slightly harder days – but no big surprises. Whereas my own business is very seasonal. Spring is traditionally very slow. After Mother’s Day there is very little activity and I have to wait till September for things to pick up.
This big dip always makes me question all aspects of my little venture. Is it worth it? Am I on the right track? Should I change something? Should I drop it altogether and start something new? Psychologically, it is a difficult time because I tend to overanalyse and dissect everything. Often I get shiny thing syndrome and I waste time with setting up new things, products or systems and in a process I spend far too much of time on that.
I know that I will see the results of my decisions, changes or improvements only when the autumn. It is a long, long wait. During this time I also hold on to my regular job and somehow I feel grateful that I have it and that I am able to do it. I am writing about this because I found out that there are many people in a similar situation and lot of them feel depressed or unsatisfied during this time. So yes, you are not alone. I am also waiting for things to change and my business to become my main source of income. I know it is not going to happen this year and I have to wait.
So don’t give up and don’t feel down, we will get there eventually dear friends 🙂
Starting a business is a very exciting thing. Especially in the beginning. I have had a small one person business for a while now – 3 years ‘doing it actively’ and 3 years ‘half-heartedly. And there was a long pause. Simply because it did not bring me what I hoped.
I have restarted the activity again in 2018 with a different approach, product and platform. It is definitely more rewarding and more exciting than my previous attempt. One thing did not change though.
It is a one person business. That means that I have to do everything by myself – which is o.k. but sometime I do feel that I operate on an lonely island. In that sense, I pleased to have a full-time job where I meet new people every day.
My family is extremely understanding and supportive. They do listen to me when I go on about this product and that product, this trend and that one. However, they do have their own work life and I do not want to burden them too much. So I discuss only most burning issues with them. So yes, getting into a one person business means that most of the time, you will work by yourself. You will have to figure out most of things by yourself. And you will have to make important decisions by yourself because you are the only one who knows your business inside out.
P.S. Just to make it clear, most of the time I don’t mind that there is no one else in my ‘company’, but there are moments when I would not mind a chat with a friendly colleague.
Niche is a big word in the digital world. I do hear it more often: “What is your niche? You do have to have a niche!” It begins to give me bit of an anxiety simply because I don’t have one. Trust me, I am looking for one 🙂 I have listen to countless self-help gurus and entrepreneurs. And to be honest, I have been confused.
One camp seems to say – choose a niche that is trending, people are interested in and do not write about something just because you love it or because it happens to be your hobby. The opposite camp says – find something that you are interested in, hobby is o.k., you have to have a passion to last in this race… These are very conflicting ideas and it does not help me much. So I went back to basics and thought to myself – it is me who is going to spend the time on this, I should have some interest and passion for the topic.
I do not want to do something just because it is trending or many people are searching for it. As I have a full-time job, I do not want another one that I do only for the bucks. Also, I do like going to website of people who have been doing something for years and with a great expertise. They often have an ability to dive deep and go into a great detail. They often share their successes and fails and that makes it even more appealing and credible.
So here is my checklist as always that might help you to make the right decision.
What do I want from my blog/why I am doing it
Do I have the interest and passion in the topic/niche
Am I thinking short-term or long-term
How deep I want to go
Trending niche or evergreen – which one is more me?
Just a side note:
What is my niche at the moment? Good question. As I wrote in my profile – I am looking forward to an early retirement 🙂 At the same time I do not want live a passionless life. I would say my niche is still unrefined and very broad. I writing about my trials and successes as a little person – ordinary person. Trying to build something outside my full-time job. Using internet and what it offers to do that. Mainly selling on platforms – big and small while developing a blog. I think it is a path many people take these days and I interested in it – freeing yourself from 9-5, gaining more autonomy, not necessarily working less but working with passion even when Mondays come 🙂
Sometimes I have just too many ideas and sometimes I have none. What helps me in both cases is a thinking page. I ask myself questions and write down ideas as they come. After that I try to streamline the flood of ideas into something more targeted and something that makes more sense. I am not afraid to cross things out or change them completely. This is something I was taught by one of my old mentors. He always said that that I need to cross thing outs to come out with the best ideas.
Once the rough draft is ready I bounce it off someone I trust. If things look good – I will start researching and going deeper. By then I know I am serious about it and committed. The last step is to get the details right. This looks like a lengthy process but it is worth it. I used to jump into things straight away without thinking and it cost me lots of time and energy. Of course it is not fool proof but it does make me more effective and brings better results.
Yes, and here is a list for those who hate reading paragraphs 🙂
create rough draft that includes all ideas
streamline the draft so it has only one key idea
cross out things that are not relevant to your idea
I am not an SEO expert or seasoned content creator but after working for several years in education, I am fairly good in scheduling, prioritising and streamlining.
This is how I approach my posts and it may work for you as well.
I create a very short post just to test the water. Usually it is based on something I am working on or dealing with.
I wait for the response from social media and ask myself: is there any traction, any interest and from whom, what are the questions asked
I decide if I should expand bit more, should I shift the focus a bit or should I drop it altogether
There is one disadvantage – you do have to tweak your tags and keywords as your post is evolving. So it is not for everyone. I think solo businesses or part-time bloggers might save some time and effort by doing this. The big advantage of this is that you can create a highly relevant super niched content for your target audience.
It has been more and more obvious to me that I will not keep up with my journaling. My main reason if being honest is that I can’t be bothered after just finishing my day time job. Lifting a pen is like a lifting a weight on most of my work days. It would be lovely to log in all my feelings, dreams and plans while finding an interesting quote or affirmation that would complement it. But that is just not going to happen.
However, I do like to have some sort of memories. So what I have been doing recently is rather lazy but at the moment it is working for me – a visual diary. Simple colourful notes mixed with photos that reflect my mood. For me this is effortless and created within minutes. Yes, you may call it a mood board. I do not present that I have invented a wheel 🙂 However, I am a very visually focused person with a visual memory so this style is perfect for me. I know it will not satisfy everyone but hey, it is better then nothing 🙂
and it may help you as well. These are only small things but they do make a difference when I work at home.
switching off all noise
communicating in a clear and friendly manner that I will not be available from…to…
holding my centre with a help of my visual board right on my desk
using my favourite scent in the room
keeping a bit a nature right beside or close to me (my three-legged cat and self-planted lemon tree)
If you have time and want to read about each point more you can below:
I used to run news channel in the background but it was very distracting a and took me away from my work. Usually not very positive space. Now I watch news only at a certain time of a day and for a limited time. Similarly with my phone. I used to check every notification no matter how unimportant and that was hugely distracting. Now I keep my phone in a corridor and not on my desk, the sound and notifications are off until late afternoon. I like to work with a soothing background music or when I do not have to be too creative with an interesting YouTube video/podcast.
I noticed that it is better to tell people (including family members) that I am in my working mode and I will not be available. Usually I give them also an idea about the time period. This helps to avoid lots of misunderstandings. I always choose a friendly manner over anything else and usually the response is very good.
I like to keep a very detailed and focused board rather than a generic one with a general quote. The more focused the faster brings me back to the space I want to be.
I love natural scents and scents that I associate with pleasant moments.
Nature is so essential to staying positive for me. I simply love it. Herbs, wildflower, grasses, trees, you name it. And of course – pets. They are absolutely awesome and I don’t really need to write about their positive effect here…
Have a lovely day dear friends and remember – keep it positive 🙂
One thing I have learned while working at home is that it is hard to be motivated in the long run. Yes, I can get fired up for a week or two but how will I keep it going for the rest of the year right?
I try to follow all the trends and advice that comes across my home office desk but to be honest, I rarely put it to work. There is one trick though that worked for me so far – and that is creating nice visual for my vision board. I am very visual and I do really badly in note-taking. I have notes all over the place, handwritten, typed and even recorded on my mobile. Then of course, I forget that I ever made them.
This year I intend to be very organised and create a new, colourful and a very appealing roadmap. And I mean VERY. I am sifting through my ideas and putting them into colourful documents. The usual Google Planner or Excel sheet might be functional but they just don’t work for my brain. I do not know why but I don’t feel motivated to open them or to use them. I think it maybe the layouts, endless rows of lines…I don’t know.
Anyway, let me know if you are the same and what are you doing about it 🙂