Building and running your own business is exciting, fun and fascinating. But sometimes it is just overwhelming. It gets to be too much, because there’s so much advice out there, so much to consume and so many must-have products/services that will “enhance your experience”. It’s so hard to know who to listen to and what advice to take, so today I’m sharing my top tips for avoiding any overwhelm to bring back what building and running your own business is supposed to be about – the passion, whatever that is to you and the value, whatever that is to your audience.
WORK WITH SOMEONE/A MASTERMIND GROUP
Whether you find your business BFF, a small community like a Facebook group or Twitter chat, or you work with a coach/assistant, these people will help you get clarity and stay focused. With so many strategies you supposedly must put in place to be a “successful” entrepreneur, no wonder you often find yourself lost. So turning to a small group of people or as a 1:1 to get another perspective can be a real game changer for avoiding overwhelm. Even if you just jump on a video call or post a comment asking a question for some help, letting others know what you’re working on / want to achieve will encourage you to keep going. It’s so easy to stay in a bubble as an entrepreneur, stressing ourselves out as we consume more and more content, but building relationships with others in our industry will help us to see more clearly and work more effectively towards our goals, whether they’re personal or business related.
USE SAVE IT FOR LATER FEATURES
Two things I love – auditing and categorizing. I’m totally into having a good organization system, and free tools like Pocket, Pinterest’s secret boards, Evernote’s tags and Twitter’s lists make managing content so much easier. If you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed, then embracing Save It For Later features will make the world of difference. Perhaps you’re interested in reading a post, watching a webinar or trying out a recipe/DIY/craft but it’s not quite the right time, so just add it to one of these tools for another time. Or, maybe something stands out to you in a list and you want to make sure you revisit it. Make it a monthly or quarterly task on your list though to go through all of these and delete them all. If you’ve not found time to read it/watch it/try it, chances are you’d probably forgotten all about it and aren’t that bothered after all. This brings us on to…
GET SPECIFIC AND PURPOSEFUL
Whether you’re creating or curating, always have it clear in your mind what you’re looking for. Mindless scrolling through feeds only increases our overwhelm, so focus on a specific topic or idea. If you do come across something interesting, use one of your SIFL features, but don’t click through or you’ll totally lose your train of thought and end up way off topic. Being purposeful at all times will get you miles ahead as an entrepreneur – it will enable you to create awesome content exactly for your ideal audience, it will help you with your self development and it will prevent any sort of creative’s block.
LOOK FOR CONTENT VARIATION
It’s easy to fall in love with a brand and want to connect with them on every platform, but this could be one of the main reasons you feel overwhelmed when you go to scroll through your feeds. So whether you’re about to follow someone, or you’re going through who you’re following, ask yourself this, “is the person posting the same content on every platform, and if so which is my favourite platform to follow them on?”. If they only ever share blog post photos on Instagram, then as nice as they are, perhaps you don’t need to be following them – you already get to see the photos when you read the posts. If they share the same curated content on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook then you’re seeing that piece of content 2x more than you need to… especially if the headline/copy didn’t make you want to instantly click or save it for later the first time you saw it. Always be looking for that something different with everyone you follow. Perhaps you enjoy the curated content they share on Pinterest and their personal insights on Instagram Stories, or you like to read about their skills on LinkedIn and ask them questions on Facebook. No blogger would ever expect you to follow them on every platform, and you’re just adding to the noise on your feeds by doing so.
FIND WHAT YOU ENJOY MOST
With way too much subconscious pressure being put on entrepreneurs to be hitting high income goals and increasing their visibility, I speak to so many people who just feel like they don’t get to be themselves anymore and have lost the enjoyment. Never, ever feel like you have to follow any trends or that anyone is forcing you to go live/build an email list. Do whatever it takes to bring back or keep your passion for the business you started exactly for that reason. If you love creating products for people, then there’s nothing wrong with making a little cash from it, but if you just love writing about your day-to-day adventures, I promise you don’t have to do anything else. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t make yourself read/watch anything about a direction you don’t wish to head in (even if it is from your favourite blogger/influencer – you honestly don’t have to read everything)!
CHANGE YOUR METHODS
If you’re all about digital, why not switch it up to good old-fashioned pen + paper? If you usually write everything down, why not try a tool that will make your processes so much simpler? Refreshing your methods can make things more fun and interesting, taking away any overwhelm.
DO THE OPPOSITE
If you’re feeling under pressure to do the same as everyone else, then stop, think and do the opposite. If you think you’re feeling overwhelmed, imagine the person who sees your opt-in of the same thing everyone else has already shared. They’re going to feel more overwhelmed and probably more under pressure to create something similar for their own business. But that’s no good, it’s not unique and it’s not exciting. Whatever doing the opposite means to you, you’re more likely to stand out, stop adding noise to the crowd and release the pressure on yourself.
Avoiding overwhelm is about two things –
– Bringing back the enjoyment into what you’re doing
– Creating systems and organization that works for you
Once you’ve found these, you’ve just got to remember to re-evaluate them every time things get a little too much. As entrepreneurs, we need to remember why we started and embrace the way we’re headed, but without compromising our own beliefs and goals along the way. We don’t have to follow anybody else to get to where we want to, we have our own learning journeys ahead of us.