Month: July 2018

  • Is FOMO Sabotaging Your Business?

    Let’s get one very obvious thing out of the way- we’re human. And as humans, it’s only natural to occasionally have a pang of FOMO (fear of missing out). We see all the amazing things other people are doing, and it’s easy to think, “I want that too” or “I should be doing that, too!”

    The problem? When we, as small business owners, are so busy chasing every trend or trying to be everywhere + doing everything all at once, it’s easy to burn out. And rather than gaining traction or new audiences, many actually lose ground. Plus, if you’re just reproducing more of what’s already out there, it can be hard to express to potential clients what makes your product or service better than someone else’s. You could be losing precious sales because of it!

    So, what’s an entrepreneur to do?

    Focus on your vision

    When facing all those tempting new ideas, it’s important to ask yourself– “what’s my vision?” Will all the trends you want to follow or the opportunities you want to accept help you reach your vision? If the answer is yes, then go for it! If not, appreciate that glorious idea for what it is, and try brainstorming some ideas that will serve your mission and purpose.

    Define your audience

    It’s important to zero in on who your people are. By that I mean, who is your audience? Who are you talking to when you’re posting. What are their hopes/ fears/ desires/ pain points? Will the trends you want to follow serve them? Again, if the answer is yes, then go for it! If not, it’s back to the drawing board.

    Find what makes you different

    In a sea of sameness, what makes you stand out? Try to figure out a handful of things that you do differently or better than your competitors, and focus on + share those things.

    Bonus tip: If you haven’t read “Blue Ocean Strategy,” you should!

    Create margin in your calendar

    While there are probably a thousand random anecdotes I could share, for this tip, I have to share my personal story.

    For a while, I said, “yes” to nearly everything that came my way. FOMO ran deep with me! The result? I BURNED OUT. I had no time with my family, absolutely no free time, and very little will to get out of bed in the morning. I dreaded making good on the 60 or so things I had committed to on top of running my business.

    Due to all of that, it was hard to gain any new ground in my business. I had to create room in my calendar. I had to stop and truly evaluate every single opportunity I was presented with. While it meant saying, “no” to a lot of things, it gave me the room to breathe, think, and create again. The result? A 20% increase in sales compared to last year!

    Consider what’s important to you

    What makes you smile? What’s near and dear to your heart? What are you passionate about? Try filtering opportunities or trends through the lens of what truly matters to you. As simplistic as it sounds, say “no” to the things that aren’t authentic to you and your business.

     

    Everything boils down to being intentional about what you’re doing in your business. For everything you say “yes” to, you’re saying “no” to something else. It’s important to make trade offs that serve you well!

  • Three Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

    In the incredible journey that is entrepreneurship, we all need a little boost from time to time. Being your own boss is amazing. It can also drain your energy reserves pretty quickly if you don’t have any fresh inspiration to draw from. That’s why I LOVE reading business books. I’ve read over 20 in the past few months, and it has been so refreshing! Of all the books I’ve been reading, there are three that I think (almost) any entrepreneur could benefit from.

    Essentialism by Greg McKeown

    The subtitle to Essentialism says it all– “The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.” As an entrepreneur/maker/small business owner/creative (whatever category you fall into) it’s easy to get pulled in about a thousand different directions at once. There is literally always something you could be doing. What Greg McKeown discusses is whether or not you should be doing all those things.

    It’s a simple idea perfectly and succinctly summed up by this,

    “Essentialism is… a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution toward the things that really matter. “

    Imagine being free of minutiae and delving deeper into meaningful projects + pursuits. It would be wonderful, right?!? Chapter after chapter, McKeown takes you through mindset shifts I truly believe most of us need.

    Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller

    If you’re a marketing guru, you can skip this one. For the rest of us, Building a Storybrand has some great insight on how to clarify our messaging so customers will listen. The short answer? Storytelling.

    Miller walks readers through the seven universal storytelling points we, as humans, respond to and how to use those elements to create effective messages for our websites/social media/marketing collateral.

    As one would expect from a storytelling book, the ideas are very clearly expressed and easy to follow. Take your time to work through this one though! It’s such an easy read, it would be tempting to breeze right through things, but I highly recommend giving yourself plenty of brainstorming and implementation time.

    Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

    I loved this one so much, I wrote an entire blog post about it. To boil things down for you, the guiding thought behind the social media book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is that you should serve your audience (actually serve, serve, serve) before asking anything from them. Entertain them, help them, educate them, be social, because it is social media after all.

    In this book, Vaynerchuk explores what makes a great social media post and how to set your brand apart. If social media or branding is something you struggle with, this one is a game changer.