Copyright 2006 Laura Howard
A JOYFUL entrepreneur? I know it’s more popular to think of entrepreneurs as “haggard,” working hard and hustling to make their mark. But you can have a successful business with ease. It can, and should, be fun.
We define a “Joyful Entrepreneur” as one who enjoys and takes ownership of his/her business (whether he owns it or is working for someone else), one who utilizes her strengths and passions and creates a life she loves.
Top Ten Tips for Joyful Entrepreneurship (whether you are a Joyful Entrepreneur or strive to be one)
1. Create a really juicy and compelling vision. A goal by itself is flat and lifeless without a vision. Spend time making that goal come alive by imagining what it will be like when you have accomplished your goals. Make it compelling, real, fun, and personal to you and your life. This is what gets you excited about taking action to make a goal happen!
For example, I am writing a digital workbook called, “Package Your Passion Expand Your Business with Workshops and Teleclasses.” If I focus on the goal of getting it done, and then I think of where is the time going to come from to write this, what kind of technology should I use… I end up getting bogged down in the “hows” and don’t make any progress.
On the flip side, if I think about how good it will feel to have an eBook completed – I feel excited. I imagine myself being thrilled to have a way of offering value to people who want to tap into my coaching and marketing expertise. The thought of recurring revenue feels really good and effortless, too (as opposed to coaching 40 50 clients). The thought of more revenue makes me think of how many more people I will be able to reach with my message, and I feel like I’m making a contribution in the world that feels really authentic. Can you see and feel how more alive that sounds? I’m ready to stop writing this newsletter and get to work on the book!
2. Your home is the foundation for business growth. If your home environment – your house, your relationships, bill paying, chores – are in chaos or are dysfunctional, then it’s constantly in the back of your mind, sucking away your creativity and energy.
Decide now to take care of those things to provide a clear foundation for your mind. What can you do take care of it? Automate bill paying, get a maid (in my case, I found a housekeeper who will actually take care of the house and cook us a home-cooked meal twice a week. I cant tell you how freeing that makes me feel!) Ask a friend to come over and help you organize your junk drawers or clear clutter. Taking the time to take care of your home and life will free your mind to focus on things other than what’s not working or draining your energy.
3. Work from your Strengths. Know what you are good at and what you enjoy doing and then PLAN that into your business. Don’t plan to send out a weekly ezine if you hate to write. This is the key to building a sustainable business and enjoying life – build on what you enjoy, and the rest comes naturally.
4. Get help before you need it. It’s easier to get to the next level of success in your business and enjoyment in your life if you have help. The issue isn’t about whether or not you can do a particular task. It’s about whether that’s the best place for you to spend your time. The question becomes…Does this increase my energy? Am I excited to do this particular thing? Or, does it feel like a “have to”? Look for ways to redesign those activities – let go of it, delegate, trade services, or hire someone to help.
Spend time thinking about the ideal partner for the help you need. Don’t wait until it’s crisis mode and you’re forced to make quick decisions. If you can tell your business is going through a growth spurt or getting ready to grow, think about what will help make this growth successful. Think about getting help from an assistant (real or virtual) to handle the small administrative duties, someone to update your website, or market your business. This takes pressure and time off of you, freeing you to keep the growth going and spending time with your new clients and ideas.
5. Know your Process. What are the steps you take your clients through to achieve success? It probably comes so naturally to you that you don’t even realize that it’s a process. Start noticing the steps. This becomes your unique process. It’s a lot easier to sell a process than it is to sell coaching or consulting. People want to know the road map – what to expect from a relationship with you – and they want to have confidence that you know what you’re doing. Being able to articulate your process for achieving results does just that!
6. Package your program. Get creative about your services. Don’t just offer your services like everyone else in your field. Spend some time thinking about how you can creatively package your services. Maybe you offer a variety of packages vs. one price. For example, if you are a coach – offer 3 levels of time or even offer a bulk package. I offer a HeartStorming Package for successful entrepreneurs who just need a chunk of time to brainstorm how to market their service business authentically. It’s 3 hours of time over 3 months – however they want to use the time is up to them.
7. Just Take Action. Getting into action is a sure way to get feedback and move you out of a funk (we all have those!) or help you move from indecision. As soon as you take a step, you’ll quickly gain some clarity – you’ll discover that you like where you’re heading, that it feels right, that maybe you need help, or even that it’s not what you really want (so you can let go of the idea).
8. Focus Your Energy. Many entrepreneurs are great business people because they have so many ideas! It can be a gift or a curse! Just because you have an idea doesn’t mean you have to do it. Pick and choose. Do what you do well and what you love to do, and let go of the rest (or at least say ”No, not now.”) I recently took a hiatus from writing for a local newspaper. I love the people and the mission of the paper, but it was causing me stress because I didn’t have the time to really commit to writing an article each month on a deadline. I chose to devote my time to writing for my ezine and products. It’s empowering to choose!
9. Enroll Others in Your Vision. Share your vision with your spouse, partner, friends, family, and other colleagues. Consider starting a group of like-minded entrepreneurs who can share, validate and brainstorm for each other. It’s powerful to share what’s going on in your business and your life. You’ll receive validation, ideas, inspiration, and most of all, the support from those who believe in what you’re up to.
10. Excel and Enjoy. Get a coach – Your business will grow faster if you have someone who is devoted to your success. You’ll enjoy life and your business more if you build it on a solid knowledge of yourself – what makes you tick, what drives you, what are your typical obstacles and what works to get you over the hurdles, what are your passions, etc. A coach will help you navigate the waters of your personal growth journey to build a business that is successful wrapped in a life you love!