My Crafty First Quarter Recap - Kicking Things Off in 2017
Well. These first three months of 2017 have been an exhausting, emotional roller-coaster. Conductor - I'd like to get off now, please.
A combination of family illness, financial and relationship strain meant a lot of valuable time spent away from building my business. But, as with all my quarterly recaps, I'm grateful to walk away with valuable lessons to help me improve in future. In this case, it's still the same lesson - more of a reminder, really.
Why Self Care is Important to Small Business Owners
I'm of course talking about Self Care. It always comes back to self care. Thankfully, this time my choices were driven by my need and understanding of this above all else. This time, I chose to back away from my business so I could focus the time and emotional energy I needed to cope with my grandma's ill health. And, I needed everything I had.
I did not book a single job the entire month of February. I only earned a handful of dollars from my part-time job, but it wasn't enough to cover all my bills and expenses. I felt the sting - and it bloody hurt.
Plus, the pressure I put on myself to aggressively grow my business in addition to these money woes was terribly damaging to my psyche. Slowly, harshly, I came to terms with the reality I would once again need to put my big, hairy, audacious goals on hold.
But, I made my choices with a clear mind knowing that every moment spent with grandma was time well spent. I also chose to respect my mind and body by practising daily meditations and energising walks outside in the fresh, open air. Oh boy, did it help.
Yes, my business growth suffered. Momentarily. But, looking after my health and wellbeing above all else meant that today, I'm able to pick up those horse straps where I left them and drive this bad-ass carriage onto success. By allowing myself space to heal along the way - I'm better prepared to lasso those rare opportunities to hunker down and play catch ups.
Like, this recent Easter long weekend.
As small business owners, it's easy to be consumed by your business needs and wants that you willingly sacrifice your own. Self care is so important - for your health and wellbeing and for the long-term success of your business. So, don't you forget it!
My QTR 1 Business Achievements
For three days straight, I locked myself in my poky little room and I bled productivity all over my laptop. Here's what I achieved:
1. I audited my website for the first time since starting. And, you too should do this annually. In the last 8 months since starting this business, I have fine-tuned my service offering to specialise in business branding copy, content marketing, employer branding, and employee and customer communication. With a targeted audience, I can now focus my blogs and email marketing efforts to a more engaged and meaningful audience.
2. I wrote my Craft 'splainer video script. You know, for the awesome self-recorded introductory montage of copywriter stills on my homepage! Yay! I aim to film it this weekend. Video campaign scripts are a speciality of mine and are mad fun to record. So, I'm pretty excited by all this! I'll let you know when it's ready :)
3. I drafted and recorded my video script for my forthcoming introduction to content marketing short course. It'll be a cracker. I'm moving my services to content marketing focus - because most of the small businesses I have worked with don't understand it or its value to their business. So - I'm going to start releasing a lot of content related to this subject and hopefully help some people improve their online engagement :)
4. I added Craft to "Google my business". It only took me... forever. So now, every time someone in south east Queensland types in a search query for local copywriters - my beautiful little business will pop up on their beautiful big map! Once you're fully verified by Google, you're gifted $100 free credit to use with Google Ads. So, naturally, I put my ad together right away (hey, I was on a success roll). Within 24 hours I had my first sale!
5. I launched my opt-in "8 Steps to Better Business Writing". Again, finally! Technically, it was already 2 weeks old, but the landing page needed a bit more finesse before I wanted to make it public. I emailed the link to my existing subscriber list and Facebook page followers and have had reasonable success so far. I'm so relieved I can cross this one off the list!
My Next QTR Business Goals
I've done all of these things to set myself up for recurring income streams in the months to come. By June, I intend to have en eBook and paid eCourse available for sale so I can rely on a passive income stream to get me through the tail-end of 2017.
I don't want to get stuck again without enough income to cover my basic bills and living expenses. It's not a fantastic place to be. I'm also trying to think strategically now, to set myself up for future successes while continuing to allow myself the same emotional space to process and heal from the challenges that life continues to throw at us!
What do you think? What passive streams have you set up / looking to set up to cover your ass during the tougher times? I'd love to hear what you're working on!