Progress not Perfection: Where there's clarity, make decisions

PNP 5

We’ve just had Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so for many makers, creative entrepreneurs and business owners, there’s a mix of feelings.

For some, it’s already been full nose-to-the-grindstone work to keep up with orders.

For others, there have been some orders, but perhaps not enough, or not as many as hoped.

It’s a spectrum, so perhaps you’re in between or even more worried about whether there have been enough orders.

Wherever you are, I want you to know that this is a hectic time of year, and whether you’re slammed with orders or not, chances are you’re still pretty busy just keeping up with life and business.

So this is not necessarily the time to analyse everything.

Where there’s clarity, make decisions. Look at the numbers. Are order levels where you thought they would be? If not, what is working? What can you tune up in your marketing? Use the data to make decisions, because numbers offer clarity.

If you’re struggling to keep up, or worried about stock or staff, again, come back to the facts. What are the limitations? Where might you fall down? What are your options?

You don’t have to fix everything. You don’t have to do everything. You don’t have to make all the decisions about your entire business all at once.

Just start with what’s clear. The rest will follow.

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On the cusp

We’re in that liminal, in-between space, seeing out one year and starting to look forward to the next.

If you’re anything like me, you have a secret mess of a list titled ‘2017’, which includes every idea you’ve had since about September and couldn’t find time to work on. And perhaps that list doesn’t seem as exciting now that we’re approaching 1 January…

Well, the good news is, list or no, a new year brings the opportunity to start afresh anyway.

You get to cast aside any and all preconceptions.

You get to dream, fully.

You get to put everyone else’s ideas, contributions, expectations and ‘helpful’ suggestions to one side.

You get to carve out space exclusively for yourself to dream and plan.

You can let go of anything and everything that isn’t working for you.

You can introduce new ideas, concepts and tiny nuggets of gold to your plans, big and small.

And you can change your mind.

 

What we know about 2017

This year, spreading out in front of us, demonstrating the start of a new cycle and bringing new hope, is unknown. It’s uncertain – deliciously so, if we can choose to embrace it.

We know it will surprise us, but also that there will be challenges and disappointments.

There will be beauty, but there will also be sadness.

There will be opportunities to move closer to our dreams, or further away from them. And the choice will be ours.

2017 is delightfully unwritten, but you can write it, if you choose to stand up, in your courage, to live the life you want to.

I’ll be right there with you.

With care,
Jenny xx

The Year’s End: a workbook for your creative business

This year, I created a workbook, spreadsheet and video package to help you reflect on 2016 and look forward to 2017. It’s still available here, and highly recommended if you want to dive in deeper to planning the year ahead.

The Small Creative Business Retreat 2017

Described as “life-changing” by the women who came last year (over half of whom have booked to come again), my retreat is still open for booking until the end of this week! A long weekend in a stunning house in the Cotswolds. A place where you don’t have to wash up a single cup or cook a single meal. A place to dream, scheme and meet like-minded business owners. A necessity!

On a weird week

I can’t help thinking that this week has been kind of weird.

Here are some themes I’ve heard from clients and experienced myself:

  • Sales are sloooowww. Half term. Post-Valentine’s Day.
  • Mother’s Day is really soon, but no-one’s buying yet. (Not wishing to stereotype by gender, but men don’t tend to be as well-prepared for gifting occasions, and they may not yet have realised it’s two weeks on Sunday.)
  • Half term. Kids are home, colleagues are away, people are stressed.
  • Colds and flu are RIFE. Rife, I tell you! Snots, coughs, tiredness. Get some vitamin D in you.
  • Post-January cash flow is challenging. And you’re not just behind on your plans for 2016. Everyone thinks it’s just January, but the reality is February can be pretty tricky too, what with tax returns and such like.

If you’re experiencing any of these things, or similar, know that you’re not alone. And make note of them, for next month and next year, so you remember what this time of year feels like.

I’ve said, “Keep the faith” more than once this week.

For me, it’s been a weird week of trying to keep out of the grips of a cold, and trying to keep up with a broad range of projects. Right now, I feel kind of depleted. Which is usually the time that my fear can get really loud. I’m reminding myself that the fear can be there, but it doesn’t get to drive the car. (See also: Elizabeth Gilbert.)

How are you doing this week? What do you do on weird weeks to keep yourself focused and positive?

 

optin-cup

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