This summer, on The Better Business Podcast, I’m releasing a capsule collection of shorter episodes that you can dip into for inspiration. They’re released on Fridays throughout August and September. Full episodes will be back in October.
Today’s Little Better episode is about Friday 13th, feeling lucky, and creating your own luck.
A couple of years ago, I went to a DIY shop to get a replacement shed lock (glamorous life, as always!), and I decided to register for an account. As I gave the nice chap at the counter my address, he noted that I live at number 13.
“Unlucky 13!” he said.
“Unlucky for some,” I replied. “Not for me!”
I told him how I had also grown up in a number 13, and so I always associated it with home. I didn’t tell him about the energy of that particular home and time in my life were full of happy memories and energy. It was a DIY store on a Thursday evening, so I didn’t want to push it.
But 13 has never felt unlucky to me.
As I was thinking about this encounter recently, I thought about luck. I might not care about Friday 13th, but what are my stories about being lucky?
Do you feel lucky? Do you tell yourself that you’re unlucky, that it’ll never happen?
Meghan Genge talks about magic and miracles, and how when we expect them, we see them.
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it,” said Roald Dahl.
The voice that tells you it’ll never happen for you, that you’re just not the sort of person that gets the big break or the good news – that’s your inner critic, trying to keep you safe and small and avoid vulnerability.
It’s safe for you to see everyday miracles, like finding the perfect parking space, or having all the green lights. Notice them where they happen.
As I was writing my ideas for this episode, I saw a quote from Shonda Rhimes, one of my all-time favourite humans, the powerhouse behind Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and loads more.
She said, “I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”
I mean, she’s not wrong.
But what if we can be lucky – and create and grow our own luck?
What if we get smarter about spotting opportunities?
What if we become a total badass at courageously putting ourselves out there, shining our light, and graciously receiving the luck, the prosperity, the good news, that we get in return?
Your mission, if you choose to accept it this week, is to get luckier.
Notice the luck you have. Articulate the luck you want. Switch on your opportunity detectors. Channel your savvy boss lady energy into creating more luck for yourself.
Friday 13th is a great day to change the story, and change your world.
Running a business isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It can be tough, especially if you’re a one-woman-band solopreneur doing everything yourself. If you’re finding yourself in dark times in your business, questioning what needs to change – or if you even want to stay in business – I have some free coaching for you.
In a few weeks, I’ll be celebrating 7 years in business, and it’s made me feel a little nostalgic. I’ve been thinking about when I started, how things have developed, and key things I remember.
One thing I do remember is asking my audience if there’s anything they’d like me to blog about back in 2015, and the first request I got was: What if I don’t love my business anymore? Do you have any advice or resources for when you just don’t love it?
I didn’t. But I wrote a blog, and offered some food for thought.
It was an interesting question for me because, at that stage, I had zero first hand experience of it. I was still in the falling-in-love stage with my business – and it had been such an incredible start. I hadn’t yet had dark days, difficult decisions, or the relentlessness that can sometimes set in.
But my clients had.
In fact, I had plenty of experience coaching and mentoring clients out of their dark moments, even in those early years. These days, I find clients are more likely to do preventative business coaching, but the vast majority look for my help when they’re not 100% happy with the way things have been going.
Of course, every client and situation is different. There are plenty of things that can derail us, take us down a path we didn’t choose, and make us fall out of love with our business.
Now, with several years’ more experience – and my own dark days to have navigated through – I have an updated version of the blog I wrote back in 2015.
How to fall back in love with your business
There are a lot of parallels between marriage and business – the longevity, the ups and downs, the give and take, the partnership. So it makes sense that there might be seasons of your business where you’re kind of… meh, or struggling through a difficult patch.
If we follow this metaphor for a little bit, you and your business might need some counselling, or to double down on date nights, or just a weekend away together. You might need to have a serious chat about what is working and what isn’t. You might even need some time apart to get some perspective.
These options are all available, and I invite you to think about what that might look like for you – metaphorically and in reality.
Here are some of my observations as a business coach:
1. Regain your balance with the workload
Apparently, in marriage counselling, the most-talked-about gripe is the division of labour, and I see that in my work with business owners, too. There is a LOT of work that goes into business, and in small business it often lands on one set of shoulders: yours.
So if you’re not feeling the love in your business right now, it might be time to review your workload. What do you hate doing? What’s draining you and your business? What can you just not do anymore, and what can you delegate?
Here are some ideas:
Customer service – hire a VA to deal with customer enquiries. You CAN train them up, even if it means telling them what to say for the first month or so. But this can really shift your energy. Equally, if you’re answering the same questions over and over again, it might be time to create some FAQs for your website.
Product listings – again, find someone who can do this for you so that you can focus on the things you love.
Bookkeeping, stock takes, managing your social media accounts – all these are things you can get support with through VAs, online business managers, freelancers and more.
Automate – as well as finding humans to help you, you can find technology! Stop doing things manually when you can automate them. If you find yourself copying and pasting basically anything regularly, you can probably automate that.
Book a photographer – yes, photoshoots can be expensive. But they are also a huge time and energy drain! Unless you love doing them and have a great set up, I encourage you to find a photographer you can send this to.
Don’t let boring and tiresome tasks be the death of your business – and your creative passion. Get support and find ways to move forward.
2. Do what you actually love – and get paid for it
If your heart sinks when an order comes in for a particular product (or even all your products), you either need to put the price up or stop selling it.
When your products are priced too low, it’s easy to be filled with dread spending time making and/or packing the order. You’re working really hard, but you know it’s not really going to make a difference to your levels of success.
This is the time to put up your prices.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: about 80% of new clients need to put their prices up by at least 20%.
Of course, there are some products that fill you with MEH, no matter how much you’re charging. That means it’s time to stop selling them. You might need to take some time to create something else that feels amazing – but don’t take too long over this. You could find that retiring your products is as easy as the click of a button.
Top tip: consider creating products that are more scalable, or even add in some passive income to your business.
3. Create more work-life balance
With less on your plate and more products (or services) that you actually love, you may need to create more work-life balance.
Take some time off
Give yourself a start time and an end time
Go down to a 4 day week
Book creativity into your diary
And of course there’s always the option to pivot completely
If making tweaks to your current business isn’t going to cut it (and you might like to play with that first), then there’s always the option to change your business, or even opt out of being your own boss altogether.
Sound like you? Here are some questions to reflect on:
What isn’t working for you right now?
What kind of business model are you drawn to?
What’s your true and current vision of success?
What are you inspired by creatively?
How would you like your work-life balance to look?
No matter what happens, I know that you are not served by staying in a business (or marriage) that’s no longer working. There are PLENTY of other options available to you.
Make sure you explore, reflect, and dig deep into how you could fall in love with what you do.
Loved this episode? I’d love to hear! Pop a comment below, rate in your favourite app, or DM me on IG: @thejennypace
No matter what stage of business you’re at, these three things will make a huge positive impact
After last week’s episode, where we talked about shifting your marketing energy, this week I’m sharing some practical, game-changing habits for you to do regularly in your business.
1. Checking your numbers regularly.
I see you, avoiding looking at your bank account, sales figures, tax return, and open rates. I know it’s vulnerable. I know it opens you up to feeling bad about your business, your ideas, and your self-worth. I’ve been there.
But it’s soooooo worth getting courageous on this one!
What you need to do:
Here’s what I recommend: choose 5-10 key numbers you’re going to check each month, such as your turnover, your expenses, your profit margin, and a couple of key marketing numbers, like your email open rate or Instagram followers. Book a time in your calendar every month, and try to make it the same time and day, like the first Tuesday afternoon of the month.
Make it enjoyable! If that means ordering “I’m a proper business lady” brownies or going to a local coffee shop, do it. You could meet up with a business bestie, take the afternoon off afterwards, or get yourself all cosied up with a candle, some good music, and a pot of tea in the studio.
Why it helps:
The reason checking your numbers regularly is a game-changer is that it gives you a whole load of accurate, up-to-date data on what’s working on your business, and what’s not. That data, in turn, helps you make smarter business decisions that are totally right for you.
2. Valuing your creative skills and talents
Hooooooo-eee. If I had a pound for every creative who undercharges, doesn’t value their own skills, or doesn’t prioritise their creative time, well, I would go on a nice fancy holiday!
You’ve been creative most of your life, and you’re pretty damn good at illustration / graphic design / sewing / [insert your own talent here]. So you wouldn’t pay someone else to create something like that for you – because you can do it yourself! But there are millions (billions?) of people across the globe who CAN’T create the way you can, but they want a home and life filled with creativity nonetheless.
The other part of not valuing your creativity is that you don’t prioritise creative playtime. Your creativity is your greatest asset. It’s the golden goose that will create income-generating designs for years to come. As long as you allow yourself to cultivate it and develop. If you can’t remember the last time you had time to brainstorm, play with ideas, go to an inspiring art gallery, it’s time for that to change.
What you need to do:
First, check your pricing. Are you charging in a way that values your time, energy, and talents? Chances are, you’re not. (I typically tell 75% of new clients to put their prices up by 20%.) Plan a price increase and get courageous with it.
Book design time into your week or month. I’m not kidding! Regular time to play with ideas (without the pressure of creating the next bestseller) is a HUGE investment in the future of your business. Make it a regular habit now, and you’ll thank me later. (And please do – I like hearing it’s paid off!)
Why it’s important:
Oh boy, this one’s not just important for you, it’s a whole movement; it’s important for society and our culture and our children and our future. Ultimately, this one’s a mindset shift, as well as actions to take. But shifting that perspective will allow you to continue building a business that is profitable, sustainable, and a powerful force for good in the world.
3. Prioritising your time (and your to-do list).
Did you notice both the first two points included adding some time to your calendar? That wasn’t a happy coincidence. Lots of creatives like going with the flow (me too!) and being in the mood to create (still me too), but we can also end up trying to do wayyyyyy too many things at once, without any of them paying off.
You can still have fun creative time (see above), but prioritising your time and to-do list is so worth doing, I’m tempted to march round right now and help you do it!
What to do:
Choose three or so goals to focus on. That means you’re not trying to do a billion different projects all at once. Once you’ve set up your new website THEN you can get stuck into Facebook ads – just don’t do both at once!
With your goals in mind, you can prioritise your to-do list on a daily or weekly basis, so that your time is spent doing urgent and important things that are really going to make a difference.
Why it’s important:
When you focus and prioritise, it’s much easier to learn about what you’re working on, and do it well. If you’re just focusing on Instagram, rather than allllll the social channels, you can learn which hashtags work for you, you can get excited about creating content that people enjoy, and you can really get into the swing of making it work for you. Trying to juggle too many things leads to burnout, lack of enthusiasm, and big business disasters.
Stop avoiding these three key things!
I’m not saying these are the only things you need to do in order to get that thriving, sustainable, and meaningful business. But they are things creatives commonly avoid (at various levels), but that really unlock potential.
So maybe you’ll just do one at a time, or maybe you’re ready to get going with all three. If you do get started, let me know so that I can cheer you on!
And if you’d like some help, I thoroughly recommend checking out The Better Business Collective, the membership group for makers and solopreneurs ready to strengthen their business from the inside out. Membership opens next month, and waitlisters will get a special bonus when it opens!
Enter The Forge
Life's too damn short to chase someone else's definition of success. I'm here to give you the courage and tools to forge your own path.
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