Progress not Perfection: Set your intention for today

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Before you dive in to one of the busiest days of the year, take one tiny moment to set an intention.

We can’t control everything, but we can set a positive intention for how we’ll deal with good news, bad news, setbacks, and all kinds of things that head our way.

Intend to be calm. Intend to prioritise only the most important things. Intend to see the positive in each moment.

I like to decide for myself what “enough” is each day. Perhaps enough is simply getting the orders out.

Or decide what “good” will look like – knowing you’ve done your best, or responded to challenges with confidence that you know what you need to do.

One moment of positivity in the morning can carry through your whole day.

Get my free Progress not Perfection emails directly to your inbox every day until 4 January 2018.

Here's the thing: the things we tell ourselves on the scroll

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

You see someone online doing something similar to you. Or something you want to do. You freak out.

You decide they’re doing it wrong or not the way you’d do it, and they’ve already cornered the whole market doing it their way so there’s no room for you.

Maybe you find yourself into a rage about how they’re making a ton of mistakes and screwing people over by charging for something so cheap. Or that they’re undercutting you and can’t possibly be making any money. Or maybe they just don’t have the design skills you do, or the communication skills. Or the experience. Whatever the exact detail is, the situation pisses you off!

Or you decide you could never do it that well. They’ve already done everything possible. They’ve done it better than you, or they’re first to market and that’s all that matters. Maybe they took an idea in a slightly different direction, and it’s your belief that it’s better. Perhaps they seem like they’ve got it all together already – effortless product launch with recommendations and referrals and people shouting about how wonderful they are. You’re not pissed off, exactly. Deflated.

And so you stop. Or you procrastinate. You stop putting your talent and effort and energy into something great. You try to find something else, even though you already have something wonderful, and unique. You tell yourself all kinds of stories about why it can’t happen now, and why it hasn’t worked out, and why you should focus elsewhere.

But ultimately it comes down to this: you’re just afraid.

Our brains are really good at being afraid. And turning up the volume on doubt and fear and just staying nice and safe. Our brains want us to be safe.

My opinion? Social media has such huge potential for connection. But it can also be hugely destructive force, especially where our soft spots and creative fears are concerned.

Here’s the thing:

The first step is always cultivating awareness. When do you tend to get sucked into The Scroll? Is it first thing in the morning? Last thing at night? While you’re waiting to pick the kids up? What time are you trying to fill by scrolling through Facebook or Instagram?

And then there’s being aware of why you get sucked in. Are you trying to find connection online? Are you really getting it? What does scrolling offer you? (Hint: if it’s numbness or distraction from what you really want, it’s time to change.)

These are the first big questions in my upcoming course: Self Care on Social Media for Business Owners.

Because we need your work in the world. And your business deserves great marketing. But if you’re getting stuck in fear and overwhelm and anxiety and just plain old procrastination, we don’t get to buy your products or see your work.

We’re going to tackle the fears that change our behaviours. We’re going to talk about how to live closer to your dreams and your fears. You’re going to get MORE out of social media – and out of LIFE!

I don’t want you to post less or market your business less. What I want is for you to feel confident in why and how you use social media, and what your contribution to the shared space is.

Let’s cultivate awareness, but more than that. Let’s change how you feel and how productive you are.

The course starts on Monday 30th October. Will you join me and other brilliant business owners?

Here's the thing: two things I need to tell you about my work and life

two thingsHonestly? I don’t know exactly what’s next.

Honestly? I don’t know which of the many, many things to offer right now.

Honestly? I don’t know if I’m relevant to the people I was relevant to before – and sometimes I don’t know if I’m relevant to anyone.

Have you been there? Have you had that feeling when you wake up, when you’re just not sure? If not, then I salute you, and I hope that your enthusiasm and confidence continues to support your endeavours.

If you have, you’re not alone. Me too. And many more of us, I’m sure of it.

There are some things I need to tell you now, on this Friday in August. Because until I get them out, they’re just getting in the way.

The first thing is this: My work and audience are changing. 

Over three years ago, I left notonthehighstreet.com, having worked there for five years. I wanted to help small businesses in a wider capacity than I’d been able to. I wanted to write. I wanted to bring my skills and experience to people who needed them.

It’s broader now. It’s not that I don’t know anything about selling on NOTHS. It’s not that I can’t (or don’t) support people who do. I still work with clients regularly on their NOTHS store, and I still know a lot of things. But I’m not the NOTHS-whisperer! I can’t guarantee sales. I don’t know their strategy. I haven’t worked there for three years.

And the things I work on are about a bigger picture: creating the business and life that you really want. Seeing you as a person within your business, and creating a business plan that’s uniquely yours. I’m a coach-therapist-mentor, and I believe in addressing our personal selves in order to do the big business work and find the answers. It’s not just key terms and marketing – though I love weaving them in. It’s the whole package.

(As an aside, Copper Boom Studio is now officially recommended by NOTHS, which is kind of a wonderful new way of working with them.)

The second thing is this: I have lived with depression over many years.

It’s August. Which means it’s nine years since I started seeing a therapist. (Who I still see regularly.) I’ve had periods of depression since at least early teenage years. I’m high functioning, that’s for sure! But it’s something that can wipe me out and that I’ve had to learn a lot about.

Why am I telling you now? Because depression and anxiety are things I see in my clients fairly regularly. Not always diagnosed. Not always severe. But it seems to me that being self-employed can open you up to having to deal with depression and anxiety, even if you didn’t need to (or realise it) before.

I’m also telling you because yesterday I started working one-on-one with a client specifically around her depression and anxiety. My aim is to build a series of resources and courses that support creative entrepreneurs and makers who struggle with these issues. It’s not a cure for depression, because I don’t think that exists, but it’s to tackle some of the ways running a business with depression is different, and requires a different approach. I’m also hoping it’ll be a way to say you’re not alone.

Honestly? I wasn’t planning to tell you all this today.

But these are two things I’ve been thinking about for months. That I knew I needed to get out.

They fit together, because supporting clients with depression and anxiety is becoming more of a focus for me, as well as being part of the more personal work I’m doing now. I think it’s important that I tell me own story, in order for you to know why I’m expanding my direction (and letting go of some of the types of work I’ve done before).

What does it mean for you?

As I said a few weeks ago, if these things mean we’re not a good fit anymore, please change your subscription preferences. I won’t be offended. Maybe you signed up when I was very NOTHS-focused, or you’re still looking for someone who can help you with just the practical business stuff. There are plenty of people around. They’ll serve you better if that’s what you need.

Some of the things I did by myself before (like storefront reviews, product descriptions, and other copywriting) are available with the support of my amazing team at Copper Boom Studio.

If you don’t want to go deeper into depression and anxiety – if you’re not ready – that’s fine too. Whether you struggle with these issues or not, I send you well wishes and positivity on your journey.

But if you’re interested in integrating being human with running your business, or you have struggled with depression and/or anxiety, or maybe you’re intrigued by adding intuition into your business planning, I hope that you will join me. You can get my email updates here, and you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

My work is shifting, and I think some of the audience is shifting too. Today, I needed to tell you that.

Here’s to the next chapter for all of us!

Jenny x

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