Are you wallowing in your business? Is it swallowing you whole? Is the to-do list and the shit-I-should-have-done-but-haven’t list growing longer by the day?
Are you finding that you’re spending more time dealing with shit than doing shit?
It’s top of June and the ass end of Q2, which means it’s a fine time to get that business of yours unfucked. As I’ve spent the past five months working part-time and am now at the point of re-entry into being in my business full-time again, I know just how you feel. My inbox has been neglected, I have clients I’m excited to move from where they are to “hell yeah,” and the bottom line is:
I need room to move.
Let’s uncrowd your business and get you that room. And as you know I loathe the listicle, this is more than a list. It’s a how-to on unfucking what fucks you.
Your Inbox is an Asshole
There’s no reason for something to dwindle in your inbox. When you look at your phone or you desktop inbox and you see a metric shit ton of unread messages and flags, that’s a YOU problem. Every lingering message, flag, and unread message is a problem that’s keeping you from doing the kind of business you’re capable of doing.
How to unfuck this:
- 10 minutes every morning: It’s as simple as taking 10 minutes a day to deal with your inbox. First thing in the morning, before you start clicking the “reply” button or end of day before you close the laptop, go on a filing and delete spree. As a 42-year-old woman, there is little in life that excites me more than deleting emails and clearing out my inboxes (plural). You just might find that by doing this 10 minutes a day, you’re deleting and filing as you go. As a result, that 10 minutes turns into five and all of a sudden — whammo. Your inbox is under control in seconds instead of hours.
- Hire a VA for a project: My using remote login tools like LogMeIn or GoToMyPC, you can have a virtual assistant file that Inbox 10,000 for you. While you’re sleeping or out to dinner, they can simply log into your computer and start sorting and filing away. You’ll return to a tidy inbox. Pro tip: Set up an agreed upon filing system before you unleash your VA, such as my sender last name, company name, or sending website.
- Set up a subscription-only email address: Stop sending all those blogs to your inbox. Whatever your domain is, create a “subscriptions@XXXXXX.com” email address and use this to get all those blogs and daily news.
- Unroll yourself: if you use Outlook.com (including Hotmail, MSN, & Windows Live), Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, or iCloud to get your work email, you should check out Unroll.me. It combines all of your subscription-based emails into a simple daily digest that you get once a day. It’s free. It has singlehandedly made the biggest improvement in my Gmail experience, even beyond using Inbox (which I hate).
You’re Not Treating Yourself Like a Client
No matter now many times I write about this, it’s news to someone. If you say that you don’t have time to blog (GUILTY!), your pipeline is down to a trickle, or you just can’t get shit done, it’s all because you’re not treating yourself like a client. Every day, the first hour of my day is spent ON my business and not IN it. This has been hard for the past 5 months when I’ve been time crunched, but that’s when I should have been doing it most.
You are your first client every day. If you don’t spend time on you, who’s going to? This is the time to talk about the redesign or updating of your website. The graphics you need created. The eBook you need formatted. The drip campaign you want to create. The call with your personal ass kicker. This is NOT when you pick up your dry cleaning, troll Facebook, catch up on Twitter, or any of that shit. It’s about doing work that will build your business. Here are some ideas for how to spend that hour before you ever hop on a client call or hit a “reply” button to a client email. YOU are client #1.
How to unfuck this:
- Map out blog posts you want to write: Make a list of topics that are burning for you today. Stuff thate xcites you, not shit you feel obligated to write about. Keep it in a place where you can look at it daily. It’s your treasure chest for blogging.
- Write a blog post: If it takes you more than 30 minutes to write a blog, I can’t help you. Have a VA create a rough draft for you, do the research, and then send you the draft for editing, you-i-fying, and making your own. Get it up. Use Canva to create a custom post image without having to use lame stock imagery.
- Make a plan: What do you need to get done in your business to keep the mortgage paid, the kids in school clothes, the dogs fed, and you out of the crazy house? Make a list, for all that’s holy. Every morning, cross at least ONE THING off that list. And here’s a tip: make all of the things on your list bite-sized. “Create autoresponder campaign” is too big. “Write one autoreponder email” is bit-sized, my dear. Snack, snack, snack and you’ll fill up your business.
You Have a Team Problem
Maybe your bookkeeper and CPA missed something and cost you a ton of money (cough – not that I would know anything about this). Your “assistant” isn’t assisting. Your writers aren’t writing anything compelling. And maybe your clients aren’t participating, redefining daily the term “out of scope.”
That’s a team problem. If you’re spending more time dealing with your team than doing the things that make you happy and earn you money, you need a better team. Your team is supposed to make business a pleasure, not take the pleasure out of your business.
How to unfuck this:
- Ask for referrals: Reach out to your colleagues and ask who they use for what. See what names come up.
- Interview: Whatever your state of distress, you are never so desperate to trust someone with your business without vetting. Schedule a 20-minute call at the bare minimum. Do a test project — small, manageable — and see how the candidate performs. See what their email skills are like when NOT in “applying to get a new client” mode.
- Be honest: When my business money got fucked by the two people I trusted most to keep me unfucked, I was on the floor of my condo crying on October 13 of last year. I was gun shy about hiring someone to unfuck this unholy mess. I took my time. The person I finally decided to hire took his time. Explained things to me in English. Didn’t make promises and aid how things were and what I could expect. I was 100% honest with him. In return, I got someone who was 100% honest with me and frankly, it’s about damn time.
- Need financial help? Bench.co offers online bookkeeping for a scant $100-ish a month.
- Fire clients: Srsly. Here’s the litmus test: when you cringe to see someone’s email in your inbox, that’s the firing time. Life’s too short and business is too damn hard to work with clients you don’t love. Your shitty clients are your fault, Jimbobarino. No one elses’s.
You’re Stuck Battling a SHOULD
Shoulds are assholes. They look like this:
- So-and-so has a product. I should have a product, too.
- So-and-so has a podcast. I should have a podcast, too.
- So-and-so has a webinar. I should have a webinar, too.
- So-and-so just redesigned his/her website. I should redesign mine, too.
Catch my drift?
Quit trying to do what everyone else is doing. Instead, do YOU. Me? I’ve tried to build a product multiple times. I’ve never finished. I have yet to find THE product that would make me proud and not feel like a smarmy doucheweasel for putting it on sale.
DO YOU. Do what sets you on fire. You know your brand and audience better than anyone ever will. If you need help sorting that out, talk to me. I can help (and for less than it’ll cost you to waste time on something you hate, won’t use, or won’t fucking work). For me, I’M my product. For you, you might have that eBook inside you yearning to bust out and be read. Stop playing a game of keeping up and try leading instead.
How to unfuck this:
- Ask yourself what you hate doing right now. Make the list. Write down what’s HARD in your business that you just can’t seem to finish.
- Look at the list. Grab coffee and really look at that beast of a list in front of you.
- Make a choice. There are only 2 choices to be made about anything on this list — Fuck It or Fucking Do It.
- Fuck It: You have no interest in doing it or paying someone to do it for you. It won’t serve your brand and sure, maybe it’ll make you a bit of money, but it’ll eat your soul in the process of getting it done.
- Fucking Do It: Put this task into bite-sized nuggets and deal with it during your hour every morning or hire someone to do it for you. Get it done already. And when you do it, it damn well better be YOU and not a rip off of someone else’s THEM.
or, for the SFW folks: