Creative business owners are my favorite type of client to work with. Every day is different, and I thrive on turning on a dime (sort of). I think, though, that they are less thrilled with the lack of focus that they have because their list of to-do’s and what-could-be’s can be overwhelming…where to start and how to get started.
As I’ve worked with them, here are five of the most common challenges I hear when we first begin working together.
Lack of support When you’ve got lots of ideas swirling around in your head, it turns into a lot of noise, and if you’ve got no one who understands how you work (or even tries), it can feel really lonely. Find your person, your sounding board, your cheerleader, and your chief devil’s advocate. Find the person who has your back but also won’t tell you everything you want to hear.
Pricing Often, setting a fair price so you actually make money is a challenge. You created your business because you love what you do, and you’ve been trusting that the money will come. Setting a fair price for your product or service takes some thinking and calculating…and it’s definitely one of those tasks that isn’t fun (unless you’re an accountant). Not fun, but necessary. Take an hour or two to figure out your costs and then figure out how much you need to make AFTER your costs.
Lack of Direction/Lack of Focus Have you ever heard the term ‘spaghetti flinging’? It’s a term that’s generally used for brainstorming…fling all the ideas at the walls, and seeing what sticks (like you do when we wanted to see if the pasta was cooked enough). The thing is, all that spaghetti can be incredibly distracting, and it’s hard to do anything productive when it’s staring you in the face or whispering in your ear. Write down all the ideas, even if you don’t think they’re good. If you had the thought, it’s worth writing down. Once you’ve done that, you can confidently go back to doing what you love knowing that the ideas are written down, and you can revisit them on your next CEO Day.
Marketing/Finding Clients Where are my customers, and how do I let them know I even exist? Even creatives who are good at social media and/or marketing can get stressed and overwhelmed here. It’s easier to do it for someone else. First, figure out who your customers are, what they like, and then where you think they might be (Instagram? LinkedIn? Facebook? Not online? Even if you want to handle your marketing yourself, it can be helpful to work with someone who can help you flesh out a plan that you can implement.
Time Management Last but not least. Well, last on THIS list. If you’ve found yourself working long days and maybe long weeks, this is an issue for you. Balance is key, my friend. It’s awesome that you want to work, but less awesome to lose sight of the fact that all work and no play makes for boring conversation. (JK…not really.) Time block for your work week; time to work ON your business and time to work IN your business. Break it out by project.
I’ve written about a Pomodoro timer before, but it’s one of the best methods of getting things done without burning out. Work 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break.
If you suffer with any of these challenges, try the suggestions and let me know how it goes for you.
And if you need more support, I’m here for you. Click the link to schedule some time with me.