"How are you? How's business"
*Deep sigh* "Oh, you know, just busy."
I definitely have. And it hit me in October of 2022 that, although the world tells us entrepreneurs it's "glamorous" to be busy (Be successful on all the social media platforms! Have orders pouring in the door! Grow your email list! Be a mom, wife, volunteer and a #girlboss! Oh, and read this self-help book!), I didn't actually want to be and feel busy all the time. I had fallen into the deep rut of busy, and didn't realize until a total brain/body crash as the holiday season hit that being busy and in a hurry all the time was stressing me out, causing me to burn out, and making me distracted as all get-out. And not to mention, it was making me really not enjoy my business and where it was going.
Simply keeping busy and trying to do all the things all the time on my own can't be the only way to grow this business... right? What if I hopped off this busy train? How would that look? Would my business crumble? Would I still be able to provide for my family?
I knew I couldn't keep moving at 100mph... it was wearing me down.
So I took a leap, and stepped off the train.
...And my business did not crumble.
It also didn't start magically thriving (sorry... I know you were hoping for some big inspirational story). It stayed right on track as it had been, and I took the time I needed to slow down, focus on what matters in my business, and decide how to best proceed with slow business practices.
I realized over the 2022 holiday season (while keeping busy with orders, but not allowing anything else but order fulfillment to be on my business to-do list... which was such a sigh of relief) that God didn't make me compatible with busy... and that's OK. In fact, happy news for most of you...
God didn't make most of us compatible with busy.
We live in an age of digital distraction, go-go-go, and climb-climb-climb. It's exhausting, but we feel like we gotta do what we gotta do (what the world tells us we gotta do). And what we "gotta do" is do all the things all the time, follow certain guidelines and rules from entrepreneurs before you, post to Instagram 3x per day, be simultaneously present on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook and probably Tik-Tok, invest in expensive out-of-state business retreats, keep a weekly blog to better your SEO, and still have time to make dinner for your family or dog.
If you read all of that and find you have to relax your face and fists because it's tensed up, and you now feel stressed... maybe it's time to slow down a bit.
Are you ready to step off the busy train, and practice Slow Business?
Great. I'm right with you.
Below are a list of 4 simple first steps to slowing down your business, happily working slowly, cultivating what matters, and building a profitable business you truly enjoy putting your time and energy towards.
1. Be Generous
In a world striving for personal success, the act of sharing has become an act of rebellion. Be a rebel, have a generous heart.
Give of yourself; your knowledge, time, attention, and genuine concern. This can be done in person (anyone still do coffee dates with friends??), on social media or via your newsletter. Be generous because you love what you do, and you value your people.
--> Action Step: Schedule a coffee date with a business friend.
2. Ignore The Competition
Yes, you need to be aware of your competition, to have a general sense of what they're up to, and what you could maybe be doing differently/better. Aside from that, ignore the competition. Unfollow or mute their accounts on social media, don't visit their websites daily, or even weekly, and focus on your business and the way you want it to be.
--> Action Step: Unfollow/mute your competition on social media.
3. Give Yourself Healthy Margin Throughout Your Day
You may have also heard someone say "add white space into your calendar". When you put buffers around your to-do's and meetings, you give yourself space to breathe, slow down, pray and reflect.
An example would be, if you have a meeting scheduled, get in the car 5 minutes early, and just sit. No, don't scroll Instagram; don't answer a quick email. Just sit. Gather your thoughts, breathe... 1...2...3...4...5... then head to your meeting.
You can apply this anywhere in your schedule before a scheduled event or between to-do items. Drink some water, grab a snack (and eat it before you begin your task), pray, go for a walk... whatever you need to do to relax and re-center. Then begin.
--> Action Step: Add a 5-10 minute buffer around each meeting this coming week.
4. Reduce The White Point On Your Devices
We all know the backlight from our computers and phones over stimulates our brains. I won't go into statistics and details, but know that you don't actually have to be blinded by your devices when you look at them. Go to Settings and turn the White Point down.
For iPhones, it looks like this: Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Reduce White Point: On
--> Action Step: Reduce the white point on your phone.
There are SO many more things you can do to slow your business down, but the last thing you should feel is overwhelm on this journey. Implement those 4 action steps, and I'll be coming back with more Slow Business tips and insights as I proceed on my own journey.
Cheers to Slow Business, friends 🥂.
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