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The problem with taking on too much

I’m going to be writing a pretty personal blog post here. One that really examines my problem with trying to fit in everything at once and the consequences of that. A kind of bare all post. In the hope that it may inspire others and maybe even ring true for one or two of you.

Now I know that as freelancers we always have 100 and 1 things to do. There are the basic things we must do like invoicing and tax returns. Then there are a whole heap of other things, like networking, marketing, blog writing, creating images and videos. And we can’t forget the actual doing of our business, coaching clients, creating products, delivering training – whatever it is you actually do. 

Then on top of all this is business development. The thinking about how your business can grow, new services you might want to develop, ways you want to grow as a business woman, new forms of marketing, new ways of reaching people. And often it’s this part of your business that can suffer.

Because we all know that just keeping the business afloat, bringing in the money, can take up the majority of our time. But if we just focus on this and don’t give ourselves space to develop we can find ourselves stagnating. And that’s when we start looking at our contemporaries and comparing ourselves and can find ourselves wishing we were more like others – which is never a comfortable place to find ourselves.

So how can we do it all?

The answer is we can’t!

We need to discover what we want from our businesses first.  What makes us truly happy and how much work we want to put in.

I am always rushing around. Going from one thing to another. Trying to cram it all in and get it all done. But this is counterintuitive. We just get exhausted and have no time to do it all.

I realised this in stark reality yesterday after a weekend full of family things, a drive across country, a lunch with friends, a walk in park and then when Robin had an audition to go to she just had nothing left to give. We’d done too much. In my bid to fit it all in, please everyone and cram as much fun in as possible I’d exhausted my daughter.

And then it hit me. I need to give myself and my lovely daughter space to breathe and relax.  And I know this. But I still find myself trying to fit it all in, to the point where we are anxious and exhausted. 

Not the example I want to be giving to my lovely daughter.

Here’s something that surprised me.  In the months when I’m relaxed and calm and have time to exercise, read and breathe I always make more money. Always. And in the months when I’m slightly stressed, tired and a little burnt out I make less money. 

And really money is the bottom line.

Part of running a business, is knowing that we don’t have to do everything all at once. If you have a great idea for your business, or want to develop a new service, break it down.  Break down what you need to do in manageable chunks.  You’re not going to be able to do it all at once and you don’t even have to do it now, a great idea will still be a great idea in 12 months time.

It’s impossible to fit 38 hours into a 24 hour day.  There is really only so much time.  And we need to remember to make space for breathing, being and sitting. 

From now one I’m going to try and make sure that I do no more than 2 big things in one day. 

And I’m going to learn how to say no.

If you’re not doing work that makes your heart sing, or you’re doing work for a client that’s not really floating your boat, could you give that up so it makes space for something new, wonderful and better suited to where you want to go?

So, better planning and saying no makes Debbie and Robin happy girls in business and in life.

Exhausted and anxious is never where we want to be.

I find it really useful talking things through with my business coach, to help me make sense of where I’m going and creating a path to get me there.

I coach women in business make sense of their marketing, so that they can plan where they want their business to be, what’s working and what’s not, what they want to be known for and how to present that across the internet.  If you’ve been thinking about working with me to help amplify what you do across the web why not book a free 20 minute call where you can ask me question and I can find out about your business. 

I may not always be good at not cramming everything in, but I am good at marketing!

I hope this makes sense to you, I am one of the worst at trying to cram everything in - I think it stems from being a cancer survivor and having 'life is too short, you've got to make the most of it' imprinted in my brain, but I'm going to be replacing that with a new soundtrack 'slow and steady wins the race'.