Archive for Balance

7 Ways to Stay on Top of Your Side Hustle

When I started my blog, I had no idea it would evolve into the business and passion it has become. I also never imagine the time it would take or how draining something that was built from passion would be. I mean they say, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life…” I’m going to go ahead and say, FALSE. More like, “Do what you love, and you will probably work even harder to get it done.” When you’re working a 9-5, working all night on your side hustle and trying to maintain the other aspects of your life, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself.

I know that we all have to find our way and that we all have different needs but I want to share some tips for taking care of yourself when you are trying to build a business.

Be Super Focused

This can be difficult when you have an entrepreneurial brain. The more entrepreneurs I get to know the more I see cases of entrepreneur’s brain. It’s easy there are so many things to do and try, so many platforms to use, services to offer, people to connect with, the list goes on and on. One of the best things you can do for your business, personal wellbeing, relationships and life is to try your best to be super focused on what you’re doing when you’re doing it.  I know at any given second I have ten things popping into my head. Try your best to focus on what you’re doing when you’re doing it.  If you’re working on your newsletter, then close those ten other tabs and just work on that. If you are having a girls night out, don’t answer emails just because your friends are all checking Facebook. (Tell them to get off the phone and enjoy the awesomeness that is you!)

Yes, I am telling you to live in the moment and practice mindfulness.

Keep a notepad in your purse, a memo file on your phone or a Google Doc open behind your work so if you have one of those great ideas or remember something you need to do, you can jot it down quickly and then get back to what you’re working on. Being able to separate the parts of your life and just focus on the task or event happening at the moment will make your work sessions more productive, your relaxation time more relaxing and your life just overall more awesome.

Plan Breaks

People may think it’s crazy, but I plan days off from my day job just to reset. I do it before I feel like I’m about to snap. If you have vacation days, use them! I’ve scheduled a Monday or Friday off like three months ahead of time to have a day off of my day job, work on my business, go grocery shopping, do laundry or just watch freaking Lifetime movies (P.S. The husband did it.) I plan at least one night during the week where I just relax and read or watch tv when I get home. This is one of the best ways to avoid burnout, maintain your passion and take care of you!

Plan Work

The same way I plan my breaks I plan my work. Each night before I go to bed I get a sticky note and decide three things I want to get done the next day and stick to tasks that are actually can achievable based on time and ability. If it’s a Tuesday and I won’t be able to get to work until 7 pm on my business tasks, my list isn’t going to say: Build Website, Write four blog posts, Comment on 25 blogs. A realistic list would be: Finish editing the new post, Create graphics for social media, Set up a landing for next week’s webinar.

If I am working on an individual project, I gather whatever I’ll need to get it done in one setting without having to search for stuff. When I sit down to work, I find that I am more likely to finish something if I know what it is I want to finish.

Practice Gratitude

By far my favorite new habit this year is my nightly practice of journaling. It started off as trying to incorporate gratitude and the practice of writing my goals down often into my schedule. Each night I write down one thing I’m grateful for, one goal I have, one thing I accomplished that day and one thing I want to get done tomorrow (this can be from your list of three tasks mentioned above). I’ve taken it a step further and have just started writing the first three things as gratitude statements.

For example:

Gratitude: I’m grateful that my sister and I are close now.

Goal: I’m grateful for the opportunity to do a webinar with Mariah Coz.

Accomplishment: I’m grateful I got today’s post out and shared.

Goal for tomorrow: Email Jane my ideas for the guest post swap.

While I haven’t accomplished the goal of doing a webinar with Mariah Coz, this is an example of putting it out into the universe, while also reminding myself it’s one of the things I want to do. It’s been proven that people who look at their goals often or write them down often are more likely to accomplish them than someone who might just write them down once and not look at them on a regular basis.  

Have a Support System

It’s so important to find your tribe when you are trying to build your space on the big crazy internet. There will always be a new platform update, a new social media platform, etc. so it’s great when you have a support system that gets what you are doing. This can come in many different forms, maybe you are in a Facebook group, maybe you have an accountability partner who you work with and send daily texts, you could join a small mastermind group where you meet up with 2-3 other business owners and video chat or in person on a regular basis, or you may just have those friends who you met in a Twitter chat and reach out to when you have a question or just need to vent. You may have an amazing family or group of friends in your day to day life, but the online business world is complex and can be a lonely place without the right people to have your back.

Nurture All of You

My blog allows me to nurture my creativity. Yes, it can be draining and time-consuming, but if I didn’t get the incredible feelings that come with expressing myself, helping others and building connections, I would close up shop tomorrow. But like you I am a complicated person with needs. I try my best to eat a healthy diet of foods that nourish my body and tickle my palate. I go to the gym to stay active and remain in shape. I go to therapy to nurture my emotions. I meditate and practice visualization to remain in touch with my feelings, desires, and goals.

Whatever your needs are, take care of them. It’s easy to pour as much as we can into our business and then without noticing using what’s ever left to nurture those around us, but you have to remember to take care of yourself. It goes back to kids on an airplane; you need to put your oxygen mask on before trying to help anyone else put on theirs. 

Whatever your needs are, take care of them. 7 ways to stay on top of your #SideHustle Click To Tweet

Ask For Help

Sometimes we all need a little help; maybe we are trying to learn a new system? Maybe we hate technical copywriting. Maybe we need help narrowing down our focus or goal. Whatever it is asking for help and recognizing areas where you need it are imperative for growing your business. This is why I am such a huge fan of online education. We all have something special to teach and share with the world. Think about it like this, when you’re car shopping the sales person shows you the features, they point out how to move your seat to be comfortable or how to add your favorite radio stations to the presets. When you decided at 18 you wanted to be an accountant you didn’t just say, “I’m good at numbers,” and start taking people’s money, you went to school to get an education. It’s the same with things in business, if you need a tutorial, a coach or even coaching one on one services, that is okay. These things are an investment in your business and inevitably in yourself as well.

I am not ashamed to hop in a Facebook group and ask my fellow business bosses how to create a particular type of form on ConvertKit. I’m not scared to email a fellow blogger to ask who she filed her taxes with? If you can find someone or something to save you time and make things easier why wouldn’t you?

The Balanced Side Hustle

I want to invite you to join my new course The Balance Side Hustle. If you feel like balancing your side hustle, full-time job and life are becoming too much; I’m here to help. I’ve been there! You feel like you can’t ever catch up and no matter what you do there is still so much more to be done. You haven’t seen your friends in what feels like months. When you do make time for something fun, you spend the whole time feeling guilty and dreading the work you left waiting at home. You started your side hustle because you had a passion or a dream and now you feel like you spend more and more time on the admin tasks than the part you’re passionate about. What you need is a system that fits your life.

With this month-long self-paced program, you will break down your side hustle goals and purpose as well as pick out your balance points. What are balance points? The parts of your life that you decide are a priority and want to balance.

Once your balance points are defined, you will be given training on keeping yourself in check and on schedule, as well as saying, “No,” to others.

Finally, you will be given training on creating systems that fit your business and life to let you focus on what matters most to you while growing your side hustle. This program is great if you don’t have the income yet or time to do regular full-time business coaching. You’re ready to take your side hustle to a better and less chaotic level. You might still be busy, but you will be spending more time on the stuff that earns you money and feeds your passion. To learn more about the program check it out here and save your seat. Get early bird pricing now. The course will never be this low again! 

February 2017 Goals

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Can I be honest, I am as happy to see January 2017 go as I was to see 2016 go. I’m not going to say it was a bad month but man did it feel like a long one. I hit a rough path with my Generalized Anxiety Disorder this month which in my unprofessional opinion may have been the result of a combination of stress, major change, uncertainty, antibiotics and more. This has resulted in a not so fun month but it hasn’t been all bad by any means. This is sort of a side note but I came across this article on Pinterest and as if God knew I needed to feel less alone. When you think I’m being rude, here’s what’s really going on Fiona at Fiona Likes to Blog. (P.S. How much do you love the name, Fiona?) Please feel free to check it out. I wish I could post this up at work so my coworkers understand my mood changes.  So let’s get into the review of last month.

January 2017 Goals

Objective: Launch TheBalancedSideHustle.com (this won’t be the full course, the official launch date is March 6th. I was hoping to launch February 27th, but I had family and social obligations heavily in February and wanted to give the launch and you guys my full attention).

Personal Goals

  • Read one book

I don’t know if it’s because I was sick or was feeling less social than normal I read 2 books and have started another 2. I read The Big Leap and The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl you can read more about what I thought of those books here.  

  • Purge some of my closets

Haha nope. But it was a nice thought. 

Blog and Freelance Goals

As I’ve said a thousand times. I am so glad to be in this program and apart of this amazing community.

  • Finish the articles for my feature in All Things Trend Magazine!

Any day now I should get my copy of the magazine and I’m so excited. The article took a life of its own but I feel like it is one of the most honest things I’ve ever written.

  • Have 536 Facebook page likes

545! Woot! Woot!

  • Have 3148 Twitter Followers

3155!

  • Have 1115 Instagram Followers

1111. Can a girl get 4 more followers? LOL. 

  • Have 966 Pinterest Followers

968!

  • Create at least one new Resource for my Resource Library

I finally released my scripts for saying no! Check them out here. 

  • Post at least 4 times this month

Yes! Go check them out! 

  • Spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging on each of the above social media sites. That means repinning, responding to tweets of others or seeing what their links are, etc.

My feed has been very Trump heavy so I kind of slacked on some of this from lack of energy.  But I have started doing Instagram stories… I wonder if that’s why I didn’t hit my goal… do you guys not enjoy hearing me sing the hits of the 80s while sitting in my car at lunch?

  • Crush the webinar I have scheduled this month.

This was probably the best webinar I’ve done. It was so much fun and we actually had a decent conversation going with those who attended. Thank you if you joined in.

  • Do one guest post or contributor article.

Can I use the magazine article for this? LOL. I have some stuff in the works besides that just running a little behind.

Health and Fitness

  • Walk 7,000 steps a day

R.I.P to my Garmin. I don’t know that I’ve done this because sadly I lost my fitness tracker. The band has come undone many times. (Even once on a plane where I was sure it was lost but found it when leaving.) It was only a matter of time.

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.

I’ve started a new fitness plan and can say this happened for sure. I have been doing really good on improving my eating habits.

  • Go to a gym class at least 3 times a week.

I went once. I know what the hell? Not once a week, once the entire month. So the above-mentioned antibiotics I was on was for a double ear infection so it’s hard to go to Zumba when you have a fever, headache and vertigo. 

  • Lose 5 pounds. I won’t put my weight but I started a new fitness program and am excited about it. (More details to come.)

So I went to weigh in today and am down 15 pounds. I had someone notice but I still have a ways to go. I can openly say I’m proud of myself! This is also why I didn’t purge my closet, I might fit those skinny jeans just yet.

February 2017 Goals

Objective: Launch TheBalancedSideHustle.com and just list build and connect like crazy.

Personal Goals

  • Read one book
  • Get back into meditating
  • Do at least one activity a week for myself that isn’t work related.
  • Do my gratitude/goal journal at least 5 days a week if not 7.
  • Party like it’s 1999 for my grandpa’s 85th! I love that guy. Here is a picture for the hell of it. Grandparents

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Continue working on Launch Your Signature Course!
  • Have 555 Facebook page likes
  • Have 3200 Twitter Followers
  • Have 1125 Instagram Followers
  • Have 990 Pinterest Followers
  • Create at least one new Resource for my Resource Library
  • Post at least 4 times this month
  • Spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging on each of the above social media sites. That means repinning, responding to tweets of others or seeing what their links are, etc.
  • Do at least 2 webinars
  • Reach out to affiliates
  • Do auto versions on relevant posts. I did my first audio take on a blog post in January. I have been wanting to do this for a while and plan to do it for posts in certain categories.

Health and Fitness

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.
  • Go to a gym class at least 3 times a week.
  • Lose 5 pounds more pounds

February is going to be an amazing month. GO Patriots and happy black history month! What are you looking forward to this month? What did you accomplish last month? Let me know in the comments.

9 Mistakes Bloggers Make Managing Their Time

If you’re like me, your waking hours are filled with tasks, expectations, and stress. For most of us, even our vacations or “days off” are filled with things we have to do or obligations that need to be handled. Well that’s a sad thought, isn’t it? It doesn’t have to be.
For a long time, I found myself in this loop of never-ending stress and a growing to-do list. I didn’t find some magic pill or master time travel to give myself an extra 10 hours a day to write, sleep and watch Netflix…(isn’t Netflix just the best thing ever?!?)
The first thing I did was learn to recognize the mistakes I was making when it came to building my business that was slowing my business down. I am still growing for sure, but if I’d started to realized these mistakes sooner, I could have been seeing revenue, growth and a lot less stress in my business a year or so sooner.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had a lot of experience in the different roles that come with dating but I see a lot of things the same way I see romance. Trying to figure out your work style is a little like kissing frogs, Often you figure out what doesn’t work far sooner than you find out what does… so let me save you some time and point out some of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to manage their life, their day job, and a side hustle.

Focusing on Perfect

Any time you put something out in the world with your name on it you probably want it to be pretty kick-ass, after all, your name is on it. So it’s easy to get stuck on perfection. I hate to say it, but you’re never going to reach perfection. So instead of getting stuff done you just keep finding yourself being unsatisfied with the little work you do complete because it isn’t perfect and therefore it never gets done. Done is better than perfect. Think of it this way how many programs or tools do you purchase that get an update or reboot. Sometimes you might think something is “perfect” only to discover once it’s out there that something is missing or not working correctly. Steve Jobs didn’t get the iPhone perfect the first time…see the multiple versions that have followed and continue to come out each year.

Failing to Start

Have you ever sat down with the intention of knocking out a few tasks with a to-do list that looks something like:
Create a pitch for Lane’s Online Magazine
Write this week’s newsletter
Update the blog post about knitting
Answer email from Karen

Then you sit there and look at it without knowing where to start so you decide, oh I’ll respond to some social media posts and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls. Next thing you know it’s 3 hours later, time for bed and while your Buffer is full nothing else got done.
Falling into this trap is easy. We want to get so much done, but we get frustrated and then nothing gets done.
Just get started on whatever is the first thing on the list just do it and get it done.

Taking on Too Much

This goes right in hand with not knowing where to get started. When you are excited about your business or side hustle, you find yourself constantly having new ideas or wanting to implement new things into it. For me, I always want to do more and go bigger. Adding new forms of revenue or a new kind of media is a great way to grow your business but doing it at the wrong time and in the wrong way is an excellent way to kill your business.
If you are a one woman team already feeling pressed for time, it probably isn’t a good idea to try to launch a new e-course, 2nd website, podcast and youtube channel in the same month (yeah I seriously was considering doing this at one point in time). Start by looking at low-hanging fruit (things that are easy for you to incorporate at that given time) if you want to do all of these see which would be easiest for you to do first and then start with that and once you have your footing in one area, add in the next. If you try to take on too much at once not only will your attention be divided but your work will be sloppy.

Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking isn’t evil at the right time and place. Listening to a book on tape while washing the dishes or reading a magazine while pooping is great examples of doing more than one thing at once successfully. But most of the time multitasking is a major productivity killer! If you want to get the most out of your work time, focus on one thing at a time. Turn your phone face down, leave it in the other room or shut down the sound, even small multitasking like answering a few texts during the time you said you’d work can hurt your productivity and strain your focus.
The more you spend time working focused, the more you learn about your ability to balance things. Can you listen to music with lyrics while writing? Can you watch television while painting pieces for your Etsy store? For me I absolutely cannot work in silence, my mind starts racing, and I start thinking about anything and everything, besides what I’m trying to focus on. If I’m working on social media posts I can listen to stand up or even re-watch old episodes of Family Guy on Netflix if I’m working on a post I can listen to music but if I try to watch t.v. more times than not I find myself taking a longer time to get things done.

Setting Deadlines But Not Work Sessions

Deadlines are important. For me, it is my way of saying, “Hey world, I’m doing this on this date.” Then realizing, “Holy crap it’s out there, now I have to do it.” But what is a deadline if you don’t have a plan for actually getting the thing done? If you say you want to publish a post on the 13th, when do you plan to write it? Schedule a period for working on it and if need be, anything else that accompanies the task, like creating graphics or social media posts. A deadline is a lot like a goal, it’s great to have, but a plan of action is what turns both a goal and deadline into a reality.

Thinking busy and productive are the same thing.

Busy having a great deal to do.
Productive achieving or producing a significant amount or result.
There are a lot of people who love to talk about how busy they are but the truth is being busy doesn’t mean you’re productive. I could go outside and try to pick up every rock in my apartment complex, and I’m technically busy, but it doesn’t mean I’m doing anything productive. While there are “busy” tasks that need to be done, you have to find a healthy balance of busy and productive. Yes getting your inbox down to zero is a great feeling but more than likely it doesn’t represent any income in your pocket. Just because you are doing something doesn’t mean you are making the best use of your time. Be able to recognize when you are performing goal achieving activities and not just stress relieving ones.

Focusing Too Much on Organizing.

This one was a huge rabbit hole for me. I want to be organized. Obviously, I work better when my desk is clean, and I know things look beautiful, but even worse I used to sit down with my to-do list and try to decide which thing was most important in the right order to get things done. Well, this was a waste of time.
I discovered that by just hitting the list running, I was able to get more crossed off. There are some days when it’s clear something needs to be done first, like if you have a deadline but other days you may not know where to start, so just start.

Getting Stuck on Semantics

If you can’t complete a task because you need something to complete it, then I try to follow this simple rule, if obtaining it will take more than 5 minutes I move on to the next thing on my todo list.
Are you writing a movie review and can’t remember the name of the lead actress? Go ahead and search for it, then go back to working on the review.
Do you want to make an email course outline on a poster board with sticky notes but don’t have the poster board or sticky notes? Then move on to the next task because you’ll probably just end up spending an hour at Target looking at cute office supplies. (Guilty!)
Don’t let the semantics, stop you in your tracks. Often I’ve discovered by moving forward and not focusing on the little things that could be a setback, I often find workarounds or better ideas.

Not Scheduling Downtime

This may seem counter-productive to all the mistakes mentioned above but in reality having downtime is great for productivity. I wrote a post Why You Should Take a Personal Day a while back, and I fully believe in it. Personal days and downtime are key for allowing your body and mind to recharge and relax. We are always so stressed and have so much to do, but I’ve discovered when I take the time to take a break or have some fun I come back with new ideas or feel revitalized and excited about whatever project I’m working on again. I try to do something fun most weekends, but I also have a night off I try to stick to at least once a week, Thursdays are for Shondaland. I put the laptop away, have some wine and enjoy some of my favorite shows. It’s all about rewarding myself for hard work and reminding myself that there is more to life than work.

Are you making any of these mistakes when it comes to setting up your day? Recognizing them is a great way to stop doing them. The next time you find yourself in one of these situations take a second and think about what you’re doing and how you can refocus your time and energy into working more productively.